MatthewA

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
9,029
Location
Salinas, CA
Real Name
Matthew
Well, when you've seen how many shows nobody watched when they were available over the air for free are available to purchase on DVD…

How did the job of trying to bring the Lucy character into the 1980s end up with Aaron Spelling? Literally, his only experience with sitcoms was playing a gas station attendant on I Love Lucy all the way back in 1955. True, he had plenty of hits under his watch but none of them were half-hour comedies. Some of them were unintentionally funny, though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnMor

MartinP.

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Messages
1,071
Real Name
Martin
^^^
I remember watching Life with Lucy when it came on and was put off. First, if Lucy wanted to seem more current and fresh back then, why bring Gale Gordon along? But then...the idea of Lucy being modern was dressing her in Jane Fonda type exercise gear and having her run around like a teenager. Who wanted to see that? It was bad enough during the latter Lucy Show years when she was in her 50's and went back to high school in an episode to pass as a student. I know one treads on hallowed ground when discussing Lucy, but the last three years of The Lucy Show and all of Here's Lucy are, if we're being truthful, pretty mediocre, and that's being generous. I can't even watch Here's Lucy unless I think of each episode as a variety show sketch, and even then... Have I gone too far?
 

mrz7

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
303
Real Name
Scott Zuncic
^^^
I remember watching Life with Lucy when it came on and was put off. First, if Lucy wanted to seem more current and fresh back then, why bring Gale Gordon along? But then...the idea of Lucy being modern was dressing her in Jane Fonda type exercise gear and having her run around like a teenager. Who wanted to see that? It was bad enough during the latter Lucy Show years when she was in her 50's and went back to high school in an episode to pass as a student. I know one treads on hallowed ground when discussing Lucy, but the last three years of The Lucy Show and all of Here's Lucy are, if we're being truthful, pretty mediocre, and that's being generous. I can't even watch Here's Lucy unless I think of each episode as a variety show sketch, and even then... Have I gone too far?
Yes....you have gone too far (just kidding)....."Life With Lucy" wasn't the greatest show by any means......but I do remember when the show failed, Lucy was on Joan Rivers night time talk show at the time, and I felt so bad for Lucy because I could tell she was heartbroken about the show's cancellation. I really think Lucy took it personally.....she told Joan that she wasn't loved anymore. And that was heartbreaking to see (being a huge fan of Lucy's). Lucille Ball is just a national treasurer.....even if an episode of one of her shows was a dud.....it still felt like "home".....Lucy is kind of like your Grandma.....a golden rule......you just don't talk bad about her. But than again I am bias.....because I simply adore the woman. Just my two cents.
 

B-ROLL

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 26, 2016
Messages
2,599
Real Name
Bryan
Well, when you've seen how many shows nobody watched when they were available over the air for free are available to purchase on DVD…

How did the job of trying to bring the Lucy character into the 1980s end up with Aaron Spelling? Literally, his only experience with sitcoms was playing a gas station attendant on I Love Lucy all the way back in 1955. True, he had plenty of hits under his watch but none of them were half-hour comedies. Some of them were unintentionally funny, though.
According to several books I read about ST-Classic, Lucy was very loyal to the crews from RKO etc that had helped her earlier in her career.

Spelling through Spelling-Thomas had headquartered at DesiLu and I'm sure as he was a "hot" producer at the time felt it was a good business decision.

I tried to watch the first episode of LWL and just didn't find it funny.I felt it better to remember her for ILL. HL and TLS ...
 

Joe Lugoff

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Messages
2,220
Real Name
Joe
MartinP, you sure didn't go too far as far as I'm concerned. If anything, you were being too nice. Many episodes of "Here's Lucy" can only be described as terrible.

Desi Arnaz was the real force behind "I Love Lucy." When it came time for Lucy to make her own decisions, she didn't trust anyone but relatives. So Gary Morton became her executive producer, and her cousin Cleo the producer. They knew as much about putting on a sitcom as Lucy knew about nuclear physics.

The writers wrote many good scripts both before and after their time with Lucy, but I think they thought it was a waste of time to put in much effort when Gary liked "stupid," so they did their worst work for Lucy.

I've read in more than one place that Lucy herself didn't like the scripts she was given. I don't know why she didn't do something about it.
 

JohnMor

Producer
Premium
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
5,040
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Real Name
John Moreland
I always felt people wanted to see Lucy back on TV, but not in a horrible rehash, competing with her younger self which aired daily. She should have played the bitchy matriarch in a prime time soap, a la Jane Wyman in Falcon Crest. Or a Katherine Graham type publisher in a show that would do for newspaper dramas what Hill Street Blues did for cop shows at the time or L.A. Law for legal dramas. Any of those would have been up-to-date for the time and I think she would have totally been embraced. As it stands, when LWL failed she thought people didn’t want to see her back, period, when they just didn’t want her back in the same old shite again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bmasters9

sjbradford

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
115
Real Name
sjbradford
Aaron Spelling had a deal with ABC to deliver another series. He and Lucille Ball’s husband, Gary Morton, put the deal together. Supposedly Ball was reluctant to do the show, but did so at the urging of her husband. Her conditions were that Gale Gordon co-star and that her old writers, Bob Carroll Jr. and Madeline Davis, be in charge. And they hired as much of her old crew as possible (such as original “I Love Lucy” director Marc Daniels).

Carroll and Davis later said that that loved Gordon but didn’t want him for that series. Honestly, their stale writing was a huge part of the problem as well. But the other issue was that Ball simply wasn’t the performer she once was. Her memory was shot, so she was reading entirely off cue cards (destroying her timing), and she wasn’t able to express emotions the way she used to because of her deep voice.
 

MatthewA

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2000
Messages
9,029
Location
Salinas, CA
Real Name
Matthew
There was also pressure for it to succeed after Lucie Arnaz failed to get more than half a year out of a CBS sitcom of her own the year before*. That show couldn't have been worse, could it?**

*One that, ironically, replaced Alice, which some of Lucy's old writers migrated to between Lucy shows.
**And then there was Automan.
 

Ron1973

Beverly Hillbilles nut extraordinaire
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Messages
2,513
Location
SE Missouri
Real Name
Ron Reagan (not that one!)
I always felt people wanted to see Lucy back on TV, but not in a horrible rehash, competing with her younger self which aired daily. She should have played the bitchy matriarch in a prime time soap, a la Jane Wyman in Falcon Crest. Or a Katherine Graham type publisher in a show that would do for newspaper dramas what Hill Street Blues did for cop shows at the time or L.A. Law for legal dramas. Any of those would have been up-to-date for the time and I think she would have totally been embraced. As it stands, when LWL failed she thought people didn’t want to see her back, period, when they just didn’t want her back in the same old shite again.
I'll be tarred and feathered for saying this, but Lucy was a one trick pony. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed her in the various shows through the years. Superman and Cousin Ernie (Tennessee Ernie Ford) appearing rank as must see TV for that era. It was always the same gig, though. Lucy gets in trouble and somehow manages to wiggle her way out of it. It would not be unheard of for a comedic actor/actress to try something totally different. Larry Hagman went from a lovable astronaut to a man America loved to hate. Heck, even Barbara Eden got to take on a serious role on Dallas in a short story line. Patrick Duffy did the opposite, going from a dramatic actor to doing comedy on Step by Step. Lucy as a conniving old woman? I think it would have been fun to watch!
 

nobajoba

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
70
Real Name
Todd
What I don't understand is how can TL call it a Deluxe upgrade for the "Lucy" collection when you get the same thing as the $100 version and all they do is add some Carol Burnett Show episodes to it. I was extremely impressed and very happy with my TL Laugh In Complete Series but I can't help but feel like TL just didn't need to do this set at all.
 

bmasters9

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2008
Messages
4,272
Real Name
Ben Masters
As it stands, when LWL failed she thought people didn’t want to see her back, period, when they just didn’t want her back in the same old shite again.
Why would Lucille Ball think that people wanting to see her do something else besides that failed 1986 ABC Life With Lucy show was a wholesale rejection of her, instead of a rejection of that specific failure?
 

Larry.P

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
141
I'm pretty sure I remember reading that the cut footage from The Tallulah Bankhead episode was lost which is why it was not released on the DVD set. If they were releasing the uncut version I'm sure the press release would mention it which it doesn't.
Received my set yesterday and can verify that it contains the complete "Celebrity Next Door". Not only is the "strawberries" dialog present, but all of the footage that was presented as extra on the original DVDs is now put back into the show. There is even an additional quick exchange between Tallulah's maid and butler (previously unacknowledged anywhere) that was added back in. The show now runs about a minute and a half longer. Please note it is still the syndicated opening and closing. Also, the Lucy and Viv handshake is restored to the first season openings of "The Lucy Show". Back in 1962, the season 1 intros were changed to include the handshake after I think episode 5. The original DVDs used the "no handshake" opening for all the 1st season episodes (except when selecting the "original broadcast" option).
 

The Obsolete Man

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
3,210
Location
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Real Name
Robert
Received my set yesterday and can verify that it contains the complete "Celebrity Next Door". Not only is the "strawberries" dialog present, but all of the footage that was presented as extra on the original DVDs is now put back into the show. There is even an additional quick exchange between Tallulah's maid and butler (previously unacknowledged anywhere) that was added back in. The show now runs about a minute and a half longer. Please note it is still the syndicated opening and closing. Also, the Lucy and Viv handshake is restored to the first season openings of "The Lucy Show". Back in 1962, the season 1 intros were changed to include the handshake after I think episode 5. The original DVDs used the "no handshake" opening for all the 1st season episodes (except when selecting the "original broadcast" option).
Wow, I can't believe I called that based on nothing but wishful thinking.

Those cut Comedy Hours are the major reason I'm disappointed Lucy didnt make it all the way on Blu, since they've obviously been put back together mostly correctly in the last decade.
 

MartinP.

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 26, 2007
Messages
1,071
Real Name
Martin
Received my set yesterday and can verify that it contains the complete "Celebrity Next Door". Not only is the "strawberries" dialog present, but all of the footage that was presented as extra on the original DVDs is now put back into the show. There is even an additional quick exchange between Tallulah's maid and butler (previously unacknowledged anywhere) that was added back in. The show now runs about a minute and a half longer. Please note it is still the syndicated opening and closing. Also, the Lucy and Viv handshake is restored to the first season openings of "The Lucy Show". Back in 1962, the season 1 intros were changed to include the handshake after I think episode 5. The original DVDs used the "no handshake" opening for all the 1st season episodes (except when selecting the "original broadcast" option).

Dang! I cannot, however, justify spending $100 for one episode.

Just curious, Larry.P, your reasons for buying this set?
 

Larry.P

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 23, 2005
Messages
141
Dang! I cannot, however, justify spending $100 for one episode.

Just curious, Larry.P, your reasons for buying this set?
I was heavily involved with the original "Lucy Show" DVDs at CBS (worked with Tom Watson's team) and peripherally involved in the later I Love Lucy sets and blu rays. I was associate producer of the Lucie Arnaz interview that was used on this set (ported from "The Lucy Show" season 1). Just trying to support to keep Lucy on CBS's radar. The blu rays came about because Tom's team wanted to get all the "cut" footage back into the hour shows. Most all the cuts were finally located in the vaults on 35mm (well after the "season 7, 8 and 9" DVD releases). They were trying to make new masters for all the hour shows. I don't know how far they made it past the first 2 - I'll see if I can find out. The plan was to get CBS to put out a blu ray set with branching (just like the season 1 set) so they could include the regular shows as well as the Ford / Westinghouse openings, closings, commercials. Unfortunately, while CBS liked the idea, they wanted to start at the beginning. That's why we only got season 1 and 2 on blu. Also, based on the comments on this release, there appears to be a decent amount of interest in "Life With Lucy". Maybe strong sales and comments will encourage them to hire Tom's team to help reassemble that show from the 35mm raw footage (as was done for Star Trek Next Gen) so all 13 shows can be put out in high quality. One can dream.
 

