On the series, she plays Cate Hennessy, a nurse and wife to Paul, a former sports writer turned Lifestyle columnist, and they are raising their three kids together.Paul establishes himself as a strict, "psycho dad" type of person, creating 8 rules for the guys who attempt to date his daughters, Bridgette and Kerry: During the second season, John Ritter, who played Paul Hennessy, died during filming from an undiagnosed heart condition.After Ritter had experienced discomfort during his rehearsal of the show that afternoon, crew members took him to a nearby Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, where he suddenly died that night following a misdiagnosis of a heart attack.is your basic Dom Com where Paul and Cate Hennessy (played by John Ritter and Katey Sagal) attempt to ride herd on the burgeoning love life of their teenage daughters, bookish Kerry (Amy Davidson) and promiscuous Bridget (Kaley Cuoco).On Tuesday night, the cast, producers and writers of "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" took their tragic loss of a co-star and friend and, in a nod to moving on, created honest, wonderful television. Considering the way television can bungle these things, the sitcom's return without John Ritter, whose sudden death of an aortic dissection in September shocked so many, could have been a lot worse.After Ritter's death, the cast and the network mourned, quite publicly, to strong ratings that, overnight, turned the network's modest hit into a legitimate contender bleeding viewers from its comedy competition on NBC.Having seen that power, the announcement that "8 Simple Rules" would continue was understandably met with a bit of cynicism.Some wondered if the Ritter-less series would exploit the beloved 54-year-old's death for the sake of ratings, drumming us over the head with ersatz sorrow.
The first three episodes of the show's second season had been completed when Ritter reportedly suffered an undiagnosed aortic dissection.
The show's ratings continued to struggle due to Ritter's death and the major theme changes and was eventually cancelled at the end of its 3rd season.
Cate Hennessy, Katey's character, was a far better mother (not hard) than Peg Bundy, and much more involved in her children's lives.
ABC canceled the series on May 17, 2005 after three seasons due to low ratings.
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.