Three's Company is an American sitcom that aired from 1977 to 1984 on ABC. It is a remake of the British sitcom Man About the House. The story centers on three roommates in Santa Monica, California: Janet Wood, Chrissy Snow, and Jack Tripper, and their efforts to convince their landlord that Tripper is gay so he will approve of the co-ed living situation.
The show was set minutes from the beach in Santa Monica, California, and usually focused on four sets: the trio's apartment, the landlord's apartment, the upstairs apartment of Larry and the neighborhood 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/slapstick.
|Role||Years on Show||About||Actor or actress|
|Jack Tripper||Entire Run||A clumsy culinary student (later chef, then restaurant owner) from San Diego, Navy veteran, and swinging bachelor.||John Ritter|
|Janet Wood||Entire Run||Born in Speedway, Indiana, Janet is a down-to-earth brunette who worked at the "Arcade Florist."||Joyce DeWitt|
|Christmas "Chrissy" Snow||1977–1981||A ditzy blonde secretary. Her real name is Christmas despite not being born on Christmas Day.||Suzanne Somers|
|Stanley Roper||1977–1979||A hard-nosed landlord.||Norman Fell|
|Helen Roper||1977–1979||A love-starved landlady.||Audra Lindley|
|Larry Dallas (full name Dalliapoulos)||1978-1984||A womanizing neighbor and used car salesman. He is Jack's best friend.||Richard Kline|
|Ralph Furley||1979–1984||A goofy, flamboyantly dressed landlord who believes he's a ladies man.||Don Knotts|
|Lana Shields||1979||The wealthy, older woman neighbor who had the hots for Jack, while Furley had the hots for her.||Ann Wedgeworth|
|Cindy Snow||1980–1982||Chrissy's somewhat clumsy cousin, a secretary and later veterinary student at UCLA.||Jenilee Harrison|
|Terri Alden||1981–1984||Born in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Terri is an intelligent blonde nurse, unlucky in love.||Priscilla Barnes|
|Role||About||Actor or actress|
|Jim||Bartender at The Regal Beagle||Paul Ainsley|
|Mike||Bartender at The Regal Beagle||Brad Blaisdell|
|Linda||Jack's girlfriend and one-time roommate||Anne Schedeen|
|Dean Travers||Dean at Jack's cooking school||William Pierson|
|Reverend Luther Snow||Chrissy's father||Peter Mark Richman|
|Frank Angelino||Jack's short-tempered boss||Jordan Charney|
|Felipé Gomez||Jack's jealous co-worker at Angelino's||Gino Conforti|
Season five (1980–1981) would mark the beginning of contract re-negotiations and would thus spark friction on the set in 1980 when, after demands for a heavily increased salary (from $30,000 per episode to $150,000 per episode, plus 10% of the show's profits) were not met, Suzanne Somers 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 actress 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 cute but clumsy 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. However, Somers was still credited despite being fired from the show.
As Cindy, Jenilee Harrison was unable to fill the shoes of the original roommate on the series, the producers' explanation being that she was too young for the sex jokes. Their solution was another replacement, Terri Alden (played by Priscilla Barnes), a clever, sometimes sassy nurse who was introduced in the sixth season (1981–1982). In the script, Cindy was to move to college to fulfill her dream of becoming a vet. She was the last of the series' three blondes. Unlike Suzanne Somers, Barnes was considered a cooperative professional who remained close friends with many members of the cast and crew long after the series ended. Somers would eventually make up with the majority of the actors including John Ritter (there had been plans for Somers to appear on Ritter's later hit show 8 Simple Rules prior to his death), but Joyce DeWitt still refused to talk to her even after almost 30 years. However, after John Ritter's death, the two have come to a small reconciliation, and began writing notes to each other . Meanwhile Cindy would remain on the show in season six with Terri, visiting in some episodes and would leave completely before season seven. Three's Company was often compared to Alice in the fact that it also went through three different blonde cast members during its run.
