LUCY: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION featuring “Life With Lucy”

3 Stars

Time Life announced today that they are releasing “Lucy (as in Lucille Ball) The Ultimate collection. Selections from her four t.v. series (“I Love Lucy”, “The Lucy Show”, “Here’s Lucy” and “Life With Lucy”). Most of the collection is redundant to what has been already released, however, there are 4 episodes of “Life With Lucy” (her very last series) that has never been released on DVD until now. Here is the Time-Life link of today’s release announcement:

https://timelife.com/products/lucy-the-ultimate-collection/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=%28roi%29+lucy+ultimate+collection+rtr&utm_content=site+visitors+w%2F+lucy+interest+-+180+days&utm_term=grid+-+carousel+-+conv

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59 Comments

  1. Hm. I think I have all of this. Of course, my copies of "Life with Lucy" are from my VHS recordings. Time-Life did not include what I think is the best episode of "Life with Lucy", titled "Love Among the Two-by-Fours" with guest star Peter Graves. IMO it is what this show should have been about – the changing generations and adjusting to age – there are some really heartfelt moments and a Lucy-style gag at the end that doesn't cheapen the heart of the episode.

  2. With a limited selection of Here's Lucy shows in the set, why would they choose Lucy & Donny Osmond ? Lucy is barely in it and has little to do, as the episode is all about Donny's infatuation with Kim Carter / Lucie Arnaz, who even gets the obligatory musical number with Osmond at the end.

    However, the episode is a must for Eve Plumb completists.

  3. Hmmm…some of the episodes chosen for this set are my "least favorite" episodes from each series. That's the trouble with collections.

    Although it just says it's the "Ultimate Collection" not the best of etc. Anyway, for Lucy fans, the ultimate collection is each series in it's entirety. I wouldn't mind a release of all the colorized episodes so far. (Why has the only one of those that I missed, the "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" episode, never appear anywhere again?)

    There are many lists of the Best or Favorite "I Love Lucy" episodes, but I'd like to know what episodes are your least favorite!

    If they really wanted to sell this to people, they'd have been smart to release the entire Life with Lucy series in it. Otherwise, I really don't know who this might be marketed, too. It's quite pricey for a casual fan and everyone else would have all this, except the last series episodes, of course.

  4. MartinP.

    Hmmm…some of the episodes chosen for this set are my "least favorite" episodes from each series. That's the trouble with collections.

    Although it just says it's the "Ultimate Collection" not the best of etc. Anyway, for Lucy fans, the ultimate collection is each series in it's entirety. I wouldn't mind a release of all the colorized episodes so far. (Why has the only one of those that I missed, the "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" episode, never appear anywhere again?)

    There are many lists of the Best or Favorite "I Love Lucy" episodes, but I'd like to know what episodes are your least favorite!

    If they really wanted to sell this to people, they'd have been smart to release the entire Life with Lucy series in it. Otherwise, I really don't know who this might be marketed, too. It's quite pricey for a casual fan and everyone else would have all this, except the last series episodes, of course.

    I agree that $100 is a lot for this type of set, especially considering that each series, except the last, is available in its entirety (Save, I believe for occasional edits!), and at relatively reasonable price points. Also, indeed why not issue every LIFE WITH LUCY (1986) episode (There weren't very many from that last series, after all!) as a helpful selling point?

    CHEERS! 🙂

  5. This would've been a great set in 2006, when there was no Lucy Show or Here's Lucy available in their entirety on disc.

    Now? 4 episodes of Life With Lucy, and maybe the uncut version of the Tallulah Bankhead episode of The Lucy/Desi Comedy Hour aren't worth $100.

  6. MartinP.

    Hmmm…some of the episodes chosen for this set are my "least favorite" episodes from each series. That's the trouble with collections.

    Although it just says it's the "Ultimate Collection" not the best of etc. Anyway, for Lucy fans, the ultimate collection is each series in it's entirety. I wouldn't mind a release of all the colorized episodes so far. (Why has the only one of those that I missed, the "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" episode, never appear anywhere again?)

