‘Three’s Company’ Facts You (Probably) Didn’t Know

Published on 11/04/2017
ADVERTISEMENT

In 1977, Three’s Company first aired and quickly became a family favorite. The cast made every scene a riot and the story line was one of brilliance, thanks to the writers of course. With that being said, there are still quite a few hidden facts about the cast, crew, and the show itself that you probably didn’t know. Just take a look for yourself!

Hey Kid

When theThree’s Company theme song is playing, in the opening, there is a little kid who walks up to Joyce DeWitt while she is feeding a goat. Turns out that the child is actually John Ritter’s own kid, Jason. Runs in the family!

John Ritters Child

Hey Kid

Quite the situation

In March 2001, a viewer claimed a certain part of John Ritter’s “anatomy” was visible in the episode “The Charming Stranger.” Nickelodeon took the complaint seriously and quickly edited the episode to appear more PG. Ritter then responded, “I’ve requested that [Nickelodeon] air both versions, edited and unedited, because sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don’t.”

Quite The Situation

Quite The Situation

Suzanne Somers Barely Made It

Suzanne Somers turned out to be a last minute addition to the cast. She auditioned, got the gig, and began taping…the very next day. Right? Best decision ever AND how lucky that it all worked out.

Suzanne Somers Barely Made It

Suzanne Somers Barely Made It

Spin-Off Problems

Producers decided to give John Ritter his very spin off show, Three’s a Crowd, as Three’s Company was approaching its final run. This new spin off was supposed to remain on the down low but Joyce DeWitt found out and bang, tensions understandably rose.

Http://www.sitcomsonline.com/photopost/data/925/80jrtribute14.jpg

Spin Off Problems

Spin-Off Problems II

See Joyce DeWitt had accidentally walked in on auditions at the time, for the part of Vicki. Obviously this caused a lot of tension on set between John Ritter and everyone else. The whole cast were disappointed to learn that the series would pretty much go on without them.

Spin Off Problems II

Spin Off Problems II

Floating Microphones

Welp, no production is safe from a few slip ups, especially when it comes to equipment related situations. If you re-watch episodes of Three’s Company then you’ll surely see microphones and light stands here and there.

Floating Microphones

Floating Microphones

John Ritter the Star

While Three’s Company comprised of three top stars, it was John Ritter’s character of Jack who appeared in every single episode. Not too shabby!

John Ritter The Star

John Ritter The Star

Almost a quitter

Pricilla Barnes played the role of nurse Terri Alden for the final three seasons, however, Barnes was incredibly unhappy during her years there. “Our bosses were very, very controlling,” Barnes told CNN reporters in 2002. “If my hair was too blond, I’d get called up in the office.”

Almost A Quitter

Almost A Quitter

No Rehearsal

The core cast of Three’s Company never even had a chance to met each other before rehearsal kicked off! The very first time they all met each other was the first night of taping. Safe to say, it worked out rather well.

No Rehearsal

No Rehearsal

And Suzanne Leaves

Even though Suzanna Somers was an important part of the show, she was released long before anyone else. Somers created tension when she demanded a $120,000 raise per episode, which is the same pay as John Ritter. She then also requested a slice of the profits therefore the writers were forced to quickly wrote her out and she was let her go as soon as her contract expired.

Image; Suzanne Sommers

And Suzanne Leaves

Billy Crystal Auditions

To many fans, Jack is John Ritter and vice versa but turns out that the casting directors had quite a few names to draw from. Some of the names include Billy Crystal, Barry Van Dyke, and Michael Lembeck.

Billy Crystal Auditions

Billy Crystal Auditions

Last Minute Name

The writers just had no idea what they should call the program and thus settled on Three’s Company and at the last possible minute. Much like most college students due when an assignment is due, yes online colleges count too.

Last Minute Name

Last Minute Name

Three Pilot Episodes

Usually a script has just one chance to see if it’ll even get picked up. However this crew had three tries to knock it out of the park and well, you know what they say about the third time. It’s a charm.

Three Pilot Episodes

Three Pilot Episodes

Magic Duo

John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt were the only two to make it to the very end of Three’s Company, which is pretty impressive for this magical duo.

John Ritter And Joyce Dewitt

Magic Duo

Jenilee Harrison Dropped

Although Jenilee Harrison was liked and respected by everyone on the show, her character was dropped as the show experienced low numbers. Producers then began a hunt to shake things up and increase ratings, therefore a third roommate was needed.

Not Quite Right

Not Quite Right

Christmas Flavored Names

Chrissy’s full name on the show is actually pretty cool: Christmas Noelle Snow. Probably one of the best character names we’ve seen.

Christmas Flavored Names

Christmas Flavored Names

Laughed Off

Heather Locklear was heading in to audition as Suzanne Somers’s replacement, however she was sweating and quickly put Kleenex under her arms to try and help. During a funny scene in front of producers, nobody laughed. When all was said and done, Locklear stepped out and heard laughing. That’s when she noticed the Kleenex had come out. “So I guess they thought I stuffed my bra,” Locklear recalled but jokes on them, she became a massive star without Three’s Company.

Laughed Off

Laughed Off

Almost Chrissy

Loni Anderson got very, very close to snagging the role of Chrissy but the producers made the decision to keep looking as they were searching for a perfect fit.

Almost Chrissy

Almost Chrissy

Stanley Roper Inspiration

Everyone’s favorite landlord, Norman Fell based the character off some guy he knew from Philly. He said the Philly guy was “innocent” but just couldn’t do anything right at all.

Stanley Roper Inspiration

Stanley Roper Inspiration

Leaving on Bad Terms

When the show wrapped up, the three main stars weren’t on speaking terms for almost 30 years! However Somers then patched things up with Joyce on her web show but sadly John Ritter died at the young age of 54. Somers claims to have cleared the air with Ritter though.

Leaving On Bad Terms

Leaving On Bad Terms

Many A Role

The great Jeffrey Tambor played three different roles on the show – a jack of all trades, eh. He played the part of a rich man, Winston Cromwell III, Dr. Tom Miller, a psychiatrist who was confused for a mental patient; and he played the part of the crazy dentist Dr. Phillip Greene, who got dumped by Terri.

Many A Role

Many A Role

Whoops

During the first few seasons, the opening and credits were shot at Venice Beach, which happened to be a last minute decision by producers. The first shot zooms in on ‘Jack Tripper’ riding his bike – a Venice shop-owner charged $100 for the camera crew to use his roof. Furthermore, the bike Jack rides belonged to a producer, and the girl Jack stares at which causes him to fall off his bike is actually Suzanne Sommers in a dark wig.

Whoops

Whoops

The Ropers Were Shafted

Norman Fell and Audra Lindley were very popular with fans and producers that ABC even offered them a spin off show, with the promise that if the show should fail, they would return to Three’s Company. The Ropers went on to have just one solid season before getting moved to a poor time slot and thus the show was axed. However ABC went back their promise and hired Don Knotts instead. Unfortunately for ABC, the addition of Knotts’ plummeted ratings by 20%. Whoops.

The Ropers Were Shafted

The Ropers Were Shafted

Unauthorized Story

In 2003, a made-for-TV movie was released, Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three’s Company. The on and off screen life of the show and its cast, including Suzanne Somers’ exit, was recorded for all to see.

Unauthorized Story

Unauthorized Story

Acting Debut

Jason Ritter technically made his debut on the show without even knowing it. Jason said to the Huffington Post, “The story is they were shooting a bunch of things at the zoo and I got away from my mom. I just walked into the shot and it made Joyce DeWitt laugh so they kept it in the opening credits.” The opening credits from seasons six through eight kept Jason’s “incident” as it was comedic gold.

Acting Debut

Acting Debut

Location, Location, Location

The apartment that was home to the three main cast members got three different addresses throughout the show.

Location Location

Location Location

Age is just a number

A rumor floated around that Suzanne told John and Joyce she had her son (who was 11) when she was just 17 years old. Somers claimed she was 28 and the year was 1974-75. However, she was born in 1946 and the show didn’t even start until 1977. The numbers don’t add up!

Age Is Just A Number

Age Is Just A Number

So many emotions

Priscilla Barnes said that working on Three’s Company was the unhappiest she has ever felt in her acting career. According to her, the atmosphere backstage was not healthy whatsoever.

So Many Emotions

So Many Emotions

Besties

Larry Dallas, played by Richard Kline, was actually supposed to just make a one-time guest appearance. But the producers really enjoyed the natural chemistry between him and John Ritter that they then made him a regular cast member.

Besties

Besties

Hint, Hint

At the end of the second ever episode, Jack deliberately says, “Goodnight John boy.” This served as a subtle nudge back when John Ritter starred on The Waltons as Reverend Fordwick.

Hint Hint

Hint Hint

Army brat

Jack Tripper’s background is kind of inspiring, as it was said that he used to serve in the US Navy. Who knows, that could be where he learned how to cook.

Army Brat

Army Brat

Consistent

John Ritter and Joyce De Witt were the only two actors on the entire show to have appeared in every single episode of the Three’s Company. Not bad.

Consistent

Consistent

YMCA

Before Jack moved in with Janet and Chrissy, he actually in the Y.M.C.A.

YMCA

YMCA

Line!

Although Terri was on Three’s Company much longer than Cindy, the actress playing Cindy actually has more lines than the actress playing Terri.

Line

Line!

Hairstyles

Joyce DeWitt’s character went through a ton of hair style changes during the show’s run however when it came to the re-enactment actors, they never changed their style.

SUZANNE SOMERS;JOYCE DEWITT

Hairstyles

My Last Name

Larry’s full last name is surprisingly Dallipoulos, but for short, he went with Dallas. Makes sense as to why.

My Last Name

My Last Name

How about some pie?

