Game Shows Wiki
Wink Martindale (1969)
Jim Peck (1978–1980)
Alan Thicke (1999–2000)
Johnny Jacobs (1978–1980)
Randy West (1999–2000)
Bob Hilton (sub, 2000)
Unsold Pilot: 1969
3's a crowd pilot.jpg
Pilots: December 1978 and 1979
Three's A Crowd Pic 1.jpg
Syndication (Daily): September 17, 1979 to February 1, 1980
Game Show Network (Daily): November 29, 1999 to April 2000
Chuck Barris Productions (1969–1980)
The Phil Gurin Company (1999–2000)
Firestone Syndication (1978–1980)
Columbia TriStar Television Distribution (1999–2000)

OPENING SPIEL #1 (Syndication): "From the Chuck Barris stages in Hollywood, California, it's 3's a Crowd! (Yes, it's 3's a Crowd,) The game that determines who knows the husband best, his wife, or his secretary. And now, let's meet the husbands… (insert three husbands about facts). Those are our husbands for today, and here's your host, the star of 3's a Crowd, Jim Peck."

OPENING SPIEL #2 (GSN): "Let's meet today's 3's a Crowd trios… We got (insert three middle persons and their friends from both sides). Today, we'll find out who knows who better on All-New 3's a Crowd. And now, (insert funny fact), Alan Thicke!"

REST OF SPIEL (GSN): "Thank you. Hi, everybody, and welcome to the All-New 3's a Crowd. Here's what we do, we take three people, add two of the most important folks of their lives, and find out who knows them better."

3's a Crowd (and All-New 3's a Crowd) was a game show that determined who knows who better.

Syndicated version[]

Hosted by Jim Peck, this version's tagline was "Who knows a man better, his wife or his secretary?" It bore many similarities to Barris' The Newlywed Game. Three sets of husband-wife-secretary teams appeared, and the game started with the men answering three questions, usually referencing their wives and secretaries in ways that would lead to potential marital discord.

The secretaries then were brought back to answer the same questions, followed by the wives. Whichever team (wives or secretaries) matched the men's answers more often split a $1,000 prize ($333.33 each or $166.67 if the wives & secretaries tied). The men received an announced prize for their participation.

Broadcast history[]

Because of the show's premise of adultery and sexual innuendo, 3's a Crowd immediately attracted strong criticism from both feminists and conservative religious activists. According to Barris in his first autobiography, The Game Show King, the protests against the show (as well as the sometimes-evident lack of fun the contestants seemed to be having on it) prompted him to retreat from television production entirely.

At the time, Barris' company had three other shows on the air: revivals of both The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game, and the still-running syndicated The Gong Show. Barris wrote that "The public backlash from 3's a Crowd not only caused the program to be canceled, but it took three other TV shows of mine with it. I went to my house in Malibu and stayed there for a year." Indeed, it was largely due to the backlash from 3's a Crowd that ratings for all of his other shows (including the still-popular Gong Show) plummeted and were removed from the air by the start of the next television season.

The series was replaced on February 4 by a revival of Camouflage, also produced by Barris. This show also failed and was canceled after thirteen weeks, largely due to poor clearances due to its being a weekly series as opposed to a daily "strip", the former of which had fallen out of favor with TV stations by 1980.

GSN version[]

This version was hosted by Alan Thicke. GSN defused its remake, produced by sister company Sony Pictures Television, markedly. The wives-secretaries pairings were replaced by pairings such as wife-ex-girlfriend, wife-brother, girlfriend-best friend, girlfriend-mother and such. Just as often, a female would be the central subject with the pairings altered appropriately.

Round 1[]

As in the original, the middle people were asked three questions about their significant others. The significant others were asked the same questions when they returned altogether. Each time a significant other made a match, they scored 5 points.

Round 2[]

The tables were turned as the significant others were asked three questions about their mate. The middle people were asked the same questions when they returned altogether. This time, whenever a significant other made a match, they scored 10 points.

Round 3: Fast Match Round[]

Each middle person was given four words/phrases that could or could not relate to them. They had to answer with one of three possible choices such as, "Be There", "Wouldn't Dare", "No Fair"; "I Win", "I Lose", "It's a Draw" etc. (so, in other words, choice A would be a "Yes" answer, choice B would be a "No" answer, and choice C would be a "Maybe" answer) Before they answered, each significant other had to lock in their predictions to how their mates would answer. Once again each match was worth 10 points. For a possible grand total of 85 points.

Originally, the middle person made the choice of an answer after locking in their answer; in Season 2 the person now held the card (like in the first round) to show the answer after they locked it in.

Unlike the original, the significant others didn't work as a team; it was everyone for himself/herself. The significant other with the most points at show's end won $1,000. The central characters, as before, received an unannounced prize for participating.

End-of-Show Disclaimers[]

"The core player is paid an honorarium to participate in the program." - (1999-2000)

"The Core Player is paid an honorarium to participate and the Core Player may be briefed as to some areas of questioning prior to taping." - (2000)

Trade ads[]

SYN Version[]

GSN Version[]

Interactive version[]

GSN had their own interactive version of All-New 3's A Crowd where you were allowed to play an Interactive version of the show with "WebTV".


Television Center Studios, Los Angeles, CA (Syndicated version)
Media City Teleproduction Center, Burbank, CA (Season 1) (GSN version)
Raleigh Studios, Los Angeles, CA (Season 2) (GSN version)


Lee Ringuette (Syndicated version)
John Nordstrom II (GSN version)

Episode status[]

Most, if not all, of the original series is intact. GSN reran many episodes, including two pilots from 1978 and a third from 1979. The pilots are distinguishable from the rest of the series through a somewhat different set (a brown backdrop with green stripes behind the contestants, plus Peck's podium having a large "3" as the backdrop) and Peck himself not having the perm he sported during the series.

All episodes exist of the GSN revival.

Critical reception[]

In his book What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History, David Hofstede ranks the show at number 94. He wrote that it "offered the chance to watch a marriage dissolve on camera years before Jerry Springer", and noted that it received backlash from United Auto Workers and National Organization for Women.


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Josh Rebich's 3's A Crowd Rule Sheets
3's A Crowd @ Game Show Garbage

YouTube Videos[]

A big fight ensued in the show's premiere
A clip from the GSN revival