The misadventures of two women and one man living in one apartment and their neighbors.
Three's Company Online
Janet and Chrissy get Jack as a roommate for their Santa Monica apartment. Jack can cook (he's studying to be a chef) and, when called to do so, pretends he's gay to legitimize the arrangement. Landlady Roper wishes husband Stanley showed more interest in her.
|Complete series cast summary:|
|John Ritter||-||Jack Tripper / - 174 episodes, 1976-1984|
|Joyce DeWitt||-||Janet Wood 173 episodes, 1976-1984|
|Richard Kline||-||Larry Dallas 131 episodes, 1977-1984|
|Don Knotts||-||Ralph Furley 117 episodes, 1979-1984|
|Suzanne Somers||-||Chrissy Snow 102 episodes, 1977-1982|
|Priscilla Barnes||-||Terri Alden 72 episodes, 1981-1984|
In the show's opening (beginning with the sixth season), a toddler walks up to Joyce DeWitt as she is feeding a goat. The toddler is Jason Ritter (son of John Ritter). This is revealed by DeWitt in a bonus feature of the Season 4 DVD.
During the earlier seasons' opening credits, the brunette walking by the beach that causes Jack to fall off his bike is Suzanne Somers in a wig.
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.
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.
The spin-off series Three's a Crowd (1984) was planned at the start of the final season. The producers tried to keep it a secret from the rest of the cast. But Joyce DeWitt accidentally walked in on the auditions for the part of Vicki. This caused tension on the set between John Ritter and the rest of the cast who were disappointed that the series would essentially continue without them.
Suze Lanier-Bramlett, who played Chrissy on the second unaired pilot, is seen on the show's ending for the first several seasons alongside Jack and Janet, where the three are tossing bread to seagulls at the beach. This ending was carried over from the pilot and wasn't re-shot with Suzanne Somers as Chrissy.
John Ritter is the only cast member to appear in every episode.
Billy Crystal auditioned for the role of Jack Tripper.
Richard Kline's role as Larry Dallas was originally meant to be a one-time guest appearance. But the producers enjoyed his chemistry with Ritter that he became a recurring character and eventually a cast member.
At the end of season three, Mr. Roper reveals that he sold the building, and the Ropers are moving. Mrs. Roper is hesitant. In real life, Audra Lindley was excited about doing a spin-off, while Norman Fell didn't want to leave Three's Company. It took him almost six months to agree.
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 (1971) as Reverend Fordwick.
The 1980-1981 season was very difficult for the cast and crew. Suzanne Somers demanded a huge salary increase and part ownership of the show. When she was declined, she would often not show up to work. John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt refused to work with Somers any longer. So her character Chrissy was written out of the season except for a tag scene at the very end of the episodes. In these scenes, Chrissy was visiting her family and she would call Jack and Janet on the phone. These scenes were filmed early in the day so Somers would be off the set by the time Ritter and DeWitt arrived as they wanted no contact with her. Near the end of the season, Somers was fired and Chrissy was never mentioned again.
In the biography "Andy and Don" by Daniel de Vise Don Knotts admits he was very nervous the first day on the set, because he'd never done a three camera style sitcom before. The Andy Griffith Show had employed a single camera format. "They were all much younger than me...and they were all good", he says, in addition. But when he showed up on set his fears were dispelled when the studio audience immediately gave him a ten minute standing ovation.
Based on the 1970s British Sitcom Man About the House (1973).
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.
Two episodes from The Ropers (1979) were added to the 'Three's Company' syndication package. They include the Ropers pilot, and another episode that includes guest spots from John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, and Suzanne Somers.
Don Knotts didn't like the way the rest of the cast was shunning Suzanne during the whole kerfuffle about her pay raise demands, and the ensuing boycott leading to her termination, according to the biography "Andy and Don" by Daniel de Vise. He had a similar experience with Sheldon Leonard the executive producer of "The Andy Griffith Show" and the rest of the cast when he asked for a pay raise a decade earlier. At one point, when they were all on set together, and Joyce and John were ignoring Suzanne, Don walked up to them and said "Excuse me, I'm going to go talk to Suzanne", letting them know he was giving Suzanne support.
During Somers' clash with the producers at the start of the fifth season, the cast had to be given scripts with Chrissy (blue), and without Chrissy (pink) in them. Most of the time, Chrissy's (Somers) lines were given to Mr. Furley (Knotts).
Jack Tripper served in the US Navy.
