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Three's Company


- Season 7 -
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Show Details

Broadcaster: SABC2 
Show Genre: Comedy

Show Summary


Three's Company is an American sitcom created by Don Nicholl, Michael Ross and Bernie West which revolved around two women and a man sharing an apartment together. It is a remake of the British sitcom Man About the House.

The show aired in the USA on ABC from 1977-1984. There are 182 episodes in eight seasons.

Three's Company aired in South Africa on SABC2, on Tuesdays at 18h00.

Synopsis

Jack Tripper moved into the apartment that Chrissy Snow and Janet Wood were sharing after they found him sleeping in their shower after a party.

To be allowed to stay in the apartment, Jack let the landlord, Stanley Roper (and subsequently, Ralph Furley), believe he was gay. Stanley's wife Helen knew that Jack was not gay from the second episode on, but didn't mind.

Stanley never found out, frequently calling Jack "one of the girls." Ralph, who tried on several occasions to persuade Jack to convert to heterosexuality, didn't find out Jack wasn't gay until the last episode, when he took credit for curing him.

The show was set minutes from the beach in Santa Monica, California, and usually focused on three sets: the trio's apartment, the landlord's apartment and the neighbourhood pub/restaurant called The Regal Beagle.

In later seasons, The Beagle was seen less frequently, as Jack's Bistro became the setting for many scenes.

The series revolved around sexual double entendres, misunderstandings and clumsiness. This use of "comedy of errors" attracted many fans, including Lucille Ball, who was such a huge fan of the show that she hosted a retrospective during the series' run.

Cast

Suzanne Somers became a popular star through her role as dumb blonde Chrissy Snow in the series. She eventually caused friction on the set in 1980 when, after demands for a heavily increased salary ($100,000 a week) were not met, she went on strike and was absent for several taping days.

Eventually, co-stars Joyce DeWitt and John Ritter refused to work with her because of this, but, unwilling to fire the actor for fears her absence would cause ratings to decline, the producers of the series retained Somers, who was still under contract, to appear in just the one-minute tag scene of select episodes.

According to scripts, she had returned to her hometown of Fresno to care for her sick mother, and in the tag scene she would be seen on the telephone talking to one of the roommates (usually Janet) who would recount that episode's adventures to her.

In the story, Chrissy's place in the apartment was taken by her cousin, Cindy (Jenilee Harrison). Somers' scenes were taped on separate days from the show's regular taping; she did not appear on set with any of the show's other actors.

This arrangement continued for one season, but after her contract expired, it was not renewed and she disappeared from the series.

As Cindy, Jenilee Harrison was unable to fill the shoes of the original roommate on the series. The producers' solution was another replacement, Terri Alden (played by Priscilla Barnes), a clever, sometimes sassy nurse who was introduced in the sixth season. She was the last of the series' three blondes.

Unlike Somers, Barnes was considered a cooperative professional who remained close friends with many members of the cast and crew long after the series ended.

Towards the end of the series, promos were released hinting that Jack and Janet would be married. However, in the last episode, Janet married another man, Phillip Dawson; Terri moved to Hawaii for a job; and Jack moved out to live with his new girlfriend, Vicky Bradford.

Recurring Cast Members

Paul Ainsley as Jim (1977-1981), a bartender at The Regal Beagle.

Brad Blaisdell as Mike (1981-1984), a bartender at The Regal Beagle.

William Pierson as Dean Travers (1977-1981), the dean of Jack's cooking school.

Peter Mark Richman as Rev. Luther Snow (1978-1979), Chrissy's minister father.

Anne Schedeen as Linda (1978-1979), Jack's girlfriend.

Emmaline Henry as J.C. Braddock (1978-1979), Chrissy's boss.

Jordan Charney as Frank Angelino (1981-1983), Jack's short-tempered boss.

Gino Conforti as Felipé Gomez (1981-1982), Jack's jealous co-worker at "Angelino's."

Sheila Rogers as Marge Andrews (1981-1984), a desk nurse at Terri's place of work, Wilshire Memorial Hospital.

