October 07, 2005

Pregnancy Considered Top Secret

Early in 1951, when the great funny lady Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz made the pilot episode that sold CBS on 'I Love Lucy,' Lucy was very pregnant with daughter Lucie Arnaz. I Love Lucy was almost cancelled before it even got started! The network couldn't show her pregnant! That just wasn't done! Instead of canceling her show, the network decided that Lucy's stomach would be hidden behind furniture at all times. For the cameras, they hid the pregnancy as much as they could.

A couple of years later, when Lucy was pregnant with son Desi Jr., they realized that they couldn't hide the pregnancy so they took a chance and went a different route. Lucy's pregnancy was mirrored by her TV character's pregnancy. Instead of conforming to society's standards, they revolutionized the entire television industry. TV history was made on Jan. 19, 1953, when the episode that gave birth to 'little Ricky' was watched by 44 million viewers -- or 72 percent of U.S. homes with TV.

My how times have changed!

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