November 28, 2007

"I Love Lucy" Series Bought by Hallmark Channel

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Hallmark Channel has completed one of its biggest series acquisition deals, nabbing rights to "7th Heaven," "Cheers" and "I Love Lucy" along with additional episodes of "Matlock" and "Touched by an Angel," all from CBS Television Distribution.

The deal also includes rights to 12 holiday movies, including "Finding John Christmas," "Town Without a Christmas" and "When Angels Come to Town."

"7th Heaven" will be the first of the three newly acquired series to come available to the network, where it will be ready to launch as early as January, while "Cheers" will become available later in 2008 and "Lucy" in January 2009. The deal includes rights to all episodes of all three series.

Hallmark senior VP acquisitions and programming Michelle Vicary said the plan is to run the three series in Monday-through-Friday strips. Executives also are considering weekend runs.

Vicary said the shows will appeal to Hallmark's regular viewers -- the baby boomer audience -- and attract the "occasional" viewers who tend to tune in primarily for the network's original movies. She added that the shows will complement Hallmark's other acquired series, including "M*A*S*H," "Little House on the Prairie" and "Murder, She Wrote."

"All (three) shows are what you think of when you think of Hallmark Channel," she said.

Hallmark and CBS declined comment on the financial terms of the deal.

November 27, 2007

Gregg Oppenheimer Discusses I Love Lucy DVD Release

On Wednesday, November 28th, Gregg Oppenheimer, son of "I Love Lucy" producer and creator Jess Oppenheimer and producer of the "I Love Lucy" DVD releases, will be on Shokus Internet Radio from 4 pm Pacific Time (7 pm on the East Coast) until 6pm PST. Stuart Shostak will host the two-hour long call-in show. The website is free, and there's no registration required to listen or to call in and ask your own questions.

In addition to discussing how Gregg painstakingly restored every episode of the classic sitcom, "I Love Lucy" for the DVD releases, he will also cover his father Jess's incredibly successful career first as a radio writer for Lucy's "My Favorite Husband" series and then as co-creator and head writer for “I Love Lucy.”

As always, listener phone calls will be welcomed toll-free at (888) SHOKUS-5 (746-5875). The program will be repeated daily at the same time through December 4, except Sunday, when it will air at 10 a.m. PT. To hear the broadcast, please visit www.shokusradio.com and select one of the players to access the live feed. There is no registration or cost involved -- it's all free!

Lucille Ball Part of Quilt Exhibit


From the Dodge City Daily Globe, Rebekka Seigel creates a tribute quilt as part of an exhibition that tells the lives of 13 influential women. The exhibit is currently on display at the Stauth Memorial Museum in Montezuma, Kansas.

"The seventh quilt in my paper doll series evokes the most nostalgia from my childhood," said Seigel in a press release. "The Lucille Ball tribute is a collage of things that represent images that describe Lucy's life on screen and off."

The quilts are "paper doll quilts," complete with tiny, quilted outfits that symbolize the defining moments in each of the women's lives. The clothes are attached to the main quilt, but can be maneuvered to dress the doll.

"Three of Lucy's outfits represent my favorite adventures from (I Love Lucy)," said Seigel. "The maternity outfit makes note of the fact that she was the first woman to be allowed to be 'with child' - the word 'pregnant' was not allowed by the censors - on a television show.

"This wonderful clown was also the first female head of a television studio when she got control of DesiLu (Productions) in her divorce from Desi Arnaz, and that accomplishment is acknowledged with an outfit as well."

Each quilt in the "Women's Work" series is different and each is dedicated to a different woman. Maya Angelou, Lucille Ball, Pearl S. Buck, Rachel Carson, Babe Didrikson, Ella Fitzgerald, Martha Graham, Barbara Jordan, Lucy Martin Lewis, Margaret Mead, Louis Nevelson, Jean Ritchie and Eleanor Roosevelt are each represented in the series.

Joining the "Women's Work" exhibit will be a display of 40 quilts created in all parts of the state of Kansas. The quilts were stitched in a wide variety of patterns and materials, including cross-stitch, scrap and Stack 'n' Wack, Christmas and samplers. Some of the quilts were made as long ago as the mid-1800s, while others were finished just this year.

The exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sundays. The exhibit is closed on Mondays and all major holidays. "Women's Work" will be on display through Jan. 6, 2008.