    There are many lists of the Best or Favorite "I Love Lucy" episodes, but I'd like to know what episodes are your least favorite!

    If they really wanted to sell this to people, they'd have been smart to release the entire Life with Lucy series in it. Otherwise, I really don't know who this might be marketed, too. It's quite pricey for a casual fan and everyone else would have all this, except the last series episodes, of course.

    I agree with you Martin P. about "Lucy Does A TV Commercial" colorized episode. Thankfully I taped it when it was on Broadcast and transferred it to DVD myself. I wouldn't mind a Blu-Ray Release of all the colored episodes so far…..most of them are the "classic" episodes.

    As far as "Life With Lucy", I do wish Time-Life would just have released the 13 episodes that were produced as an individual set. Since Time-life currently have the rights to the show to release on DVD, they might release something down the line? Hopefully.

  7. mrz7

    As far as "Life With Lucy", I do wish Time-Life would just have released the 13 episodes that were produced as an individual set. Since Time-life currently have the rights to the show to release on DVD, they might release something down the line? Hopefully.

    Give it time. Once they have drained every cent out of the Lucy fans who have to have everything and couldn’t wait they’ll announce a complete series release so those who want them all will have to rebuy some of the shows again.

  8. The episodes chosen for the latter series are there on the strength of the guest stars, not the stories. That's why they have Donny Osmond on there. The target buyer of this set is picking it up for nostalgia reasons. Not ideal for the hard core TV collector, but an understandable choice to move more product to the general public.

  9. I looked at the contents. As usual for Time-Life, there is an option to spend more money and get a 22-DVD set. But instead of more Lucy shows, they are discs from the Carol Burnett Lost Episodes, some of which feature Lucy.

    I am not a typical fan as my introduction to Lucy was "The Lucy Show" when I was a kid. (Yeah, I know.) I currently have the entire "Lucy Show," the first two seasons of "Here's Lucy," and the Shout "Here's Lucy" sampler set. I have none of "I Love Lucy," yet. (Yeah, I know.)

    I missed "Life With Lucy" when it aired. I always "meant to" tune in — I was shocked that they even attempted it at that point in time and surprised Gale Gordon was then still alive — but I wasn't good at keeping up with current TV by then and before I checked it out, it was off the air. So I would definitely be interested in seeing it. (My expectations are not high.)

    I'd like to get some of "I Love Lucy" (since it is the gold standard) but at this point, I would just pick up the entire series. I'd feel the same about "Life With Lucy," especially since there were only 13 episodes.

    I'm surprised to see Time-Life release a big set like this that actually includes some content that is really exclusive and not just recycled from a past release.

  10. The Obsolete Man

    This would've been a great set in 2006, when there was no Lucy Show or Here's Lucy available in their entirety on disc.

    Now? 4 episodes of Life With Lucy, and maybe the uncut version of the Tallulah Bankhead episode of The Lucy/Desi Comedy Hour aren't worth $100.

    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.

  11. MartinP.

    There are many lists of the Best or Favorite "I Love Lucy" episodes, but I'd like to know what episodes are your least favorite!

    I Love Lucy will always be my favorite sit-com. It was like comfort food for me as a kid; if I had a bad day at school that half-hour with Lucy lifted me up.

    There is only one episode I really actively dislike, and it is actually the first one filmed (but not broadcast): "Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying to Murder Her". Even as a kid, it hit all the wrong notes with me. First of all, the premise is ridiculous. I acknowledge that "deceive the spouse" and "wrong assumptions" make up 99% of the episodes, but this one goes too far with Ricky putting a sleeping powder in Lucy's drink and then she shows up with a gun (albeit fake) at the end. Also, Lucy hadn't quite found the character yet and she is rather frantic and shrill.

    While that is the only one I really dislike, there are some others that I am OK to pass by.

