The Ropers

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ABC (ended 1980)

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bleech224

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SHOW REVIEWS
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The Ropers

Show Summary

Welcome to The Ropers guide at TV.com. During Three's Company episode 51 "An Anniversary Surprise", Stanley Roper (Norman Fell) sells the building and now he and Helen Roper (Audra Lindley) must move out. This leads to them finally leaving in "Moving On" (episode 1 of The Ropers) to a new home. The Ropers meet Jeffrey P. Brookes III (Jeffrey Tambor), his wife Anne (Patricia McCormack), and their son David Brookes (Evan Cohen). At the end of Season 1, Larry comes to visit them, while at the beginning of Season 2, Jack, Janet and Chrissy come to visit. These, however, would be the only Three's Company crossovers in the series run. In 1980 the Ropers found a girl, Jenny Ballinger (Louise Vallance), in their storeroom. Tragically, The Ropers was cancelled after the second season. The Ropers would later visit the Three's Company kids one more time in the episode "The Night of the Ropers". Show Type: Situation Comedy First Telecast: March 13, 1979 Last Telecast: May 15, 1980 Episodes: 28 Color Episodes Nielson Ratings Spring 1979: #8 Broadcast History Mar 1979-Apr 1979, ABC Tue 10:00-10:30 Aug 1979-Sep 1979, ABC Sun 8:30-9:00 Sep 1979-Jan 1980, ABC Sat 8:00-8:30 Jan 1980-Mar 1980, ABC Sat 8:30-9:00 May 1980, ABC Thu 9:30-10:00 Spun off from: Three's Company Based off of: George and Mildred Other Shows to check out: Three's A Crowd Man About the House Robin's Nest US/UK Cast Comparisons THREE'S COMPANY/MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE Jack Tripper....Robin Trip Janet Wood......Chrissy Plummer Chrissy Snow....Jo Stanley Roper...George Roper Helen Roper.....Mildred Roper Larry Dallas....Larry Simmons Lana Sheilds....N/A Ralph Furley....N/A Cindy Snow......N/A Terri Alden.....N/A THE ROPERS/GEORGE & MILDRED Stanley Roper.....George Roper Helen Roper.......Mildred Roper Jeffery Brookes...Jeffery Fourmile Ann Brookes.......Ann Fourmile David Brookes.....Tristam Fourmile Jenny Ballinger...N/A THREE'S A CROWD/ROBIN'S NEST Jack Tripper........Robin Trip Vicky Bradford.....Victoria Nicholls-Trip James Bradford.....James Nicholls Claudia Bradford...Gertrude Nicholls EZ Taylor..........Albert Riddle Intresting Facts: The Ropers started out as George and Mildred Roper for Three's Company Pilot #1. From Pilot #2 on, they became what we now know them as Helen and Stanley. Norman Fell was born in Philadelphia, PA. He died in 1998 due to cancer. Audra Lindley was born in Los Angeles, CA. She died in 1997 due to complications of leukemia. Jeffrey Tambor went on to become a star of the show Arrested Development. Audra Lindley had to retire her wig that she wore in the Three's Company episode "The Bake-off". Even though the cast was told never to break the fourth wall (the audience/cameras), Mr. Roper (Fell) was the only character to do so, due to the audience liking it so much. Mr. Roper (Fell) still does not know that Jack is not gay. Mr. Roper (Fell) still can be heard saying, "Not tonight Helen, I gotta headache." Mrs. Roper (Lindley) is still spending alot of money on food, and her shawls and muumuus. DVD Releases from Three's Company/Three's A Crowd: Three's Company, Season 1: November 11, 2003 Three's Company, Season 2: May 4, 2004 Three's Company, Season 3: November 9, 2004 Three's Company, Season 4: May 3, 2005 Three's Company, Season 5: October 4, 2005 Three's Company, Season 6: March 7, 2006 Three's Company, Season 7: July 25, 2006 Three's Company, Season 8: October 10, 2006 Three's A Crowd, Season 1: ??? ??, ????moreless
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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • What were you doing in 1979-80?

