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Three's Company

Format  Sitcom
Run time  30 minutes per episode
Creator  Don Nicholl, Michael Ross, and Bernie West
Starring  John Ritter
Joyce DeWitt
Suzanne Somers
Norman Fell
Audra Lindley
Ann Wedgeworth
Richard Kline
Don Knotts
Jenilee Harrison
Priscilla Barnes
Country  United States
Network  ABC
Original run  March 15, 1977–September 18, 1984
No. of episodes  172 (plus 2 episodes of "The Ropers" aired in syndication as "Three's Company")

Three's Company is an American sitcom that ran from 1977 to 1984 on ABC.

Basic description

The show was a remake of the British sitcom Man About the House and revolved around two women and a man sharing an apartment together. Jack Tripper moved into the apartment that Chrissy Snow and Janet Wood were sharing together after they found him sleeping in their shower after a party. To be allowed to stay in the apartment, Jack let the landlord, Stanley (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. Ralph didn't find out Jack wasn't gay until the last episode. Stanley never found out.

The show was set in Santa Monica, California, and usually focused on three sets, including the subject apartment, the landlord's apartment and the local pub/restaurant called "The Regal Beagle." In later seasons, The Regal Beagle was seen less frequently, as Jack's Bistro became the setting for many scenes.

A typical show

The series revolved around sexual double entendres, misunderstandings and Jack's clumsiness. A typical episode would have Jack going in to get a tattoo removed but Janet walks in and hears Jack and Larry discussing a friend's vasectomy so then she thinks that Jack is having a vasectomy and tries to talk him out of it. Usually by the end of the episode, everything has been cleared up. Because of how the show revolved around misunderstandings, the show had many famous fans, including Lucille Ball, who even hosted a retrospective during the series run.


Three's Company spawned two spinoffs, The Ropers, revolving around Jack's former landlords, and Three's a Crowd, the further adventures of Jack as he settles down. Neither was as popular and both were swiftly cancelled. (Both were based on George and Mildred and Robin's Nest, successful spinoffs of Man About the House, as they actually produced more episodes than the original).

Trouble on the set

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 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 each episode. According to scripts she had returned to her home town, and in the tag scene she would be seen on the telephone to one of the series regulars who would recount that episode's adventures to her. 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. Sommers was then replaced by *Jenilee Harrison as Cindy Snow (1980-1982), Chrissy's equally ditzy (and catastrophically clumsy) cousin. Cindy was not particulary liked by fans or critics and was in-turn replaced by *Priscilla Barnes as Teri Alden (1981-1984), a (usually) non-ditzy, intelligent blonde nurse who seemed to be the show's answer to complaints about their portrayal of blondes.


End of the series

Towards the end of the series, commercials were released hinting that Jack Tripper and Janet Wood would be married. However, in the last episode Janet married another man. Jack moved out to live with his girlfriend, Vickie. This led to the one-season spinoff series Three's a Crowd.

The first four seasons of Three's Company have been released on Region 1 DVD.

Joyce DeWitt, John Ritter, and Suzanne Sommers
Joyce DeWitt, John Ritter, and Suzanne Sommers

    * John Ritter as Jack Tripper (entire run), the clumsy culinary student and swinging bachelor who has to pretend he's gay so he can live with two female roommates. Later in the series he runs his own restaurant named "Jack's Bistro." (Billy Crystal auditioned for this role).
    * Joyce DeWitt as Janet Wood (entire run), the down-to-earth brunette who worked in a flower shop. (Ann Reinking auditioned for the role)
    * Suzanne Somers as Chrissy Snow (1977-1981), the ditzy blonde who was a typist. (Loni Anderson auditioned for the role).
    * Jenilee Harrison as Cindy Snow (1980-1982), Chrissy's equally ditzy (and catastrophically clumsy) cousin and her replacement in the apartment.
    * Priscilla Barnes as Teri Alden (1981-1984), Cindy's replacement, a (usually) non-ditzy, intelligent blonde nurse who seemed to be the show's answer to complaints about their portrayal of blondes.
    * Norman Fell (1977-1979) as Stanley Roper, the hard-nosed landlord who seemed obsessed with Jack's sexuality. He became known for breaking the fourth wall after making a wisecrack.
    * Audra Lindley (1977-1979) as Helen Roper, the landlord's wife, who was always friendly to the "kids" in the apartment and frustrated that her husband never wanted to have sex. Unlike her husband, she knew that Jack was not gay from the start but didn't mind.
    * Don Knotts as Ralph Furley (1979-1984), Mr. Roper's replacement, the goofy, flamboyantly dressed landlord who was running the place for his brother Bart.
    * Richard Kline as Larry Dallas (n鐃� Larry Daliopolous) (entire run), the womanizing neighbor who was a used car salesman.
    * Ann Wedgeworth as Lana Shields (1979-1980), the neighbor who pursued Jack, and in turn was pursued by Furley.



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