    "Drafted" – They push the "wrong assumption" premise too far for me and I just get annoyed by the end. Fred really thinks Ethel could be pregnant? Oh brother.

    "The Adagio" – This one just grates on me, the duel scene is just painfully idiotic IMO.

    "The Marriage License" – Lucy is shrill and beyond unreasonable in this one. One cannot, obviously, apply logic in a show like this, but you still have to believe the character.

    "The Black Eye" – I just find this one unpleasant.

    "Lucy and the Loving Cup" – this is an absurd episode, but I have to say Lucy does a brilliant job with what she is given to do, but even so it gets old.

    "The Christmas Episode" just doesn't work for me. I can't quite define it, but it has an odd feeling to it and I LOVE Christmas episodes of all shows, sit-com, drama, whatever.

    Something that bothers me here and there is when they write Ethel out of character. For example, in "Lucy is Jealous of Girl Singer", Ethel goads Lucy into acting on her jealousy. But then, most of the time (as in "Fan Magazine Interview") Ethel thinks Lucy is over-reacting, which is truer to Ethel's character IMO.

    It is interesting how home video has changed the way we watch shows. It used to be that you had no option but to watch whatever episode was on and so you ended up seeing your least favorite episodes regardless, but now we can pick and choose. But looking at the list of Lucy episodes I realize that there are some I watch more than others and I really want to try to watch some I haven't seen in a long while.

  12. I wonder if some of the choices with the episodes included have to do with the music licenses involved? It is Time Life, and while they do good with licenses they don’t do great. Look at all the edits on other series released by TL.

  13. There's NO WAY I'm paying $100 for four episodes of Life With Lucy, which is the only new thing on this entire set. Maybe a new interview with Lucie Arnaz, but she's not worth $100 either. Everything else has already been released to death. I'll pass on this until if/when it goes way down in price on ebay or amazon and I can pick it up for under $40 or something.

  14. KPmusmag

    But looking at the list of Lucy episodes I realize that there are some I watch more than others and I really want to try to watch some I haven't seen in a long while.

    OT: I'm like that with a lot of the shows I've enjoyed– some episodes were of a top-flight caliber, while others were just so-so (at least that was my opinion of them at the time I first saw them on DVD). Perhaps I ought to try to see more of the ones I've only seen once.

  15. Rob W

    With a limited selection of Here's Lucy shows in the set, why would they choose Lucy & Donny Osmond ?

    However, the episode is a must for Eve Plumb completists.

    Well, they have to have to find something to drive sales!

  16. The whole series of Life With Lucy is worth $25 at most, if that. The one person from that show they should interview is Jenny Lewis. She was good in other shows*, so you wonder why she never got a regular role in a hit. That's about the only attraction of this set to anyone who already bought the three prior Lucy shows on disc.

    *After her Golden Girls appearance, she was in the movie Troop Beverly Hills, which had the same costume designer as Mame: Theodora Van Runkle.

  17. 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.

  18. ^^^
    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?

  19. MartinP.

    ^^^
    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.

  20. MatthewA

    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 …

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. JohnMor

    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!

  25. 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.

  26. JohnMor

    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?

  27. Randy Korstick

    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).

  28. Larry.P

    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.

  29. Larry.P

    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?

  30. MartinP.

    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.

  31. bmasters9

    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.

  32. JohnMor

    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.

  33. Larry.P

    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. 🙂

  34. The Obsolete Man

    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.

  35. Larry.P

    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.

    Just wanted to thank you for your reply. Nice to know you worked on the Lucy Show DVD's. Nice job! (Did you know T. Maietta?) I met Tom Watson several times where I worked in the late 80's. We chatted about "Lucy" things frequently. I had never seen the Burton/Taylor Here's Lucy episode and he brought me a copy of it!

    I agree that, if anything, those Westinghouse/Lucy-Desi Comedy Hours are what need to be re-done as was planned!

