Watch 8 Simple Rules

8 Simple Rules is a comedy series staring John Ritter and Katy Segal. The series was inspired by the book "Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter," by W. Bruce Cameron. Paul Hennessy is a stay at home father of three children, two teenage daughters and a preteen son. He and his family reside in Michigan. His wife, Cate, is a nurse and the "voice of reason" in the family. His oldest child, Bridget, is rebellious and boy-crazy; middle child Kerry lives in her older sister's shadow; while Rory, lives only to antagonise his older sisters. The show is about his thoughts and feelings about guys dating his teenage daughter.

The series also features other members of the family such as CJ, Cate's nephew; Jim Egan, Cate's father; and Maggie Barnes, CJ's mother and Cate's younger sister.

The first season was focused around Paul and his daughters. Older daughter Bridget was very popular with boys, much to her father's dismay. The episodes were mainly about him trying to do what was best for his children, whether they liked it or not. He and his daughter argue about her behavior, clothing, and boyfriends.

The second and third seasons were centered on the rest of the family, due to John Ritter's untimely death in 2003. Ritter's character, Paul Hennessey was later written out and Jim and CJ were brought in.

Paul Hennessy dies in a supermarket while buying milk. His death had an impact on the rest of the family, especially Bridget. Bridget regrets her former attitude towards her father and changes her way.

The second season focused on the whole family, rather than just Paul. CJ and Jim move in the basement together and become and "odd couple" comedy team. Each of the children, especially Bridget, realize what their father meant to them and become better people.

The third season explores Cate's relationships after Paul. She starts dating her old sweetheart, Ed Gibb, the high school principle.

Eight Simple Rules is a family oriented light comedy that would appeal to anyone looking for family friendly comedy.

ABC
3 Seasons, 76 Episodes - Canceled
September 17, 2002
Comedy, Family
7.1/10
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8 Simple Rules Full Episode Guide

  • Cate doesn't want to tell the family that she is dating Principal Gibb, and she finds it even harder when she's confronted at every angle at school...even though it is Ditch Day and hardly anyone else shows up!

  • After Principal Gibb and Cate fall asleep at the house while watching a movie, the family catches them and falsely assumes that the two are having a relationship. Meanwhile, Bridget, Kerry, Rory and C.J. are forced to go ice-fishing with Jim in order to spend quality time with their grandfather - but unbeknownst to them, Jim would much rather be left alone and is forced to keep up a happy fagade.

  • When Cate and C.J. discover that Kerry has been e-mailing Bruno -- the boy she had a fling with in Europe -- they secretly try to snoop in her computer to find out what the two have been up to. But unbeknownst to them, Bruno is in the house and hidden in the attic by Kerry, while Bridget tries her best to talk her little sister out of doing something she may regret. Meanwhile, Jim discovers Rory's clandestine poker game and decides to deal himself in to teach Rory and his friends a lesson about gambling.

  • After turning down Bridget's request to throw a "harmless" after-prom party in a hotel room, Cate decides to throw a school-sanctioned party at the house - which totally embarrasses her kids. Meanwhile, Kerry tries to make a political statement by inviting a girl to the prom, and Rory is overjoyed when a hot senior asks him to the dance.

  • C.J. is shocked and delighted when his biological father - a motivational speaker and "little person" - reveals himself for the first time to his wayward son. But Jim doesn't trust the man and thinks he may have ulterior motives for the visit.

  • CJ gets a date with Ms. Krupp against Cate and the kid's wishes. But everything is changed when Cheryl surprises him in a sexy outfit in his classroom. Now he is torn between two lovers, both inviting him to dinner on Valentine's.

  • Cate's alleged antics at Kerry's volleyball game threaten to make her team forfeit the match. Meanwhile, C.J. has a crush on Kerry's volleyball coach, and Bridget becomes upset when one of her friends begins dating her ex-boyfriend.

  • When Cate and C.J. discover that Kerry has been e-mailing Bruno -- the boy she had a fling with in Europe -- they secretly try to snoop in her computer to find out what the two have been up to. But unbeknownst to them, Bruno is in the house and hidden in the attic by Kerry, while Bridget tries her best to talk her little sister out of doing something she may regret. Meanwhile, Jim discovers Rory's clandestine poker game and decides to deal himself in to teach Rory and his friends a lesson about gambling.

  • After sending an email to former college flame Matt to see how he's been doing over the years, Cate becomes fed up with the unreasonable demands of her family and locks herself in her room for some alone time. But she's shocked when Matt shows up at her window and whisks her off to re-live some adventurous, old times - then she begins to question if his rebel lifestyle is just a front.

