8 Simple Rules

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox television

8 Simple Rules (formerly known as 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter) was a United States television situation comedy that aired on ABC in the US and ABC1 in the UK.

It is about a married couple with three children. The father, Paul Hennessy, played by John Ritter, is a sportswriter who is prompted by his wife's (Katey Sagal) return to nursing to take a more active role in raising their two teenage daughters and young son. The show derives its name and much of its concept from W. Bruce Cameron's book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (ISBN 0761123148).

On September 11, 2003, Ritter suffered an aortic dissection and died hours later. ABC later announced that the show would continue after a hiatus, and would incorporate the death of Ritter's character. The three new episodes that Ritter completed were aired with reflections from the cast.

The show returned on November 4, 2003 with a one hour episode, "Goodbye", dedicated to Paul Hennessy's death. Subsequent episodes dealt with the family's reaction to his death and their moving on; they were taped without a live audience so as to add to the dramatic atmosphere in respect to Ritter's passing. Suzanne Pleshette and James Garner guest starred as Cate's parents. David Spade later guest starred as Cate's wayward nephew. Both Garner and Spade eventually received starring roles.

Shortly after the third season finale, rumors began circulating that 8 Simple Rules was going to get cancelled. In its first season, the show ranked a respectable 42nd in the Nielsen Ratings. It did a little better when more viewers tuned in out of sympathy and curiosity after Ritter's unexpected death. But by the end of the second season, the show slipped to 50th. After ABC moved 8 Simple Rules to Friday nights at 8:00 p.m. it had fallen to 94th in the Nielsen standings. Some observers felt that the show should've been put out of its misery since there really wasn't much a point any longer given the tragic absence of John Ritter.

The third season finale (in which Katey Sagal's character tells her family that she's been dating the school principal played by Adam Arkin) wasn't even aired for May sweeps. 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' Joan of Arcadia (4.9/10.) which happens to star John Ritter's son Jason.

On May 17, 2005, 8 Simple Rules was officially cancelled by ABC.

8 Simple Rules currently airs its first and second seasons in the UK on ABC1 and on Disney Channel UK.


Missing image
Bridget and Kerry Hennessy on 8 Simple Rules

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