The third-season finale was not aired for May sweeps.
The finale received a 3.9/8 rating share which gave ABC a third-place finish behind NBC's Dateline (5.8/11) and CBS's Joan of Arcadia (4.9/10), which starred Ritter's son, Jason.
Shortly afterwards, ABC officially cancelled 8 Simple Rules in 2005.
The show starred John Ritter until his death on September 11, 2003.
Katey Sagal took over the show's starring position for the rest of the series's run.
The father, Paul Hennessy (John Ritter), was a sportswriter who is prompted by his wife Cate's (Katey Sagal) return to nursing to take a more active role in raising their two teenage daughters, Bridget (Kaley Cuoco), and Kerry (Amy Davidson), and son Rory (Martin Spanjers).
He is soon overwhelmed by the responsibility of being the father of teenage daughters and misses being a sports writer.
The first four post-Ritter episodes were shot without a live audience with James Garner and Suzanne Pleshette guest-starring as Cate's strict parents and David Spade guest-starring as Cate's wayward nephew, C. Before Ritter's death, the show ranked 42nd in the Nielsen ratings.