MONDO EXTRAS

Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three’s Company

NBC, November 1975, same funk-o-rama music. Now Ted and The Other Guy are in a cafeteria talking to a couple of NBC suits, who seem put off by the idea of a "gay male lead." I suspect that if the NBC suits had really understood the sensibility of the show with regard to gay people, they wouldn't have been troubled by it. It's not exactly getting a memorial float at the Pride parade, if you get my point.

Cut to the ABC meeting, where Ted and The Other Guy are still pitching and pursuing, clearly having already been turned down. One of the ABC suits -- who will, for reasons that will soon become obvious, be known as The Exposition Suits -- points out that the network would never promote men and women living together who aren't married. The Exposition Suits stomp off, muttering that they at ABC want nice family fare. Somewhere, Erica Kane Martin Martin Cudahy Chandler Buerge Firestone Clinton Seacrest Vartan is laughing rather enthusiastically. Ted and his tropical-print shirt and gray suit, and The Other Guy and his yellow suit and burgundy tie, are left agog.

Now, we are taken inside the offices of Fred Silverman, ABC's new programming chief, and -- my God, that's Brian Dennehy! What the hell happened there, Brian? Did you run out of movies that needed a tough but fair authority figure? Or did that Bobby Knight thing pretty much kill your career in serious drama? Oy. Anyway, Fred is angrily telling the Exposition Suits that he thinks that if they put the Vietnam War on ABC, it would be cancelled in thirteen weeks. Heh. They look at each other uneasily. Fred exposits, as he gestures meaningfully with his cigar, that he turned things around at CBS and can do the same for ABC, dammit. Fred then stands up and notices that his head is practically bonking into several hanging lamps. "Who the hell worked here, Billy Barty?" he asks. Snerk. Okay, that was a little bit funny. The Exposition Suits look at each other uneasily some more. Fred miserably surveys the ABC lineup, muttering about the Captain and Tennille, and something called Holmes and Yo-Yo, and something else called Mr. T. and Tina, which doesn't even involve that Mr. T, although it did have Pat Morita. "This family-friendly stuff is death!" Fred barks. "Anybody bring us anything sexy?" The suits look at each other uneasily even more. "Well, there was this one show," Exposition Suit #1 says. "Was it sexy?" Fred demands. "Actually, we passed on it because it was too sexy," Exposition Suit #1 says. Fred! Is! Furious! Who ever heard of passing on anything because it was too sexy? My sentiments exactly, brother Fred. "Buy it!" he yells.

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Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three’s Company NBC, November 1975, same funk-o-rama music. Now Ted and The Other Guy are in a cafeteria talking to a couple of NBC suits, who seem put off by the idea of a "gay male lead." I suspect that if the NBC suits had really understood the sensibility of the show with regard to gay people, they wouldn't have been troubled by it. It's not exactly getting a memorial float at the Pride parade, if you get my point. Cut to the ABC meeting, where Ted and The Other Guy are still pitching and pursuing, clearly having already been turned down. One of the ABC suits -- who will, for reasons that will soon become obvious, be known as The Exposition Suits -- points out that the network would never promote men and women living together who aren't married. The Exposition Suits stomp off, muttering that they at ABC want nice family fare. Somewhere, Erica Kane Martin Martin Cudahy Chandler Buerge Firestone Clinton Seacrest Vartan is laughing rather enthusiastically. Ted and his tropical-print shirt and gray suit, and The Other Guy and his yellow suit and burgundy tie, are left agog. Now, we are taken inside the offices of Fred Silverman, ABC's new programming chief, and -- my God, that's Brian Dennehy! What the hell happened there, Brian? Did you run out of movies that needed a tough but fair authority figure? Or did that Bobby Knight thing pretty much kill your career in serious drama? Oy. Anyway, Fred is angrily telling the Exposition Suits that he thinks that if they put the Vietnam War on ABC, it would be cancelled in thirteen weeks. Heh. They look at each other uneasily. Fred exposits, as he gestures meaningfully with his cigar, that he turned things around at CBS and can do the same for ABC, dammit. Fred then stands up and notices that his head is practically bonking into several hanging lamps. "Who the hell worked here, Billy Barty?" he asks. Snerk. Okay, that was a little bit funny. The Exposition Suits look at each other uneasily some more. Fred miserably surveys the ABC lineup, muttering about the Captain and Tennille, and something called Holmes and Yo-Yo, and something else called Mr. T. and Tina, which doesn't even involve that Mr. T, although it did have Pat Morita. "This family-friendly stuff is death!" Fred barks. "Anybody bring us anything sexy?" The suits look at each other uneasily even more. "Well, there was this one show," Exposition Suit #1 says. "Was it sexy?" Fred demands. "Actually, we passed on it because it was too sexy," Exposition Suit #1 says. Fred! Is! Furious! Who ever heard of passing on anything because it was too sexy? My sentiments exactly, brother Fred. "Buy it!" he yells.

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