November 21, 2007

Exclusive Mattel Ethel Doll Released for Christmas


Mattel released another doll and this time it was an exclusive version of Ethel Mertz! I believe this one hit above everybody's radar. This version is a Platinum I Love Lucy series, which means less than a 1,000 were made. It has Ethel in the Christmas episode, which is the same episode that was last year's exclusive Lucille Ball Mattel doll release. This is Mattel's 14th in their I Love Lucy series.

The Plantinum label edition is truly rare. There are only three other classes of dolls produced by Mattel; Gold which produces 25,000, Silver which produces 50,000 and Pink which is your normal everyday release.

This Mattel Platinum Label I Love Lucy, Ethel Doll is truly rare and will not be found in stores anymore. This is the first-ever solo Ethel Mertz doll released by Mattel. The Christmas Show, also known as Jingle Bells, first aired on Christmas Eve, 1956. This episode featured flashbacks woven with newer Christmas-themed footage, in which all four main characters, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo and Fred and Ethel Mertz, all dressed as Santa Claus only to be surprised by a visit from the real Santa at the end!

November 18, 2007

I Love Lucy Square Dedication


The late comedian Lucille Ball and the owner of Lucy's El Adobe Cafe were recognized for their contributions to Hollywood with the renaming of an intersection to "I Love Lucy Square."

Lucille Ball and Lucy Casado shared the honor Thursday afternoon at the intersection of Melrose Avenue and Plymouth Boulevard near Paramount Studios. Lucille Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz, started Desilu Productions at the cafe in 1951.

Lucy's El Adobe Cafe has become a popular campaign stop for politicians. Former California Gov. Jerry Brown, now the state's attorney general, first met singer Linda Ronstadt at the cafe in the 1970s.

Councilman Tom LaBonge unveiled the square's new sign during an afternoon ceremony.

November 17, 2007

Lucille Ball Honored in "The 50 Greatest TV Icons"


TV Land and Entertainment Weekly have picked late-night king Johnny Carson as Top on the list and Lucille Ball came in second. Pictured here is Lucy with Johnny Carson in the early 1960's. Johnny Carson also appeared with Lucy in her series "Here's Lucy" in the episode, "Lucy and Johnny Carson". You can also find the Video Clip of Lucy with Johnny Carson on the "Everything Lucy" website.

TV Land aired their choices in a two-hour special at 8 p.m. Friday. Entertainment Weekly will share the list in its edition that's out Friday. Want to draw up your own list? TV Land has established Icon Challenge.

You can find the List posted on the Associated Press.

Here are the top names:

50. Larry Hagman
49. Calista Flockhart
48. Jimmy Smits
47. Simon Cowell
46. Lassie
45. Sarah Michelle Gellar
44. Susan Lucci
43. Flip Wilson
42. James Gandolfini
41. Jon Stewart
40. Sally Field
39. Jennifer Aniston
38. Bea Arthur
37. George Clooney
36. Diahann Carroll
35. Michael J. Fox
34. Bob Barker
33. Ellen DeGeneres
32. Henry Winkler
31. Sarah Jessica Parker
30. Alan Alda
29. John Ritter
28. Howard Cosell
27. Regis Philbin
26. Farrah Fawcett
25. Heather Locklear
24. Michael Landon
23. Barbara Walters
22. Milton Berle
21. Kermit
20. Carroll O'Connor
19. Andy Griffith
18. William Shatner
17. Bob Newhart
16. David Letterman
15. "Not Ready for Prime Time Players"
14. Ed Sullivan
13. Jackie Gleason
12. Dick Van Dyke
11. Roseanne
10. Dick Clark
9. Homer Simpson
8. Jerry Seinfeld
7. Mary Tyler Moore
6. Carol Burnett
5. Walter Cronkite
4. Bill Cosby
3. Oprah Winfrey
2. Lucille Ball
1. Johnny Carson

My say - "Where's Carol Burnett? And Why is Lucy No. 2??"

Lucille Ball - I Love Lucy Box Set Review

Although old news to all Lucy Fans, I post this article from The London Free Press on I Love Lucy: The Complete Series Box Set which came out this last October.

For the I-want-it-all collector, this is absolutely it for Lucy, the holy grail or "the whole McGillicuddy," as the box cover declares. Anyone who already owns season-by-season sets might be annoyed by this more desirable mega-set, but this is now the pattern with TV on DVD. Plan ahead.

