8 Simple Rules is an American sitcom television series originally starring John Ritter and Katey Sagal as middle-class parents Paul and Cate Hennessy, raising their three children. 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 children after Cate takes a full-time job as a nurse, with comedic emphasis on his often strict rules concerning his daughters and dating. The series' name and premise were derived from the book 8 Simple Rules by W. Bruce Cameron. 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 with killing off his character. James Garner and David Spade later joined the main cast as Cate's father Jim Egan and her nephew C.J. Barnes.
Knowing that Kerry is dragging her feet over breaking up with Kyle, Bridget takes it upon herself to do it for her sister. Meanwhile, Cate is offered the position of school nurse and Rory's first day of high school proves embarrassing when he has to hit the showers after gym class.
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.
After Cate accepts the position of school nurse, Bridget and Kerry are convinced that she only took the job to spy on them. Rory is ecstatic that his mom might be able to protect him from a school bully.
Kerry is livid when Bridget unintentionally makes a mockery out of her art project at the mall. But she forgets about Bridget when a fellow artist asks her out on a date. While C.J. finds himself striking out at speed dating, Jim discovers that he's a hit with the ladies.
Kate gives Bridget and Kerry the keys to the minivan, provided they drive Rory wherever he needs to go. But when the girls repeatedly fail to drive him, he attempts to drive himself, wrecking the car in the process.
Kerry doubts Bridget's ability to put together the school's Halloween party as part of her Student Body President duties. C.J. is hired as the party's security guard and sets his sights on catching Rory pulling off a prank. Jim finds himself under attack by the neighborhood kids when he refuses to hand out candy to the trick-or-treaters.
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.
Everyone fears the ringing of the phone when they all keep secrets from each other. Rory refuses to divulge the identity of the student responsible for beating him up at school. Bridget and Kerry use fake IDs to get into a club, where Bridget gives her phone number to guy, unaware that he's a police officer. Cate doesn't want the family to know that Coach Scott tries to get her to go out with him. C.J. is distracted and forgets to pick up Rory's pain medication.
While the family prepares Thanksgiving dinner for Cate to give her some much needed time off, she's left with nothing to do until she brings home an unexpected guest while on an errand. While C.J. deep-fries the turkey, Bridget and Kerry spar over pie recipes. Jim disassembles the TV in an attempt to repair it.
After Bridget is turned down for a role in a sports car commercial, Jim discovers that the head of the modeling agency who rejected her is an old flame. When he tries to persuade her to reconsider his granddaughter, Jim soon finds himself reminiscing over old times. Kerry and Rory discover a secret about C.J.'s past modeling experiences.
Bridget is ecstatic when she learns that tennis scouts from Princeton are coming to her school to watch her play for a possible scholarship. But when Bridget's school forbids her to play because of a poor grade, Cate has to decide whether to use her clout as school nurse to help her daughter out. Meanwhile, Jim promises a nervous C.J. that he'll give up his room if he can spend one night alone in the attic.
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.
Cate is shocked to discover that Principal Gibb has hired C.J. as a substitute teacher. When C.J. catches Rory cheating on a test, he is torn about reporting it as 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.
While Cate finds herself becoming jealous of Principal Ed Gibb's new girlfriend, C.J. is asked by Ed to help tutor Cheryl for her GEDs -- and finds himself unwittingly being hit on by her. Meanwhile, Rory feels awkward after Cate accidentally interrupts him during a private moment.
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.
When Cate and C.J. discover that Kerry has been e-mailing Bruno, they secretly try to snoop in her computer to find out what the two have been up to. Unbeknownst to them, Bruno is hiding in the attic, while Bridget tries her best to talk Kerry 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.
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.
After falling asleep while watching Freaky Friday, Cate awakens to find that she and Bridget have switched bodies. C.J. and Jim have also trade places as well as Rory and his hamster. Only Kerry is spared and enjoys their predicament.
Valentine's Day finds C.J. in a predicament when he commits to two different Valentine's Day dates. Meanwhile, Bridget's excitement over being elected to the court of the Valentine's Day dance quickly turns to shock when she discovers that Cheryl is also in the running.
C.J. is shocked and delighted when he meets his biological father for the first time. But Jim doesn't trust the man and thinks he may have ulterior motives for the visit.
After turning down Bridget's request to throw an 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.
Officially a full-time teacher, C.J. is overjoyed to finally get access to the teachers' lounge. But he soon finds himself being bullied out of the room by the school's overzealous Home Ec instructor. Rory wants to impress a girl, so Bridget and Kerry take it upon themselves to give him a full-fledged makeover.
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. Bridget, Kerry, Rory and C.J. are forced to go ice-fishing with Jim in order to spend quality time with their grandfather. But Jim would much rather be left alone and is forced to keep up a happy façade.
After C.J. discovers that Cate may be starting a relationship with Principal Gibb, he blabs it to Bridget. An angry Cate has Gibb put C.J. in charge of the student detention on Ditch Day, and C.J. gets even by detaining Bridget. Because she is stuck in detention and can't complete the Ditch Day prank herself, Bridget convinces Kerry and Rory to steal the rival school's mascot.