Three's a Crowd

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Three's a Crowd
Three's a Crowd (title card).jpg
Also known asThree's Company, Too
Based onRobin's Nest
by Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke
Developed by
StarringJohn Ritter
Mary Cadorette
Robert Mandan
Alan Campbell
Theme music composerMichael Lloyd (music)
Al Kasha, Joel Hirschhorn,
Don Nicholl & Michael Lloyd (lyrics)
Opening theme"Side by Side"
Ending theme"Side by Side" (instrumental)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes22 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Michael Ross
Bernie West
George Burditt
Producer(s)Martin Rips
Joseph Staretski
George Sunga
Camera setupVideotape; Multi-camera
Running timeapprox. 23 minutes (per episode)
Production company(s)NRW Productions
Bergman-Taffner Productions
DistributorDLT Entertainment
FremantleMedia Enterprises (international)
Release
Original networkABC
Original releaseSeptember 25, 1984 (1984-09-25) –
April 9, 1985 (1985-04-09)
Chronology
Preceded byThree's Company
Related showsRobin's Nest

Three's a Crowd (also known as Three's Company, Too in the Three's Company syndication package) is an American sitcom television series produced as a spin-off continuation of Three's Company that aired on ABC from September 25, 1984 (only one week after the final episode of Three's Company was broadcast) until April 9, 1985, with reruns airing until September 10, 1985. It is loosely based on the British sitcom Robin's Nest, which was itself a spin-off of Man About the House, upon which Three's Company was based.

Plot[edit]

In Three's Company's final episodes, Vicky Bradford (Mary Cadorette) is introduced as a love interest of Jack Tripper (John Ritter), beginning with the episode titled "Cupid Works Overtime." In the following two-part episode, "Friends and Lovers", Jack proposes marriage, but Vicky, afraid of marriage after witnessing her parents' tumultuous relationship and bitter divorce, declines the offer. Vicky instead convinces Jack to move in with her in the vacant apartment above his restaurant. Vicky's wealthy father James Bradford (Robert Mandan) buys the building from Jack's former boss, Frank Angelino. James does not approve of Jack and he constantly tries to disrupt his and Vicky's relationship.

Other characters include E.Z. Taylor (Alan Campbell), Jack's eccentric assistant at the bistro, and Claudia Bradford (Jessica Walter), Vicky's mother and James' ex-wife.

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

Recurring[edit]

Production history[edit]

Three's Company had been based on the sitcom Man About the House, which aired on ITV in the United Kingdom from 1973 to 1976. When the series concluded, producers Brian Cooke and Johnnie Mortimer devised two spin-offs. The first was George and Mildred, which ran from 1976 to 1979 and starred Brian Murphy and Yootha Joyce as their George and Mildred Roper characters. The second spin-off was Robin's Nest, which ran from 1977 to 1981 and featured Richard O'Sullivan as Robin Tripp (the basis of the Jack Tripper character), who runs the titular restaurant along with his live-in girlfriend and her antagonistic father.

Three's Company's producers were eager to capitalize on these spin-offs. In 1979, they had spun off The Ropers, based on George and Mildred, but the show ran for only one and a half seasons. Executive producers Ted Bergmann and Don Taffner attempted to adapt the Robin's Nest series, but without John Ritter. A pilot for a series called Byrd's Nest was written with the same premise as Robin's Nest, with a young man living with his older girlfriend and her disapproving father, who owns the building in which they live. The series was planned as a spin-off from Three's Company and possibly a vehicle for Richard Kline, but ABC passed on the idea. As Three's Company entered its eighth season in September 1983, ratings took a dive in the face of stiff competition from the new NBC series The A-Team, and ABC approved the development of a new series to be called Three's a Crowd, starring Ritter.

Development and casting of the new series occurred in secret as Three's Company's eighth season progressed. Ritter's cast members Richard Kline, Joyce DeWitt, Priscilla Barnes and Don Knotts 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 DeWitt accidentally walked in on the auditions after visiting the studio to set up her dressing room at the end of the hiatus. Informed of the spin-off project and the looming cancellation of Three's Company, DeWitt was upset by the secrecy but soon reconciled with Ritter. She and Barnes found it difficult to tape the rest of the season, as both actresses learned that their characters would conclude with the series finale. Kline and Knotts were offered recurring roles on Three's a Crowd, but both declined the offer (Kline would make a guest appearance on the show in early 1985). Suzanne Somers reportedly lobbied to reprise her Three's Company character Chrissy Snow as Jack's love interest in the spin-off.

Transition[edit]

In transitioning from Three's Company to Three's a Crowd, series producers decided to follow the plot line of the British series. Season 8 of Three's Company drew to a close in a three-episode story arc. In the first of the three 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, the 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 finale, Janet marries Phillip, Terri moves to Hawaii. and Jack and Vicky profess their love for one another, but Vicky, the child of a bitter divorce, turns down Jack's marriage proposal. 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 has bought the building. 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 the Jack Tripper character was the lead role in Three's Company, the show featured an ensemble cast of three with some other series regulars. However, the new show was centered around Jack. Vicky, her parents and E.Z. played supporting roles. The new show also employed more slapstick comedy for Ritter. The events and characters of the previous show were not mentioned, except in a late-season episode in which Larry Dallas appears.

