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”
- 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”