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Old 06-17-2019, 09:03 PM   #16
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John Ritter did not want the Ropers removed from the show. The show was a big hit, and the producers chose to follow the blueprint of the British original, where the landlords also got their own spinoff. Later on, they continued to follow the pattern of the original, with the male lead getting his own spinoff series where he moved in with a new girlfriend above a restaurant he ran.

As for Suzanne Somers: virtually the entire cast and crew wanted her gone after her antics at the beginning of the 1980-81 season.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:04 PM   #17
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What makes you believe that John wanted these cast members off the show? I have never heard anyone or even John make statements about wanting certain cast members off the show for his own benefit.

When the Roper's left the show, Three's Company did not revolve around Jack any more or less that I noticed. Suzanne was off the show due to her own making, she really disrupted the show.
Three's Company went through quite a few changes during the eight seasons (actually the first season was a quarter of a season), all the changes had one thing in common, they all benefited John Ritter and no one else. Let's look at them:

Stanley (Norman Fell) and Helen (Audra Lindley) Roper were breakout characters on Three's Company, they were removed from the show moving on to there own series. Fell (I don't know about Lindley) requested a stipulation in his contract to return to Three's Company should the spin off fail, he was turned down. While uncommon there were examples of unsuccessful spin offs where the character(s) placed in the new series came back to the original series, the character of Lisa Hughes was returned to the World Turns after Our Private World failed, the character of Grady was returned to Sanford and Son after Grady failed, Florence returned to The Jeffersons after Checking In failed. Fell was concerned about the viability of The Ropers (and as it turned out with good reason).


Suzanne Somers and her husband have managed her career brilliantly and they saw what was happening on Three's Company. It was about salary, but it was also about the direction the series was taking. The 70's was an era where talent could be a bit disruptive, Carroll O'Connor, Redd Foxx, Demon Wilson, Esther Rolle just to name a few had issues with the production company they were working for the issues were resolved. In this case the issues weren't resolved, and Chrissy was a breakout character disappears.

Jenilee Harrison briefly replaces Suzanne, and I thought did a very good job, mysteriously her character is moved to the side and becomes a minor character.

Priscilla Barnes is brought in but rather than developing a new distinctive character for her she was conscripted to playing a blond Janet.

It's pretty clear Ritter wanted one star, look at the next series (Three's A Crowd) ,a strong female lead was a must for that series and look who gets cast, Mary Cadorette, a competent actress but ill-suited for this major role.
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:02 PM   #18
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Three's Company went through quite a few changes during the eight seasons (actually the first season was a quarter of a season), all the changes had one thing in common, they all benefited John Ritter and no one else. Let's look at them:

Stanley (Norman Fell) and Helen (Audra Lindley) Roper were breakout characters on Three's Company, they were removed from the show moving on to there own series. Fell (I don't know about Lindley) requested a stipulation in his contract to return to Three's Company should the spin off fail, he was turned down. While uncommon there were examples of unsuccessful spin offs where the character(s) placed in the new series came back to the original series, the character of Lisa Hughes was returned to the World Turns after Our Private World failed, the character of Grady was returned to Sanford and Son after Grady failed, Florence returned to The Jeffersons after Checking In failed. Fell was concerned about the viability of The Ropers (and as it turned out with good reason).


Suzanne Somers and her husband have managed her career brilliantly and they saw what was happening on Three's Company. It was about salary, but it was also about the direction the series was taking. The 70's was an era where talent could be a bit disruptive, Carroll O'Connor, Redd Foxx, Demon Wilson, Esther Rolle just to name a few had issues with the production company they were working for the issues were resolved. In this case the issues weren't resolved, and Chrissy was a breakout character disappears.

Jenilee Harrison briefly replaces Suzanne, and I thought did a very good job, mysteriously her character is moved to the side and becomes a minor character.

Priscilla Barnes is brought in but rather than developing a new distinctive character for her she was conscripted to playing a blond Janet.