Ratings and cancellation[edit]

Three's a Crowd garnered moderate ratings, having to compete with The A-Team on NBC. When the 1984–85 television season finished, the show placed 39th out of 77 shows with a 14.5/22 rating/share[1]. This put the show on the fence with ABC, as it had enough of an audience to warrant renewal but its ratings paled in comparison to those of Three's Company's and The A-Team, which finished sixth for the season. The network would commit to only a half-season of 13 episodes to see how the series would place, and Ritter reportedly said that he would not return to the show unless a full season was ordered.[citation needed] Finally, ABC decided instead to pick up Diff'rent Strokes, which had just been canceled by NBC.

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
1"Family Affair"Dave PowersMichael Ross, Bernie West & George BurdittSeptember 25, 1984 (1984-09-25)0102
Jack lies to his visiting aunt (Billie Bird) to try to cover up his living arrangement with Vicky. Jack hires surfer E.Z. Taylor as his assistant at the restaurant.
2"The Happy Couple"Dave PowersMichael Ross, Bernie West & George BurdittOctober 9, 1984 (1984-10-09)0101
Jack and Vicky argue over money. Mr. Bradford offers to pay for sprinklers that Jack needs for the bistro if Jack can convince Vicky to marry him.
3"The Maternal Triangle"Dave PowersMartin Rips & Joseph StaretskiOctober 16, 1984 (1984-10-16)0103
To get Vicky to accept his standing marriage proposal, Jack attempts to reunite Vicky's divorced parents. First appearance of Mrs. Bradford.
4"Daddy's Little Girl"Dave PowersKaryl Geld Miller & Korby SiamisOctober 23, 1984 (1984-10-23)0106
James moves in to care for Vicky when she comes down with the measles.
5"Jack's Problem"Dave PowersMartin Rips & Joseph StaretskiOctober 30, 1984 (1984-10-30)0108
Jack seeks a psychologist's advice about his recent impotence. Vicky thinks Jack is cheating on her with E.Z.'s girlfriend Susie.
6"Vacation from Sex"Dave PowersMartin 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 PowersBudd GrossmanNovember 20, 1984 (1984-11-20)0105
When Jack is asked to identify a counterfeiter, Mr. Bradford appears in the police lineup.
8"The Honeymooners"Dave PowersLissa LevinNovember 27, 1984 (1984-11-27)0112
Aboard a flight to Acapulco, Jack mistakes an air marshal for hijacker. When they arrive, James crashes their vacation.
9"A Little Competition"Dave PowersDavid MirkinDecember 4, 1984 (1984-12-04)0104
Vicky's former boyfriend opens a seafood restaurant across from Jack's Bistro and makes Jack jealous.
10"A Foreign Affair"Dave PowersRich ReinhartDecember 11, 1984 (1984-12-11)0109
James tries to match his ex-wife with a business acquaintance, hoping to cease paying her alimony.
11"James Steps Out"Dave PowersMartin Rips & Joseph StaretskiDecember 18, 1984 (1984-12-18)0107
After James falls for a young artist, Jack tries to save him from heartbreak.
12"Father Knows Nothing"Dave PowersMarty FarrellJanuary 8, 1985 (1985-01-08)0113
Jack thinks Vicky is pregnant, but it's E.Z.'s dog who is expecting.
13"A Friend in Deed"Dave PowersStan Burns & Paul WayneJanuary 15, 1985 (1985-01-15)0111
Jack mistakenly believes that Vicky's friend is coming on to him.
14"A Case of Sour Grapes"Dave PowersNorman Chandler Fox & Mark TuttleJanuary 22, 1985 (1985-01-22)0114
Jack convinces Vicky to invest in a case of vintage wine, but when it turns out to be sour, he takes a job at a sushi house to repay her.
15"Private Lessons"Dave PowersPhil MishkinJanuary 29, 1985 (1985-01-29)0116
Jack grooms E.Z. for a date with a high-class girl who only seems interested in Jack.
16"One Ego to Go"Dave PowersMartin Rips, Joseph Staretski & Rich ReinhartFebruary 5, 1985 (1985-02-05)0115
With his ego bruised after to losing a trivia game to Vicky, Jack tries to best her but ends up embarrassing himself at a beach carnival in front of guests.
17"September Song"Dave PowersMartin Rips & Joseph StaretskiFebruary 12, 1985 (1985-02-12)0118
After Jack and James get drunk together, James is arrested for urinating in public and ends up in court.
18"Deeds of Trust"Dave PowersMark TuttleFebruary 19, 1985 (1985-02-19)0117
Jack's old friend Larry (Richard Kline) from Three's Company invites him to a swinging party where an old flame makes a move on Jack.
19"The New Mr. Bradford"Dave PowersPhil MishkinFebruary 26, 1985 (1985-02-26)0119
After Jack saves James' life, James finds Jack to be the son he never had.
20"King For a Day"Dave PowersMark TuttleMarch 5, 1985 (1985-03-05)0120
With his restaurant suddenly popular after a glowing review, Jack forgets about his and Vicky's first anniversary.
21"Jack Gets Trashed"Dave PowersMartin Rips & Joseph StaretskiApril 2, 1985 (1985-04-02)0122
Jack butts heads with James on a radio debate show.
22"A Star Is Born"Dave PowersMichael Ross, Bernie West & George BurdittApril 9, 1985 (1985-04-09)0121
When Jack and Vicky are cast in a commercial for her airline, Jack fights with the temperamental director.

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. The series began airing on digital broadcast network Antenna TV in June 2011 (as Three's a Crowd with its "Side by Side" theme song).[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=330683
  2. ^ 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]