|I Love Lucy|
I Love Lucy title card in syndication.
|Created by||Jess Oppenheimer
Bob Carroll, Jr.
|Written by||Jess Oppenheimer
Bob Carroll, Jr.
|Theme music composer||Elliot Daniel
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||9 (With The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show)|
|No. of episodes||181 (including the "lost" Christmas episode, and original pilot)|
|Location(s)||Desilu Studios in Hollywood, California|
|Running time||Approx 27 minutes per episode without commercials; 30 minutes with commercials|
|Production company(s)||Desilu Productions|
|Distributor||CBS Television Distribution|
|Original run||October 15, 1951 – May 6, 1957|
|Followed by||The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show|
I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom, starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley. The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951 to May 6, 1957 on CBS. Although the original series ended, the show continued on for three more seasons with 13 one-hour specials, running from 1957 to 1960, known first as The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show and later in reruns as The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.
I Love Lucy was the most-watched show in the United States in four of its six seasons, and was the first to end its run at the top of the ratings (to be matched only by The Andy Griffith Show and Seinfeld), although it did not have a formal series finale episode. I Love Lucy is still syndicated in dozens of languages across the world.
The show won five Emmy Awards and received numerous nominations. In 2002, it was ranked second on TV Guide's top-50 greatest shows, behind Seinfeld and ahead of The Honeymooners. In 2007 it was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME." The same year, the Washington Post named it the second best TV rerun, attesting to its longevity and sustained popularity.
Set mostly in New York City, I Love Lucy centers on Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball), and her singer/bandleader husband Ricky Ricardo (Desi Arnaz), along with their friends and landlords Fred Mertz (William Frawley) and Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance). During the second season, Lucy and Ricky have a son named Little Ricky (whose birth was devised to coincide with Lucille Ball's real life pregnancy). "Little Ricky" literally grows up on the show and during the final season is played by 6 year old actor Keith Thibodeaux.
Lucy is somewhat naïve and ambitious, with an overactive imagination and a knack for getting herself into trouble. Primarily she is obsessed with joining her husband in show business, despite his refusal to cooperate. Fred and Ethel are former vaudevillians and this only strengthens her resolve to prove herself as a performer. Unfortunately, she cannot carry a tune or play anything other than an off-key rendition of "Glow Worm" (or "Sweet Sue") on the saxophone and has little other discernible ability (although to say she is completely without any sort of talent would be untrue as she has on occasion proven to be a good dancer and a competent singer in some cases). The show provided Ball ample opportunity to display her considerable skill at clowning and physical comedy, with Lucy's determination to get into the act in any way possible, resulting in numerous wacky situations. Character development was not a major focus of early sitcoms, so not much was ever learned about her life prior to the show. A few episodes mentioned that she was born in Jamestown, New York, (later corrected to West Jamestown), that she graduated from Jamestown High School, and that she met Ricky on a blind date. Besides occasional appearances by her mother (Kathryn Card), who annoyed Ricky to no end by constantly mispronouncing his name as "Mickey" and mistaking him for fellow bandleader Xavier Cugat, hardly any mention was ever made of any other family members. She also exhibited many stereotypical female traits that was the standard for women on television at the time, including being secretive about her age, being careless with money, and, when she wasn't trying to get into Ricky's shows, being a devoted housewife (Ricky describes her in one episode as a "great housekeeper") and attentive mother to little Ricky.
Lucy's husband, Ricky Ricardo, is an up-and-coming Cuban American singer and bandleader with an excitable personality. His patience is frequently tested, sometimes to the breaking point, by his wife's antics. When exasperated, he often reverts to speaking rapidly in Spanish and even literally spanked Lucy for her mischief on one occason. As with Lucy, not much was ever learned about his past or family. Ricky's mother (played by actress Mary Emery) appeared in two episodes and in another Lucy mentioned that he had five brothers. He also mentioned that he'd been "practically raised" by his uncle Alberto (who was seen during a family visit to Cuba) and that he had attended Havana University.
Lucy's best friend, confidante and accomplice in her crazy schemes is Ethel Mertz. A former model from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Ethel tries to relive her glory days in vaudeville. She usually gets more chances to perform at Ricky's nightclub, because, unlike Lucy, she can actually sing and dance. Ethel, although she is Lucy's ally, often tries to reason with her, providing common sense advice.
Ethel's husband Fred served in World War I and lived through the Great Depression. He is very stingy with money and a very no-nonsense type of guy. However, he also shows that he can be a soft touch, especially when it comes to Little Ricky, the Ricardos' son. Fred performed in vaudeville, so like his wife Ethel, he can also sing and dance and they often performed duets.
Lucy and Ricky often play tricks on each other; for example, when Lucy tricked Ricky into thinking she was a compulsive thief; or when Ricky tricked Lucy into thinking she was not legally married to him, based on a mistake in their license. Although they may disagree at times, and despite their age differences, the four main characters are very close and loving.
The Manhattan building they all lived in before their move to Westport, Connecticut was addressed at a fictional 623 East 68th Street, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, which in reality would be located in the East River.
Gale Gordon and Bea Benaderet, supporting cast members on My Favorite Husband, were originally approached for the roles of Fred and Ethel, but neither could accept due to previous commitments. Gordon did appear as a guest star in three episodes, playing Ricky's boss, Mr. Littlefield, in two episodes, and later in an hour-long episode as a civil court judge. Gordon was a veteran from the classic radio days in which he perfected the role of the exasperated character, as in Fibber McGee and Molly and Our Miss Brooks. He would go on to co-star with Ball in most of her post–I Love Lucy series. Benaderet was a guest star in one episode as the Ricardos' neighbor, the elderly Miss Lewis.
Barbara Pepper (later featured as Doris Ziffel in the series Green Acres) was also considered to play Ethel, but Pepper had been drinking very heavily after the death of her husband, Craig W. Reynolds. Her friendship with Ball dated back to the film Roman Scandals, in which both appeared as Goldwyn Girls. She turned up regularly in bit parts.
Lucille Ball liked naming supporting characters after real-life people. For instance, Carolyn Appleby had been one of her teachers, and Marion Strong was a friend in Jamestown, New York.
I Love Lucy was somewhat similar to My Favorite Husband, a 1948–51 CBS comedy radio series in which Lucille Ball (as zany housewife Liz Cooper) starred with Richard Denning. Based on the novel Mr. and Mrs. Cugat by Isabel Scott Rorick, My Favorite Husband was broadcast from July 23, 1948 to March 31, 1951, sponsored by General Foods. In 1950, CBS asked Lucy to take My Favorite Husband to television, but Lucy insisted that the man playing the role of husband be Arnaz, who had been away from Lucy for months at a time as a touring bandleader. When CBS refused because he was foreign-born, Lucy decided to create a television series of her own to bring her husband back home, and I Love Lucy was brought to television. Some of the My Favorite Husband scripts were rewritten as TV scripts for I Love Lucy by the same writers, Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh and Bob Carroll, Jr..
On February 27, 1952, a sample I Love Lucy radio show was produced, but it never aired. This was a pilot episode, created by editing the soundtrack of the television episode "Breaking the Lease", with added Arnaz narration. It included commercials for Philip Morris, which sponsored the TV series. While it never aired on radio at the time in the 1950s (Philip Morris eventually sponsored a radio edition of My Little Margie instead), copies of this radio pilot episode have been circulating among "old time radio" collectors for years, and this radio pilot episode has aired in more recent decades on numerous local radio stations which air some "old time radio" programming.
At the time, most television shows were broadcast live from New York City, and a low-quality 35mm or 16mm kinescope print was made of the show to broadcast it in other time zones. Because Ball was pregnant, she and Arnaz insisted on filming the show in Hollywood. The duo, along with co-creator Jess Oppenheimer, then decided to shoot the show on 35 mm film in front of a studio audience, with three cameras, a technique now standard for most present-day sitcoms. The result was a much sharper image than other shows of the time, and the audience reactions were far more authentic than the "canned laughter" used on most filmed sitcoms of the time. The technique was not completely new; another CBS comedy series, Amos 'n' Andy, which debuted four months earlier, was already being filmed at Hal Roach Studios with three 35mm cameras to save time and money. Hal Roach Studios was also used for filming at least two other TV comedies as early as 1950, both airing on ABC, namely Stu Erwin's The Trouble with Father, and the TV version of Beulah; the original 1949/50 Jackie Gleason TV version of The Life of Riley on NBC was also done on film, not live. There were also some dramatic TV shows pre-dating I Love Lucy which were also filmed, not live. But I Love Lucy was the first show to use this film technique in front of a studio audience.
Arnaz persuaded Karl Freund, an Academy Award -winning cinematographer of such films as Metropolis (1927), Dracula (1931), and The Good Earth (1937), as well as director of The Mummy (1932), to be the series' cinematographer. Arnaz hired his childhood friend Marco Rizo to arrange the music and play the piano for the show.
Scenes were often performed in sequence, as a play would be, which was unusual for comedies at that time. Retakes were rare and dialogue mistakes were often played off for the sake of continuity.
Desilu Productions, the company jointly owned by Ball and Arnaz, produced I Love Lucy and gradually expanded to produce and lease studio space for many other shows. For seasons 1 and 2 (1951–1953), Desilu rented space and filmed I Love Lucy at General Service Studios (now Hollywood Center Studios). In 1953, it leased the Motion Picture Center at 846 Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood, and renamed it Desilu Studios to shoot seasons 3–6 (1953–1957) of I Love Lucy. After 1956, it became known as Desilu-Cahuenga Studios to avoid confusion with other acquired Desilu locations. Desilu-Cahuenga is now Ren-Mar Studios.
Many real-life facts about Arnaz and Ball made it into the series. Like Ball, Lucy Ricardo was born on August 6 in Jamestown, New York, and attended high school in Celoron, New York. Also, the Ricardos were married at the Byram River Beagle Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, just as the Arnazes had been.
The opening familiar to most viewers, featuring the credits superimposed over a "heart on satin" image, was created specifically for the 1959–67 CBS daytime network rebroadcasts, and subsequent syndication. As originally broadcast, the episodes opened with animated matchstick figures of Arnaz and Ball making reference to whomever the particular episode's sponsor was. These sequences were created by the animation team of Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, who declined screen credit because they were technically under exclusive contract to MGM at the time.
The original sponsor was cigarette maker Philip Morris, so the program opened with a cartoon of Lucy and Ricky climbing down a pack of Philip Morris cigarettes. In the early episodes, Lucy and Ricky, as well as Ethel and Fred on occasion, were shown smoking Philip Morris cigarettes. Lucy even went so far as to parody Johnny Roventini's image as the Philip Morris "bellhop" in the May 5, 1952 episode, Lucy Does a TV Commercial. Since the original sponsor references were no longer appropriate when the shows went into syndication, a new opening was needed, which resulted in the classic "heart on satin" opening. Other sponsors, whose products appeared during the original openings, were Procter & Gamble for Cheer and Lilt Home Permanent (1954–57), General Foods for Sanka (1955–57), Ford Motor Company (1957-1958) and Westinghouse company (1958- 1960).
The original openings, with the sponsor names edited out, were revived on TV Land showings, with a TV Land logo superimposed to obscure the original sponsor's logo. Ironically, this has led some people to believe that the restored introduction was created specifically for TV Land as an example of kitsch.
The animated openings, along with the middle commercial introductory animations, are included, fully restored, in the Complete Series DVD collection.
As with My Favorite Husband, Lucy writers decided that the Ricardo characters needed a set of older characters to play off. While doing Husband, veteran character actors Gale Gordon and Bea Benaderet had played the Atterburys, an older, more financially stable couple (Mr. Atterbury was George Cooper's boss). Initially, Ball had wanted both actors to reprise their roles on television, however they were unavailable at the time the show went into production with Benaderet already playing Blanche Morton on the Burns and Allen program and Gordon under contract by CBS to do Our Miss Brooks radio and television programs.
Casting the Mertzes, as they were now called, (the surname taken from a doctor Lucy scribe Madelyn Pugh knew as a child in Indianapolis) proved to be a challenge. Ball had initially wanted character actor James Gleason, with whom she appeared in Columbia Pictures 1949 movie Miss Grant Takes Richmond, to play Fred Mertz. However, Gleason wanted nearly $3,500 per episode to play the role, a price that was far too steep. Sixty-four year old Bill Frawley, a seasoned vaudevillian and movie character actor with nearly 100 film credits to his name, was a long shot to play Fred Mertz and only came in to consideration after he telephoned Ball personally to ask if there was a role for him on her new show. Ball, who had only briefly known Frawley from her days at RKO, suggested him to both Arnaz and CBS. CBS balked at the idea of Frawley, fearing that his excessive drinking — which was well known in Hollywood — would interfere with his doing a live show. Arnaz nonetheless felt Frawley seemed to personify the character, which had been retailored as less financially successful and more curmudgeonly in contrast to Gale Gordon's Mr. Atterbury. CBS relented only after Arnaz contractually bound Frawley to complete sobriety during the production of the show. Not once during Lucy's nine seasons did Frawley's drinking ever interfere with his performance.
Casting Ethel Mertz was also some work. Barbara Pepper, a close friend of Ball's who had come to Hollywood with her in 1933 as one of the Goldwyn Girls to costar with Eddie Cantor in the film Roman Scandals, was initially considered. Unfortunately, Pepper suffered from severe alcoholism and thus was passed on, although she did appear in several bit parts during the run of the show. Vivian Vance was a successful Broadway actress who had already been performing for 20 years on the stage with two film credits to her name, but was relatively unknown in Hollywood by 1950. Suggested by Lucy director Marc Daniels, who had worked with her on Broadway, Vance was performing in a revival of the play Voice of the Turtle in La Jolla, California. Arnaz and Jess Oppenheimer went to see her in the play and hired her on the spot. Vance had many misgivings about giving up her film and stage work for a television show, yet was convinced by Daniels that it would be a big break in her career. Ball was initially wary of casting Vance, who was around the same age as she and far more attractive than the writers' concept of Ethel as an older, somewhat homely woman. Vance assured Ball that she could easily inhibit those traits with makeup and, after several rehearsals, Ball began to warm to her. Eventually the two would develop a lifelong professional and personal relationship.
Vance and Frawley's off-screen relationship was less successful. In spite of this, they were always professional and exhibited exceptional chemistry while performing on the show. In fact, their acrimonious personal relationship may have helped their onscreen marriage be that much funnier. It was reported that Vance, who was 23 years Frawley's junior, was upset that she had to pretend to be married to a man old enough to be her father. Hearing this comment, Frawley came to resent Vance, resulting in an adversarial relationship between the two throughout the entire run of the show. In 1958, when Arnaz proposed doing a spin-off from I Love Lucy based on the Mertzes, Vance balked even after being promised a substantial salary, stating that she could not stand to work with Frawley one on one on a daily basis. The two rarely, if ever, talked to each other outside of performing after that. It was recalled that, in 1966, when she learned of Frawley's death, Vance shouted, "Champagne for everyone!" 
Just before filming the show, Lucy and Desi learned that Lucy was once again pregnant (after multiple miscarriages earlier in their marriage) with what would be their first child, Lucie Arnaz. They actually filmed the original pilot while Lucy was "showing," but did not include any references to the pregnancy in the episode.
Later, during the second season, Lucy was pregnant again with second child Desi Arnaz, Jr., and this time the pregnancy was incorporated into the series' storyline. Despite popular belief, Lucy's pregnancy was not television's first on-screen pregnancy. That distinction belongs to Mary Kay on the late 1940s sitcom, Mary Kay and Johnny.
CBS would not allow I Love Lucy to use the word "pregnant", so "expecting" was used instead. The episode "Lucy Is Enceinte" first aired on December 8, 1952 ("enceinte" being French for "expecting" or "pregnant", although the show never displayed episode titles on the air). The episode in which Lucy gives birth, "Lucy Goes to the Hospital," first aired on January 19, 1953. To increase the publicity of this episode, the original air date was chosen to coincide with Lucille Ball's real-life delivery of Desi, Jr. by Caesarean section. "Lucy Goes to the Hospital" was watched by more people than any other TV program up to that time, with 71.7% of all American television sets tuned in, topping the 67.7 rating for Dwight Eisenhower's inauguration coverage the following morning.
Unlike some programs which advance the age of a newborn over a short period of time, I Love Lucy allowed the Little Ricky character to grow up in real time. America saw Little Ricky as an infant in the 1952–53 season, a toddler from 1953 to 1956, and finally a young school-age boy from 1956 to 1960. However, five actors played the role, two sets of twins and later Keith Thibodeaux. (In the Superman episode, Little Ricky is mentioned as 5 years old but it had only been 4 years since the birth-of-Little-Ricky episode.)
Jess Oppenheimer stated in his autobiography that deciding the sex of the Ricardo child was initially problematic. Initially Lucy scribes wanted the Ricardos to have a boy, feeling that a boy would allow for more comical plot lines. Still unconvinced, Oppenheimer asked Desi what he wanted: Desi replied that he wanted a boy because this might be his only chance to have a son with Lucy. From then on, no matter what the sex of Lucille Ball's real baby was, Lucy Ricardo would have a boy.
Most episodes take place in the Ricardos' modest brownstone apartment at 623 East 68th Street or at the downtown "Tropicana" nightclub where Ricky is employed, though other parts of the city are sometimes used. Later episodes take the Ricardos and the Mertzes to Hollywood for Ricky to shoot a movie, and to Europe, when Ricky and his band tour the continent. There is also a trip to Miami Beach for the two couples, with a side trip to Ricky's homeland of Cuba. Eventually, like millions of other Americans in the late 1950s, the friends move to the suburbs, in this case, to Westport, Connecticut.
Some especially memorable episodes:
Arnaz and Ball capitalized on the series' popularity by starring in Vincente Minnelli's 1954 film The Long, Long Trailer as Tacy and Nicky Collini, two characters very similar to Lucy and Ricky. Also during this time, Desilu produced a feature film version of the show in 1953, consisting of three first-season episodes edited together: "The Benefit", "Breaking the Lease" and "The Ballet". New scenes featuring the cast were filmed and put between the episodes to tie them into one cohesive story. MGM, however, demanded the I Love Lucy movie be shelved because they felt it would diminish interest in the The Long, Long Trailer. Although I Love Lucy was never theatrically released and had been forgotten, it has since been found and has been released on the bonus disc in the Complete Series collection.
After the conclusion of the sixth season of I Love Lucy, Lucy and Desi decided to cut down on the number of episodes that were filmed. Instead, they extended I Love Lucy to 60 minutes, with a guest star each episode. They renamed the show the The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show, also known as The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour. Thirteen hour-long episodes aired from 1957 to 1960. The main cast, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley and Keith Thibodeaux were all in the show. The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour is available on DVD, released as I Love Lucy: The Final Seasons 7, 8, & 9. On March 2, Desi's birthday, 1960, the day after the last hour-long episode was filmed, Lucille Ball filed for divorce from Desi Arnaz. It made that playful, yet passionate kiss at the end of the final episode which aired April 1, "Lucy Meets the Moustache", all the more poignant, as the world already knew that this storied Hollywood marriage was all but over.
As mentioned Vance and Frawley were offered a chance to take their characters to their own spin-off series. Frawley was willing, but Vance refused to ever work with Frawley again since the two did not get along. Frawley did appear once more with Lucille Ball — in an episode of The Lucy Show in 1965 which did not include Vance (who by then had ceased to be a regular on that show). Sadly, this was his last screen appearance with his longtime friend. He died in Hollywood on March 3, 1966 of a heart attack at age 79.
In 1962, Ball began a six-year run with The Lucy Show, followed immediately in 1968 by six more years on yet another sitcom, Here's Lucy, finally ending her long run as a CBS sitcom star in 1974. Both The Lucy Show and Here's Lucy are notable for having Vance as recurring characters named Viv (Vivian Bagley Bunson on The Lucy Show and Vivian Jones on Here's Lucy), so named because she was tired of being recognized on the street and addressed as Ethel. Vance was a regular during the first three seasons of The Lucy Show but continued to make guest appearances through the years on The Lucy Show, and on Here's Lucy. In 1977, Vance and Ball were reunited one last time in the CBS special, Lucy Calls the President, which co-starred Gale Gordon.
In 1986, Ball tried another sitcom, Life with Lucy. The series aired on ABC for eight episodes before being canceled due to low ratings. Oddly enough, the show debuted to very high ratings, landing in Nielsen's Top 20 for that week.
I Love Lucy has remained perennially popular. For instance, it was one of the first programs made in the USA seen on British television, which became more open to commerce with the launch of ITV, a commercial network that aired the series, in September 1955. As of July 2007, it remains the longest-running program to air continually in the Los Angeles area, almost 50 years after production ended. Ironically, the series is currently aired on KTTV, which had given up the CBS affiliation several months before I Love Lucy premiered. "I Love Lucy" is also airing four times a day, Monday through Friday, on KTTV's sister station KCOP Channel 13, also in Los Angeles. KTTV still airs "I Love Lucy" on weekends. In the US, reruns have aired nationally on Nick at Nite and TV Land in addition to local channels. As of January 2, 2009, I Love Lucy moved over to the Hallmark Channel but they are not currently airing the show except for the first two weeks of October 2009 & before mid July 2009. TV Land ended its run of the series by giving viewers the opportunity to vote on the shows top 25 greatest episodes of all-time on December 31, 2008 on the network's website.This is particularly notable because, unlike some shows to which a cable channel is given exclusive rights to maximize ratings, Lucy has been consistently—and successfully—broadcast on multiple channels simultaneously.
