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.
After the novelty of newly added ensemble characters wore off, the series returned to its original format.
The first four post-Ritter episodes were shot without a live audience with James Garner and Suzanne Pleshette guest-starred as Cate's strict parents and David Spade guest-starred as Cate's wayward nephew, C. Garner and Spade later received starring roles as Ritter's replacement for the rest of the show's broadcast.
Before Ritter's death, the show ranked 42nd in the Nielsen ratings.
Following Ritter's death, ABC 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 Sagal introducing them.
Paul, frustrated by the whole thing, dozes off and dream Kyle is Jack Tripper, his daughters are Janet and Chrissy, He and Cate are the Ropers with Rory is Larry from Three's Company. Kerry is anti-ditch day, and tries to make ditch day a normal day of learning, to what turns out to be a complete bust.
Cate awaits the results of her pregnancy test while Bridget struggles with her long distance relationship with Donny Doyle. When Kerry puts on the prank in her sister's place, she ends up realizing she really has been a goody-two-shoes.
James Garner and David Spade joined the cast afterward.
ABC canceled the series on May 17, 2005 after three seasons due to low ratings.
Paul is trying to get Kerry and Bridget to talk to each other after they both date Kyle. Granpa tells Cate she has to accept that the kids grow up. The next morning Cate awakes on the sofa with Gibb on top of her...