Topics: 8 Simple Rules - Wikipedia
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. James Garner and David Spade later joined the main cast as Cate's father and nephew, Jim Egan and C.J. Barnes, in an attempt to fill the void left by Ritter. After three seasons, ABC cancelled 8 Simple Rules in May 2005 due to low ratings.
The third season (after Ritter's death) took a creative turn, revolving more around cousin C.J. ( 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.
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).