The next few episodes deal with his loss and how the Hennessy family moves on. Bridget was supposed to be in charge of the Ditch Day prank, in which she was to steal a rival school’s goat mascot.Cate’s father, Jim Egan (James Garner), moves in to help and Cate’s very immature nephew, C. (David Spade), moves in for additional comedy relief. There was initially a great deal of curiosity about how the death of Ritter would impact the show. She asks Rory to do it instead and Kerry, tired of being a “goodie two-shoes,” wants to be part of it. Cate comes home soonafter and she’s not happy about the four-legged houseguest either.Ritter's character in the series was not replaced following his death on September 11, 2003.After entering a hiatus, the series continued without Ritter, incorporating the death of his character. He wants to take a more active role in the lives of his children so, when his wife Cate (Katey Sagal) returns to work full-time, he decides to stay home to take care of the kids.The trouble is that they’re now a trio of independent teenagers — popular Bridget (Kelly Cuoco), brainy Kerry (Amy Davidson), and smart-aleck Rory (Martin Spanjers).Widowed mom Cate Hennessy raises three teens in this sitcom, which shifted focus in 2003 following the sudden death of its star, John Ritter, just before the start of its second season. Season 3, Episode 23April 8, 2005While everyone else goes ice fishing with Jim (who would rather be alone), Cate invites Ed (Adam Arkin) over to see a video. Cate's father Jim (James Garner) joined the show and helped the family adjust to the loss.
ABC canceled the series on May 17, 2005 after three seasons due to low ratings.
Season 3, Episode 24April 15, 2005In the third-season finale, Cate announces that she's dating Ed (Adam Arkin).
It's also the school's “ditch day,” when kids skip classes.
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 actor, who had suffered a stroke in 2008, reportedly died of natural causes yesterday at his Los Angeles home.