It’s I Love Lucy Day

Today we celebrate the comic genius and the woman who made households around the world laugh…and still laugh! It’s I Love Lucy Day!

I Love Lucy Day

Monday, Oct. 15, 1951, I Love Lucy premiered at 9 p.m. on CBS. The series, starring the beloved Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley, ran for six seasons and went on to become one of the most watched sitcoms in TV history. Have you watched any episodes recently? The NoHo Arts District dot com team did and we are still laughing. Even after decades, the show still makes you smile and, yes, laugh out loud. The NoHo Arts District honors I Love Lucy with its bronze statue of Lucy and Desi in the Television Academy statue garden, home to statues of TV legends and pioneers.

I Love Lucy, Lucy and Desi statue 
 NoHo Tours Director showing NoHo Visitors the Television Academy statues of Lucy and Desi

I Love Lucy is always on the most “Best TV Shows of All-Time” lists for a lot of reasons. Aside from it being comic genius it was ahead of its time and a pioneer of TV as we know it.

I Love Lucy show was filmed in front of a live audience, and this was during the time when most shows had a “canned” laugh track.

The show was filmed with three cameras at once so there wouldn’t be a need for retakes of the scene. This would have been difficult and monotonous for a live audience! But did you know? They say that nothing was adlibbed and it was always scripted and well rehearsed.

Desilu, Lucy’s and Desi’s production company, kind of invented the rerun. When Lucille Ball gave birth to their two children, she needed a little time to recover before going back to work. So episodes of the show that had already aired were aired for a second time – and, well, they were very popular. And, voila! The rerun was born.

In 1952, Lucille Ball’s pregnancy was written into the show but they had to use “expecting” because the word pregnant/pregnancy was tabu. Each of the pregnancy episodes had to be reviewed by a minister, priest and rabbi to make sure they wouldn’t be offensive.

I Love Lucy was the first to series to end its run at No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings.

After her divorce from Desi in 1960, Lucille took control of Desilu, becoming the first woman to head a major Hollywood. Desilu produced Star Trek, The Untouchables, My Three Sons, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show and My Favorite Martian.

I Love Lucy broke racial and social barriers because it was the first television series to show an interracial couple.

PBS’s “American Masters” did a great piece on Lucille Ball.


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Lisa Bianconi
Author: Lisa Bianconi

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