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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.
Shortly afterwards, ABC officially cancelled 8 Simple Rules in May 2005.
In 2003, the show began airing in the UK on the Disney Channel, which was edited for children's viewing.
It was picked up by ABC1 which aired the show until the channel's closure in 2007.
On RTÉ Two it was issued a 'PS' rating and on TG4, a '12' rating.
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.
James Garner and David Spade later joined the main cast as, respectively, Cate's father Jim Egan and her nephew C. 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 kids.
After the novelty of newly added ensemble characters wore off, the series returned to its original format.
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.