Three's a Crowd

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Three's a Crowd
Tac logo.jpg
Also known as Three's Company, Too
Format Sitcom
Based on Robin's Nest created by Johnnie Mortimer
Brian Cooke
Developed by
Starring John Ritter
Mary Cadorette
Robert Mandan
Alan Campbell
Theme music composer Michael Lloyd (music)
Al Kascha, Joel Hirschhorn,
Don Nicholl & Michael Lloyd (lyrics)
Opening theme "Side by Side"
Ending theme "Side by Side" (instrumental)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 22 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Michael Ross
Bernie West
George Burditt
Producer(s) Martin Rips
Joseph Staretski
George Sunga
Camera setup Videotape; Multi-camera
Running time approx. 23 minutes (per episode)
Production company(s) NRW Productions
Bergman-Taffner Productions
Distributor DLT Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channel ABC
Original run September 25, 1984 – April 9, 1985
Chronology
Preceded by Three's Company
Related shows Robin's Nest

Three's a Crowd (also known as Three's Company, Too in the Three's Company syndication package) is an American television sitcom sequel to Three's Company. It is loosely based on the British TV series Robin's Nest, which was itself a spin-off of Man About the House, on which Three's Company was based.

Synopsis[edit]

In the final episodes of its predecessor, Three's Company, Vicky Bradford (Mary Cadorette) is introduced as a love interest of Jack Tripper (John Ritter) beginning in "Cupid Works Overtime", episode 20 of season 8. In the following two episodes, "Friends and Lovers" parts 1 and 2, Jack asks Vicky to marry him, but she refuses and explains that although she loves Jack, she does not want to be married because she remembered when her father and mother got divorced. So, marriage scares her. However, Jack and Vicky eventually move to a new apartment together, the landlord of which is James Bradford (Robert Mandan), Vicky's father. James does not approve of Jack and constantly tries to disrupt their relationship.

Other characters included E.Z. Taylor (Alan Campbell), Jack's "surfer dude" assistant chef at his bistro, and Claudia Bradford (Jessica Walter), Vicky's mother and James' ex-wife. Three's a Crowd was broadcast on ABC from September 25, 1984 (only one week after the final new episode of Three's Company was broadcast) until April 9, 1985, with reruns airing until September 10, 1985.

Characters[edit]

Production history[edit]

Three's Company had been based on the British sitcom Man About the House which aired in the United Kingdom from 1973 to 1976. When the series concluded in 1976, series producers Brian Cooke and Johnnie Mortimer devised two spin-offs of the series. The first spin-off was fashioned for actors Brian Murphy and Yootha Joyce who played the popular George and Mildred Roper on the series. The series, called George and Mildred, ran from 1977 to 1980, and followed the Ropers selling their apartment building and moving into a high class neighborhood, the comedy arising from the seemingly lower-class Ropers and their relationship with their higher-class neighbors. The second spin-off was written for Richard O'Sullivan who played Robin Tripp (which would serve as the basis for Jack Tripper on Three's Company) and was named Robin's Nest, also the name of his restaurant on the series. Running from 1977 to 1981, the series followed Robin moving into an apartment above the restaurant he ran with his girlfriend, a situation which was frowned upon by her father.

Three's Company producers were anxious to capitalize on these spin-offs. In 1979, they had spun off Norman Fell and Audra Lindley to their own series, The Ropers, based on George and Mildred, but it lasted only until 1980 after one and a half seasons. Three's Company's ratings remained high though. Producers Ted Bergmann and Don Taffner devised adapting the Robin's Nest series without John Ritter. A pilot for a series called Byrd's Nest was written, involving a young man living with his older girlfriend much to the chagrin of the her father who owned the building they lived in. The series was planned to be a spin-off from Three's Company and possibly a vehicle for Richard Kline, who played Larry Dallas on Three's Company, but ABC passed on the idea. However, as Three's Company entered its eighth season in 1983, ratings took a dive due to stiff competition from the new NBC series The A-Team. Realizing they had an aging show ABC okayed the development of a new series which was to be called Three's A Crowd.

Development and casting of the new series occurred in secret as Three's Company's eighth season progressed. Fellow cast members Joyce DeWitt, Priscilla Barnes, Don Knotts, and Richard Kline were kept out of the loop. During a Christmas hiatus in late 1983 producers auditioned several female leads to play Jack's new love interest Vicky Bradford, and eventually decided upon Broadway actress Mary Cadorette. An embarrassing situation arose when Joyce DeWitt accidentally walked in on the auditions after coming to the studio to set up her dressing room as the holiday hiatus was coming to a close. DeWitt was then informed by the producers that the series, ending at the close of the season with Ritter, would spin off to Threes a Crowd without her. DeWitt, who had been with the show from the beginning, weathering the highly publicized contractual dispute former cast member Suzanne Somers had with ABC and series producers, was hurt by the secrecy involved with the series ending and the spin-off. She and fellow cast member Priscilla Barnes would find it very hard to tape the rest of the season. Both DeWitt and Barnes learned that their characters would conclude with the series finale, however, both Richard Kline and Don Knotts were offered an opportunity to have recurring roles on the spin-off. Both actors declined the offer (Kline would make a guest appearance on the show in early 1985). Former cast mate Suzanne Somers tried to be cast as Jack's love interest in the spin-off, unsuccessfully. The rift that DeWitt harboured with Ritter was short lived, and they rekindled by Three's Company's end.

Transitioning from Three's Company to Three's a Crowd[edit]

In transitioning from Three's Company to Three's a Crowd, series producers decided to follow the plotline of the British series. Season eight of Three's Company drew to a close in a three episode story arc. In the first of these episodes, Janet meets wealthy art collector Phillip Dawson. In the second episode she falls in love with him, while Jack meets and falls in love with stewardess Vicky Bradford. Her wealthy father, played by Robert Mandan, does not approve of the relationship. When first aired, this episode ended with the words "To be continued... next fall," and when rerun late in the summer, this was changed to "To be continued... next week." The last episode of Three's Company aired as an hour long special that kicked off the 1984-85 fall television season and set up the premise for Three's A Crowd. In the episode, Janet married Phillip, and Terri relocated to Hawaii. Jack and Vicky profess their love for one another, but Vicky turns down Jack's proposal of marriage, citing her fear of the institution after seeing her parents feud her whole life. They instead move in together, in an apartment above Jack's Bistro. In the last scene, Jack and Vicky are spending their first romantic evening together in the new apartment, only to have Mr. Bradford accidentally barge in on them, explaining that he received the key from Jack's old boss Mr. Angelino, having just bought the building from him, becoming the couple's new landlord. The title card for Three's Company then appears over the screen with the word "Company" zooming out, being replaced with "a Crowd".

Three's a Crowd employed most of the same writers, producers, and staff from Three's Company, but the new show's style was changed. While Jack was the lead star of Three's Company, it had an ensemble cast of three, with some ancillary characters. However, the new show was centered around Jack. Vicky, her parents, and E.Z. played supporting roles. The new show also employed even more slapstick comedy for John Ritter to exhibit. The events and characters of the previous show were not mentioned, except in a late season episode in which Larry Dallas appeared. He had moved to Bakersfield due to business downturns, and during his visit invited along "Greedy" Gretchen, who had often been mentioned on Three's Company. When rebuked by Jack, saying he was now living with a woman, she replied, "You're slowing down, Jack – you used to live with two women."

Ratings and cancellation[edit]

Three's a Crowd garnered only modest ratings, still competing with The A-Team. When the 1984-85 television season finished the show placed 38th in the Nielsen ratings; this put the show on the fence with ABC, since the show had enough of an audience to warrant renewal. However, when compared to Three's Company's ratings and The A-Team, which finished sixth for the season, ABC was tepid in committing to another season of Three's a Crowd. John Ritter was told that ABC would commit to a half-season of thirteen episodes to see how the series would place, although Ritter was reported as saying that he would not return to the show unless a full season was ordered. Finally, ABC decided instead to pick up Diff'rent Strokes for another season, which had just been cancelled by NBC.

Episodes[edit]

No. Episode title Directed by Written by Original air date Code
1 "Family Affair" Dave Powers Michael Ross,
Bernie West &
George Burditt
September 25, 1984 (1984-09-25) 0102
Jack lies to his visiting aunt (Billie Bird) to try to cover up his living arrangement with Vicki. Jack hires surfer E.Z. Taylor (Alan Campbell) to be his assistant in the restaurant.
2 "The Happy Couple" Dave Powers Michael Ross,
Bernie West &
George Burditt
October 9, 1984 (1984-10-09) 0101
Jack and Vicky argue over money. Mr. Bradford gives Jack an offer: if Jack marries Vicky, then Mr. Bradford would give him money for his sprinklers at the bistro.
3 "The Maternal Triangle" Dave Powers Martin Rips &
Joseph Staretski
October 16, 1984 (1984-10-16) 0103
In an attempt to get Vicky to accept his standing marriage proposal, Jack attempts to reunite Vicky's divorced parents.
4 "Daddy's Little Girl" Dave Powers Karyl Geld Miller
& Korby Siamis
October 23, 1984 (1984-10-23) 0106
Mr. Bradford insists on caring for an ailing Vicky.
5 "Jack's Problem" Dave Powers Martin Rips &
Joseph Staretski
October 30, 1984 (1984-10-30) 0108
Jack seeks a psychologist's advice about his recent impotence.
6 "Vacation from Sex" Dave Powers Martin Rips &
Joseph Staretski (teleplay)
Budd Grossman (story)
November 13, 1984 (1984-11-13) 0110
Vicky and Jack try to spend time sharing each others' non-sexual interests.
7 "A Matter of Money" Dave Powers Budd Grossman November 20, 1984 (1984-11-20) 0105
Jack is asked to identify a counterfeiter.
8 "The Honeymooners" Dave Powers Lissa Levin November 27, 1984 (1984-11-27) 0112
The couple's weekend runs into problems and Mr. Bradford crashes their vacation in Acapulco.
9 "A Little Competition" Dave Powers David Mirkin December 4, 1984 (1984-12-04) 0104
Vicky's old boyfriend opens up a dining place right across from Jack's Bistro.
10 "A Foreign Affair" Dave Powers Rich Reinhart December 11, 1984 (1984-12-11) 0109
James sets up a meeting between one of his business acquaintances, Carlo Fabrizi, and his ex-wife, Claudia, in the hope that Claudia will marry Carlo so that James will no longer have to pay her alimony.
11 "James Steps Out" Dave Powers Martin Rips &
Joseph Staretski
December 18, 1984 (1984-12-18) 0107
James falls in love with a young, beautiful artist named Lee Pelosi, against the better judgment of his daughter Vicky. Jack tries to save him from heartbreak when the situation plays out in a way Mr. Bradford does not like.
12 "Father Knows Nothing" Dave Powers Marty Farrell January 8, 1985 (1985-01-08) 0113
Vicky hides new golf clubs for her father in E.Z.'s van so Jack won't ruin her surprise. Meanwhile, E.Z.'s dog has become pregnant with puppies. Jack is under the impression that Vicky is expecting when he receives a phone call from a veterinarian about prenatal pills, thinking it's from Vicky's doctor.
13 "A Friend in Deed" Dave Powers Stan Burns &
Paul Wayne
January 15, 1985 (1985-01-15) 0111
Vicky invites her friend Dorothy over to cheer her up because she recently broke up with her boyfriend. Dorothy has new contact lenses that make her blink, which Jack mistakes for flirting. The situation confuses Jack even more when he overhears Dorothy on the phone telling a friend that she has met a new man.
14 "A Case of Sour Grapes" Dave Powers Norman Chandler Fox
& Mark Tuttle
January 22, 1985 (1985-01-22) 0114
Jack convinces Vicky to use a $1,900 refund check to invest in a case of 1975 vintage wine, thinking that it would bring a good return. It turns out to be a shipment of sour wine, so Jack ends up having to take up a job in a sushi house to repay Vicky.
15 "Private Lessons" Dave Powers Phil Mishkin January 29, 1985 (1985-01-29) 0116
Jack gives E.Z. lessons on how to impress his date, who is a high-society sorority girl. But the girl wants Jack more than she wants E.Z.
16 "One Ego to Go" Dave Powers Martin Rips,
Joseph Staretski
& Rich Reinhart
February 5, 1985 (1985-02-05) 0115
Vicky keeps beating Jack at a trivia game, and other trivial matters, so Jack tries to best her in various areas. However, his attempts bomb, and he embarrasses himself at a beach carnival in front of guests.
17 "September Song" Dave Powers Martin Rips &
Joseph Staretski
February 12, 1985 (1985-02-12) 0118
Jack tries to cheer up James because James is feeling old. After Jack and James get drunk, James is arrested for urinating in public and ends up in court.
18 "Deeds of Trust" Dave Powers Mark Tuttle February 19, 1985 (1985-02-19) 0117

Jack's old friend from his Three's Company days, Larry Dallas, invites Jack to a swinging party he's throwing. When Vicky finds out about the party, she says that she doesn't mind, but really wishes he wouldn't go because his former love interest, "Greedy" Gretchen will also be there. Gretchen (Teresa Ganzel) puts the moves on Jack just as Vicky arrives.

Note: Richard Kline reprises his Three's Company role of Larry Dallas for this episode.
19 "The New Mr. Bradford" Dave Powers Phil Mishkin February 26, 1985 (1985-02-26) 0119
Jack saves James' life, and James suddenly finds Jack to be the son he never had.
20 "King For a Day" Dave Powers Mark Tuttle March 5, 1985 (1985-03-05) 0120
Jack's Bistro becomes the "in" place to eat in Santa Monica and Jack becomes a celebrity after a famous food critic gives his French fare a marvelous review. But Jack has forgotten his and Vicky's first anniversary and the cruise they were supposed to take.
21 "Jack Gets Trashed" Dave Powers Martin Rips &
Joseph Staretski
April 2, 1985 (1985-04-02) 0122
Jack goes to city hall to complain about the trash rate increase. When that doesn't work, he goes on a radio show called Beach Talk to air his complaints, and is stunned when James Bradford arrives to counter Jack's allegations as owner of Allied Waste Disposal.
22 "A Star Is Born" Dave Powers Michael Ross,
Bernie West &
George Burditt
April 9, 1985 (1985-04-09) 0121
Jack has stardom go to his head when he appears as a passenger along with Vicky in a commercial for her airline. But turbulence occurs on the set when Jack and the temperamental director get into a fight.

Reruns[edit]

Daytime reruns aired on ABC from September 23, 1985 to January 3, 1986, followed by another prime time run on USA Network. Some syndicated versions aired under the title Three's Company, Too, using an instrumental version of the theme song of Three's Company.

Six episodes of the series were aired on TV Land in September 2006, and four episodes were aired on WGN America in October 2008. Three's a Crowd also airs in Canada on DejaView. The series began airing on digital broadcast network Antenna TV in June 2011 (it aired—as Three's A Crowd with its "Side by Side" theme song—after each cycle of Three's Company concluded).[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Posted by Pavan -- SitcomsOnline.com (2010-12-16). "Our Exclusive Interview with Antenna TV's Sean Compton; KTLA Preview of Antenna TV; 2011 SAG Nominations — SitcomsOnline.com News Blog". Blog.sitcomsonline.com. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 

External links[edit]