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Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of 'Three's Company' (2003)

An insider's look at the unfunny side of comedic success on network television.


Jason Ensler


Elisa Bell


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Melanie Paxson ... Joyce DeWitt (as Melanie Deanne Moore)
Bret Anthony Bret Anthony ... John Ritter
Jud Tylor ... Suzanne Somers
Brian Dennehy ... Fred Silverman
Wallace Langham ... Jay
Daniel Roebuck ... Ted Bergman
Michael David Simms Michael David Simms ... Don Taffner
Gregg Binkley ... Don Knotts
Barbara Gordon Barbara Gordon ... Audra Lindley
Joyce DeWitt ... Herself - Hostess
Rick Skene ... Alpha Beta director
Terence Kelly ... Norman Fell
Christopher Shyer ... Alan Hamel
Gary Hudson ... Tony Thomopolous
David Lewis ... Ira Denmark


'Three's Company', the comedy centered on two attractive, young women who made the rent on their Santa Monica beach-side apartment by taking in a third roommate - a male forced to pretend he's gay to fool the landlords and the girls' parents. The series rocketed in the ratings as an instant hit - despite the outcry of critics and moralists - who objected to the double-entendres and quasi-sexual hijinks on the show. However, the true behind-the-scenes story of 'Three's Company' will expose a once idyllic workplace that deteriorated into a battleground beset by business dealings, contact disputes, cast rivalries, clashes between producers and network executives and finally, a round of cast replacements which hastened the demise of the show. Written by PB

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Jealousy. Deception. Betrayal. Welcome to America's favorite comedy.


Drama | Comedy

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

5 May 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Vivre à trois: Derrière la caméra See more »

Filming Locations:

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


When executives are pitching the show to CBS, an actual clip from Man About the House (1973), the original British series, is used. See more »


As Suzanne picks up the paper on her front lawn, the articles inside read "How Dumb is Anna Nicole" and "Love in the Fast Lane for Ben and J.Lo" See more »


Joyce DeWitt - Host: Every time we did it was sure ecstasy.
Joyce DeWitt - Host: We would go out there to shoot the show and no matter what happened during the week, no matter how challenging it was to get the show ready, no matter how difficult the stuff that might have been going down at the time in the business part of life.
Joyce DeWitt - Host: Every time we did that show, curtain up, light the lights.
Joyce DeWitt - Host: We're out there in front of the audience it was sure ecstasy.
Joyce DeWitt - Host: It was like being shot out of a canon at Disneyland.
Joyce DeWitt - Host: Every single time, every single time.
Joyce DeWitt - Host:
Joyce DeWitt - Host:
See more »


References Starsky and Hutch (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

Fair But Not Good
31 May 2003 | by aesgaard41See all my reviews

I loved Three's Company when it was on, but this movie does not give it it a very good treatment. The whole movie comes off as very rushed with the series development and the first season all revealed within the first thirty minutes and then a segue straight into the Suzanne Somers travesty when her head became bigger than her chest. In fact, the movie has an eerie quality as if it was filmed by the crew from Sixty Minutes, but then, this is a ABC series being done by NBC. The pace was way too fast like a recreation from America's Most Wanted on steroids. The set didn't look very good; it looked like it was built as a high school set. In fact, it looked a lot better when it was recreated on that episode of "Eight Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter." They should have borrowed that set. And the background Seventies motif in the "real-world" was too awful. Did it really look like that back then ? Bret Anthony pulls off a fair John Ritter impression, but he just lacks the charm and panache of the original; there will never be another Ritter. The slapstick was just bad; Ritter does it better. Judy Taylor was a passable Suzanne, but then I never saw the fuss in Somers; I thought she was way over-rated. I loved Melanie Deanna Moore ! She is just too adorable and perfect for Joyce. Nice to see her in something else besides those glad commercials. I just didn't buy the young guy playing Don Knotts and couldn't believe they omitted Richard Kline entirely. I thought Company was best when it was around Kline, Ritter and Knotts and they dropped the tired husband and wife routines. There were brief parts with Priscilla Barnes, and my favorite roommate Jenilee Harrison is just barely given a scene. Some of the behind the scenes quotes I know were lifted from real life. Brian Dennehy looks and acts like the Skipper from Gilligan's Island corrupted by Hollywood; he just has one obnoxious producer scene too many. On a whole, I'd say the movie was fair, but I'm glad I watched it, but I do believe it could have been done much better.

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