Following Ritter's death, ABC announced that the show would continue after a hiatus, and would incorporate the death of Ritter's character.
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 three episodes of the show's second season had been completed when Ritter reportedly suffered an undiagnosed aortic dissection.
After Ritter had experienced discomfort during his rehearsal of the show in the afternoon of September 11, 2003, crew members took him to a nearby hospital, where he suddenly died that night following a misdiagnosis of a heart attack.
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.