8 Simple Rules returned two months after Ritter's death with a one-hour episode, "Goodbye", which was turned into a tribute to Ritter's character.
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 July 11, 2005 (less than two months after ABC officially cancelled it), The WB network announced it would air back-to-back repeats of all 76 episodes of 8 Simple Rules from 4–5 p.m.
as part of the replacement of Kids' WB with the more broad-audience Daytime WB block.
After a few months of being absent on the channel, 8 Simple Rules resumed airings on ABC Family at 7/6 c on select weekend mornings, beginning July 18, 2010.
In mid-December 2012, 8 Simple Rules was removed from ABC Family's weekday line-up, only to be added back in September 2013.
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.
After the novelty of newly added ensemble characters wore off, the series returned to its original format.
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 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.After Ritter's death, it had slipped to 50th, but was renewed for a third season, in which ABC moved the series to Friday at pm as part of its TGIF comedy line-up.It aired weekdays from January 2, 2006 to September 15, 2006 when it was replaced by Reba upon the merger of UPN and The WB into The CW.
On Tuesday, June 12, 2007, the show joined the ABC Family line-up, airing weekdays from pm to pm Then in September 2008, the show started airing from pm to pm, until October 10, 2008.
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.