Three's Company

ABC (ended 1984)



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After two unsuccessful pilots, Three's Company was finally picked up by ABC in January 1977 for a first season of six episodes. After the show began to air in March, ratings were high and it became one of the highest-rated midseason show of its time. The show had a simple premise - Jack Tripper (John Ritter, a student at a local cooking college, wanted to move in with two girls, Janet Wood (Joyce DeWitt) and Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers). The only problem - the building's landlord, Mr. Stanley Roper (Norman Fell), who lives in the apartment below with his wife, Mrs. Helen Roper (Audra Lindley). In order for him to stay, he would have to pretend to be gay The series quickly gained a pop culture status, while maintaining the high ratings, being one of the top rated shows during its third and fourth seasons. The end of the third season saw the exit of Mr. and Mrs. Roper, who moved to a new townhouse community for The Ropers, the show's first spinoff. In came a new, and much different landlord, Mr. Furley (Don Knotts).

During the hiatus before the fifth season, Suzanne Somers asked for a raise from $30,000 to $125,000 per episode. The producers refused, and Suzanne began to lie so she could be absent from work. Because ratings began to decline with lovable Chrissy's absence, the producers created a new character, Cindy Snow (Jennilee Harrison), who played Chrissy's cousin for the remainder of the season. At the same time, Suzanne Somers would tape short tag scenes for the end of the episode the day before the taping. She was fired by the end of the year.

Starting off fresh during the sixth season, the producers decided to have Cindy go off to UCLA to study to become a veterinarian. So, Jack and Janet needed a new roommate. Along came Terri Alden (Priscilla Barnes), the smarter and beautiful blond who was a nurse at the local hospital. She would remain on the show for the next (and final) three years.

Ratings began to fall during the eighth season (as they normally do), and the producers had made the decision to end the show, and create a spinoff, Three's A Crowd.

Theme Song: Come and knock on our door ...
We've been waiting for you ...
Where the kisses are hers and hers and his,
Three's company, too. Come and dance on on our floor...
Take a step that is new ...
We've a lovable space that needs your face,
Three's company, too. You'll see that life is a ball again, laughter is calling for you ...
Down at our rendez-vous,
Three's company, too!

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    May 1, 2007 DVD Releases

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    • Gold Standard

      This show is the gold standard sitcom of all time. When you think about it, you have maybe 160 shows which are all really about the same thing. When you think of Seinfeld you are thinking of a show about nothing but come on, it's really about everything. When you think of Three's Company, you are thinking of one thing: misunderstanding something innocent and assuming something corrupted, dirty and shocking. Or the opposite, where something totally deceptive and devious is going on and you want to see how long the innocent party will remain unknowing.

      Take the one where Chrissy has a wart and wants to "get rid of it" but Roper thinks she's pregnant and wants to have an abortion. Or the one where Cindy's friend Kelly at the Regal Beagle gets pregnant causing Cindy to be overheard on the phone asking for baby clothes. Or where Jack has to act like he's gotten a job as Head Chef and he's really just the busboy. Or the one where Jack's Therapist is believed to be an escort. How many ways can you spin the same thing each week and keep it fresh and funny?

      The way you do this is to have great characters, talent, chemistry and writing. Where the shows have this, they shine like gold. Anywhere you spot a weak episode (and they are few and far between), it's because the writing was off or talent was off. (Take away Janet for the Punkin episode, for

      A lot has been said about "who's the best roommate?" and I think that is a silly question. All three "blond roommates" are good, and Jack and Janet are excellent. Jack's got that amazing physical talent (which he choreographs much like a Charlie Chaplin or mime would do) and you have Janet with her amazing physical prowess, bouncing to her marks with either grace or fluster (not to mention a terrific voice capable of highs and lows or funny or biting or with seething rage), and you have Chrissy with her logic and her sexy innocence (more on this later), Cindy with amazing cheerfulness and physicality, and Terri, again capable of hitting those marks arms flailing or tiptoeing, catching something, and an amazing vocal range and expression). That's the main cast. Then you have the Ropers, Furley and Larry Dallas. Each one of them is perfectly in sync with each other and the rest of the cast, true actors.

