'8 Simple Rules' Deals With Ritter’s Death-Breaks Record

11-07-03 Keavin
A special episode of "8 Simple Rules ... for Dating My Teenage Daughter" aired on Tuesday night and brought in the highest ratings in the series history, in fact the show topped the ratings for the night. 

This was the first episode without John Ritter and the star’s untimely death was written into the script. The tearful episode centered on the TV family dealing with the death of Ritter, needless to say it played without a laugh track. 

Ritter died from an undetected heart problem on September 11th. The 54 year-old actor was on set filming an episode for the second season of the hit show when he fell ill. 

According to the Nielsen ratings for the night, “8 Simple Rules” brought in 21 million viewers on Tuesday and also boosted the ratings of the two shows that followed it, "According to Jim" and "Less Than Perfect." Both shows received their highest ratings to date. 

The question now remains; can “8 Simple Rules” carry on without Ritter? The coming weeks will tell the tale.