Three's Company/Three's a Crowd

Three's Company TV Show

Three's Company was a sitcom that aired from 1977 to 1984 on ABC, and the spin-off Three's a Crowd ran from 1984 to 1985.  Three’s Company was based on a British show called Man About the House.  The show revolved around the comedic situations that three single, platonic, mixed-sex roommates found themselves in.  The roommates were Jack Tripper (John Ritter), Janet Wood (Joyce DeWitt), and either Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers), Cindy Snow (Jenilee Harrison), or Terri Alden (Priscilla Barnes) depending on what season the show was in.  Other characters included Jack’s friend Larry (Richard Kline), landlord Stanley Roper (Normal Fell), Stanley’s wife Helen (Audra Lindley), landlord Ralph Furley (Don Knotts), and neighbor Lana Shields (Ann Wedgeworth).  Ralph became the roommates landlord after ABC spun the Ropers off into their own short-lived show (The Ropers) which aired from 1979 to 1980 on ABC.

Fans of the original series will remember that Jack Tripper moved in with two girls (platonic relationships) and then feigned homosexuality so the landlord wouldn't kick him out.  Much of the humor revolved around situational misunderstandings between the landlords and the roommates (normally sexual innuendo).  In the first few seasons, the action generally took place in the trio’s apartment, the landlord’s apartment, or a pub called The Regal Beagle.  As the seasons progressed, the action would sometimes take place in Larry’s apartment, Jack’s restaurant, the hospital Terri worked at, or Janet’s flower store.

Like Three’s Company, Three’s a Crowd was a spin-off of the spin-off of the British show that Three’s Company was model after (what?).  The British show was called Robin’s Nest, which was a spin-off of Man About the House.  Three’s a Crowd took up after the last few episodes of Three’s Company, when Jack Tripper met the love of his life, Vicki Bradford (played by Mary Cadorette).  When Jack and Vicki move in together, Vicki’s father, James Bradford (played by Robert Mandan) does everything he can to split the two up.  The show did not have very good ratings, and was canceled after 22 episodes.