In season eight (1983-1984), Janet married art dealer Phillip Dawson (David Ruprecht); Terri moved to Hawaii for a job; and Jack moved out to live with his new girlfriend, Vicky Bradford (Mary Cadorette), thus morphing the show into Three's a Crowd, the further adventures of Jack as he settles down. Three's a Crowd was based on Thames Television's British series Robin's Nest which was spun off from Three's Company's Thames Television basis, Man About The House; each centered on Jack Tripper / Robin Trip operating a restaurant owned by his live-in girlfriend's father who, while acknowledging Jack/Robin's skills as a chef, did nothing to hide his wish that his daughter would find a more suitable man.
In an interview with The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation, Silverman said that Suzanne Somers barely made it as a member of the cast. "I was very involved in the casting of Suzanne Somers. We did three pilots", he recalls, "and the Chrissy character still wasn't right. We got to the day before we're starting the production of the series and we didn't have a Chrissy. I was so desperate, I took all the audition tapes and just kind of fast forward them. All of a sudden, they went by Suzanne Somers who I hadn't seen, but I recognized her from her appearance on the Tonight Show, I said 'back that up' and she was great. She's been passed on! And I said 'I don't understand. This girl could play that part, why was she been passed on?' and I couldn't get a straight answer. Anyway, we got her in that day and she was on the set tomorrow and she was terrific in that part. And that was an accident because she never should have gotten the part.
In March 2001, after being notified by a viewer, Nick at Nite quickly edited an episode where John Ritter's scrotum skin was briefly visible through the bottom of a pair of blue boxer shorts. The most famous quip about this issue was uttered by John Ritter, who told the New York Observer when they asked him about the controversy: "I've requested that [Nickelodeon] air both versions, edited and unedited, because sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don't.
The show currently airs on TV Land.
The taping was done in sequence and there were rarely any retakes because the producers were pretty strict. Priscilla Barnes once said, "Our bosses were very, very controlling. If my hair was too blond, I'd get called up in the office.
The opening credits where the trio are frolicking on a boardwalk and riding bumper-cars was shot at the Santa Monica Pier. They have since built a larger amusement park area adjacent to the pier, which wasn't there when the series was filmed.
A later opening sequence that was shot when Priscilla Barnes joined the show featured the new threesome and the other cast members riding a zoo tram and looking at various animals around the zoo. Those sequences were filmed at the Los Angeles County Zoo in Griffith Park.
|DVD name||Release date||Nbr ep.||Bonus features|
|Season 1||November 11 2003||6||None|
|Season 2||May 4 2004||25||Audio commentary; Best of Janet, Chrissy and the Ropers; Pilot episode; Tribute to John Ritter; Featurette; Gag reels; Trivia game.|
|Season 3||November 2 2004||22||Pilot Episode #2; Remembering John Ritter interview; Audio commentary; Original promo pieces with John Ritter; Richard Kline and Dave Powers interviews.|
|Season 4||May 3 2005||25||Nancy Morgan Ritter interview; Audio commentary; Interviews with Don Knotts, Richard Kline, and Ann Wedgeworth; Best of Jack, Janet, Chrissy, Larry, and Mr. Furley.|
|Season 5||November 15 2005||22||Jenilee Harrison interview; interviews with producers George Sunga & George Burditt and writer Kim Weiskopf; Best of Jack, Janet, Cindy, Larry, and Mr. Furley.|
|Season 6||March 7 2006||26||Lucille Ball presents The Best Of Three's Company; Laughs Around the World: Episode in Polish; Audio commentary from director Dave Powers on Jack Bares All.|
|Season 7||July 25 2006||22||Don Knotts: A Tribute; Parlez-Vous Three's Company?; Audio commentary from Richard Kline; Best of Jack, Janet, Terri, and Larry.|
|Season 8||October 3 2006||22||John Ritter: Working with the Master; Usted Habla Three's Company?; Bloopers from final 3 seasons; Best of Jack, Janet, Terri, Larry, and Mr. Furley.|