CLOSE
Getty Images
Getty Images

Watch the Original Unaired Three's Company Pilot

Getty Images
Getty Images

It’s standard practice in television to shoot a pilot episode of a proposed show in order for a network to get it greenlit and picked up, as they say in the biz. Sometimes the pilot needs to be fine-tuned and recast, so a second one is filmed. But in the case of Three’s Company, it took three different pilots before ABC finally added it to their schedule.

This is the very first pilot, and fans of the sitcom can have a field day playing “spot the differences.” John Ritter’s character is named David Bell (instead of Jack Tripper) and he’s an aspiring filmmaker who learned his mad cooking skills from a two-week stint at the Pup & Knish. The two women roommates were named Jenny and Samantha and were played by Valerie Curtin (Jane’s cousin) and Suzanne Zenor. Samantha was blonde and squeaky-voiced, but lacked the endearing naiveté of the character that eventually became Chrissy. Mr. Roper (named George here) was still a dud in the boudoir, but his wife seemed to be pretty nonchalant about her husband’s lack of libido.

Watch for yourself:

ABC liked the script, and network honcho Fred Silverman in particular was enthusiastic about Three’s Company; the British version, Man about the House, had been a big hit in the U.K. and he was looking for some “racier” programming to shake up the prime time line-up. He enlisted the help of Don Nicholl, Michael Ross, and Bernie West, who’d had great success in adapting All in the Family from the BBC’s Till Death do Us Part, and their first suggestion was to re-cast the roles of the female roommates. They hired Joyce DeWitt to play the wise-cracking dark-haired roommate (now named Janet), and shot a second pilot with Susan Lanier as Chrissy. Close, but still not quite right, ABC said. You need a different Chrissy. Auditions were held and Suzanne Somers was chosen personally by Fred Silverman just days before the series went into production.

Thanks to Adam Feldman for putting this out there on Twitter, and Alan Sepinwall for retweeting it so we could see it.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
arrow
holidays
40 Years Later: Watch The Johnny Cash Christmas Show
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Over the course of his career, Johnny Cash made a series of Christmas TV specials and recorded a string of Christmas records. In this 1977 TV performance, Cash is in great form. He brings special guests Roy Clark, June Carter Cash, The Carter Family, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison ("Pretty Woman" starts around 23:50), Carl Perkins, and the Statler Brothers. Tune in for Christmas as we celebrated it 40 years ago—with gigantic shirt collars, wavy hair, and bow ties. So many bow ties.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
© 2017 USPS
arrow
Pop Culture
Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios