Subsequent episodes dealt with the family's reaction to his death and them moving on from it.
The first four post-Ritter episodes were shot without a live audience with James Garner and Suzanne Pleshette guest-starred as Cate's strict parents and David Spade guest-starred as Cate's wayward nephew, C. Garner and Spade later received starring roles as Ritter's replacement for the rest of the show's broadcast.
So, when his wife Cate (Katey Sagal) returns to work as a full-time nurse, Paul decides to quit his job, begin running the household, and to start to “take care of the kids.” The problem is that they aren’t still the adorable little children that he remembers; they’re a trio of independent teenagers — beautiful and popular Bridget (Kelly Cuoco); sarcastic middle child Kerry (Amy Davidson); and Rory (Martin Spanjers), the scheming and smart-alecky younger brother.
Feeling overwhelmed and missing his days as a sports columnist, Paul begins writing a column from home about his struggles as a stay-at-home parent and to offer advice to others who are experiencing the same challenges.
James Garner and David Spade joined the cast afterward.It debuted on ABC on September 17, 2002, and concluded on April 15, 2005.Ritter's character in the series was not replaced following his death on September 11, 2003.The three new episodes that Ritter completed were aired with Sagal introducing them.The show returned two months after Ritter's death, with a one-hour episode, "Goodbye", which was turned into a tribute to Ritter's character. So I went to my great grandmother and asked her why SHE cut the ends off the pot roast, and she said, "because the pan was too small". I mean, you know, he's older and he goes to the naval academy instead of his school, and then Danielle's going to this party this weekend, she's all, "You better be there," and I'm all, "Uh, yeah," but Donny's all, "Oh, no, I don't want to share you," which is actually very sweet when you think about it, but it's just the sort of thing that Danielle's gonna use against me, and then (points at Cate) you have to go and exacerbate the whole thing by teaching sex ed at my school! And my wife reassures me this is a good thing over and over and over, and she's always right. Well my house would be quieter, and I'd spend a lot less time in the bathroom, but no. Bridget: I know you never see this side of me, but it's true. So I went to my grandmother and asked why SHE cut the ends off the pot roast, and she said, "because that's what my mother did". Bridget: So, people already perceive my dating Donny Doyle as a slap in the face! Back then we didn't share our deep personal feelings, our deepest conversations usually revolved around the Tigers bull pen. There's not a feeling that my kids are afraid to express over and over and over. When Ritter unexpectedly died in 2003, the producers decided to keep the show going and his character died off-camera on the show. (David Spade), moves into the house’s basement with Grandfather Jim and frustrates him and the rest of the family to no end.Cate’s father, a man in the middle of his own divorce crisis, Jim Egan (James Garner), moves in to help his grieving daughter and grandchildren adjust to their new life. I understand why he's there when Missy Kleinfeld walks by. You know he was the only guy who said I'd be somebody and I never was. You said Lulu's is having a sale on towels can you go buy some for the guest bathroom use your own judgement. I mean, you know, I'm in my world, you're in yours.... At most I thought we could be friends, but I never would have dreamed that Bridget Hennessy could like someone (Bridget kisses him) ...