Dating rules tv series
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.
After Ritter's death, it had slipped to 50th, but was renewed for a third season, in which ABC moved the series to Friday at pm as part of its TGIF comedy line-up.
When Ritter unexpectedly died in 2003, the producers decided to keep the show going and his character died off-camera on the show. (David Spade), moves into the house’s basement with Grandfather Jim and frustrates him and the rest of the family to no end.
Cate’s father, a man in the middle of his own divorce crisis, Jim Egan (James Garner), moves in to help his grieving daughter and grandchildren adjust to their new life.
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.
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The series ran on ABC from September 17, 2002 to April 15, 2005.
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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.
Shortly afterwards, ABC officially cancelled 8 Simple Rules in May 2005.