Producers originally intended to cast a Don Knotts type actor to play the role of Mr Furley. Unsuccessful in finding the right actor fitting the description, producers instead decided to attempt to cast Don Knotts himself for the part.
John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt are the only main cast members to stay on the show for its entire run.
Joyce DeWitt refused to ever be shown bare-legged and always wore pantyhose when her legs were visible. Her commitment to hosiery earned her an endorsement deal with L'eggs brand pantyhose.
Norman Fell and Audra Lindley had returned one last time to the series (Night of the Ropers) a year after their own spin off The Ropers (1979) was canceled. This was also the first episode that Suzanne Somers did not appear in after she was fired.
In the final episode of the series, Jack moved from the apartment to one above his restaurant to live with his girlfriend Vicki (as seen in the spin-off Three's a Crowd (1984)), Janet got married and left to live with her husband Phillip and Teri took a nursing job in Hawaii.
The first season DVD set was rushed onto the market due to the demand after the death of John Ritter in 2003.
Although Jenilee Harrison was well liked by her co-workers, her inexperience and a drop in ratings led to them searching for yet another person to fill the third roommate position.
Jennilee Harrison as Cindy appears in a few seconds of each opening to the end of the series run in the syndication version of the episodes. She is seen entering the zoo with the rest of the cast.
Both Chrissy (Suzanne Somers) and Mr. Furley ( Don Knotts) have a trade mark snort.
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).
When Jack opens his restaurant, Larry brings his Greek family there for dinner. It is later revealed that Larry's real last name is Dalliopoulos (He changed it to Dallas because it was easier to spell).
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.
Janet and Chrissy had another roommate named Eleanor before Jack moved in.
Many times when Norman Fell said an especially funny insulting line directed at Audra Lindley's character, he would look directly into the camera as he laughed.
Norman Fell and Audra Lindley made an appearance on "Three's Company" in the "Night of the Ropers" episode. This is the only time Norman Fell, Audra Lindley and Don Knotts all appeared on the show together.
Chrissy's full name is "Christmas Noelle Snow".
Felipe's son is named Fernando Valenzuela Felipe Jose Jack Francesco Gomez.
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.
Five seasons into the show's very successful run Suzanne Somers demanded a salary increase from $30,000 per episode to a whopping $150,000 per episode along with 10% ownership of the series, which would continue to pay major income thanks to syndication. The producers and ABC balked at Sommers' demands, as she and Joyce DeWitt had pairing clauses in their contracts, meaning that the actresses would receive the same pay for each episode. Moreover, John Ritter, the obvious star of the show, had a clause in his contract that he would receive the most money out of any of the performers. Faced with incredible cost increases for each episode, the producers denied Sommers' demands. She then refused to return to work, claiming a broken rib prevented her from performing, though several members of the wardrobe staff dispute her claim. Sommers ended up missing three episodes, which resulted in expensive and hasty rewrites and infuriated her costars. Rather than fire Sommers over her behavior, the producers opted to reduce her part to the notorious minute long epilogue scenes which were filmed away from the rest of the cast. Sommers was also banned from visiting the set or interacting with the other actors. When the actress took her grievances public, describing the backstage treatment on various talk shows, the producers fired her. Her tattered reputation also led rival network CBS to drop her from a three series deal Sommers had signed with the rival network during the tense period of negotiations. In essence, she ended up blackballed from television for over a decade.
Ralph Furley's brother, Bart, is mentioned many times throughout the series, but he is seen only in one episode ("Furley vs. Furley").
Jordan Charney wore a fake beard for his recurring role as Jack's boss/nemesis Frank Angelino to make him appear older. This was stated by Richard Kline in The season 7 DVD audio commentary for the episode "Opening Night".
Numerous guest actors and actresses appeared in multiple roles. Jeffrey Tambor was the leader with three. He also appeared as a different character in the cast of The Ropers (1979).
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 Suze Lanier-Bramlett as Chrissy. 'Denise Galik-Furey' was originally cast as Chrissy but suddenly became unavailable shortly before taping. Bobbie Mitchell guest starred playing 'Patricia Crawford'.
Many of the episode plots were about misunderstandings.
Chrissy's father was a Methodist minister.
Audra Lindley (Helen Roper) was just coming off the failed Lee Grant sitcom "Fay" when she signed on for this.
Audra Lindley wore a red curly wig for her role as Helen Roper. She has naturally blonde straight hair.
Three different addresses were given for the apartment throughout the seasons (none of them were real).