The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in Jamestown, New York is a museum memorializing Lucy and I Love Lucy, including replicas of the NYC apartment set (located in the Desilu Playhouse facility in the Rapaport Center. (See also SaveLucyDesiCenter.org.)
The title music, normally heard in an instrumental version, was sung by Desi Arnaz in the episode "Lucy's Last Birthday".
I love Lucy and she loves me,
We're as happy as two can be,
Sometimes we quarrel but then, how we love making up again,
Lucy kisses like no one can,
She's my missus and I'm her man,
And life is heaven you see,
Cause I love Lucy, Yes I love Lucy and Lucy loves me!!!!
I Love Lucy consistently ranked very high in the Nielsen ratings throughout its run.
The episode "Lucy Goes to the Hospital" first aired on Monday, January 19, 1953. It garnered a record 71.7 rating, meaning 71.7% of all television households at the time were tuned in to the program. To this day, that record is surpassed only by Elvis Presley's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956 (82.6% rating).
Beginning in the Summer of 2001, Columbia House Television began releasing I Love Lucy on DVD in Chronological order. They began that summer with the pilot and the first three episodes on a single DVD. Every six weeks, another volume of four episodes would be released on DVD in chronological order. During the summer of 2002, each DVD would contain between five and seven episodes on a single DVD. They continued to release the series very slowly and would not even begin to release any season 2 episodes until the middle of 2002. By the spring of 2003, the third season on DVD began to be released with about six episodes released every six weeks to mail order subscribers. All these DVDs have the same identical features as the DVDs eventually released in the season Box sets in retail.
By the fall of 2003, season four episodes began to be offered by mail. By the spring of 2004 season five DVDs with about six episodes each began to be released gradually. Columbia House ended the distribution of these mail order DVDs in the Winter of 2005. They began releasing complete season sets in the Summer of 2004 every few months. They stated that Columbia House Subscribers would get these episodes through mail before releasing any box sets with the same episodes. They finally ended gradual subscriptions in 2005, several months before season 5 became available in retail. Columbia House then began to make season box sets available instead of these single volumes.
CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released all six seasons of I Love Lucy on DVD in Region 1, as well as all 13 episodes of The Lucy and Desi Comedy Hour (as I Love Lucy: The Final Seasons – 7, 8, & 9). Bonus features include rare on-set color footage and the "Desilu/Westinghouse" promotional film, as well as deleted scenes, original openings and interstitials (before they were altered or replaced for syndication) and on-air flubs. These DVDs offered identical features and identical content to the mail order single sets formerly available until 2005.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|The Complete 1st Season||36||September 23, 2003
(re-released June 7, 2005)
|The Complete 2nd Season||31||August 31, 2004|
|The Complete 3rd Season||31||February 1, 2005|
|The Complete 4th Season||30||May 3, 2005|
|The Complete 5th Season||26||August 16, 2005|
|The Complete 6th Season||27||May 2, 2006|
|The Final Seasons 7, 8 & 9||13||March 13, 2007|
|The Complete Series||194||October 23, 2007|
The DVD releases feature the syndicated heart opening, and offer the original broadcast openings as bonus features. Season 6 allows viewers to choose whether to watch the episodes with the original opening or the syndicated opening. The TV Land openings are not on these DVDs.
Initially, the first season was offered in volumes, with four episodes per disc. After the success of releasing seasons 2, 3, and 4 in slimpacks, the first season was re-released as a seven disc set, requiring new discs to be mastered and printed to include more episodes per disc so there would be fewer discs in the set. The individual volume discs for the first season are still in print, but are rare due to lack of shelf space.
Episodes feature English closed-captioning, but only Spanish subtitles.
[after learning about the latest trouble Lucy has gotten into]
[Lucy and Ethel can't find dates.]
[Fred talking to Ricky about his anniversary]
[Lucy and Ethel are washing dishes]
[Lucy joins Ricky's poker game]
I Love Lucy was an American television sitcom that starred Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley. The series ran from 1951 to 1960 which included the spin-off show The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show. The show won five Emmy Awards and was ranked second on TV Guide's top-50 greatest shows.