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Three's Company

Latest Video Clips

Cooking With Jack

Jack tries to host a cooking show with Terry and Janet as his assistants but it is a total disaster. (03:04)

Group Hug

The roommates sort out a dating mix-up. (01:59)

Up Close and Personal

Jack gets a job as a short order cook, and his new boss has got her eye on him. (03:13)

Three's Company Theme Song

(00:42)

About Three's Company

ABC caused something of a dust-up in March of 1977 when it aired a new comedy called Three’s Company. Penned and produced by Don Nicholl, Michael Ross, and Bernie West (Emmy award-winning writers for All in the Family and producers of The Jeffersons), the series was loosely based on the British sitcom Man About the House.

In the series opener, viewers meet roommates Janet Wood (Joyce Dewitt) and Christmas “Chrissy” Snow (Suzanne Somers) as they discover Jack Tripper (John Ritter) asleep in their bathtub after a going-away party for a former roommate. They soon discover the party crasher isn't some kind of pervert, but an aspiring chef in need of a home. They offer him Eleanor’s old room, but there’s one catch: their landlords.

Uptight Mr. Roper (Norman Fell) and his nosey wife Helen (Audra Lindley) may not take to the idea of the trio living together in the Santa Monica apartment, so they convince Jack to pretend he’s gay, which would be easy enough if he wasn’t an avid skirt chaser and didn’t enjoy hanging out at local hot spot The Regal Beagle with his best buddy Larry Dallas (Richard Kline).

When it first aired, the notion of a man sharing an apartment with two women who weren’t relatives was novel; having the man also pretend to be openly gay made it racy and groundbreaking. This was titillating stuff for 1977, but Shakespeare and Moliére would have been right at home with the subject matter and characters because at its core Three’s Company is pure farce (think Measure for Measure or Tartuffe)--a fact that was often overlooked by the media who fixated on Jack’s feigned homosexuality and Chrissy’s ebullient jiggle factor. This comedy of errors was fueled by subterfuge, mistaken identity, and pratfalls. And the main characters are classic comedy archetypes: the loveable buffoon (Jack), the dim-witted sex kitten (Chrissy), the plucky straight woman (Janet), and the unwitting dupe (Roper/Furley).

In form and execution, the show followed in the footsteps of legendary sitcom I Love Lucy (Lucille Ball was rumored to be an ardent fan). Each episode began with a mix-up or miscommunication and ended with the problem solved and the roommates sharing in a “group-hug” moment reaffirming their friendship. What ensued in between were a host of hilarious set-ups that relied heavily on comic asides and broad physical comedy for laughs. This was 1930s burlesque decked out in a goofy, 1970s leisure suit.

In time the show became a victim of its own popularity, and significant cast changes occurred as a result. sVeteran actor Don Knotts became the trio's new landlord, Ralph Furley (a hapless ladies' man who wants to "cure" Jack) when Norman Fell and Audra Lindley left in 1979 to star in a short-lived spin-off, The Ropers.

During the 1980-81 season, three became a crowd when a contractual dispute erupted between Somers and the show's producers. Chrissy was written off and Jenilee Harrison was signed on as Cindy Snow (1980-1982), Chrissy’s sweet, accident-prone cousin. In 1981, Priscilla Barnes permanently rounded out the trio when she joined the cast as Terri Alden, a sexy, yet savvy, nurse. In time, Three's Company literally became Three's a Crowd, when the producers decided to spin-off a show featuring Jack (he moves in with his girlfriend and focuses on running Jack's Bistro).

Three's Company TV Schedule

Friday
October 3
4:30am
The Money Machine
Furley replaces the trio's living room couch, which is great except that Jack and Janet hid money from a haywire ATM machine there.
TV-PG
5:00am
Out on a Limb
Anticipating a negative review from a food critic, Jack hastily shoots off an angry letter, then has to get it back.
TV-PG
Sunday
October 5
5:00am
Opening Night
A misprint of flyers for the opening of Jack's Bistro leaves the place empty on the big night.
TV-PG
5:30am
Cousin, Cuisine
As a favor to Felipe, the trio take in his beautiful cousin Maria.
TV-PG
6:00am
Up in the Air
Janet invites Jack to escort her to a party on a private island hosted by a wealthy man she wants to impress.
TV-PG
6:36am
A Night Not to Remember
Jack chaperones Janet on a date with a lecher from the office, but he gets so drunk that he passes out in her bed.
TV-PG
7:12am
Jack Goes to the Dentist
Terri's temperamental dentist boyfriend terrorizes Jack during an office visit.
TV-PG
7:48am
Diamond Jack
Jack thinks he's just doing his buddy Larry a favor when he agrees to stand in for him on a blind date.
TV-PG
8:24am
Extra, Extra
Janet's dating a reporter who tells her he wants to write a piece about the trio's living situation emphasizing the financial benefits of it.
TV-PG
9:00am
Opening Night
A misprint of flyers for the opening of Jack's Bistro leaves the place empty on the big night.
TV-PG
9:30am
Cousin, Cuisine
As a favor to Felipe, the trio take in his beautiful cousin Maria.
TV-PG
Tuesday
October 7
4:00am
An Affair to Forget
Trying to play cupid, Janet sets Jack up with an old high school friend who's in town.
TV-PG
4:30am
The Brunch
In order to get his liquor license, Jack needs to convince a local pastor that his restaurant is a respectable place.
TV-PG

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