JohnMor

Producer
Premium
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
5,040
Location
Los Angeles, CA
Real Name
John Moreland
Why would Lucille Ball think that people wanting to see her do something else besides that failed 1986 ABC Life With Lucy show was a wholesale rejection of her, instead of a rejection of that specific failure?
I have no idea. I just know what she said at the time. And what people around her said. It hit her VERY hard and she believed people just didn’t want to see her anymore. I think the response she got at the Oscars with Bob Hope and the outpouring of letters & cards when she was hospitalized help erase a lot of that, thankfully, right before the end.
 

The Obsolete Man

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
3,210
Location
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
Real Name
Robert
I have no idea. I just know what she said at the time. And what people around her said. It hit her VERY hard and she believed people just didn’t want to see her anymore. I think the response she got at the Oscars with Bob Hope and the outpouring of letters & cards when she was hospitalized help erase a lot of that, thankfully, right before the end.
Yeah, I mean we'd seem the same Lucy for 40 years at that point. Lucy in a role like, say, what Nancy Marchand had in Lou Grant, though... that would've been interesting.
 

mrz7

Second Unit
Joined
Mar 7, 2012
Messages
303
Real Name
Scott Zuncic
I was heavily involved with the original "Lucy Show" DVDs at CBS (worked with Tom Watson's team) and peripherally involved in the later I Love Lucy sets and blu rays. I was associate producer of the Lucie Arnaz interview that was used on this set (ported from "The Lucy Show" season 1). Just trying to support to keep Lucy on CBS's radar. The blu rays came about because Tom's team wanted to get all the "cut" footage back into the hour shows. Most all the cuts were finally located in the vaults on 35mm (well after the "season 7, 8 and 9" DVD releases). They were trying to make new masters for all the hour shows. I don't know how far they made it past the first 2 - I'll see if I can find out. The plan was to get CBS to put out a blu ray set with branching (just like the season 1 set) so they could include the regular shows as well as the Ford / Westinghouse openings, closings, commercials. Unfortunately, while CBS liked the idea, they wanted to start at the beginning. That's why we only got season 1 and 2 on blu. Also, based on the comments on this release, there appears to be a decent amount of interest in "Life With Lucy". Maybe strong sales and comments will encourage them to hire Tom's team to help reassemble that show from the 35mm raw footage (as was done for Star Trek Next Gen) so all 13 shows can be put out in high quality. One can dream.
Larry P. since you were involved with the "I Love Lucy" Blu-Rays.....I have a question for you...….Do you know if CBS/Paramount is ever going to return with the continuation with the "I Love Lucy" Blu ray releases (season 3 thru the Lucy Comedy Hours)? Also, do you know if ALL the colorized episodes (so far) will make it to a Blu-Ray release?

I am a HUGE Lucy fan.....I went to 2 of the Lucy Conventions held at the Burbank Hotel (back in the '90's) ran by Tom Watson and his team (I probably met you at one point). Those conventions were so much fun!!! I got to meet a lot a stars that performed with Lucy. I do have the first two seasons of "I Love Lucy" Blu Ray sets (which are fantastic by the way......a lot of heart went into the production of them) I didn't realize/paid attention that it was Tom Watson and his team that got this together......you can tell......they/you really know their/your stuff when it comes to Lucy!!! Really happy you guys were instrumental in putting the blu rays together.....I know ALOT of work was involved. :)
 

nobajoba

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 11, 2012
Messages
70
Real Name
Todd
Yeah, I mean we'd seem the same Lucy for 40 years at that point. Lucy in a role like, say, what Nancy Marchand had in Lou Grant, though... that would've been interesting.
Now I want you all to know that I too loved Lucy. But I do believe that she had difficulty accepting other forms of comedy and entertainment, ie; couldn't really keep up with the times that well. I know this point will and can be argued, but to me there is evidence that Lucille Ball just stayed in the 1950's with her taste and opinions about television comedy. She was critical of All In The Family and stated publicly that she did not care for the work of Lily Tomlin. To each his own but to me that says some other forms of comedy she just would not accept because it clashed with how her and Desi founded their sitcom. They do deserve the credit they got BUT as time goes on whether we like it or not the times do indeed change and different talents become just as much the success that ILL was. I think she had a hard time accepting that. Just my two cents.
 

Forum Sponsors

Staff online

Forum statistics

Threads
344,184
Messages
4,702,600
Members
141,190
Latest member
iampapaking