Archive for the ‘"I Love Lucy"’ Category

55 years ago: "Little Ricky" was born to Lucy & Ricky Ricardo

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

55 years ago, on January 19, 1953, the I Love Lucy episode “Lucy Goes to the Hospital” first aired. In this classic episode, Lucy gives birth to “Little Ricky.” The airdate was chosen to coincide with Lucille Ball’s real-life scheduled Caesarean delivery of her own child, Desi Arnaz, Jr. Not surprisingly, the episode was viewed by more people than any other television program up to that date — 68% (some sources say it was as high as 75%) of all American TV sets were tuned to CBS. A few months later, with the noteworthiness of the birth still in full-swing, Desi Arnaz, Jr. was featured on the very first cover of TV Guide (pictured at right).

From I Love Lucy editor Dann Cahn’s Archive interview:

Lucy went to the hospital for a [scheduled] Caesarean birth on a Monday morning and that night she gave birth to a little boy on the show. The child being a boy had been decided weeks earlier, remember, there was no ultrasound testing — they didn’t know if it’s twins, whether it’s a boy or a girl, or two boys or whatever. They didn’t have that in the fifties. So we went ahead and producer Jess {Oppenheimer] and writers Bob [Carroll] and Madeline [Pugh Davis] wrote that they’d have a little boy, and Lucy and Desi agreed. Sure enough, Lucy went to the hospital and in the morning she had a little boy [Desi Arnaz, Jr.], and on the television tube, little Ricky was born. That was a very big event.

Dann Cahn’s Full Interview Description:
Mr. Cahn talked about starting out as an assistant editor on motion pictures. His first job in television came in 1949, on Lucky Strike Showtime. Mr. Cahn also discussed working at Desilu on I Love Lucy, Our Miss Brooks, Where’s Raymond, The Untouchables, and The Loretta Young Show. He also discussed editing other television shows including Leave it to Beaver, The Beverly Hillbillies, Police Woman, and Remington Steele. He also talked about working at Glenn Larson Productions as head of Post Production, where he worked on The Fall Guy, Cover Up, and The Automan.

I Love Lucy: The Complete Series DVD Set Released

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Just released: The I Love Lucy: The Complete Series collection is a definitive compact, 34-disc set that includes hours of bonus material from the previously released individual complete season sets, plus new special features.

Gregg Oppenheimer, son of I Love Lucy creator Jess Oppenheimer, served as executive producer for this special complete series DVD box set, and, as a supporter of the Archive, has generously included the Archive’s 4-minute promotional reel on the Bonus Disc!

The total running time is 89 hours, 54 minutes. The set includes all 179 regular half-hour episodes, all 13 of “The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour” episodes, plus the long-lost “I Love Lucy” pilot and the rarely-seen 1956 “I Love Lucy” Christmas Show, all digitally remastered and restored.

New Bonus Material Not on Previous Releases:

  • “Lucy Goes to Scotland” in color—Using color publicity stills, color home movies of the dress rehearsal and the latest in colorization technology, this episode is presented just the way it was originally seen by those who were in the Desilu studio audience on the evening of January 6, 1956.
  • “I Love Lucy: The Movie”—In 1953, three classic first season “I Love Lucy” episodes were edited together with newly filmed connecting scenes to create this never-before-released feature-length film. This movie was lost for nearly half a century after Desilu shelved it in 1953 to avoid competition with Lucy and Desi’s first MGM movie The Long, Long Trailer.
  • Lucy and Desi’s First Joint TV Appearance—Rare kinescoped highlights from Lucy and Desi’s historic guest appearance on “The Ed Wynn Show,” broadcast live on December 24, 1949, from Studio A in CBS Columbia Square, Hollywood.
  • “I Love Lucy” at the 6th Annual Emmy Awards—In these excerpts from the earliest existing Emmy Award telecast, Vivian Vance accepts the Emmy for Best Series Supporting Actress and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz accept the Emmy for Best Situation Comedy of 1953.
  • On Set Commercial from the Series Premiere—Who was the first actor ever seen in the Ricardo apartment by American TV viewers? No, not Lucille Ball or Desi Arnaz. It was John Stephenson (the voice of Fred Flinstone’s boss, “Mr. Slate”), who did this opening commercial for the show’s sponsor, Phillip Morris, from the Ricardo living room.

