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Here's Lucy is Lucille Ball's third network television sitcom. It ran on CBS from 1968 to 1974.

Background

Though The Lucy Show was still hugely popular during the previous (1967-68) season, finishing in the top five of the Nielsen Ratings (at #2), Ball opted to end that series at the end of that season and create a new show, as she had just sold Desilu Productions (which owned and produced The Lucy Show), to Gulf + Western. Ball did not wish to continue to star in a show that she no longer owned. Here's Lucy was produced by Ball's newly-created production company, Lucille Ball Productions. Desilu's successor Paramount Television (PTV) co-produced the first season, but sold its stake in the show to Ball afterwards. As a result, it is currently the only show starring Ball that is not owned by PTV's successor CBS Television Studios (PTV gained rights to her final show, Life with Lucy, after then-parent Viacom acquired co-producer Spelling Entertainment).

Premise

The program's premise changed from The Lucy Show. Ball's character lived in Los Angeles, Californiamarker and was named Lucy Carter. In this new incarnation, she had two children named Kim and Craig, played by her real life children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr. She worked for an employment agency run by her brother-in-law Harry, played by Gale Gordon in a role similar to his Mr. Mooney role from The Lucy Show. Mary Jane Croft, who had costarred on the last three seasons of The Lucy Show, also became a regular on the new series, and Ball's longtime costar Vivian Vance also made numerous guest appearances as Vivian Jones through the series' run.

Guest stars and notable episodes

Perhaps the most famous episode was one from 1970 in which Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor guest star in a storyline involving their famous diamond, which becomes stuck on Lucy's finger. Ball and Burton reportedly did not get along, as he found Ball's rigid perfectionism grating and he subsequently wrote about her in extremely unflattering terms in his memoir.

During its run, Here's Lucy featured a number of famous guest stars, many of whom were Ball's real life friends, often playing themselves (as had also been the case during the final three years of The Lucy Show). Among the stars, Ann-Margret, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, George Burns, Carol Burnett, Johnny Carson, Petula Clark, Vincent Price, Tony Randall, Buddy Rich, Dinah Shore, O.J. Simpson, Danny Thomas, Lawrence Welk, Flip Wilson, Herbie Faye, and Shelley Winters all appeared during the run of the show. In addition, Lucille Ball appeared as herself (in an episode in which Lucy Carter enters a Lucille Ball look-alike contest; the episode featured then fairly new technology, enabling Ball to appear on screen with herself).

In 1972, Ball suffered a leg fracture in a skiing accident and as a result, spent much of the 1972-73 season in a full-leg cast. (This was written into the show, with the Lucy Carter character also breaking her leg.) The "slapstick" was toned down for the remainder of the series, given Ball's decreased ability to perform physical comedy as a result of her injury.

Final episode

Here's Lucy ceased production at the end of the 1973-74 season, thus ending nearly twenty-three years of Ball appearing regularly on television. Though it was widely reported at the time that it was Ball's decision not to continue (as she wanted to pursue other projects), a number of sources through the years have stated that it was CBS that chose not to renew the series for the following season: the ratings had fallen during the final season, though Here's Lucy did still finish in the top thirty at the end of the 1974 season. [60211] (The network was also in the process of reinventing its image, having already replaced much of their old guard television product with more contemporary fare like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, All in the Family, The Bob Newhart Show, and M*A*S*H; Ball was the last performer from TV's classic age who still had a weekly series at the beginning of 1974.)

Nielsen Ratings

  • 1968-69: #9
  • 1969-70: #6
  • 1970-71: #3
  • 1971-72: #11
  • 1972-73: #15
  • 1973-74: #29


Syndication

Not initially offered in syndication when the series ended in 1974, CBS Daytime reran the series from May 2 to November 4, 1977. By 1982, Here's Lucy was finally put into broadcast syndication first by Telepictures, and in turn the rights were later transferred to Warner Bros. Television Distribution (which acquired Telepictures' holdings). Warner Bros. TV remains the distribution rights holder for all media except home video (Shout! Factory formerly held the rights, but they currently belong to MPI Home Video).

DVD releases

Here's Lucy: Best Loved Episodes from the Hit Television Series was released August 17, 2004 by Shout! Factory. The release is hard to find at most retailers.

On August 25, 2009, MPI Home Video released The Complete First Season of Here's Lucy on DVD in Region 1, with The Complete Second Season following on November 3, 2009. MPI stated that it intends on releasing all 6 seasons/144 episodes on DVD in individual season sets.

DVD Name Ep # Release date
Season One 24 August 25, 2009
Season Two 24 November 3, 2009


External links




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