He died later that day of a heart defect that had never been diagnosed. ABC announced that 8 Simple Rules would go on—and it did, with some necessary changes.
No longer a show about a cranky dad, it became one about a family trying to pick up the pieces after the death of its patriarch (Paul was said to have died of a sudden heart attack). In its first season (2002-03), 8 Simple Rules fared a respectable #46 in the TV ratings.
During hiatuses, he kept up his film career, starring in films as varied as Little Miss Sunshine, Dan in Real Life, Date Night, Get Smart, and The Way Way Back.
But in 2013, Carell's contract with The Office was up, and he opted to walk away from the series while it was still a critical and ratings hit for NBC (it had even won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series).
Two new stars joined the cast to fill the void left by Ritter: cousin C. Without Ritter, by season three, the show moved to Friday nights and finished in 91st place.
8 Simple Rules was not renewed for a fourth season.
It was the first time since the show's truncated, poorly-reviewed first season that it didn't receive any major Emmy nominations.
ENGAGED: “The King of Queens” star Kevin James, 38 has proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Stephanieanna Zantua — and she said yes, the actor announced Wednesday during an appearance on “Live with Regis and Kelly.” No wedding date has been set. The fact is, she is a symbol in our whole world of freedom.” Judd is spearheading a -million drive to raise funds to restore the statue.
Audiences couldn't get enough of the show's "mean judge," a veteran of the U. music industry (he'd guided the careers of pop groups like Westlife, Five, and Robson & Jerome) who was brutally and hilariously honest with contestants.
Cowell was the biggest star of the series, which was the most-watched show on TV for an unprecedented eight straight seasons.
While Lovitz is a great comic actor, he just couldn't overcome the sadness of looming over News Radio. vet John Ritter, who starred as cranky suburban dad Paul Hennessy, desperately trying to rein in his wild teenage children.
Filming had just begun on the second season of the series in September 2003 when Ritter fell ill on the set and sought medical treatment.