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8 Simple Rules (originally 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter for the first season) is an American sitcom comedy television show, originally starring John Ritter and Katey Sagal as middle-class parents Paul and Cate Hennessy raising a family of three.

The series's name and premise were derived from the book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter by W. While 8 Simple Rules was renewed for a second season and production had begun, Ritter's sudden death in September 2003 left the series in an uncertain position.

After a hiatus, the series returned and continued without Ritter, with the producers deciding to kill off Paul and not replace him.

James Garner and David Spade later joined the main cast as Cate's father and nephew, Jim Egan and C. Barnes, in an attempt to fill the void left by Ritter.

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.

After the novelty of newly added ensemble characters wore off, the series returned to its original format.

Crew members took him to a nearby hospital, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, where he was misdiagnosed as having a heart attack and as a result, his condition had worsened when physicians later diagnosed him with an aortic dissection, and he died that evening at the age of 54.

Following Ritter's death, ABC announced that 8 Simple Rules would continue after a hiatus, and would incorporate the death of his character.

The three new episodes that Ritter completed were aired with Sagal introducing them.

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