David Ruprecht as Phillip Dawson (1984), Janet's art dealer boyfriend/fiancé.

Mary Cadorette as Vicky Bradford (1984), Jack's stewardess girlfriend/soon-to-be roommate.

Robert Mandan as James Bradford (1984), Vicky's unapproving father.

Pilots

Three pilot episodes were shot for Three's Company, a rarity for American television. The show was recast several times at the instruction of ABC's Fred Silverman.

The first pilot featured Ritter as David, Valerie Curtin as Jenny, and Suzanne Zenor as Samantha; this pilot looked more like the first episode of the actual show. The second pilot featured Ritter and DeWitt as Jack and Janet, but Susan Lanier played Chrissy and this pliot looked more like the second episode of the actual show.

Spinoffs

Three's Company spawned two short-lived spinoffs: The Ropers, revolving around Jack, Janet, and Chrissy's former landlords; and Three's a Crowd, the further adventures of Jack as he settles down.

These too were based on the Man About the House spin-offs George and Mildred and Robin's Nest, which unlike their U.S. counterparts, were very successful.

Notable & Rare Episodes

In 1983, TV's Greg Brady (Barry Williams), won a small part on the series, returning from absence to the Paramount lot. With a script calling for an elaborate new set, Williams appeared as Janet's date while an "intoxicated" Ritter performs at his zaniest. Coupled with the new final-season writers, the episode stands out from the entire Three's Company catalogue.

Lana Clarkson made a rare appearance as a girlfriend for Jack Tripper.

Though syndicated, the first and last season episodes are quite rare in scheduling terms and are the ones most casual watchers still have not seen.

The first season is noted for containing a smarter, more intelligent Chrissy Snow. Suzanne Somers can be seen transforming from a "dumb blonde" in the debut season to a "dumber blonde" character in all subsequent seasons; a trait the network capitalized on, and ultimately Somers became famous for.

Fifteen years later, after being notified by a questionably astute viewer, American Nickelodeon network quickly edited an episode where John Ritter's scrotum skin made a never-caught, rare appearance slipping through a pair of boxer shorts.

Set Design

A coloured yarn and stick creation known as a "God's Eye" hangs on the left living room wall. The popular 70's art-craft remained affixed to the apartment wall until the final episode in 1984.

A picture of a large yellow butterfly with "Life" boldly printed on top, hangs on a wall, above a painted wicker chest, facing the door. The picture is the cover from LIFE magazine from February 2, 1922 called "The Flapper" by Frank X. Leyendecker.

The couch was finally changed in an episode where Furley replaces the worn out, out-of-date icon, with a second-hand, modern one.

The occasionally used round dining room table is tucked away to the right of the living room set, in the form of a fold-away table.

In the 201 apartment, TV and record players only make brief appearances throughout the life of the show, then are seemingly stored away near the fourth wall when not called for in the script.

Awards

1984 - Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, John Ritter

1984 - Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical, John Ritter

1979 - Golden Globe Award for Best TV Actor in a Supporting Role, Norman Fell

Show Trivia



  • The final episode of the series didn't air until the beginning of the 1984-1985 season when it served as the lead in to its spin-off "Three's a Crowd" (1984).

  • Felipe's son is named Fernando Valenzuela Felipe Jose Jack Francesco Gomez.

  • Jack was in the Navy.

  • Jack lived at the Y.M.C.A. before moving in with Janet and Chrissy.

  • Janet and Chrissy had another roommate named Eleanor before Jack moved in.

  • In the early series pilot, shot in March 1976, there were some differences to the actual show that ran for eight years:   Norman Fell and Audra Lindley played The Ropers in the pilot, but were named George and Mrs. Roper. As in the UK original, Mrs. Roper was more serious and not zany as in the series.
    The pilot took place in a triplexed apartment area in North Hollywood, called the "Hacienda Palms", but the main series was at an apartment house in Santa Monica.
    John Ritter's character in the pilot was named David Bell, and he was an aspiring filmmaker. The two women roommates in the pilot were played by Valerie Curtin and Susanne Zenor. Their characters were named Jenny and Samantha, respectively.
    The theme song had no real lyrics. The singers just sang "da-da-da-da-da-dum".
    The sets used in the pilot mirrored the main series with the exception of the living room of the three roommates. 