  • While Cate finds herself becoming jealous of Principal Ed Gibb's new girlfriend, Cheryl, C.J. is asked by Ed to help tutor Cheryl for her G.E.D.s -- and finds himself unwittingly being hit on by her. Meanwhile, Rory feels awkward after Cate accidentally interrupts him during a private moment.

  • Cate is shocked to discover that Principal Gibb has hired C.J. to be a substitute teacher at the high school. But when C.J. catches Rory cheating on a test, he is torn about reporting it when Cate tries to persuade him to look the other way. Meanwhile, when Bridget breaks her leg because of Kerry's blunder, she makes her little sister's life a living nightmare.

  • To keep C.J. from spending Christmas alone in Las Vegas, the Hennessy household bends over backwards to recreate one of Cate's first holiday memories to entice him to stay. Meanwhile, Rory decides to break up with his wealthy girlfriend when he fears that he won't be able to buy her a Christmas gift worthy of her upper class status.

  • Bridget breaks the news that she has the chance to go to Princetown with a Tennis scholarship. The only trouble is, she has a D in Ms. Krupp's class, and she needs a C for the scholarship. Cate helps Bridget out by bribing her without a flu shot unless she can help. All this really makes Kerry mad because she was the one who was supposed to go to an Ivy League school, and when Cate helps Bridget, it proves Kerry's point on Bridget always being given the easy way out of things.

  • Bridget is psyched to join the high school tennis team when she develops a crush on Coach Scott. But her infatuation soon turns to disgust when she learns that Scott has a crush on Cate. Meanwhile, Kerry and Rory begin to question the authenticity of Jim's war stories while rummaging through his war chest.

  • Kerry doubts Bridget's ability to put together the school's Halloween party as part of her Student Body President duties. Meanwhile C.J. is hired as the party's security guard and sets his sights on catching Rory pulling off a prank, and Jim finds himself under attack by the neighborhood kids when he refuses to hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters.

  • Bridget and Kerry are ecstatic when Cate hands them the keys to the minivan, except for one provision -- they are responsible for driving Rory wherever he needs to go. But when the girls fail to deliver on their promise to chauffeur their little brother, he takes matters into his own hands and attempts to drive himself -- and wrecks the car in the process.

  • After Cate accepts the position of school nurse from Principal Gibb, Bridget and Kerry are convinced that she only took the job to spy on them -- while Rory is ecstatic that his mom might be able to protect him from a school bully. Meanwhile, after Bridget inadvertently spills the beans about Kerry losing her virginity in Europe, a shocked Cate accidentally switches on the school's P.A. system and lets the whole student body in on their ensuing conversation.

  • The kids question Cate's motives when they return from their summer getaways and discover that she has bought a new bed and changed her hairstyle. Meanwhile, after traveling through Europe over the summer, Kerry met and had a fling with a boy - which leaves Bridget jealous and Kerry wondering what to do about boyfriend Kyle; new high school Student Body President Bridget is convinced even further that life is a popularity contest after taking a trip to Washington, DC over the summer; and after a depressed Jim fails to win back the affections of his wife in Florida, Rory attempts to help him quit smoking -- which is complicated by Jim's discovery that C.J. was responsible for their irreconciliation.

  • Knowing that Kerry is dragging her feet over breaking up with Kyle, Bridget takes it upon herself to do it for her sister -- which only makes matters worse for Kerry. Meanwhile, Cate is offered the position of school nurse by Principal Ed Gibb, and Rory's first day of high school proves embarrassing when he has to hit the showers after gym class.

  • Cate finds herself in the awkward position of having to deal with Principal Gibb when she forgets to turn in a health form for Kerry's trip to Europe. Then, when she discovers that Bridget took the fall for Kerry for organizing a school sit-in, she agrees meet Principal Gibb again over coffee in order to set the record straight. But the girls are convinced that their mother's innocent coffee meeting is really a date. Meanwhile, Kerry is furious when Bridget is elected student body president and wins a trip to Washington, D.C. because everyone thinks she organized the school sit-in, and Jim's new relationship with Tina irks Cate because she still hopes that her father will reconcile with her mother, on the double-episode season finale.

  • Kerry is accepted to a trip over the summer to Europe while CJ and Rory double date with sisters Missy and Sissy, although Sissy is currently engaged. Also, Kerry jeopardizes her trip to Europe while having a sit in to stop dissecting frogs.

  • When Bridget is busted over a school dress code violation, Cate is called upon to meet with her new principal, Ed Gibb. But Cate is in for a shock when she discovers that she went to high school with Ed ' who remembers it vividly ' though she doesn't remember him at all. Meanwhile, when C.J. becomes his massage therapist, Jim hurts his feelings when he refuses to admit that his wayward grandson has become good at something.

