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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).On July 11, 2005 (less than two months after ABC officially cancelled it), The WB network announced it would air back-to-back repeats of all 76 episodes of 8 Simple Rules from 4–5 p.m.Gamble was replaced by Judd Pillot and John Peaslee, who had performed the same role in the final season of Spade's sitcom, Just Shoot Me! The Friday night "death slot" ratings took their toll on 8 Simple Rules.The third-season finale was not aired for May sweeps.The three new episodes that Ritter completed were aired with Sagal introducing them.8 Simple Rules returned two months after Ritter's death with a one-hour episode, "Goodbye", which was turned into a tribute to Ritter's character.On Tuesday, June 12, 2007, the show joined the ABC Family line-up, airing weekdays from pm to pm Then in September 2008, the show started airing from pm to pm, until October 10, 2008.On October 3, 2009, 8 Simple Rules returned to ABC Family, having been absent for a year, airing on Saturdays from am to am, and Sundays at a.m.- pm Airings have been sporadic due to the channel's unpredictable movie schedule and holiday programming block.
The series' creator and showrunner, Tracy Gamble, left the series for a time over creative differences prior to the third season, but he later returned as a consulting producer midway through the third season. Even before the third-season finale's airing, rumors began circulating that 8 Simple Rules was facing cancellation due to Ritter's death and poor ratings.The series was shown on Irish channel RTÉ Two, then later, rights to the show were acquired by TG4, which aired the series weeknights at 5.35 pm.The series was shown on both these channels full uncut, despite the fact it was shown pre-watershed (9.00 pm), although, the show was issued an age rating.James Garner and David Spade later joined the main cast as, respectively, Cate's father Jim Egan and her nephew C. 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 kids.After the novelty of newly added ensemble characters wore off, the series returned to its original format.