Any News on the Lucy/Desi Comedy Hour?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Randy Korstick, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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  2. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    I hate being so technical, but it wasn't a Desilu production. Desi had been kicked out of Desilu for about five years at that point. And that season (1967-68) was the last for Desilu anyway, because Lucy sold it to Paramount which, although saying they'd retain the Desilu trademark, quickly changed the company to Paramount Television.
     
  3. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    And now it's CBS/Paramount Television after the Viacom breakup.
     
  4. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    That is correct, Joe, and I'm well aware of that. The changeover also affected MANNIX, which like Mission: Impossible was originally produced by the late Bruce Geller (although to be technical MANNIX was produced by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts. Geller was Executive Producer).
     
  5. Garysb

    Garysb Screenwriter

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    What does the fact that she colored her own hair red have to do with her also wearing a wig? Do you think she would have stopped coloring her hair because she wore a wig on TV? I am sure she was out in public without the wig. The fact is she was getting older ( almost 50 when Lucy/ Desi shows ended.). Her skin type did not allow her to get a face lift, so she used tape and straps to smooth her skin and a wig to helped to hide this. There are pictures of her at the annual Desilu picnic in the late fifties where she looks older then she does on TV at that time and with longer hair. If you chose not to believe this that is fine . If you look at some of the Lucy shows, sometimes her hair is long mostly it is not. These are different wigs. Also it has been said the Lucy at Sea World episode of the Lucy Show was one of the few where her own hair was used because she was in the water. Also the famous show where she and Viv are trapped in the shower for the same reason.
     
  6. Harry-N

    Harry-N Cinematographer

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    It's likely true that Lucy herself probably had little or nothing at all to do with THE TWILIGHT ZONE, but there is one more interesting connection between the two - producer Bert Granet, who worked on both the LUCI-DESI COMEDY HOUR and the final and fifth season of THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

    Harry
     
  7. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    I'm sure Lucille Ball had nothing to do with "The Time Element" or "Star Trek." From what I've read about her, she probably wouldn't even have been able to understand them. I just meant she was the co-head or head of the company that indirectly in one case and directly in another came up with what are arguably the two best science-fiction series in the history of television.
     
  8. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    Bert Granet also produced a portion of the 4th season of Twilight Zone also, after Herbert Hirschman left the show. Then when Granet left about a dozen episodes into the 5th season, William Froug replaced him.

    I wouldn't credit Lucille Ball for The Twilight Zone at all, as it was completely Rod Serling's idea -- and a good one at that. [​IMG]
     
  9. MikeMO

    MikeMO Stunt Coordinator

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    That's interesting. Although I'm 22, I'm a big Lucy fan but didn't know this. I have watched "I Love Lucy" and the "Comedy Hours" since I was a pre-teen, but I just assumed that it ran for 13 episodes it's first season, and got canned due to bad ratings. I didn't realize it went for basically three years.

    So...I Love Lucy ended after 6 years, with the expectation that the very next season, the format would be changed to hour long episodes?
     
  10. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    Yep thats correct for the reasons I stated above. The ratings for I Love Lucy were still good after the 6th season and they definately could have continued that series as it was if they had wanted to.
     
  11. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    When these shows originally ran as specials (the first season) and as part of the "Desilu Westinghouse Playhouse" (the last two seasons) the ratings were HUGE -- even phenomenal. (I've seen the ratings in old copies of Variety.) The popularity of the "I Love Lucy" format NEVER diminished. All that brought the show to a close was the divorce of the stars.

    One more bit of TV history: When Desi Arnaz decided that "I Love Lucy's" sixth season would be the last in the half-hour format, his idea was to have a spin-off show called "The Mertzes." It would continue in the same time slot, and he and Lucy would make occasional guest appearances.

    That show would have been a guaranteed hit -- but Vivian Vance refused to do it, because she couldn't stand William Frawley. And when Frawley found out about that, he hated her for the rest of his life.

    Vivian Vance was a rather troubled woman (she was in intensive therapy through the entire run of "I Love Lucy.") Some people think she just had a neurotic fear of being the "star." Desi Arnaz developed another show for her to star in, but she gave a poor performance in the pilot and was replaced by another actress. (That show was called "Guestward Ho," and only ran one season.)
     
  12. Tabetha

    Tabetha Agent

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    Wow so much of that stuff I never even knew about. Where do you guys get so much of your information?

