The first four post-Ritter episodes were shot without a live audience with James Garner and Suzanne Pleshette guest-starring as Cate's strict parents and David Spade guest-starring as Cate's wayward nephew, C. Before Ritter's death, the show ranked 42nd in the Nielsen ratings.
After Ritter's death, it had slipped to 50th, but was renewed for a third season, in which ABC moved the show to Friday at pm as part of its TGIF comedy line-up.
8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (also known as 8 Simple Rules for the third and final season) is an American sitcom, originally starring John Ritter and Katey Sagal.
The series' creator and showrunner, Tracy Gamble, left the series for a time over creative differences prior to the third season, but he later returned as a consulting producer midway through the third season. Even before the third-season finale's airing, rumors began circulating that 8 Simple Rules was facing cancellation due to Ritter's death and poor ratings.
Gamble was replaced by Judd Pillot and John Peaslee, who had performed the same role in the final season of Spade's sitcom, Just Shoot Me! The Friday night "death slot" ratings took their toll on 8 Simple Rules.
The show returned two months after Ritter's death, with a one-hour episode, "Goodbye", which was turned into a tribute to Ritter's character.
Subsequent episodes dealt with the family's reaction to his death and how they moved on from it. Garner and Spade later received starring roles as Ritter's replacement for the rest of the show's broadcast.
In 2003, the show began airing in the UK on the Disney Channel, which was edited for children's viewing.