Original bonus material included:

  • 37 episodes of Lucy’s radio show: “My Favorite Husband”
  • Flubs
  • Lost Scenes
  • Deleted Footage
  • “Behind-the-Scenes” Featurettes
  • Audio Commentaries by Keith Thibodeaux (“Little Ricky”), Barbara Eden, Doris Singleton (“Caroline Appleby”), and “I Love Lucy” writers Madelyn Pugh Davis and Bob Schiller
  • Original Series Openings
  • Original Animated Sequences
  • Vintage Series Promotional Spots
  • Original Cast Commercials
  • Colorized Christmas Show Scenes
  • Photo Galleries
  • Script Excerpts
  • English Closed-Captions
  • Spanish Subtitles available on all 181 half-hour episodes and I Love Lucy: The Movie
  • Spanish Audio available on most episodes
  • Scene Selections
  • Song Selections
  • Production Notes
  • Guest Cast Information

After you’ve watched the 90 hours (!) of material on the DVDs, don’t forget that the Archive of American Television interviewed many significant talents behind the series. Here are the interviews currently available online:

Dann Cahn: editor
Bob Carroll & Madelyn Pugh Davis: writers
Barbara Eden: guest star
Jay Sandrich: assistant director
Bob Schiller & Bob Weiskopf: writers
Doris Singleton: recurring character “Carolyn Appleby”

50 Years Ago: "I Love Lucy" Ended Its Run

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007


From 1951-57, I Love Lucy was a popular and critical hit. It was the #1 rated network show during most of its run and won Emmys for Best Sitcom and Acting Awards for Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz continued the Lucy format in a series of hour-long specials in the late 1950s, but the weekly production ceased with the airing, on May 6, 1957, of episode #180, “The Ricardos Dedicate A Statue.”

The Archive of American Television interviewed several significant talents behind the series. Many of these interviews are currently available online, as follows:

Dann Cahn: editor
Bob Carroll & Madelyn Pugh Davis: writers
Barbara Eden: guest star
Jay Sandrich: assistant director
Bob Schiller & Bob Weiskopf: writers
Doris Singleton: recurring character “Carolyn Appleby”

Everyone has a favorite “I Love Lucy” episode. What is yours?
Is it one of the following classic shows?

“Lucy Does A TV Commercial”
“Job Switching”
“L. A. at Last”
“Harpo Marx”
“Lucy’s Italian Movie”
“Lucy Does the Tango”

Voice your opinion by clicking on “comments” below.

"I Love Lucy" writer Bob Carroll, Jr. Dies at 88

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

We’re sad to report that Bob Carroll, Jr. who, along with writing partner Madelyn Pugh Davis (and producer Jess Oppenheimer) wrote some of the classic episodes of “I Love Lucy,” including “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” and “Job Switching” died today at age 88.

Carroll with Davis taking a break in Desi Arnaz’s office.

The Archive of American Television interviewed Carroll along with his writing partner in 1997. Carroll and Davis spoke of their 50-year writing career that included writing for Steve Allen and Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz.

Click here to access the entire six-part interview with Carroll and Davis.

Celebrate Lucy-Desi Days 2006 From Your Desktop

Sunday, May 28th, 2006


Couldn’t get to Jamestown, New York (Lucille Ball’s hometown) this weekend to celebrate Lucy-Desi Days 2006? Well, we can’t helicopter you to the ship, but we can point you to some fun interviews in our collection featuring memories of Lucy, Desi and the gang.

Although Lucy and Desi passed on before the Archive of American Television was founded, we’ve interviewed a lot of people involved in the success of “I Love Lucy” — three of these interviews are online now.

Bob Carroll & Madelyn Pugh Davis – writers on “I Love Lucy” and her subsequent series
Barbara Eden — guest star on “I Love Lucy”
Doris Singleton — actress who played Carolyn Appleby on “I Love Lucy”

Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend!