Friday, June 2, 2017

Origin of a Classic: Pilots for Three's Company (1976)

We all know Three's Company was part of the "jiggle TV" that got ABC in so much trouble with parents'  groups in the late 70's. What you don't know is that it took more than one pilot for ABC to accept the Americanized version of Johnnie Mortimer & Brian Cooke's Man About The House.

The first pilot has some slight alterations from the version we all know & love. John Ritter, Audra Lindley, & Norman Fell were the only ones who continued when they shot the 2nd pilot.

Valerie Curtin is one of the co-stars in the first pilot:

Here, the Ropers are George & Mildred, which would also be the title of the UK spin-off from House.

The second pilot had Susan Lanier as Chrissy, but as you all know, Suzanne Somers would later land the part when Three's Company finally goes to series. The first pilot would be reshot as the series premiere. In the second pilot, Jack Tripper (Ritter) has already moved in with Chrissy (Lanier) and Janet (Joyce DeWitt).

Valerie Curtin would later co-star in the series version of the 1980 movie, 9-To-5. As for Susan Lanier, she seems to have dropped off the face of the earth.

No ratings. Just a public service.

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