In 2002 of September, a show called 8 Simple Rules: For Dating My Teenage Daughter hit the air. The show starred John Ritter and Katey Segal with Kaley Cuoco, Amy Davidson, and Martin Spanjers playing their children. The show was an instant hit for ABC with 21 million viewers tuning on for the pilot episode. Unfortunately in the beginning of Season 2, John Ritter passed away leading his character Paul to die off camera and making Katey Segal’s character Kate a widow starting in episode 4.
After Ritter’s passing, actors David Spade and James Garner joined the cast as Kate’s nephew and father moving in to help with the family. The show would go on for one more season before facing cancellation from ABC in 2005. During the entire run, the show aired for a total of three seasons. A popular rise and a popular downfall for such a TV show is amazing, especially with an ensemble like this. Now we have to ask where are the cast of 8 Simple Rules now?
Playing main character and patriarch Paul Hennessey, John Ritter had quite the resume under his belt before his passing. For eight seasons he played Jack Tripper on the hit ABC Series Three’s Company. The show was an immediate hit that had ratings and viewership going through the roof at the time. After the show went off the air, Ritter went on to star in a few movies such as Problem Child, Problem Child 2, and IT. Along with films Ritter guest starred on shows such as Scrubs, Felicity, and Law and Order. Around the time of his death, John had one final film come out Bad Santa which was dedicated in his honor.
Before take on the role of Cate Hennessey, Segal might be a familiar face to audiences. For eleven seasons, she portrayed the lazy Peggy Bundy on Fox’s Married with Children which became a huge hit for Fox. Soon she starred on Futurama which became a cult classic on Adult Swim and later had a starring role on Sons of Anarchy on FX. Segal would go on to win various awards and continued to guest star on TV shows. Those included Recess, That 70s Show, Glee, and The Big Bang Theory. Now Katey Segal is starring on ABC’s Rebel which has become an instant hit.
Starring as the popular, ditzy, and fearless Bridget, Kaley’s character became an instant favorite. Her blonde bimbo character won audiences over. During the shows run, she transformed from a superficial teen to a mature young woman. After 8 Simple Rules was cancelled, Cuoco would go on to star in Charmed in the last season as Billie. Soon Kaley would go on to star as Penny on The Big Bang Theory which ran for twelve seasons. The show became a huge phenomenon for CBS. After Big Bang was cancelled, Cuoco continued to act. Currently she stars in HBO MAX’s The Flight Attendant which earned Kaley her first Golden Globe nomination.
Playing the moody negative middle child Kerry Hennessy, Davidson was quickly one of the outbreak stars next to Cuoco. Before making her debut on 8 Simple Rules, Amy had guest roles on Judging Amy, So Little Time before landing her role on the ABC sitcom. After 8 Simple Rules ended, Davidson continued to act. Guest starring on shows such as Malcolm in the Middle, CSI, All Rise, and The Rookie. Now these days, Amy Davidson has her own fashion blog and family.
As the baby of the family and only son, Martin Spanjer’s Rory was always up to mischief. Before being cast on 8 Simple Rules, Spanjers had a recurring role on Two of a Kind and a guest spot on Malcolm in the Middle. After the show was cancelled, Martin continued to act. He guest starred on iCarly, 90210, and had a recurring role on Good Luck Charlie.
Playing slacker nephew CJ, David Spade gave everyone laughs. CJ moves in to pay his respects after Paul’s death. Spade played the role of the crazy spontaneous CJ until the show’s cancellation. Spade had been famous for his comedic chops and various film roles including Joe Dirt, Emperors New Groove, Tommy Boy, and Grown Ups. He also starred on Just Shoot Me right before starring on 8 Simple Rules. Soon he starred on the hit series Rules of Engagement which ran for seven seasons. Spade continues to act and has guest starred on The Goldbergs and Mr.Mayor.
Garner made his debut on the series in the farewell episode to John Ritter’s Paul. He played Cate’s recently separated father who moves in to help his daughter with her teenage kids. Before James appeared on 8 Simple Rules, he had a film career that last over four decades. His best known films are The Great Escape, Grand Prix, Marlowe, Support Your Local Sherriff, and The Notebook. In 2011, James published a memoir named The Garner Files: A Memoir. Unfortunately, Garner passed away in 2014 from a heart attack caused by coronary artery disease.
Rumors of a Reboot
In recent news, there have been rumors about a revival coming in 2022. Unfortunately no other sources have confirmed this nor have past stars have come out about the revival news. But in times passing some of the original cast members have had mini reunions from time to time proving the closeness of the cast.
Where to Watch?
In the meantime, 8 Simple Rules can be streamed online. Most episodes can be found on ABC’s website. Other sources for streaming can be found on Amazon Prime. For a classic series, it was cancelled way too soon and deserved much more love. But with the latest trend in reboots, anything can happen.