It's pretty clear Ritter wanted one star, look at the next series (Three's A Crowd) ,a strong female lead was a must for that series and look who gets cast, Mary Cadorette, a competent actress but ill-suited for this major role.
Suzanne Somers solely wanted more money on the misguided belief that the sole reason people were watching was because of her perceived fanservice, and actually forced some of the crew members to shoot her scenes after hours when pretty much everyone else had gone home for the day, just because it was so awkward for her to be even in the same room with John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt. As for Norman Fell and Audra Lindley, the reason why they didn't return was that Don Knotts had done such a terrific job replacing them, that the producers did not want to "rock the boat."
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:53 PM   #19
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Suzanne Somers solely wanted more money on the misguided belief that the sole reason people were watching was because of her perceived fanservice, and actually forced some of the crew members to shoot her scenes after hours when pretty much everyone else had gone home for the day, just because it was so awkward for her to be even in the same room with John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt. As for Norman Fell and Audra Lindley, the reason why they didn't return was that Don Knotts had done such a terrific job replacing them, that the producers did not want to "rock the boat."
You're wrong. Fell requested the return stipulation be placed in his contract prior to The Ropers, the production company refused. Knotts was a pro, I'm not questioning that, but his best years were behind him, he wanted a steady paycheck and he knew how to survive without stepping on toes. His character never had the impact The Ropers had.

With respect to Somers, it was the production company that made the decision on shooting her separate from the rest of the cast. Somers career was brilliantly managed, she want star dollars (so did Ritter) but she also wanted to sure the show didn't go from Three's Company to Jack and Company.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:38 PM   #20
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I always thought that Norman Fell had a stipulation that he could return to Three's Company if The Ropers only lasted a season or less and that the producers wouldn't let him and Audra Lindley back on Three's Company because The Ropers lasted for just a little longer than a full season.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:17 AM   #21
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I always thought that Norman Fell had a stipulation that he could return to Three's Company if The Ropers only lasted a season or less and that the producers wouldn't let him and Audra Lindley back on Three's Company because The Ropers lasted for just a little longer than a full season.
This is what Norman Fell and Audra Lindley have always stated before their deaths, so I tend to believe this. I also think glickmam is spot on with his assessment on the situation.
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:51 PM   #22
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John Ritter did not want the Ropers removed from the show. The show was a big hit, and the producers chose to follow the blueprint of the British original, where the landlords also got their own spinoff. Later on, they continued to follow the pattern of the original, with the male lead getting his own spinoff series where he moved in with a new girlfriend above a restaurant he ran.

As for Suzanne Somers: virtually the entire cast and crew wanted her gone after her antics at the beginning of the 1980-81 season.
With respect to the British blueprint, the landlord series was only developed after the orginal series (Man About The House) had concluded its run.


With respect to Somers (and consistent with the topic of this thread), Ritter wanted to be the star of Three's Company everything that happened around that series benefited him and no one else, the issues with Somers could have been worked out and they weren't, and that is no accident.
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:58 PM   #23
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This is what Norman Fell and Audra Lindley have always stated before their deaths, so I tend to believe this. I also think glickmam is spot on with his assessment on the situation.
I guess we're going to have to agree to disagree here. I don't know about Lindley, but Fell clearly felt he was railroaded off the series. You take a look at everything else that happened (as I noted above), all to benefit of one party, the bitterness after the series ended, but before Ritter in death achieved icon status, and I think it's clear what went on behind the scenes. As I said everyone is entitled to their opinion.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:13 AM   #24
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With respect to Somers (and consistent with the topic of this thread), Ritter wanted to be the star of Three's Company everything that happened around that series benefited him and no one else, the issues with Somers could have been worked out and they weren't, and that is no accident.

If this is true, it's disheartening to know. I always liked Ritter and to learn he was like that with regard to the show is a bitter pill to swallow. To me Three's Company was an ensemble cast where all 3 original room-mates were on equal standing in my eyes.

When I watched as a kid in the 70's, I never thought one person was the "star", but all 3 of them were. Hence the title, "Three's Company" which refers to all 3 of them.

It's possible that Ritter & Somers were both divas with star complexes and clashed with Somers eventually getting the boot.

