'Three's Company': THR's 1977 Review
On March 15, 1977, ABC premiered a new sitcom at 9:30 p.m., Three's Company, which would go on to have an eight-season run at the network. The Hollywood Reporter's original review of the first episode is below.
The idea of two young women sharing their apartment with a man sounds like a lot of fun, but, as realized in this new series, it's all terribly coy.
The girls are ever so hip as they quip about their pregnant ex-roommate who is having her honeymoon in the maternity ward; their landlord has a wife whose main activity seems to be the verbal emasculation of him, and the young man — who presumably has proved his manhood by acting goonish over the prettiest of the girls — cheerfully accepts being labeled "gay." Apparently this uptight landlord will tolerate "homo" where he forbids "hetero" — you figure it out.
Suzanne Somers is the pretty blonde who hopefully types better than she burns toast; Joyce DeWitt is the pretty brunette who warns their new roommate, "One false move and we send you to the vet" (she's clearly taking lessons from her landlady); Audra Lindley is the dotty wife of landlord Norman Fell, and they are both so good one can only hope they get to a marriage counselor soon; John Ritter is the gentleman caller about whose sexual proclivities we will always wonder; Kit McDonough is really funny as a lumpish Sarah Lawrence type looking for congenial roommates.
The series is developed and produced by Don Nicholl, Michael Ross and Bernie West, who are responsible for writing this preview episode; Bill Hobin directs with a brightness that hurts the eyes; executive story consultants are Paul Waye and George Burditt; this is based on a Thames TV program, Man About the House, which was created by John Mortimer and Brian Cooke. This is an NRW production in association with TTC Prods. — Morna Murphy, originally published on March 15, 1977