  36. JohnMor

    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…

    Through a series of extremely fortunate circumstances, I got to attend the Oscars (still can't really believe it!) that year. It was Lucy's last public appearance and I was very fortunate; it was the only time I got to see her in person. If you watch her appearance on that show she was in a very good mood that night and seemed to love being with Bob Hope up there on the Shrine Auditorium stage.

  37. Larry.P

    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. […]That's why we only got season 1 and 2 on blu.[…] One can dream.

    Those Blu Rays from Season One and Two of "I Love Lucy" were magnificently executed.
    Some are gonna balk at its initial price for being high; but I feel that the labor and excellence put forth are evident in every episode.
    Again, folks, never mind the price-point aspects for this moment; as this post is solely earmarked as a note of praise, now knowing that there's actually someone on this thread who was there and in the arena.
    Hopefully, this fine work – if not restoration – will finds its way back to Blu for those remaining seasons.
    Bravo to Larry.P and associates. An end result well worth praising.:cheers:

  38. "I Love Lucy" is my all-time favorite TV show and Lucille Ball was my favorite performer, so I've given this a lot of thought — probably too much.

    I don't think the problem (for people like me, at least) was that she was stuck in the '50s and didn't update her comedy. Actually, I preferred it that way.

    The problem was that she and her shows were extremely inferior to what they used to be. Many fans bailed out at some time or other. She lost me halfway through the first season of "Here's Lucy."

    Of course, others stuck with her to the bitter end. There's never 100% agreement about anything in this world, to put it mildly. 🙄

  39. mrz7

    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. 🙂

    There are no plans for any "Lucy" Blu ray releases at this time. CBS could always decide otherwise.

  40. PMF

    Those Blu Rays from Season One and Two of "I Love Lucy" were magnificently executed.
    Some are gonna balk at its initial price for being high; but I feel that the labor and excellence put forth are evident in every episode.
    Again, folks, never mind the price-point aspects for this moment; as this post is solely earmarked as a note of praise, now knowing that there's actually someone on this thread who was there and in the arena.
    Hopefully, this fine work – if not restoration – will finds its way back to Blu for those remaining seasons.
    Bravo to Larry.P and associates. An end result well worth praising.:cheers:

    The credit goes to Tom Watson and Jonathan Angus.

  41. MartinP.

    Just wanted to thank you for your reply. Nice to know you worked on the Lucy Show DVD's. Nice job! (Did you know T. Maietta?) I met Tom Watson several times where I worked in the late 80's. We chatted about "Lucy" things frequently. I had never seen the Burton/Taylor Here's Lucy episode and he brought me a copy of it!

    I agree that, if anything, those Westinghouse/Lucy-Desi Comedy Hours are what need to be re-done as was planned!

    The Lucy Show DVDs were a labor of love for all involved, and yes I know Mr. Maietta. There were only a few things I wish we had been able to change, but those sets were near perfect as far as I'm concerned!

  42. Larry.P

    There are no plans for any "Lucy" Blu ray releases at this time. CBS could always decide otherwise.

    Are you able to clarify or address why Tom Watson and Johnathan Angus halted their work on the Blu Rays of "I Love Lucy"? Some have speculated that it had to do with the initial $80 price-tag on each of the first 2 seasons; and that the revenues weren't there to support further outputs. Of course, I have no ideas if this was the case. But, as I've stated before, the work and labor is evident within each and every episode; and worth every penny; so I truly do hope that anyone else who purchased these Blu Rays has also appreciated these same efforts that were put forth, ever so clearly.
    Again, magnificent work.

  43. PMF

    Are you free to address why Tom Watson and Johnathan Angus halted their work on the Blu Rays of "I Love Lucy"?

    It wasn't them, it was CBS – disappointing sales with their 3 trial runs of classic TV on Blu (The Honeymooners, Andy Griffith season 1, I Love Lucy season 1). Season 2 only came out because most of the work was already in the can when season 1 was released. CBS didn't know how to handle these releases to make them successful. Hopefully some day they figure it out and try again. As of now, no plans.

