8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter (shortened to simply 8 Simple Rules for the third season) is an American sitcom, originally starring John Ritter and Katey Sagal as middle-class parents Paul and Cate Hennessy raising a family of three.
More than 20 million tuned in for the Hennessys' laugh-free return last week, making it a rare success in a lackluster November. The tears and mourning blurred the line between the characters' feelings and the cast's true emotions, creating an hour that felt tragically, realistically heartrending.
The episode, which wasn't available for critics to review last week, brought home the random, stupefying nature of death as the cast and characters addressed this new gap in their lives.
Sagal portrayed his wife, the family's voice of reason, Cuoco his eldest daughter, the stock ditzy blonde.
Ritter, an icon in the world of American television for his star turn on Three's Company, died in 2003 from a misdiagnosed thoracic aortic aneurysm.
The 54-year-old had been rushed to hospital straight from a rehearsal for 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter.