Gay hiking

Three’s Company, the 70s sitcom that explored taboos for fun

Reelz

company of three is the beloved 70s American sitcom that aired for eight seasons on the ABC network from 1977 to 1984. The series is known not only for its classic actors and actresses like John Ritter, Suzanne Sommersand Joyce Dewittbut also for pulling back the curtain on what was then considered taboo by placing a gay man living with two sexy single female roommates front and center on television screens across the country.

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But despite the arguably controversial and taboo material, the show virtually became an instant hit. Just like that, the name company of three became a household name in homes across the country, and the sitcom’s three main characters essentially became the poster children of “Jiggle TV” and breakout TV who weren’t afraid to explore and deconstruct gender and sexual taboos that no network or TV show has dared to try before.

Now the whole behind-the-scenes story of company of three is once again airing on televisions around the world in the next REELZ documentary special Three’s Company: The Untold Storyand Radar is here with your very first full and exclusive look at the can’t-miss special.

“You didn’t really talk about gay or gay issues, so that was an area where company of three was a little pissed, says the TV historian Jim Colucciwho is one of many people featured in the documentary.

“The landlord didn’t really care that Jack was gay, he just didn’t want any gentleman in the house to have premarital sex,” adds Rob Shuterthe host of Naughty but nice podcast and which is also featured throughout the special.

But despite their modest acting careers before landing all three lead roles on the hit sitcom, Three’s Company: The Untold Story argues – rather correctly – that it was the on-screen comedy between the trio that made Ritter, Sommers and Dewitt superstars.

“People forget what a talented physical actor John Ritter was,” says Tom Kellya well-known comedian in his own right who was interviewed for the documentary.

“Susan Sommers has become the star of the show,” Shuter adds later in the special.

“Joyce Dewitt as ‘Janet’ is a comedic genius,” adds Danko Jones of The Regal Beagle Podcast.

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But although the main trio was truly loved by audiences around the world, it didn’t take long before things took a dramatic turn for the worse. The documentary does a great job of exploring why Suzanne Somers – who was as famous as Ritter – felt compelled to make a sudden and controversial exit from the hit primetime show.

“She came in and she asked for a huge raise, she wanted to earn exactly the same as her male co-star,” Shuter recalled.

“ABC told him to go for a hike,” says historian Colucci.

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If you think this is all interesting, wait until you find out how much there is still to learn in Three’s Company: The Untold Story which premieres Saturday, March 5 at 8 ET/PT on REELZ.

Watch REELZ on DIRECTV 238, Dish Network 299, Verizon FiOS 692, AT&T U-verse 1799 and in HD on cable systems and streaming services nationwide. Find REELZ on your local cable or satellite provider at reelz.com/get-reelz/