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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 in order to fill the void left by Ritter for the remainder of the series' run.
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, 8 Simple Rules ranked 42nd in the Nielsen ratings.
as part of the replacement of Kids' WB with the more broad-audience Daytime WB block.
It aired weekdays from January 2, 2006 to September 15, 2006 when it was replaced by Reba upon the merger of UPN and The WB into The CW.
On February 8, 2010, the series was added back to ABC Family's weekday lineup, airing from 6-7PM/ET, replacing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
In 2003, the show began airing in the UK on the Disney Channel, which was edited for children's viewing.While 8 Simple Rules ratings were well above those of the surrounding TGIF shows during its third season, ABC cancelled it due to the perceived inability to sell reruns of the show into syndication (a fourth season would have given the show the 100 episodes necessary to enter daily syndication).On July 11, 2005 (less than two months after ABC officially cancelled it), The WB network announced it would air back-to-back repeats of all 76 episodes of 8 Simple Rules from 4–5 p.m.After three seasons, ABC cancelled 8 Simple Rules in May 2005 due to low ratings.The third season (after Ritter's death) took a creative turn, revolving more around cousin C. (David Spade) and grandfather Jim (James Garner), than the immediate Hennessy family, more specifically not revolving around the raising of the Hennessy girls.
The finale received a 3.9/8 rating share which gave ABC a third-place finish behind NBC's Dateline (5.8/11) and CBS's Joan of Arcadia (4.9/10), which starred Ritter's son, Jason.