  • After discovering that Bridget lied about her whereabouts in order to attend C.J.'s college kegger party, Cate grounds Bridget and banishes C.J. from the house. Meanwhile, Jim is forced to take a written driver's test with Kerry after he's pulled over for reckless driving and carrying an expired license.

  • Upon discovering Cate in the arms of Artie ' Paul's successor at the newspaper ' Bridget and Kerry decide to blow off their planned trip to their grandmother's and take to the open road to sort out their feelings. But after meeting up with C.J., the girls find themselves at a familiar location that was beloved by Paul. Meanwhile, Rory continues to pine for Rachel, who confesses her true feelings for him.

  • Cate sends Bridget and Kerry to their grandmother's house for a visit after the Hennessys decide against vacationing at the family cabin. But while on their road trip to grandma's, the girls are shocked to find Cate at their father's favorite saloon with a mysterious stranger. Meanwhile, Kerry makes Rory's life miserable when she discovers that he has a crush on her friend, Rachel.

  • After Kerry is promoted to assistant manager at a fast food restaurant in the mall, Jim is hired to handle the register. But when she witnesses his disdain for the customers, Kerry is faced with the dilemma of having to fire her grandfather. Meanwhile C.J. ' who has been employed as a mall cop ' busts Bridget for sneaking into a movie without paying, and Cate catches Rory selling worthless family items on the internet under false pretenses.

  • Cate is encouraged to pursue a once-thought-unobtainable dream of becoming a singer. Meanwhile, C.J. and Jim find themselves trying to bond in a bar when Cate encourages C.J. to take his grandfather out after he is dumped by his wife ' in a letter ' and Bridget angers Kerry by dyeing her hair blonde after she complains that the romance is fading from her relationship with Kyle.

  • After being told that she's fickle when it comes to relationships, Bridget is afraid that she may end up hurting Jeremy's feelings when her ex-bad boy boyfriend, Damian, returns to town. Meanwhile, Kerry is outraged and plans revenge when "provocative" dancing has been banned from the high school formal, chaperoned by her mom and Grandpa, C.J. partners with Rory to broadcast school scandals over the internet, and Jim falls for Ms. McKenna, a member of the high school's PTA committee.

  • Bridget hires Jeremy to tutor her in order to boost her grades to better her chances at being accepted by a good college. But with Valentine's Day fast approaching, Bridget soon finds herself without a date when her boyfriend gets sick, and her friends begin to wonder if Jeremy is taking his place. Kyle treats Kerry to an very un-corporate Valentine's Day celebration, Rory gets pointers from Jim and Cate about the perfect gift for girlfriend Missy, and Jim sends C.J. on an errand that lands him in Canada.

  • The Hennessy family needs to get more active so Cate signs the family up at the local YMCA, which also happens to be the place Bridget works at. Jim, however, is becoming too overprotective and doesn't think that Bridget should work there because too many men are hitting on her. Rory also has to deal with some problems during his Yoga classes.

  • Bridget gets the lead as Anne Frank in the school play and Rory brings home a ventriloquist dummy that the school psychologist recommends that he uses.

  • While Cate plans to raise the family spirits with a special Thanksgiving dinner, Rory takes it upon himself to be the man of the house by looking after Bridget and Kerry when he learns that they are planning to attend a party with their boyfriends on the holiday. Meanwhile, When Cate's mom visits, her father feels he can still save their marriage.

  • Cate is unprepared for the diverse reactions exhibited by Bridget and Kerry on their first day back to school since their father's death. Meanwhile, Jim tries his best to be helpful by making some questionable home improvements to the Hennessy home.

  • An event is going to be held in Paul's honor, but they need his final article to complete the event. The rest of the Hennessy family goes on a search for the article as they reminisce about their father and try to move forward one step at a time.

  • The Hennessy family has to deal with the tragic death of one of their own, Paul, their beloved father and husband. To deal with the grieving, Cate's parents come while neighbors also try to help the family deal with their loss.

  • Bridget is horrified when Cate is asked to fill in as the sex ed instructor in her daughter's class. But Cate is in for a shock when she tries to answer a student's written question about being pressured to have sex ' and realizes it may be from Bridget. Meanwhile, Paul and Kerry are too embarrassed to look each other in the eye after watching a foreign film together that contains a sexually explicit scene.

  • Cate has a pregnancy scare with the Hennessy children worrying about a new sibling, while Bridget has a scare of her own as her popularity decreases at school.

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