Tuesday, December 21, 2010
WE LOVE LUCY AND LUCY LOVES HER NEW FORD - THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR - CBS-TV - CIRCA 1957
Television viewers across America and around the globe have loved Lucy since CBS first introduced us to the henna-headed heroine of a thousand hare-brained schemes in the Fall of 1951.
The show was I LOVE LUCY and it was a true Templar for the multi-camera, situation comedies that endure ,even, to this day on network television.
You know the back story:
Insistent,impish and indefatigable Lucy Ricardo ( Lucille Ball ) craves the showbiz spotlight even more than her bandleader husband,Ricky ( Desi Arnaz ). In pursuit of fame and fortune Lucy enlists landlord/neighbor Ethel Mertz ( Vivian Vance ) as her co-conspirator in comic capers, while Ethel's husband, Fred Mertz ( William Frawley ) always has to help Ricky in cleaning up the rubble of Lucy's latest,laughable adventure.
In the Fall of 1957, Desi and Lucy's Desilu Productions had just purchased RKO Studios and rapidly became the largest producer of filmed comedy in television. The pressure on the pair was increasing. After 8 years of critical accolades and audience adoration, as ratings started to decline and as the real life marriage of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz became fraught with tension of Desi's drinking and womanizing,both the network and theArnaz's decided it was time to revamp the beloved series.
The solution was to do fewer episodes, but to extend them to a one hour format, studded with guest stars that Lucy would aggravate to comic extremes. The Ricardo's would move to the suburbs and the Mertze's would go with them.
On November 6th , 1957 @ 10pm Eastern time, THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR debuted to huge ratings, that pleased network executives and their new sponsor, The Ford Motor Company.
Producing just 13 episodes per season,the super-sized sitcom alternated with another Desilu production. It was a new anthology hour that Arnaz sold to CBS-TV for the Monday night, 10PM time slot, called WESTINGHOUSE PRESENTS THE DESILU PLAYHOUSE.
Desi Arnaz produced and hosted the stylish, expansive series, which was an incubator for Desilu produced pilots, that included THE UNTOUCHABLES ( sold as a series to ABC-TV, when CBS passed ) and an hour called THE TIME ELEMENT, which served as a test episode for the Tiffany network's iconic, sci-fi/fantasy series THE TWILIGHT ZONE.
Below, we have posted six clips from the XDESILU YOU TUBE site, which constitute one episode of THE LUCY-DESI COMEDY HOUR ( originally titled as A LUCILLE BALL-DESI ARNAZ COMEDY SPECIAL)that aired on December 1st , 1958.
It's brings together the rambunctious redhead with the voluble Danny Thomas and the cast of characters from his MAKE ROOM FOR DADDY series, in a vibrant example of early , prime-time, crossover programming. Enjoy!!!!
But,first, from the MISSLILLYBLUE YOU TUBE site, here's a word from their sponsor. See what happens when Lucy and Ricky visit their local Ford dealer and see the ne, 1957 Ford Retractable Top Convertible. Enjoy!!!!
And, now, LUCY MAKES ROOM FOR DANNY.Enjoy!!!!