    Also, I've been a huuge fan of I Love Lucy and the The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. I would love having the other on DVD as well. I remember one episode where Ricky and Lucy were fighting and Lucy ended up finding the broken copy of the record of their song. It was Jingle Bells. I don't remember what the title of that episode was though.
     
  13. Ron Lee Green

    Ron Lee Green Supporting Actor

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    According to an LA Daily News article, the Luci-Dest Comedy Hour is coming early 2007.

    http://www.dailynews.com/business/ci_4340465

    "BACK TO THE FUTURE"
    As 'I Love Lucy' celebrates its 55th anniversary, the show is more popular than ever
    by Greg Hernandez, staff writer

    A boxed set of the not-as-widely-seen 13 one-hour episodes of "Lucy" will be released in early 2007.

    The episodes will be released as seasons 7, 8 and 9, but in a single DVD package. They will have some rare gems, including color home movies secretly taken by an audience member during the show's first season. It is the only color film of the Ricardos in their apartment, according to [Greg] Oppenheimer, who is producing the set.

    Also included will be three episodes linked together by 12 minutes of never-before-seen footage that was originally put together as an "I Love Lucy" feature film. But it was shelved and seemingly lost forever until it was discovered recently in an incorrectly labeled film cannister.
     
  14. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    This sounds great. I just hope they can present the first episode in its original uncut form.
     
  15. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    To Tabetha: I got my information from books written about Lucille Ball, "I Love Lucy" or the Desilu company. There are a lot of them out there. I think the episode where Lucy sang "Jingle Bells" was "Lucy Goes to Sun Valley," with Fernando Lamas as the guest star.

    To Ron Lee Green: Fantastic news! Thanks for telling us.

    To MatthewA: I totally agree. I believe that show was shown in its original 75-minute form only once. Gregg Oppenheimer is "on the ball," and I'm sure he'd like to present the full length show on the DVD -- but it's very possible that the cut footage no longer exists. I'd also like the original opening and closing credits to be restored. It didn't become "The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour" until the summer of 1962 for summer reruns -- two years after Lucy and Desi were divorced!
     
  16. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Great stuff Joe. Thanks for sharing. I thought Frawley hated Vance well before the end of the series though. Given their mutual dislike I'm surprised a spin-off was even considered. Frawley did quite well for himself though through 5 seasons as Bub O'Casey (another show that dearly needs to be on DVD).

    Regarding Lucy's ratings, they were indeed consistenly incredible. Younger fans who know her only from I Love Lucy might be surprised that she was a major TV star for 14 years after ILL ended, first with The Lucy Show and then with Here's Lucy. Both shows always delivered strong ratings.

    Steve
     
  17. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    It's true that Frawley never cared for Vance, but that was due mainly to the things she'd say about him. She always said it was humiliating to her that people thought she'd marry such an old, unattractive man. When she refused to do "The Mertzes" (which would have been a guaranteed hit), his dislike of her turned to hatred --- or so the books tell us.

    But Frawley pulled off what might be a unique accomplishment -- from 1951 to his retirement in 1965, he was a regular on a hit television show. He didn't miss a single season. As soon as the Arnazes divorced, he got hired for "My Three Sons" (which, though not a Desilu production, was filmed at Desilu studios -- I wonder if he kept his old parking place.)
     
  18. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    That would be tragic if true, but I was under the impression that the complete version was available at the Museum of Television and Radio. And hasn't some of the footage in question been seen on TVParty.com?
     
  19. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Matthew is quite right; the footage exists, and is usually available for viewing at that museum. I have faith that they'll put it on the dvd because they've put every scrap of film available on those dvds so far. I can't think of anything I've ever heard of not being on the dvds. And I never, EVER heard of those 12 discarded minutes made for a feature film. It's news to me...! Same with the color "bootleg" footage that a fan made.
     
  20. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I've downloaded close to 100 available episodes all in one shot, and now I'm already into the second season (1949-50) of the 3 years of My Favorite Husband, Lucille Ball's radio show in which she played Liz Cooper. Her first sitcom is entertaining in its own right, and since they are audio only and exist in Mp3 format they are FREE to download. http://www.154.ca/otr/archive.cgi?pr...avoritehusband
    I've listened to several old radio series from that site. This one is the most recent. It's a prototype for her first Lucy series.

    Richard Denning was quite good as her husband George. I think he would have been better for I Love Lucy than Desi, and not just because of Desi's thick Cuban accent. The CBS execs at that time were right. [​IMG] Years later, Denning became a semi-regular on Hawaii Five-O for 12 seasons as the Governor of Hawaii.
     

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