"8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" (later known as "8 Simple Rules") was a hit Disney sitcom originally airing on the ABC Television Network from September 17, 2002 - April 15, 2005, running for 3 seasons and 76 half-hour episodes.
Created by Bruce Cameron, the series was adapted from Cameron's same-named humor book by veteran TV producer Tracy Gamble.
The series was a comeback vehicle for John Ritter, who starred on the show as Paul Hennessy, patriarch to the Detroit, Michigan Hennessy family: besides Paul, a sportswriter who worked from home, there was Cate (Katey Sagal, "Married with Children"), Paul's wife, a Registered Nurse; teenage daughters Bridget (Kaley Cuoco, "Big Bang Theory") & Kerry (Amy Davidson) and pre-teen son Rory (Martin Spanjers), the "boy" of the family.
Real-life tragedy struck the show in the afternoon hours of September 11, 2003, when 54-year-old John Ritter fell ill with what he initially thought was food poisoning; instead, he was rushed immediately to the local Hospital at Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center (the same Hospital where he'd been born on September 17, 1948) in Burbank, California, right next to The Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank, where the series was filmed.
After a 5-hour battle to save him, at 1 A.M. ET / 10 P.M. PT on Friday, September 12, 2003, John Ritter died; his cause of death was ruled as a Dissection of the Aorta.
Rather than replace John with another actor in his role, ABC & Disney jointly decided to have his character, Paul Hennessy, killed off, with Paul dropping dead of a presumed Massive Heart Attack while grocery shopping for Milk; the newly widowed Cate, until the series' 2005 cancellation, struggled at first to raise her 3 teenagers alone--until her father Jim (TV veteran James Garner) & her nephew, C.J. Barnes (David Spade), moved in to help her raise the kids at home.
Subsequently, the series was shortened to "8 Simple Rules," and the series' cancellation took place in early 2005.
Reruns have aired on ABC Family, and also the first 2 seasons are now available on DVD.