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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 series was removed from the network's lineup in 2014.
James Garner and David Spade later joined the main cast as, respectively, Cate's father Jim Egan and her nephew C. 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 kids.
After the novelty of newly added ensemble characters wore off, the series returned to its original format.
The three new episodes that Ritter completed were aired with Sagal introducing them.
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.
It was picked up by ABC1 which aired the show until the channel's closure in 2007.
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.
The series' creator and showrunner, 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.
The third-season finale was not aired for May sweeps.