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Three's Company

Three's Company

Category: Sitcom

Created By: Don Nicholl, Michael Ross, and Bernie West

Stars: John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers (1977—1981), Jenilee Harrison (1980–1982), Priscilla Barnes (1981—1984), Norman Fell (1977—1979), Audra Lindley (1977-1979), Richard Kline (1979-1984), Don Knotts (1979—1984), and Ann Wedgeworth (1979)

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 172 (plus 2 episodes of The Ropers aired in syndication as Three's Company

Original Channel: ABC

Original Run: March 15, 1977 to September 18, 1984

Related Shows: Man About the House, The Ropers, Three's a Crowd

Three's Company is an American sitcom that ran from 1977 to 1984 on ABC. It is a remake of the British sitcom Man About the House.




Three's Company


Jack, Janet and Chrissy lived in apartment 201, directly above the landlord unit. Jack got a chance to move in when Chrissy Snow and Janet Wood were throwing a going away party for their roommate Eleanor, who has gotten married. The next morning they found Jack Tripper asleep in their tub, where he had fallen asleep the night before. Jack is studying to be a chef at a technical college and, as the girls do not know how to cook, they decide it would be a good idea for Jack to move in. In order to get permission to keep Jack as a roommate, Janet tells the landlord, Stanley Roper, that Jack is gay. Stanley's wife Helen figured out quickly (second episode, "And Mother Makes Four") that Jack is not gay, but keeps it from her husband. Her concerns lie more with her own love life with Stanley. The Ropers have a much closer relationship with Jack, Chrissy, and Janet than their other tenants, as evidenced when they often refer to the trio as "the kids" when not in their presence.

Jack continued the charade when Ralph Furley became the new landlord in 1979. In the final episode, as Jack is moving out so that he can move in with his girlfriend he tells Ralph that he's "trying something new," insinuating that with all those years living next to Mr. Furley, "something was bound to rub off" which Mr. Furley takes as a sign that he "cured" Jack.

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, the womanizing neighbor, 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.

Three's Company

Running Jokes and Gags

The show used many running jokes and gags such as:

Mr. Roper breaking the fourth wall: Norman Fell would turn to the camera and grin after making a joke, usually at Mrs. Roper's expense. Jack's perceived homosexuality: Mr. Roper and Mr. Furley would make remarks such as "Tippy-toes" or "Tinkerbell" or calling him a fairy and bending their wrist and shaking a pretend bell.

Cindy slamming the door into someone (usually Jack)

Lana chasing after Jack (that being the only reason she ever came over), only to be chased in turn by Mr. Furley


Primary Characters

Three's Company

Jack Tripper, Entire Run, A clumsy culinary student (later chef, then restaurant owner), 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, 1977–1979A hard-nosed landlord, Norman Fell


Helen Roper, 1977–1979A love-starved landlady, Audra Lindley


Larry Dallas (full name Dalliapoulos), Entire Run, 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, 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




Click here to see a great Three's Company video clip.

Three's Company

Recurring Characters

Jim, Bartender at The Regal Beagle, Paul Ainsley Mike, Bartender at The Regal Beagle, Brad Blaisdell 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 Felipι Gomez, Jack's jealous co-worker at Angelino's, Gino Conforti

Notable Appearances

Jeffrey Tambor guest starred 3 different times, as 3 different characters, and also was a part of The Ropers cast.

Lucille Ball was such a huge fan of the show that she hosted a retrospective during the series' run. Future Oscar-nominee James Cromwell made an appearance in a Season 2 episode as a police detective

Three's Company

Cast Changes

Three's Company had many cast changes over the years for a variety reasons. The first of these changes took place in the spring of 1979 with the relocating of the Ropers to their own TV series (The Ropers), which would revolve around Jack, Janet, and Chrissy's former landlords (and their neighbors) moving into the suburbs after Stanley had sold the apartment building. Two changes took place in the fall of 1979, at the beginning of the fourth season. The first would be the addition of Lana, an older woman whose main purpose was chasing Jack around the apartment building. She had the hots for him but Jack just wanted her to leave him alone. Lana would vanish without any explanation before the season was half over (it was explained on the E! True Hollywood Story that the character was written out because the writers were not sure what to do with her, or how they could keep having Jack avoid her). The other new addition that fall was the trio's new landlord Ralph Furley (his brother Bart owned the building). Ralph fancied himself as a ladies man but really had no luck with women. He would be as popular with viewers as the Ropers had been and would last until the end of the series.

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[1]) 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 kicked off the show.