    8.0
    Oh how excited I am that this show is now airing. It is exactly what the doctor ordered. All my friends in grade school watched Three's Company. I know that I watched the episode premiere the night it came on, which was right after Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. We all came to school the next day and talked about Three's Company (I remember asking and no one knowing what "gay" meant).



    Fast forward a few years. Just like with Three's Company's premiere, having been hooked on that show for so long (meanwhile Happy Days' interest for me passed), everyone who was anyone watched The Ropers immediately after Three's. And at school the next day we all talked about what was going on in The Ropers but some of us kids, who without 100% getting the Three's Company innuendo, did understand that it was funny, pure and simple. I can see now that The Ropers is an adult show about the persistence of married couples, who may fight and not see eye to eye, but still getting along.



    For a while my friends and I still watched The Ropers and talked about it but at some point we stopped. Looking back, I think I can guess why. Either it was because we didn't quite relate to married couple "stuff," or else because the network changed the timeslot for this show (I honestly don't recall what was there after The Ropers was



    From what I now know about this show, I know that both Three's Company and The Ropers were based off of a very successful sit come in Great Britain called "Man About the House" which also had two characters (upon whom the Ropers were based) and those two characters also received their own show, as did the Jack character (same as "Three's a Crowd"). Therefore, the developers of the show, with their success in Three's Company, wanted to parlay the series and split them in two, using these two successful actors, Norman Fell and Audra Lindley, and start making some money. They started thinking about this even in Three's Company's first season (planning to leave in Season 2, I believe).



    Here was the bet: if we can get these two to leave a successful show and give them their own show, the developers can attempt to even double their profit, assuming The Ropers was as successful. So, how do you convince these actors to leave a highly successful show for a gamble? Essentially, the producers would have nothing to lose, if they could just get talent equal to or higher to Norman/Audra and keep Three's Company's success high. I repeat, if they could replace these two, they would have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Instead, it was Norman and Audra who had most at stake, so, not knowing whether their gamble would pay off, Norman originally declined the series and Audra seemed interested.



    After another successful season of Three's Company, the developers conceived of a way to cause Norman and Audra to leave, it seems. I'm not sure of the particulars, but Norman negotiated a return of the Ropers characters to Three's Company if their spinoff, The Ropers, did not get picked up for a whole year.



    As soon as the show hit that year mark, it was done. Audra and Norman could not come back to Three's Company, which found its stride with Don Knotts as the new landlord and wannabe ladies' man. I am not sure if the developers gave up on their parlay and started to focus on Three's or other ventures, but to me at least, in my opinion, it is clear that the developers did give up hope on The Ropers. Plagued with problems such as timeslot woes, having lost their primo spot right after Three's Company and put on some other night, The Ropers plummeted from the most watched spinoff in history to having dismal ratings, I believe opposite CHiPS.



    Supposedly, Norman went to the heads of ABC with his argument ready to cheerlead for The Ropers and to get back its spot. Even the developers started thinking of ways to take this to other networks (which wasn't unheard of in history) to give The Ropers that shot in the arm. Whatever the deal was, whatever the original plan, whether sinister in nature, as a way to bring in Don Knotts, or whether just an effort to develop the characters we knew and loved in The Ropers, we saw the series end after its second (partial) season.



    Despite the efforts made to keep The Ropers alive, you might consider inherent problems with the show as part of the flaw in the plan. First, you have to admit, you love the Ropers as neighbors to Jack and Janet and Chrissy. First, you gotta love the caring and benevolent Helen, always trying to help the girls find a way to keep Jack with his roomies, using her humor and her nurturing personality for the kids and saving her attempts at romance with her "sensitive" husband. Second, you gotta love Stanley and his silly sweaters and his crazy personality, a cross between a miserly landlord and a vaudevillian pantomimist and his wiggling fingers.



    Now take them out of that context and put them into a condo where they've finally made it. They can now live in a first rate country club-type lifestyle instead of running a 2 story apartment somewhere in urban Santa Monica where rent costs $300 a month. What tension are you going to give to this cast of characters? Especially where they've been--in a show where each week, the writers devise some new way in which the mains of Jack, Janet and Chrissy somehow screw up communication and think something is which isn't. It is not easy to write the same show week after week but with a twist and that's the beauty and simplicity of Three's Company (much like Wile E. and Daffy somehow do the same thing in each cartoon a different way yet we love them all).



