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Man About the House
Man About The House opening screen
'Man About the House opening Screenshot
Basic Information
Created by: Brian Cooke and Johnnie Mortimer
Spinoffs/
Followed by:
George and Mildred
Robin's Nest
Related shows: Three's Company (US)
Sam sam (NL)
En Fyra för tre (SWE)
Tre på toppen (NOR)
Lokatorzy (POL)
Troe Sverhy (RUS)
El Hombre de la Casa (ECU)
Tres Son Multitud (CHI)
Cast Information
Executive Producer(s): Peter Frazer-Jones
Starring: Richard O'Sullivan
Paula Wilcox
Sally Thomsett
Yootha Joyce
Brian Murphy
Doug Fisher
Roy Kinnear
Norman Eshley
Distribution and Broadcast Information
Distributed by: Fremantle Media
First aired: August 15, 1973
Last aired: April 7, 1976
Seasons: 6 series
No. of episodes: 39 episodes + 1 short
Current status: Ended
Country: United Kingdom
TV Network: ITV
Three's Company Script

Man About the House is a British sitcom series starring Richard O'Sullivan, Paula Wilcox and Sally Thomsett that was broadcast for six series on ITV from 15 August 1973 to 7 April 1976. It was created and written by Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke. The series was considered daring at the time due to its subject matter of a man sharing a flat with two single women. It was made by Thames Television and recorded at their Teddington studios.

Two spin-off series were later made: George and Mildred and Robin's Nest. In 2004, it came 69th in a poll to find Britain's Best Sitcom. The series was remade in the United States as Three's Company in 1977. A film version of Man About the House was released in 1974.

CastEdit

PlotEdit

Young flatmates Chrissy and Jo find a stranger, student chef Robin Tripp, asleep in their bath the morning after the farewell party for their departed flatmate Eleanor. They are taken with Robin when they realise his culinary skills are far superior to their own. Apparently "Eleanor didn't leave the recipe for toast."

Chrissy and Jo are both from regional England and moved out on their own to live in London. They both work for the same firm. When he meets the two women, Robin has been in London two days, having moved from Southampton to attend college. The women are unimpressed with Gabrielle (Helen Fraser), a pushy young woman who arrives hoping to move in to Eleanor's room. Learning that Robin has been staying at the YMCA they easily convince him to move in.

Robin moves in on a platonic basis, and Chrissy tells the landlord George Roper that Robin is gay to pre-empt objections to the mixed-sex living arrangement. In the second episode, Robin's true sexuality becomes known to Mildred. Mildred openly flirts with Robin at every opportunity. Robin frequently acts in a flirtatious manner toward Chrissy and Jo. The women have no romantic interest and spurn his mild advances, and adapt to his presence in the flat.

Man About The House Cast

Roommates Chrissy (Paula Wilcox, left) Robin (Richard O'Sullivan) and Jo (Sally Thomsett, right) in a scene from Man About The House.

Landlord George Roper, in truth a sub-letting landlord placed by the council, is a bumbling, accident-prone and gullible man under the thumb of his domineering and sexually-frustrated wife Mildred. Mildred takes out her frustrations with George's lack of class and sexual inadequacy by making suggestive remarks to Robin and frequently siding with the tenants against George.

Robin's friend Larry, a lovable rogue, appears in two first season episodes. In the second season, he moves into the loft apartment and is a frequent source of trouble. Another occasional cast member is George's friend, dim schemer Jerry.

Robin's brother Norman Tripp (Norman Eshley) appears through the final season, and starts a romance with Chrissy. Norman Eshley had a previous guest role in the series two years earlier playing a different character, and was also a member of the main cast of the spin-off series George and Mildred in which, he played the Ropers' snobbish neighbour Jeffrey Fourmile.

EpisodesEdit

Main article: List of Man About the House episodes

First airing on 15 August 1973, Man About the House ran until 7 April 1976, after 39 episodes in six series. In addition, on Christmas Day, 25 December 1973, a short special aired as part of All-Star Comedy Carnival.

Theme musicEdit

Written by Johnny Hawksworth and entitled "Up to Date", it was not specially commissioned for the show, rather provided via the Production music company De Wolfe Music and most recently, made available in 1996 by independent record company Studio2Stereo on their CD "The Sound Gallery Volume Two". (Matrix number 7243 8 52990 2 5).

FilmEdit

Template:Infobox Film In 1974, a film version was made, starring all of the main cast of the series, and was a hit, taking ₤90,000 in London alone.[1] It was shot in March and April 1974.[2]

Spin Offs and RemakesEdit

After the series ended in 1976, two successful spin-off series followed. These were Robin's Nest where Robin gets married and opens a bistro, and George and Mildred where the Ropers move to the suburbs. The format for Man About The House was sold internationally, and it was remade in the United States as Three's Company in 1977, in the Netherlands as Sam sam in 1994, in Sweden as En fyra för tre in 1996, in Norway as Tre på toppen in 1997, in Poland as Lokatorzy in 2000, in Portugal as Camilo, o Pendura in 2002, in Russia as Troe Sverhy in 2006, and in Ecuador as El Hombre de la Casa and in Chile as Tres Son Multitud, both in 2007.

The American Three's Company also spawned the same spin-offs as Man About the House had: Three's a Crowd! and The Ropers, based upon Robin's Nest and George & Mildred, respectively.

BookEdit

Man About the House - George and Mildred : The Definitive Companion by Tex Fisher was published on 15 July 2010. The book includes contributions from many of the original cast, including Brian Murphy, Paula Wilcox, Sally Thomsett and Nicholas Bond-Owen (from George and Mildred). It explains the background and history of both programmes. ISBN 978-0-9565634-0-8. The book is published by Deck Chair Publishing.[3]

DVD releasesEdit

All six series have been released on DVD in the UK by Network DVD, as have George and Mildred and Robin's Nest.

Series 1 and 2 have had a US release as part of a 2-disc set by FremantleMedia.

Series 1 and 2 were released in Australia in 2004, but then suffered a delay in releasing further series due to contract re-negotiations (the same problem affected releases of George and Mildred and Bless This House). Series 3 was finally released on 16 July 2008, and Series 4 on 5 November 2008; however, it is no longer available. Series 5 and Series 6 are yet to be released. Series 1 was re-released on 2 April 2009, now with the same cover art as the UK edition. Freemantle Media re-released Series 1 on 3 March 2011 with new cover art and it is unknown whether Fremantle Media will release this remaining series.[4]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Marcus Hearn & Alan Barnes, The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films, Titan Books, 2007 p 151
  2. Tom Johnson and Deborah Del Vecchio, Hammer Films: An Exhaustive Filmography, McFarland, 1996 p375
  3. http://www.deckchairpublishing.co.uk/#/titles/4540234264
  4. Man About the House - Series 1

External linksEdit

Three's Company
Characters

Jack Tripper | Janet Wood | Chrissy Snow | Cindy Snow | Terri Alden | Stanley Roper | Helen Roper | Ralph Furley | Larry Dallas | Lana Shields

Actors
John Ritter | Joyce DeWitt | Suzanne Somers | Jenilee Harrison | Priscilla Barnes | Norman Fell | Don Knotts | Richard Kline | Ann Wedgeworth
See also:
List of episodes | Behind the Camera
British TV/Spinoff shows:
Man About The House | George and Mildred | Robin's Nest | The Ropers | Three's A Crowd

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