Disney+ Adds ABC Sitcom, But Fans Have Some Issues

A beloved ABC sitcom now has a new streaming home! As it continues to roll out its May 2022 content list, Disney+ last week added the first two seasons of the John Ritter and Katey Sagal-starring early 2000s sitcom 8 Simple Rules to its streaming catalog, though the surprise addition didn't come without some backlash.

The streamer confirmed the series was added to its lineup of streamable content on Friday, May 20. The streamer made the announcement alongside a promo image for the series showing cast members Sagal as Cate S. Hennessy, Kaley Cuoco as Bridget Erin "Beach" Hennessy, Amy Davidson as Kerry "Care Bear" Hennessy, Martin Spanjers as Rory Joseph Hennessy, David Spade as C.J. Barnes, and James Garner as Jim Egan.

Although fans of the sitcom were certainly surprised and happy with the show's sudden addition to the streaming lineup, the news didn't go without some controversy. Many fans noted that the streamer's promotion for the series was a bit deceiving, as the picture seemed to suggest that all seasons of the show were available. One person tweeted, "If it's just seasons 1 and 2, you should use a different picture." Original series lead Ritter, who starred Paul Hennessy, died offscreen and was not included in Season 3 following Ritter's death at the age of 54 in September 2003. Another person asked, "why would you advertise season 1 of 8 Simple Rules without a cast photo that includes John Ritter?"

Originally premiering in 2002, 8 Simple Rules starred Ritter and Sagal as middle-class parents Paul and Cate Hennessy raising their three children – Bridget, Kerry, and Rory. After Ritter's death, Garner and Spade joined the cast in Season 3, which marked the final season for the series, which concluded in April 2005. It currently holds a 58% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.


Seasons 1 and 2 of 8 Simple Rules was not the only title to be added to Disney+ on May 20. Along with previously announced titles including Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers and the film Shook, the streamer also quietly added fellow ABC series Alias, which ran from 2001 to 2006, and Fox's Bones spinoff The Finder, which ran for just 13 episodes in 2012. All three series are now available for streaming on Disney+, which you can subscribe to by clicking here.