    Unfortunately, the tension of whether Mrs. Roper is finally going to get some is replaced with this notion of Mrs. Roper wanting to fit in with society, and will she find appreciation for herself and her mate socially. You have her one-dimensional money loving neighbor Mr. Brookes and a rather one-dimensional mate Anne, who is level headed and sweet and perky. You have their son with the running gag of him doing everything opposite of his father, and you have the running gag of Helen's sister Ethel out of Beverly Hills being "a snob" (which Stanley literally mentions in every episode I've seen-"your sister is a snob").



    You basically are in for either the same laughs each week or worse: no laughs each week. Sometimes when watching The Ropers, you notice the plot building slowly, but sometimes you don't feel the momentum. Helen and Stanley are still loveable and solid but other than visiting their neighbors or relatives, you don't see a lot of investment in the writing. They insult each other, calmly using double entendre, and the same with the neighbors. Stanley still mugs for the camera every time he zings Mrs. Roper and Helen still deadpans the delivery of the Stanley-the-cold-fish lines. Now add to that the quibbling and the money-counting of Mr. and Mrs. Brookes and you're dying for Ethel to come over just for something to happen. Comparing this show to other 1970-80 sitcoms of the era, you never see any cliffhangers, two part episodes, "very special" episodes or many guest stars or other investments. Especially when Antenna TV started airing these, back to back it's particularly noticeable.



    Despite your loving the actors and characters, and wanting success for The Ropers, it seems hard with all these burdens. However, where things started to get interesting was when Jenny walked into the show. I have to admit I came on specially that night to see how she got in the Ropers' storeroom and who she was, since I honestly think I hadn't seen these ones before. I think she was the breath of fresh air the writers needed and I just wish they would have brought her in earlier. She gave to the show what it lacked which was a substitute for "the kids"--something Mrs. Roper needs to have around. It kind of reminds you of when Munro came into the lives of the Rush family on Too Close for Comfort--now you know why you're tuning in because he's so wacky and adorable you can't take your eyes off him.



    So glad Antenna TV is airing this. They are showing each of The Ropers after Three's Company for as long as their are episodes, then they plan to double Three's Company until The Ropers comes up next time. If you haven't check out Antenna TV, look for it on your local digital TV (we have an actual antenna cable on our roof).moreless
  • 49th worst show ever my a**.

    7.0
    Remember those 4 or 5 minutes Stanley and Helen argued on every early Three's Company episode? Well get ready for a half-hour of it. Roper and Jefferey are a great duo. (it's nice to see him duke it out with a man) The main problem with this show is that it lacked variety. About 90% percent of the show's humor is about the neighbours fighting. (which is funny, but gets old) The Ropers is like an average Three's Company episode without Jack and Chrissy. All in all, it's a great show that you can just kick your feet back and laugh at.moreless
  • The Ropers, a great 3s' Company Spin-off.

    10
    Three's Company's, first spin-off, The Ropers is one of the best spin-offs out every show, though only lasting 2 seasons, The Ropers, would leave Three's Company and moved on to their own series. Which then would end, and Helen and Stanley would return back for 1 episode in Season 5, and Fell and Lindley would be credited one final time, at the end of Season 6, with their best of episode. We really need to get The Ropers on DVD, so those who do not know or who do know about http://jacksbistro.freeservers.com 's campaign, please help out by getting The Ropers, and Three's A Crowd on DVD.moreless
  • The Ropers & Three's A Crowd on Antenna TV
    Hello everyone, I am excited to point out that the new cable station(first started January 2011)has begun showing reruns of The ...
    10/13/14
    2
  • Worst Spinoff
    The producers of Three's Company made the biggest mistake by spinning off The Ropers. They were not funny by themselves.
    05/22/14
    1
  • fictional episode
    I made up a fictional episode that would be so funny. I don't think there was any like THIS. Stanley hits his head and has ane...
    06/11/12
    5
  • I've never seen it
    Is it good? I hope they release it on DVD so i can see it.
    05/21/07
    3
  • forum
    how come nobody talks on this forum? have respect for the ropers
    01/30/07
    5
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