Three's Company Cast Changes continued

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 fullfill 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 refuses to talk to her even after almost 30 years. 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 of Three's Company (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—thus morphing the show into Three's a Crowd, the further adventures of Jack as he settles down.

Three's Company


Three pilot episodes were shot for Three's Company, a rarity for American television. The show was recast several times at the instruction of ABC's Fred Silverman. The first pilot featured Ritter as "David", Valerie Curtin as "Jenny", and Suzanne Zenor as "Samantha", and the pilot looked more like the first episode of the actual show. The second pilot featured Ritter and DeWitt in as Jack and Janet, but Susan Lanier played Chrissy and the pilot looked more like the second episode of the actual show. The third pilot is the first episode with the famous theme song sung by Ray Charles (unrelated to the more famous, late rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles) and Julia Rinker. It was composed by Joe Raposo (perhaps most well-known for his composing for the children's television show Sesame Street).

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 foward 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."

Three's Company


Three's Company premiered in the spring, in the middle of the season. Usually in the 1960s and 1970s, midseason television programs were cancelled after their original six-episode run in the spring. Network observers did not believe that Three's Company would go anywhere after its first six shows. They were proved wrong when it racked in record ratings, breaking barriers at the time as the highest-rated midseason show ever broadcast on network television. ABC gladly renewed the show for a formal television season, giving it a permanent primetime spot during the 1977-1978 year. Ratings continued to climb throughout the years. The very first episode, "A Man About the House", hit #28 overall. The first time a Company episode hit the #1 spot was the airing of "Will the Real Jack Tripper...", which aired February 14, 1978. The most watched Company episode aired on March 13, 1979, immediately preceding the series premiere of its spinoff, The Ropers. The episode, entitled "An Anniversary Surprise", centered around Stanley selling the apartment, and the Ropers moving out. It attracted a superb 38.4 rating (29 million households), making the episode one of the most watched telecasts ever. Here is how the show ranked overall in popularity throughout its eight-season run among all television programs:

Spring 1977: #11 1977–1978: #3 1978–1979: #2 1979–1980: #2 1980–1981: #8 1981–1982: #4 1982–1983: #6 1983–1984: #31

Three's Company


The show has been in local syndication since 1982 (ABC first aired repeats during daytime starting in the late 1970s) and the sales on the project realized more than $150,000,000 of which Thames took 12.5% ($19,000,000)[3]. It debuted on cable in 1992 on TBS and ran through 1999. Then Nick at Nite bought the show in 2000 and have a 7 year term with other Viacom networks such as TV Land and TNN.

In March of 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."[4]

The show currently airs on TV Land. TBS, Nick at Nite, TV Land and TNN episodes distributed by Lorimar-Telepictures (Later Warner Bros. Television Distribution) and All-American Television (Later Pearson Television).

Three's Company

Technical Aspect

Three's Company was taped at two different places; The first, seventh and eighth seasons were taped at Metromedia Square while the second through sixth season were taped in studio 31 of CBS Television City. The cast would get the script on Monday, rehearse from Tuesday to Thursday and shoot on Friday. Each episode was shot twice in a row using two different audiences. Three cameras were used, a technique created for I Love Lucy to give a stage-play feel.

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" [5]

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 [6]

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[6].


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Car Repair 

For the best car repair service 
go to Don's Auto Clinic at 

1950 Ellesmere Rd #21 
Scarborough ON, M1H 2V8 

Phone: 416-438-9575 

Make an appointment 
and don't worry about                     what kind of service
you'll get because it's the best.
I've been going there for at least 5 years.
(Zane Ladhani---ownerof Zane's Comedy Warehouse

Don't ask for a discount because you won't need one. 
Chinese Food 

Kim Kims Hakka Chinese

 Restaurant www.kimkim.ca 

Chinese Food is great and there are a lot of restaurants
but if you want to go to one of the best chinese food
restaurants in Toronto then go to Kim Kims at 

Kim Kim Hakka Chinese Restaurant 1188 Kennedy Road
Scarborough, ON M1P 2L1 416-757-8300
(Near Kennedy and Lawrence) 

I ususally have the Curry Chicken on Rice
but you'll be happy with whatever you order. 

If you can't handle spicy food tell them when you order. 

Don't ask for a discount because you won't need one. 

  Real Estate Services 

One of Toronto's Best Real Estate teams is
the Wright Sisters.

They are the right choice 
whether you're buying or selling property. 

Lindsay & Melanie Wright Sales Representatives 

RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd., 
Brokerage 2237 Queen Street East Toronto ON M4E 1G2 

Office: (416) 699-9292 
Toll Free: 1-866-921-9292 Fax: (416) 699-8576

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