The same year, Channel 5 began airing the series, in which season one only aired, then from 2008, was shown on 5*, which aired all three seasons.The series was aired uncut on subsequent channels following its cancellation by Disney Channel.The series ran on ABC from September 17, 2002 to April 15, 2005.The first season focused on Paul being left in charge of the kids after Cate takes a full-time job as a nurse, with comedic emphasis on his often strict rules concerning his daughters and dating.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.
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.
On October 3, 2009, 8 Simple Rules returned to ABC Family, having been absent for a year, airing on Saturdays from am to am, and Sundays at a.m.- pm Airings have been sporadic due to the channel's unpredictable movie schedule and holiday programming block.
On February 8, 2010, the series was added back to ABC Family's weekday lineup, airing from 6-7PM/ET, replacing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
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).