Crew members took him to a nearby hospital, Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, where he was misdiagnosed as having a heart attack and as a result, his condition had worsened when physicians later diagnosed him with an aortic dissection, and he died that evening at the age of 54.Following Ritter's death, ABC announced that 8 Simple Rules would continue after a hiatus, and would incorporate the death of his character. I guess that’s why I told my wife I loved her on our second date. But it wasn’t that she wasn’t giving me love, it just seemed to come at different times. I don’t think I noticed this consciously for a while. And after each time, there would be this look she would give me. It wasn’t something I could force, just something that would come about as a result of my giving. And how much I’m sure those messages are bouncing around in other people’s heads as well. Living Disney movies in our minds, and tragedies in our lives.
After a hiatus, the series returned and continued without Ritter, with the producers deciding to kill off Paul and not replace him.
James Garner and David Spade later joined the main cast as Cate's father and nephew, Jim Egan and C. Barnes, in an attempt to fill the void left by Ritter.
Why wasn’t I getting reciprocal lovey-doveyness when we were first married? From Disney movies to my favorite shows like “The Office” to practically every pop song released, love is constantly sold as an emotion we have before we’re married.
And that’s why my wife just gave me that half-smile. And now that I’ve tried to change the way I look at love, the more I become shocked at the messages of love I had gotten when I was younger.
After the novelty of newly added ensemble characters wore off, the series returned to its original format.
The first three episodes of the series' second season had been completed when Ritter experienced discomfort during a rehearsal on the afternoon of September 11, 2003.
There was no way I could keep that dating fire burning as practicality invaded our lives. Something I haven’t wanted to admit for a long time, but is undeniable.
And even worse, it seemed that the harder I tried to be sentimental and lovey-dovey, the less it was reciprocated. Or, once we had a daughter, when I shared the responsibility of watching over her. Because as our marriage progressed, I found myself offering to help out around the house more and more. It took me longer than I care to admit to understand what was happening. Through giving, through doing things for my wife, the emotion that I had been so desperately seeking naturally came about. An emotion that, once had, somehow magically stays within a marriage forever. And I’m saddened to think about how much those messages bounced around in my head for so long.
Kaley Cuoco, Amy Davidson and Martin Spanjers co-starred as their teenage kids; Bridget, Kerry and Rory Hennessy.
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.