      We have some development in the "blond roomy" situation and I didn't feel it was captured in the reviews. The writing is best where Chrissy was innocent with sexy NOT with the pig-like guffaws and the constant dummy lines. Go watch a first or second season Chrissy then a fourth season Chrissy and the writing has more than likely suffered as the character changes away from "naive and sweet" to "low That was a shame. When push come to shove, the developers had to leave Chrissy and write for Chrissy's "cousin" so they took the caricature more to the broad, which is a great move honestly. Now, because of Cindy, you can use Jack's physicality a little more and put lamps, cords, doors and accidental fists in harm's way for much laughing. For some reason that switch of the cousins must have only been temporary and therefore Cindy had to go. Whoever would replace her would have to fit in. Obviously Janet had to be the smart one so a goofy, self-depricating nurse would have to be perfect, as long as she could do some of the stuff Chrissy could do and some of what Cindy could do. In that regard, Terri has the hardest role, to capture the silly and the clumsy and spin it into a new character with other attributes.

      Now there's something else here everyone gets wrong and that's culturally where this all fit in. I remember being one of the countless kids at school wondering what "gay" was. I probably asked my mom, and she probably said she didn't know. I found out at school. A lot of women did not wear bras (some who didn't have to didn't especially). The song YMCA by the Village People was a huge hit so there was some self expression. But the 1970's was not the time of "free love" like the counterculture of the 1960's (and a lot of people assume the 1970's was like that). It was more of a time for women's lib, which was huge, and natural beauty for woman and natural art and design like the macrame and the natural colors you might see. Natural hair, clothes and nothing fussy.

      So anyone saying "Why would it be shocking that 2 girls were living with a guy, so he'd have to say he was gay?" Well the times weren't as progressive to all, even though the youth did grasp a sense of having broken through, the old timers did NOT. For example, Stanley's character was a veteran of WWII. Do you realize back then, you couldn't even show a married couple in one bed? It was always two, maybe pushed together. When Three's Company premiered in 1977, some of these reviewers never realized that Bewitched was on just 5 years before this, that Maude was breaking rules (and we were NOT allowed to watch this at our house) and until then, you couldn't even say the word "gay" on tv. Being gay and out would be a career killer so no, it wasn't all free love and stuff.

      Also, as we watched Three's Company we watched our own styles evolve. As you saw the time changing, you would see the wide legged pants and the Dorothy Hammill cut make way for a natural perm, and Chrissy' went from blond to blonder to platinum blond with a mushroom cut. Jack morphed from a clean shaven, long haired hippie to eventually a natural 1980's sleeker cut. Some of the newness of the 1980's eventually started to come out, notably, designer jeans, lip gloss and eventually those short shorts were traded in for Bermuda shorts, a huge fad back in 1982. Eventually, you see some of the new wave such as when the Human League was a huge hit, and you see a little of the mullet type hair styling on Cindy and Janet when Madonna was just about to start hitting the charts. It was just such a mirror to society.

      And as Lucille Ball stated, this is not a show that sets out to change the world. We know it had its difficulties and perhaps they tried to parlay their bets a little foolishly with the spin offs, we might even know of the difficulty on the set and with the sexism the cast found in the scripts. However, the show did set out to make us laugh and every week, we laughed. Every. Damn. Week. Try and do this nowadays, about the same plot week after week and I dare anyone to try any better.moreless
    • Blecch!

      If this show had aired during the same period as The Simpsons, imagine what would have happened if Joyce DeWitt dated Bart Simpson. I'm starting to think that she may have invented the catchphrase "Eat My Shorts" long before Bart did. Her outfits were too revealing and showed too much of a "don't give a damn attitude" that would later be adopted by Bart.
    • Simple and funny

      A couple sets, a couple cameras, a couple long shots. Real funny, real smart, and has those feel good moments. My fav show of all time.
    • It's A shame John Ritter Died

      John Ritter Played Jach in this show And Was The Best He died on set of his Later Show Im Not sure What it was But well onn set he Had A Heart Attack And he Was Rushed to the hospitel and the Docters Wherent Able to Save Him he died in the year of 2003 On His Daughters Birthday Im Only eleven So i didnt know about this intil Earler Last yearAnd even though It happened a long time Ago I cried He Was an Amazing Actor That The World will always Remebermoreless
    • Three's Company paved the way for future comedies of its kind. A definate must see for anyone of any age!

      Three's Company was a show that was still airing in 1981, the year I was born. Although I can't recall watching it at a younger age, my parents told me that I did yet didn't understand why. When I was in high school I turned the t.v. on while getting ready and there it was. It was so familiar and re-kindled an interest for the show, a nice show that has a nice feel to it. It was that rememberance that I decided to use the show as a project for a tech class, and create a web site about it. I have continued to keep the site running even updating and the outpour from fans of the show has been CRAZY! As long as I still hear from fans I keep the website running and if you're interested please check it out as well. It's all non profit, I do it as a hobby. I'm also listed with every major search engine. My web site is called Three's Company Complex.moreless
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    More Info About This Show




    forbidden love, kids hijinks, gender roles, laugh track, life in a bar