The new gift box, shaped like a giant heart, contains six seasons of I Love Lucy and three of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, taking them to April 1, 1960. The shows are all in proper full-frame and vintage black-and-white.

In addition, you get the rough kinescope version of the so-called "lost pilot" of 1951 -- first aired in 1990 -- along with the filmed feature, I Love Lucy: The Movie. It was constructed in 1953 out of three first-season episodes connected by a new intro, exit and various tidbits.

There are other gems, too, including Lucy and Desi's three-minute skit on The Ed Wynn show in 1949, ads from sponsor Philip Morris (Lucy, Desi and co-stars Vivian Vance and William Frawley all smoked like steam locomotives on air, too) and excerpts from the 1954 Emmy Awards.

You can also watch a separate colourized version of the 1956 Lucy Goes to Scotland episode.

I Love Lucy Murals


In Lucille Ball's hometown of Jamestown, NY you'll find lots of "Lucy" to do and see. Besides the Lucy-Desi Museum, Lucy-Desi Center's Gift Show and the Desilu Playhouse, you'll see murals of Lucy throughout the town.

The "I Love Lucy" murals in downtown Jamestown are a can't miss. Now, a fourth in a series of Lucy-Desi murals has been completed. Gary Peters, who is a big supporter of the Center was commissioned to create the series. Jamestown’s newest Lucy mural, is located at the Spring and Fourth Street corner of the Spring Street parking garage.

The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation provided the funding necessary for the mural with additional financial support provided by the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce.

Lucy's hometown is making strides in celebrating the legacy of the first Couple of Comedy thanks to these organizations, others, and...fans from throughout the world that make Jamestown, New York, a visitor destination each year

Carol Burnett profiled in PBS Documentary


Although this doesn't pertain to Lucille Ball and I'm breaking my own rule that this is nothing but "Everything Lucy", I wanted to post about the next best red-headed comedian, Carol Burnett. She worked with Lucy from her beginnings and the two became close friends.

Carol Burnett was featured in a PBS Documentary, American Masters, subtitled "A Woman of Character". One of the interview subjects points out that Burnett could never sing "as herself" during the 11-year run of her CBS variety show: She could only sing in character.

Read more from the San Francisco Chronicle or visit PBS American Masters to read about the documentary, Carol Burnett: A Woman of Character.

You can also read more about the documentary and Carol Burnett from The Denver Post.

November 11, 2007

We loved Lucy. But we really liked Ricky

From Cuba with Love on "Lucy" by Frank Lovece is an article from Newsday on Desi Arnaz.

So much is written on Lucille Ball that we sometimes miss the achievements of her husband Desi Arnaz. This special Newsday article goes into a few of those achievements ...
And whatever Ricky Ricardo might or might not have influenced in terms of cultural assimilation, Arnaz at least provided the groundbreaking role model that helped Hispanics tell the rest of America, "Honey! We're home!

I Love Lucy Video Games

According to Multiplayer Blog, BeanBag Studio has produced what appears to be an I Love Lucy Video Trivia Game. You can see the games from on their site.

Steve Bergenholtz, CEO of newly announced game development company Beanbag Studios said he secured the licenses by contacting the children of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, their agents and CBS.

Bergenholtz said that his team tested various ideas for two weeks at a time and settled on a trivia concept for the first three “Lucy” games. The opening “Lucy” titles from Beanbag will each involve one of the three cited episodes. Video-based challenges include trivia, filling in missing lines from edited clips, and putting parts of the show in their proper order. More “Lucy” games are coming in the second quarter of 2008, including one in the style of “Diner Dash.”

Bergenholtz said he’s targeting the “Lucy” “Diner Dash” game for the Wii’s upcoming WiiWare downloadable game service.

At least two of the “Lucy” games will be available this holiday season. Look for updates on the official Beanbag Studios site.

Artist Renditions of Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx

Besides the thought of Mattel producing a likeness of Lucille Ball as Harpo Marx, the next best thing is the artist, Altered Whimsey who produces one of a kind graphite drawings and paintings.

As a fellow artist, I encourage everyone to visit the site to view the original 8x10 of Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx. For only $40.00 it would make an outstanding Christmas gift to any Lucy Fan.

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