Life with Lucy and Desi is a Documentary programme.
Life with Lucy and Desi
Husband and wife team Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz helped to redefine American television in the 1950s and '60s. In 1948, Lucy was working on a radio programme called My Favourite Husband, which became a hit. When she was asked to develop the idea for TV, she agreed on the condition that she worked on it with Desi and together they formed Desilu productions. Their first pilot was a flop, so the couple took to the road in a Vaudeville act, where Lucy played the zany wife of bandleader Desi. The tour was so successful that CBS decided to buy the format and I Love Lucy became one of the most successful TV shows of all time. Together, Lucy and Desi changed US TV, artistically, technically and geographically. They pioneered a number of methods still in use today and were instrumental in relocating TV production from New York to LA, where it has remained. They purchased the old RKO studios in Hollywood and turned it into the Desilu production centre which went on to create The Untouchables, The Dick van Dyke Show, Mission: Impossible, I Spy and Star Trek, amongst many other notable series. Lucy eventually bought out Desi and became one of the first female studio heads. In 1960, Lucy and Desi divorced and the long running and highly rated I Love Lucy series came to an end, but Lucy and Desi remained close friends right up until Desi died in 1986. Lucy's TV comedy series continued in the form of The Lucy Show (1962-68) and Here's Lucy (1968-74), which featured her two real-life children, Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jnr. More recently, I Love Lucy was named the Greatest TV Series by Hall of Fame Magazine. Lucy died on April 18, 1989. Her great success on screen and in business had given her a power denied most entertainers, and she was one of the few 1950s television stars to successfully fight the Communist witch hunts. Twenty years after Lucy's death, new interviews reveal how Lucy's comedic brilliance and Desi's business savvy scaled the heights of the new medium of television.
Running Time: 60 minutes (approx)
Database last updated: 22 February - 17:35