  44. I really think they needed to come out of the gate with a complete series set at the start. Between that and the pricing, I think a lot of potential buyers were wary of starting to collect this on BD without any guarantee that the rest was coming.

    From where I was sitting at the time, I hadn’t seen any of I Love Lucy in years, and it was a childhood favorite of my wife’s, so I bit the bullet and bought the first season when it came out. The quality was spectacular, but so was the price tag – almost $100 for the season if I remember correctly. We quickly finished watching it, but there was no announcement about Season 2, and we didn’t want to stop watching the show. The complete series on DVD was readily available for $50 or less so we bought that and finished it before the BD for S2 was ever released. That meant we had absolutely no urgency or incentive to spend $100 on that BD when we had already seen the content and paid a small fraction of the price for it. I eventually did get S2 but not until the price had come way down.

    If they could have found a way to make the first release a complete series set priced closer to $200, I think they would have had some success. But $100 for a single season when the complete show was on DVD for just $50 was a really hard sell.

  45. nobajoba

    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.

    What you say is very true but also true of others. "All In the Family" ran its course. The final season of "All In the Family", after Mike and Gloria left, and all of Archie Bunker's Place with the exceptions of when Mike and Gloria visited and the death of Edith were a poor substitute for "All In The Family" in its prime. The show most certainly should have ended when Mike and Gloria moved to California. I think with Lucy people only wanted to see her as "Lucy". She did specials after "Here's Lucy" where she played non "Lucy" characters and they weren't very funny. With her last series people would no longer accept her as "Lucy" so her career was essentially over. I believe she thought the audience would no longer accept her as "Lucy" because she had become old. Actually it was because the show was not funny but the "Lucy" character hadn't been very funny since Season 1 of "The Lucy Show". That the show was still so popular for an additional 11 years is the surprising thing. By the way the one hour Lucy Desi shows were mostly pretty bad. The only one I loved was "The Celebrity Next Door" which was the most like " I Love Lucy."

  46. Josh Steinberg

    I forget what the episodes were called, but I really liked the hour long ones with Fernando Lamas (when Ricky is “yealous”) and the Fred MacMurray one.

    "Lucy Goes to Sun Valley" and "Lucy Hunts Uranium"

  47. Josh Steinberg

    I forget what the episodes were called, but I really liked the hour long ones with Fernando Lamas (when Ricky is “yealous”) and the Fred MacMurray one.

    Me too. I also enjoy the one with Bob Cummings in Japan. Lucy’s geisha routine is terrific.

  48. There was such a difference in her appearance from the last Lucy Desi shows where she had gained weight but still sounded like Lucy Ricardo and the first The Lucy Show where she was thin but her voice started getting deeper. It is said that she talked higher than her natural speaking voice as Lucy Ricardo . It was done as a way for the character to seem younger than the actress playing her. Grace Allen also apparently did something similar. I guess Lucy could no longer do that by the time The Lucy Show started . There was only 2 years between the end of Lucy Desi hour long shows in the spring of 1960 and the start of the Lucy Show in the Fall of 1962. Vivian Vance looked and sounded the same but not Lucy. Did appearing on Broadway in Wildcat damage her voice or was it smoking or both?

  49. Garysb

    There was such a difference in her appearance from the last Lucy Desi shows where she had gained weight but still sounded like Lucy Ricardo and the first The Lucy Show where she was thin but her voice started getting deeper. It is said that she talked higher than her natural speaking voice as Lucy Ricardo . It was done as a way for the character to seem younger than the actress playing her. Grace Allen also apparently did something similar. I guess Lucy could no longer do that by the time The Lucy Show started . There was only 2 years between the end of Lucy Desi hour long shows in the spring of 1960 and the start of the Lucy Show in the Fall of 1962. Vivian Vance looked and sounded the same but not Lucy. Did appearing on Broadway in Wildcat damage her voice or was it smoking or both?

