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Shortly afterwards, ABC officially cancelled 8 Simple Rules in May 2005.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).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.

as part of the replacement of Kids' WB with the more broad-audience Daytime WB block.

The series was shown on Irish channel RTÉ Two, then later, rights to the show were acquired by TG4, which aired the series weeknights at 5.35 pm.

The series was shown on both these channels full uncut, despite the fact it was shown pre-watershed (9.00 pm), although, the show was issued an age rating.

The series' name and premise were derived from the book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter: And Other Tips from a Beleaguered Father (Not That Any of Them Work) 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.

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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.