I Love Lucy
The classic American television sitcom, I Love Lucy, aired from October 15, 1951 to May 6, 1957. It is considered one of the most influential sitcoms in history. The main character, Lucy, is a hilarious woman with aspirations of becoming a star who consistently finds herself in strange situations. Lucy has a habit of making life comically frantic in the apartment building she shares with her bandleader husband, Ricky Ricardo, and landlords Fred and Ethel Mertz. In real life, the show’s stars Lucille Ball (Lucy) and Desi Arnaz (Ricky) were married for a time; although they ended up breaking up, they remained best friends. Desi would proclaim until his dying day, “I Love Lucy was never just a title.”
I Love Lucy was groundbreaking and made history for a number of reasons. It was one of the first TV shows to feature a multi ethnic couple, the first TV show produced by the lead actors of the show, and one of the first American TV shows broadcast on British television. Also unique to the show was that in the 1950’s, many television shows were broadcast from New York, but Lucille and Desi wanted to work near their home in Los Angeles. During this time, the U.S. wasn’t wired for television from coast-to-coast, and shows that were broadcasted live could only be transmitted so far. As a result, I Love Lucy was the first major show to be put on film rather than kinescope (a film of a live television broadcast) and paved the wave for syndication.
The show went on to win five Emmy Awards and received numerous nominations. It was the most watched show in the U.S. for four of its six seasons. The episode “Lucy Goes to the Hospital,” which first aired on January 19, 1953, garnered a record 71.7 rating; viewership of the episode exceeded viewership of the swearing in of Dwight D. Eisenhower as President the following day. That record is surpassed only by Elvis Presley’s first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which aired in 1956. The overall rating for the entire 1952 season of I Love Lucy continues to be the highest average rating for any single season of a TV show. Many say that it was very successful because it was relatable, funny and different for its time.
Mercury One is the proud owner of the makeup stand Lucille Ball used during her time on I Love Lucy. The actor and her iconic role will remain an integral part of the American TV landscape for years to come.
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