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The Lucy Show

The Lucy ShowNetwork: CBS
Episodes: 156 (half-hour)
Seasons: Six

TV show dates: October 1, 1962 — March 11, 1968
Series status: Cancelled/ended

Performers include: Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance, Gale Gordon, Mary Jane Croft, Sid Gould, Carole Cook, Dick Martin, Roy Roberts, Jimmy Garrett, Mary Wickes, Ann Sothern, Lucie Arnaz, Ralph Hart, Donald Briggs, Desi Arnaz Jr., Joan Swift, Carol Burnett, Lew Parker, Candy Moore, James Gonzales, and Charles Lane.

the lucy show past TV show

TV show description:
Comedienne Lucille Ball stars as Lucy Carmichael, a recent widow and a resident of Danfield, New York. Lucy and her two children, daughter Chris (Candy Moore) and son Jerry (Jimmy Garrett), move into a house with her recently divorced friend, Vivian Bagley (Vivian Vance), and her son Sherman (Ralph Hart).

Lucy’s late husband leaves her a rather large trust fund and she tries to convince banker Mr. Barnsdahl (Charles Lane) to loosen his grip on it. The first season focuses on the two single moms struggling to pay the bills, raise their children on their own, and to find new love.

In the second season, president of the bank Theodore J. Mooney (Gale Gordon) takes over the role of the grumpy banker assigned to Lucy’s trust fund. Her attempts to obtain more of her money increase once she begins working as Mr. Mooney’s secretary.

Later in the series, when Vivian remarries and Lucy’s children leave home, Lucy follows Mr. Mooney to California to continue working as his secretary. She spends her days working at the bank and catching up with her old friend Rosie Harrigan or “Countess Framboise” (Ann Sothern) as she’s become better known. Like Lucy, The Countess is also a widow. But instead of leaving her with a trust fund, the Countess’ husband has only left her with a stack of bills.

As time goes on, Lucy becomes good friends with Mary Jane Lewis (Mary Jane Croft) and tries to get closer to the slew of celebrity stars that she meets at the bank, including Dean Martin, Jack Benny, George Burns, and Joan Crawford.

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry L. December 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I agree with the above comment.
The Lucy Show was definitely at its best the first two, or maybe three seasons, when Vivian Vance was still Lucy’s main partner.
After that, I thought the series when downwhill considerably, however, Lucy was always fun and enjoyable to see in just about anything she did, however, the later shows had too
many other guest stars and the plots just didn’t seem quite so funny or interesting.

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Sal Paradise February 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Now here’s a show that changes formats so often that the end product is nothing like start. Except for Ball clowning around.

I watched season one of TLS right after watching the last three installments of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. Those shows aired in 1959-1960. TLS began in fall, 1962.

Arnaz is back as Executive Producer for TLS, until show 9 when he leaves Desilu Studios, selling his shares to Ball for 3.5 mil. Some think the show started going downhill then. TLS was his idea as a vehicle for Ball, who had been off tv since Lucy-Desi went off the air in April 1960. Desilu was also under the gun as their services contract with CBS called for a show with at least Ball ASAP. Plus, Desilu was starting to fail and Arnaz was unable to develope new shows with any success. TLS saved Desilu in the short run but led to Arnaz leaving. TLS was his swan song.

TLS started simply enough. Ball and Vance share a house in New York with their kids. The first show implores this as follows Ball’s daughter out on a date. With the exception of a one other show in Season One Chris becomes nothing more than window dressing. Same with the two young boys (their sons) who start off as key parts of the TLS then end up being sent off to military school (Chris to college) and moving.

As that happens Ball and Vance have at least one very long gag per show. Each show is built around that gag concept, usually coming after the mid-point and running, sometimes, right to the shows running time end. The gag is usually set-up by something Vance and Ball are doing around the house, or at school, etc.

Over time the show runs its course and by season 4 Vance is gone, as are the kids. Ball has moved to California (gee, what a surprise) and new people fill in. Some from the past such as Mary Jane Croft (see I Love Lucy, Season 6 in Connecticut). However, the gag element continues, now almost all with Ball or some celebrity guest star. I find them less and less funny as the show goes on. It’s still hard to understand this show was top rated for so many years.

TLS made Ball rich. Besides her role as head of Desilu, she was the highest paid actor in tv in the 60’s. As boss Ball was able to do whatever she wanted with the show. As evidented by how the show progressed it clear that the better shows were in the first two seasons, ones where Ball was not the top dog all the time.

Ball sold Desilu in 1968 (making her even richer-while Arnaz had to live on what he made in 1962) and led her to form he own production company and move the show to that. That show became ‘Here’s Lucy’ and it ran until 1974. By then ratings were way down and Ball wasn’t asked back for 1974-1975. Thus ending her run on tv from 1951-1974 with a break from 1960-1962.

Ball left tv worth over 40 mil. Not bad. Arnaz was broke by then, a boozer and his health begining to fail. No more tv for Desi, no more anything really as he was finished with the business after The Mothers in Law failed in 1970. Ball noted that Arnaz lived on until the last Lucy show in 1974. “He developed the Lucy Riccardo charactor” she noted. Ball played ‘Lucy Riccardo’ until 1974. The credit, she noted, went to Arnaz. However, no cash went to him after 1962. It went all to her.

TLS, to me, after season 2 is just too hard to watch. It’s ends up being like I Love Lucy without Ricky or Fred. That gets real old real soon. That’s what TLS does.

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