  • Three different addresses were given for the apartment throughout the seasons (none of them was real). 

  • Billy Crystal auditioned for the role of Jack Tripper. 

  • During the pilot episode, Jack says: "Well, you know you have to learn to trot before you can gallop... who said that?" and the audience laughs. This was John Ritter's way of paying homage to his late father, Tex Ritter. 

  • At the end of the second episode, first season, Jack says: "Goodnight, John Boy." This was a direct wink at John Ritter's former performance on "The Waltons" (1972) as Reverend Fordwick. 

  • Suzanne Somers was fired midway through the show's run due to salary disputes, amid a very public lawsuit and loads of publicity. 

  • Any time Norman Fell said an especially funny or witty line, he would look directly into the camera as he laughed. 

  • When Jack opens his restaurant, Larry brings his Greek family there for dinner. It is later revealed that Larry's real last name is Daliapolis. 

  • Mr. Roper's car was a '58 Chevy. 

  • Although Mr. Roper had a 1958 Chevy, he is seen driving a 1956 De Soto in the episode where the Ropers were purchasing a townhouse. 

  • Priscilla Barnes said her years on this show were the unhappiest in her professional career. She almost quit as soon as she was cast because she did not like the backstage atmosphere. 

  • In the first few seasons, where the opening and closing credits were shot on the beach, it was done as a last-minute aspect by the producers at Venice Beach. The first shot, where the camera zooms in on Jack Tripper (John Ritter) riding his bike, was obtained by going on the roof of a Venice shop-owner who took $100 for use of his roof. 

  • The exterior shots of the Roper's apartment was an actual corner apartment-house in Santa Monica. Permission was obtained by the owners for filming rights. 

  • Audra Lindley and Norman Fell left the show after the third season for a spin-off about their characters. They were promised by the ABC network that if their show didn't make it past its first season, their spots were secure for a permanent return to "Three's Company". Their spin-off lasted a season and a half, so ABC was not obliged bring them back. They were permanently replaced by Don Knotts. 

  • The first season DVD set was rushed onto the market due to the demand after the death of John Ritter in 2003. 

  • Chrissy's father was a Methodist minister. 

  • In the opening credits, the brunette that knocks Jack Tripper off his bike was Suzanne Somers in a wig. 

  • Ralph Furley's brother, Bart, is mentioned several times throughout the series, but he is seen only in one episode ("Furley vs. Furley"). 

  • The original unaired pilot was written by Larry Gelbart and directed by Burt Brinckerhoff. A second pilot was taped with Joyce DeWitt as Janet and Susan Lanier as Chrissy. Denise Galik-Furey was originally cast as Chrissy but suddenly became unavailable shortly before taping. Bobbie Mitchell guest starred playing 'Patricia Crawford'. 

  • Chrissy's full name is "Christmas Noelle Snow". 

  • In the show's opening (beginning with the sixth season), a toddler walks up to Joyce DeWitt as she is feeding a deer. The toddler is Jason Ritter (son of John Ritter). This is revealed by DeWitt in a bonus feature of the Season 4 DVD.

  • Jack, Janet and Chrissy lived in apartment 201, directly above the landlord unit. 

  • Designer jeans made some of their first tv appearances on Three's Company. Janet Wood was often seen tightly sporting the brand Gloria Vanderbilt. 

  • Rarely mentioned, the apartment was rented pre-furnished. 

  • The theme song to Three's Company was sung by Ray Charles (elder). 

  • Janet's hometown is Speedway, Indiana. This tidbit is mentioned in the Season 6 episode "And now here's Jack". 

  • Terri's hometown is Longmeadow, Massachusetts. This tidbit is also mentioned in the Season 6 episode "And now here's Jack".

  • In the apartment there is a "LIFE" poster kind of hidden behind a shelf with a bunch of plants on it in front of the window.



Quotes

  • Chrissy: Men are so unsympathetic.
    Jack Tripper: Baloney.
    Chrissy: Oh yeah? Then how come there are more women nurses than men?
    Jack Tripper: [pause] Because there are more men who get sick because of women.


References in Other Media

  • In 2003, a docudrama was made by NBC of the show called Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three's Company. The drama documented the trouble on the set and the show's journey to the top. 

  • In the TV show What's Happening!!, the characters imagined themselves as part of an early scene of Three's Company. 

  • John Ritter starred in the 1992 movie Stay Tuned, portraying a man who becomes trapped inside a set of television channels broadcast from Hell. At one point, he finds himself on the Three's Company set, where "Chrissy" and "Janet" appear to enter the room and ask, "Where have you been?" 

  • In an episode of The Jenny McCarthy Show on MTV, Somers guest-starred in a Three's Company parody skit as Chrissy visiting her grown-up daughter (McCarthy), who lives in an apartment similar to her old one, with roommates named Jack and Janet. Norman Fell appears briefly as Mr. Roper. 

  • In an episode of John Ritter's later series 8 Simple Rules, Paul Hennessy (Ritter) dreams that his teenage daughters are living with Kyle (who dated both Bridget and Carey), just as Jack Tripper did. The set was actually a replica of the original apartment, and the scene was shot in the same style as the original series. 

  • In the Adam Sandler film Click, "cool kids" from Sandler's youth rush off to a popular child's home to watch Three's Company. 

  • In the TV movie Fairly Oddparents: Channel Chasers, the first line in the chorus of "If I lived in TV" is 'in the company of three' the three main characters appear as Jack, Chrissy and Janet. 

  • In an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Norman Fell appears as a landlord for a studio that Will uses when Ashley briefly becomes famous, and when Will has no rent he utters "I have the worst luck with tenants" a joke to his role as Roper. 

  • In Family Guy, Peter Griffin tries to get Death out of his home saying "How are we supposed to explain you to Mr. Roper?" In another episode, Peter impersonates Furley. 

  • Friends characters have watched and referred to Three's Company on various instances. Audra Lindley, appears as Phoebe Buffay's grandmother on the show. Chandler also alludes to Monica and Rachel having a misunderstanding like the girls on Three's Company. 

  • Full House had an episode where they sang the theme song. 

  • Step by Step mentioned the show a few times, including Bronson Pinchot's character saying that Suzanne Somers' character (Carol Lambert) looked like Chrissy. 

  • Futurama mentioned Three's Company, when Fry claimed he knew how to handle "delicate social situations" from the show. He briefly hummed the theme to himself. 

  • In Mac Dre's song Feelin Myself, both Jack Tripper and Ralph Furley are referenced. 

  • In an episode of Family Guy, when Lois is have morning sickness very loudly in the bathroom, Peter turns up the TV which is playing the Three's Company music. 

  • In the film Blade II, Kris Kristofferson's character Whistler, asked Norman Reedus's character Scud, how he met Blade and he goes on to say that he picked up these two chicks backpacking and he decided to take them back to his tent for some "Three's Company" action and next thing he knew "Janet" and "Chrissy" start tearing chunks out of his stomach and Blade shows up and saves him. 

  • In an episode of That '70s Show, Hyde coaxes Jackie and Laurie into singing the theme song with him in order to aggravate Kelso. 

  • In an episode of That '70s Show where Fez and Jackie live together, Don Knotts plays the landlord in the "sitcom" dream the two are dreaming.

Cast & Characters

Character Actor
Jack Tripper John Ritter
Janet Wood Joyce DeWitt
Terri Alden Priscilla Barnes
Ralph Furley Don Knotts
Larry Dallas Richard Kline
Dr. Phillip Greene Jeffrey Tambor

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