In ABC's new comedy, 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter, Ritter plays Paul Hennessy, a columnist who's forced to take on more responsibility at home when his wife, Cate (Married With Children's Katey Sagal, looking great sans her Peg Bundy bouffant 'do), goes back to work.
The first two episodes of the series are concrete proof that Ritter's still got it, that intangible and inexplicable ability to elicit gut-busting laughter with a twitch of an eye.
The series' creator and show-runner, 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.
Bruce Cameron's book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.
The rules are: The third season took a creative turn, revolving more around cousin C. and Jim, the grandfather, than the immediate Hennessy family, more specifically not revolving around the raising of the Hennessy girls.
ABC canceled the series on May 17, 2005 after three seasons due to low ratings.
The show's premise and title 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. 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.
Paul begins writing a column from home about his struggles with his children and offers advice to people who are in his same position.
After entering a hiatus, the series continued without Ritter, incorporating the death of his character.