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The series was shown on Irish channel RTÉ Two, then later, rights to the show were acquired by TG4, which aired the series weeknights at 5.35 pm.The series was shown on both these channels full uncut, despite the fact it was shown pre-watershed (9.00 pm), although, the show was issued an age rating.

The series's name and premise were derived from the book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter by W. While 8 Simple Rules was renewed for a second season and production had begun, Ritter's sudden death in September 2003 left the series in an uncertain position.

After a hiatus, the series returned and continued without Ritter, with the producers deciding to kill off Paul and not replace him.

In 2003, the show began airing in the UK on the Disney Channel, which was edited for children's viewing.

It was picked up by ABC1 which aired the show until the channel's closure in 2007.

On October 3, 2009, 8 Simple Rules returned to ABC Family, having been absent for a year, airing on Saturdays from am to am, and Sundays at a.m.- pm Airings have been sporadic due to the channel's unpredictable movie schedule and holiday programming block.

On February 8, 2010, the series was added back to ABC Family's weekday lineup, airing from 6-7PM/ET, replacing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Shortly afterwards, ABC officially cancelled 8 Simple Rules in May 2005.

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).

Both Channel 5 and 5* aired the series in its originally-produced widescreen format.

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