Season 3, episode 19 which is titled “The Bake-Off,” William Pierson (Dean Travers) actually went through three different suits for the pie scene of this episode.

How About Some Pie

How About Some Pie?

That’s a lot of dough

Jack, Janet and Chrissy’s rent for their rather large two bedroom apartment located in Santa Monica is only $300 per month, in the show obviously. According to the American Institute for Economic Research, that measly $300 in 1977 is now equal to $995.05.

Thats A Lot Of Dough

That’s A Lot Of Dough

Four days later

Just four days after the great John Ritter passed away, Nick at Nite ran an all-night Three’s Company marathon which was dedicated to his memory.

Four Days Later

Four Days Later

Look at my face

John Larroquette had a small role in the show, he played a cop who caught Jack breaking into the apartment while his roommates were asleep. At first, the shot wasn’t supposed to focus on John, so he did something different. “So I had to figure out a way to get my hat off. And this is all completely selfish and premeditated. So inside my hat, I’ve written the Miranda rights. So I take my hat off and tell him, ‘You have the right to remain silent.’ He carried on to keep his hat off for the remainder of the scene.

78th Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony And Luncheon

Look at my face

Here’s To You, Dad

During the pilot episode of Three’s Company, Jack says, “Well, you know you have to learn to trot before you can gallop… who said that?” and the audience give a good laugh. This was actually John Ritter’s way of paying homage to Tex Ritter, his late father.

Heres To You Dad

Here’s To You Dad

Smooth

Suze Lanier-Bramlett, AKA Chrissy, during the second unaired pilot can actually be seen on the show’s ending for the first seasons alongside Jack and Janet. She is with the three as they toss bread to seagulls at the beach. Then, this particular ending with her was moved from the pilot and was not re-shot with Suzanne Somers as Chrissy.

Smooth

Smooth

Six Months

When the end of season three came around, Mr. Roper admits that he has sold the building, and that the Ropers are moving. However Mrs. Roper is hesitant. Now in real life, Audra Lindley was super excited about a spin-off, whereas Norman Fell really didn’t want to leave Three’s Company. It took Fell nearly six months to agree.

Six Months

Six Months

Standing Ovation

Daniel de Vise Don Knotts, in his biography Andy and Don admits that he was in face really nervous about his first day on set. Mainly because he had never acted in a three camera style sitcom before. His time on The Andy Griffith Show was with a single camera format. “They were all much younger than me…and they were all good”, he said. However when he showed up, his fears were gone as immediately the studio audience gave him a 10 minute standing ovation.

DON KNOTTS, JOYCE DE WITT

Standing Ovation

Package

Now two episodes from the show The Ropers were indeed added to the syndication package of Three’s Company. This includes the Ropers pilot, and another episode which includes guest toles from John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, and Suzanne Somers.

Package

Package

At Attempt

Originally the producers wanted to cast an actor to play the part of Mr. Furley but they wanted a Don Knotts kind of guy. However, the were unable to find the right actor who fit the description. So instead, they tried to cast Don Knotts himself!

An Attempt

An Attempt

Comeback

A year after The Ropers went off air, Norman Fell and Audra Lindley made a return to the show for the last time. In fact, this was also the very first episode which Suzanne Somers did not appear after she was fired.

Comeback

Comeback

Not Okay

Again, in his biography Andy and Don by Daniel de Vise, it was revealed that Don Knotts didn’t like how the cast treated Suzanne after her pay raise demand and the boycott that followed for her termination. Knotts had experienced a similar experience with Sheldon Leonard, the executive producer of The Andy Griffith Show, and the cast there when he himself had asked for a pay raise.

Not Okay

Not Okay

Support

Knotts would make a point to talk to Suzanna whenever she was on set as everyone else would ignore her. Once Don Knotts walked up to everyone (Joyce and John) and said, “Excuse me, I’m going to go talk to Suzanne.” This was his way of showing Suzanne support.

Support

Support

On Demand

When John Ritter passed away in 2003 , the very first season DVD came immediately onto the market as there was more of a demand as Ritter had passed.

On Demand

On Demand

Committment

Turns out that Joyce DeWitt outright refused to appear bare-legged on the show. As a result she always wore pantyhose whenever a scene called for her legs to be visible. Apparently her commitment to hosiery went on to earn her an endorsement deal with the L’eggs brand pantyhose.

Committment

Committment

Final Episode

The final episode of Three’s Company didn’t actually air until the start of the 1984-1985 season. Why? It was the lead to the show’s spin-off Three’s a Crowd, which started in 1984.

Final Season

Final Season

Make Room

Now Three’s a Crowd was canceled after just one season. The reason was so that it could make room for the show Diff’rent Strokes, which was then moving to ABC.

Make Room

Make Room

In Common

If you pay close attention then you’ll notice that Suzanne Somers (Chrissy) and Don Knotts (Mr. Furley) have something in common. They both have a trade mark snort! Bet you didn’t think that would be what they have in common!

In Common

In Common

ADVERTISEMENT