8 Simple Rules (originally 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter for the first season) is an American sitcom, originally starring John Ritter and Katey Sagal as middle-class parents Paul and Cate Hennessy raising a family of three. Kaley Cuoco, Amy Davidson and Martin Spanjers co-starred as their teenage kids; Bridget, Kerry and Rory Hennessy. The series ran on ABC from September 17, 2002 to April 15, 2005. The first season focused on Paul being left in charge of the kids after Cate takes a full-time job as a nurse, with comedic emphasis on his often strict rules concerning his daughters and dating. The series' name and premise 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. Bruce Cameron.
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.