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.
Jack lived at the Y.M.C.A. before moving in with Janet and Chrissy.
John Ritter & Richard Kline played young men in their early to mid 20s on the show. However ,Kline was 32 when he started in 1976 and over 40 in his last appearance on Three's A Crowd. (Still playing early 30s.) John was 28 in 1976 and when 'Crowd' ended in 1985 he was 37.
Peter Mark Richman, who played Reverend Luther Snow, is Jewish.
In real life, the cast got along well with Jenilee Harrison and were very fond of her. However, the audience did not respond well to the young actress. In fact, the ratings began to drop. Many blamed this on Harrison's lack of experience and sub-par acting.
Mr. Roper's car was a '58 Chevy.
In "The Graduate" Norman Fell played Dustin Hoffman's mean, overbearing landlord Mr. McCleery, who was always threatening to evict Hoffman; very similar to the mean, overbearing Stanley Roper character he plays on "Three's Company".
Two actresses that played Chrissy both were fired on this program. Susan Lanier, who was originally cast as Chrissy and played her while TTC Productions was in pre-production for the show, got fired when producers reconsidered her casting after seeing her performance for several weeks before the show started shooting. Then, the part was re-cast with Suzanne Sommers playing Chrissy; who played her for four years before she got fired from the show as well due to a breakdown in contract negotiations and her refusal to show up for work as she was boycotting TTC for a pay raise.
The bedroom windows face opposite from the kitchen window on the other side of the apartment, signifying that there's no neighboring apartments on either side of them.
In a recent video event hosted by Cafe Mom where both Suzanne Sommers (Chrissy) and Joyce Dewitt (Janet) reminisced about Three's Company, Joyce Dewitt said that John Ritter had affairs with a lot of the guest stars.
After not speaking to eachother for thirty years after Suzanne Sommers' firing, Joyce Dewitt (AKA Janet) and Suzanne Sommers (AKA Chrissy) reunited recently for a youtube video event hosted by Cafe Mom. When discussing Sommers' firing both put alot of the blame on sexism of Mickey Ross and other show producers. "They could not appreciate the feminine contribution", Dewitt said. "Pigs", Suzanne Sommers said later in the interview. In other interviews both Dewitt and Priscilla Barnes called the producers of Three's Company "abusive". "It was one of the worst experiences of my life," Priscilla Barnes (AKA Terri) would say of working with TTC Productions.
Jim Parsons's favorite television show when growing up.
Their apartment number is 201, the sum of the digits equaling the title of the show. In addition, there are two girls, and one guy living in the apartment at any given moment.
The trio's apartment was owned by Mr. Furley's older brother, Bart. He had Mr. Furley under his power, because he was gruff and intimidating to his younger brother and bullied him cruelly as a child. Even though Mr. Furley was scared to stand up to him, he was seen in season Five being played by Hamilton Camp, who was only five feet two inches tall.
Jordan Charney who had a recurring role as Jack's boss Mr. Angelino, played Larry's boss in one episode "Jack moves out" from season 3.
Larry changed his last name to Dallas because he could never spell his actual last name, Dalliapoulos.
Don Knotts had never done a live sitcom before Three's Company. (The Andy Griffith Show was filmed not live.)
Anne Wedgeworth would play Audrey Conner, Dan's mom, on Roseanne.
Many people have contributed and linked the success of FRIENDS, a similar type show of 20 somethings living together, with Three's Company; claiming Three's Company paved the way for Friends; critics have even noted how Three's Company paved the way for shows like Seinfield and HBO's Girls.
Suzanne Sommers admits in interviews that she's slightly to the right of center, a "centrist libertarian" or a "moderate republican", she has said.
Many of Cindy's initial story lines were originally written for Chrissy.
In a Cafe Mom video segment hosted by Suzanne Sommers; Joyce Dewitt said that "John RItter had affairs with alot of his (female) co-stars. " Both DeWitt and Sommers said they were unaware of this at the time.
In Three's Company, John Ritter plays Jack Tripper. In the British original Man About the House, the male roommate, played by Richard O'Sullivan, is called Robin Tripp.
In 1979 when Brian Depalma and his crew were in pre-production for Dressed to Kill Producer Ray Stark told the studio that he wanted Three's Company star Suzanne Sommers to star as Liz Blake, the sassy, resourceful call girl, in the steamy thriller. But Depalma and the screenwriter told him they wanted Nancy Allen to play the role, and the idea was nixed.