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.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.It was picked up by ABC1 which aired the show until the channel's closure in 2007.The same year, Channel 5 began airing the series, in which season one only aired, then from 2008, was shown on 5*, which aired all three seasons.The series was aired uncut on subsequent channels following its cancellation by Disney Channel.Both Channel 5 and 5* aired the series in its originally-produced widescreen format.
In 2003, the show began airing in the UK on the Disney Channel, which was edited for children's viewing.
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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.