1 9 7 7 – 1 9 8 4 (USA)
172 x 30 minute Episodes
Young single girls Janet (Joyce DeWitt) and Chrissy (Suzanne Somers) found themselves in need of a roommate for their Santa Monica apartment and decided to settle for the man they found sleeping in their bathtub after a going-away party for their last roommate.
Jack Tripper (John Ritter) was harmless enough, but the problem was convincing everyone else of that.
Parents objected and humorous misunderstandings abounded, but Jack stayed. In addition to his other virtues, he was the only one of the three roommates that could cook.
His favourite ploy was to intimate that he was a homosexual, and therefore uninterested in the two sexy girls.
The landlady, Mrs Roper (Audra Lindley), who lived downstairs, worried less about what was going on upstairs than about the fact that nothing was going on in her love life with her husband, Stanley (Norman Fell).
Jack was studying for his chef’s diploma; Janet, the brunette, worked in a florist shop, and Chrissy, the frivolous blonde, was a typist.
Norman Fell and Audra Lindley left the series in 1979 for their own show (The Ropers), and were replaced by Don Knotts as the new landlord.
In 1980 Suzanne Somers asked for a fivefold salary increase (from $30,000 to $150,000 per episode) and a share of the profits. The show’s producers did not renegotiate and held Somers to her contract for a final year.
During the 1980-1981 season, she appeared only in one-minute inserts at the end of each show, in which her character, Chrissy, spoke with one of the other regulars by telephone from Fresno (where Chrissy was visiting relatives); these sequences were taped separately on a closed set.
Jennilee Harrison was added later in 1980 as Chrissy’s cute but clumsy cousin, Cindy Snow, who moved into the apartment with Jack and Janet.
After one season, Cindy moved out, to study veterinary medicine at UCLA, although Harrison remained a regular character for the 1981-1982 season. Priscilla Barnes joined the cast in 1981 as the new roommate, a smart, vivacious nurse named Terri Alden.
When Jack lost his roommates (Janet got married and Terri moved to Hawaii), he moved in with his new girlfriend, opened a restaurant, and a new series began in 1984 called Three’s A Crowd.
British readers may find this plot-line familiar – Three’s Company was the American version of the UK 70s comedy classic Man About The House.
Suzanne Somers died on Sunday 15 October 2023, a day before her 77th birthday. She had survived an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years.
Mike the bartender