If only all 3 of them would have banded together in solidarity like the "Friends" cast did 2 decades later, things would probably have been different. Those actors on "Friends" had the right attitude where they all perceived each other to be on equal footing with no one pulling the star diva act.

And I think it would have been a better show had they reconciled their issues and Somers stayed for the full 8 seasons. When she left, the show lost some of it's luster and I only enjoy watching the Somers seasons now on Antenna TV.
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Old 06-20-2019, 06:06 PM   #25
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If this is true, it's disheartening to know. I always liked Ritter and to learn he was like that with regard to the show is a bitter pill to swallow. To me Three's Company was an ensemble cast where all 3 original room-mates were on equal standing in my eyes.

When I watched as a kid in the 70's, I never thought one person was the "star", but all 3 of them were. Hence the title, "Three's Company" which refers to all 3 of them.

It's possible that Ritter & Somers were both divas with star complexes and clashed with Somers eventually getting the boot.

If only all 3 of them would have banded together in solidarity like the "Friends" cast did 2 decades later, things would probably have been different. Those actors on "Friends" had the right attitude where they all perceived each other to be on equal footing with no one pulling the star diva act.

And I think it would have been a better show had they reconciled their issues and Somers stayed for the full 8 seasons. When she left, the show lost some of it's luster and I only enjoy watching the Somers seasons now on Antenna TV.
Good comments. I agree the show was a favorite of mine during the Somers years but after she left the show really went downhill. This is no criticism of either Harrison or Barnes both were talented actresses who were not given the opportunity to develop their characters. Joyce DeWitt was hurt by the fact that the Terri Alden character was too similar to the Janet Wood character.
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Old 06-20-2019, 07:42 PM   #26
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With respect to the British blueprint, the landlord series was only developed after the orginal series (Man About The House) had concluded its run.


With respect to Somers (and consistent with the topic of this thread), Ritter wanted to be the star of Three's Company everything that happened around that series benefited him and no one else, the issues with Somers could have been worked out and they weren't, and that is no accident.

Ritter was ALWAYS and already considered the star of the show. He was paid more than the other cast members. I do not see how the chain of events of the cast members changing benefited Ritter in any way with his star status

On top of Suzanne Somer's demands for a HUGE salary increase, she failed to show up for work one to many times and that was it. ABC finally said enough also!
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:42 PM   #27
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:51 AM   #28
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The "Alice" comments reminded me of how the same thing might have happened with Lisa Bonet of "The Cosby Show". She was given her own spinoff "A Different World", which was great for the one season she was on it with Marisa Tomei, who I simply adored, but then she was fired after that one season and didn't return to "Cosby" for a long time. Both series went downhill after that year.
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Old 06-21-2019, 11:36 AM   #29
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The "Alice" comments reminded me of how the same thing might have happened with Lisa Bonet of "The Cosby Show". She was given her own spinoff "A Different World", which was great for the one season she was on it with Marisa Tomei, who I simply adored, but then she was fired after that one season and didn't return to "Cosby" for a long time. Both series went downhill after that year.
Bonet was written off A Different World because she was pregnant with her and husband Lenny Kravitz's child. Also, A Different World lasted for six seasons and became more critically acclaimed when Bonet left, so I hardly say it went downhill.
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:57 PM   #30
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With respect to the British blueprint, the landlord series was only developed after the orginal series (Man About The House) had concluded its run.
TC was as huge hit. The American producers weren’t going to wait until the show ended to try to develop a spinoff.
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With respect to Somers (and consistent with the topic of this thread), Ritter wanted to be the star of Three's Company everything that happened around that series benefited him and no one else, the issues with Somers could have been worked out and they weren't, and that is no accident.
That contradicts everything I’ve read about the show and about Ritter. The producers were the driving force behind that show. The Chris Mann “Come and Knock on Our Door” book is meticulously researched, and has quotes from cast about how the producers were the parents, and the actors were treated like children. Yes, things could have been worked out with Suzanne at the end and she basically capitulated. But the producers wanted to punish her. Suzanne tells a story of her final encounter with Michael Ross, and it leaves no doubt about who was in charge and made the decision about her departure.
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