    Those are great questions, Gary! I surmise that Lucy's turning 50 in the interim may have also had something to do with her voice deepening. For me, it was visual, with floaters literally appearing on the eve of my 50th! Stuff just starts to go at around that age, it seems.

    CHEERS! 🙂

  50. i've always suspected that three things damaged Lucy's voice in the 1960s.

    1. She did not know how to properly project from her diaphragm while performing in WILDCAT, and later on the THE LUCY SHOW. (Why did everyone have to scream on her later shows?)
    2. She was a heavy smoker.
    3. She liked scotch.

  51. Joe Lugoff

    "I Love Lucy" is my all-time favorite TV show and Lucille Ball was my favorite performer, so I've given this a lot of thought — probably too much.

    I don't think the problem (for people like me, at least) was that she was stuck in the '50s and didn't update her comedy. Actually, I preferred it that way.

    The problem was that she and her shows were extremely inferior to what they used to be. Many fans bailed out at some time or other. She lost me halfway through the first season of "Here's Lucy."

    Of course, others stuck with her to the bitter end. There's never 100% agreement about anything in this world, to put it mildly. 🙄

    Nobody wanted a show that was just Lucy on a soapbox; that would have been the TV equivalent of "hey, you kids, get off of my yard" being yelled at you for 30 minutes, and audiences would have rejected it even faster than Life With Lucy. Yet that still managed to miss the mark even compared to the color Lucy shows before it, never mind I Love Lucy. And by then, her younger self was winning her fans who weren't even born in 1974. In some ways, she was a victim of her own success. After three hit shows with the same writers, she thought the audience still wanted the same thing. In essence, they were already getting it from then-current shows that reused their old plot lines to the point where they felt like Polyester Lucys. But she had largely helped shape TV sitcoms as we know them today and as we knew them in 1986, so the expectations for her to succeed were high.

    Leaving the writing and the mostly generic supporting cast aside, she also had to deal with being on ABC, one of the worst networks for interfering with producers and derailing hit shows, instead of her former home of CBS where she'd never ranked below 29th. Now under Larry Tisch's cut-at-all-costs management, the CBS of 1986 had a dearth of hit sitcoms; her old Monday night slot by that time belonged to Newhart*, which was still winning its time slot. ABC didn't have a better slot for it than Saturday at 8:00 PM ET because it would have either displaced one of their own hits or put them against another network's hits; there was no way they were going to displace Moonlighting or Dynasty for this show. Cutting Disney Sunday Movie back to one hour, which they did anyway next season for Dolly Parton's ill-fated variety hour, would have put it up against Murder She Wrote. Putting it on Thursday would have been instant suicide up against any of NBC's top-rated shows. They could have tried putting it on Friday where it couldn't possibly have done worse than either Gung Ho (based on the Ron Howard movie released that same year) and Dads (which looked like essentially a male version of Kate and Allie), the two flop sitcoms they did try up against Dallas** and Miami Vice. At least there, they might have gotten more children to watch it with Webster*** and Mr. Belvedere as lead-ins. They probably didn't even consider first-run syndication (where Danny Thomas flopped the same year with One Big Family) which would have cut the budget by at least a third or more but would have given stations some leeway as to when to air it.

    *In the wake of Mame, Maude replaced Here's Lucy in the 1974-1975 season.
    **Their Lucy was no longer on the show by that point, having remarried Mitch Cooper and moved to Atlanta.
    ***Which also starred a real-life husband and wife (except they stayed married until he died) and the iteration of Paramount Television that produced it was basically the successor-in-interest to Desilu.

  52. I've long had the opinion that the best script Lucy ever had on television was for the hour-long "Lucy Makes Room for Danny." It's funny, even hysterical, from beginning to end.

    It was first shown on December 1,1958, and that afternoon was the third worst school fire in the history of the USA, in Chicago. Bad timing for a very funny show.

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