July 22, 2009

The Very Brief Reunion of Lucy Ricardo and Fred Mertz

After six seasons on the air, the hugely successful I Love Lucy sitcom ended. The stars had tired of the weekly grind but transitioned to the more expensive The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show specials. A baker’s dozen of those were produced over three years. By the end, the writers had run dry and the marriage of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball had fallen apart. The day after the production wrapped, Ball filed for divorce.

Before the show ended, it was proposed that the Mertz’s, played by William Frawley and Vivian Vance, continue in their own spin-off. The two had never liked each other off-screen but Frawley realized that the show could be very lucrative and agreed. Vance didn’t want any part of it and refused.

Sadly, the end of the specials was the last time that the four actors would ever play their iconic characters. Arnaz continued to produce and direct and acted occasionally before eventually retiring. Ball went on to act in three more series, movies, and specials. Vance co-starred on The Lucy Show for three seasons and then did guest shots and commercials after that.

After the end of the Lucy-Desi series of specials, Frawley went directly into a regular role on My Three Sons, playing Fred MacMurray’s gruff father-in-law. Despite the persona of the characters he played, Don Grady and Stanley Livingston have both indicated that he was very warm and affectionate to them off-screen.

Frawley did have his nasty side though and still didn’t care for Vance. It seems that The Lucy Show and My Three Sons were produced on neighboring soundstages. According to a recent interview on Stu’s Show, Grady and Livingston said that Frawley would give them Frisbees and tell them to toss them into the Lucy soundstage, just as Vance was filming a complicated scene.

In 1965, after five seasons on My Three Sons, Frawley was fired. His health had become so poor that it was no longer possible to insure him for the show. The actor wasn’t pleased about being let go and reportedly returned to the set on a regular basis until he was asked to stop. He died on March 3, 1966.

Fittingly, Frawley’s last on-screen appearance came in October 25, 1965 on The Lucy Show. Vance had already left the series and Frawley appears in just a brief cameo with Ball. For one brief moment, it’s like Lucy Ricardo and Fred Mertz are together again.

July 17, 2009

The Lucy Show - First Season DVD - July 21st

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - The wait is over: THE LUCY SHOW is coming to DVD on July 21st! Legendary actress Lucille Ball makes her sidesplitting return to DVD in a pristine remastered format when the official first season of THE LUCY SHOW, starring everyone's favorite redhead arrives on DVD July 21 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment.

Over 40 years in the making, THE LUCY SHOW: THE FIRST SEASON includes all 30 laugh-out-loud first season episodes, beautifully remastered and presented here in a 4-disc set. Bursting at the seams with special features, THE LUCY SHOW: THE FIRST SEASON also includes the series' original openings and closings, long-lost cast commercials, flubs, bios, production notes - and exciting new interviews with Lucie Arnaz, who made her acting debut in the series, and show regular Jimmy Garrett.

Two years after the classic "I Love Lucy" ended production; Lucille Ball bounced back in an all-new series that showcased her gift for physical comedy and her chemistry with longtime cohort Vivian Vance. This time around, Lucy plays recently widowed Lucy Carmichael, who shares her suburban New York house with recently divorced Vivian Bagley (Vance). They grapple, as only they can, with the comedic complications of raising children, balancing the budget and surviving without a man around the house. Candy Moore and Jimmy Garrett play Lucy's two children; Ralph Hart plays Vivian's young son.

With much of the same writing and production staff as "I Love Lucy," THE LUCY SHOW was nominated for an Emmy ® for Outstanding Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing Achievement in a Comedy. A huge hit in its own right, the show never dropped out of the Top 10 during its six-year run, and ranked #5 in the Nielsen ratings during its inaugural first season. Ball received four Emmy nominations for her roll in this classic comedy, including two wins for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series.

Presented in full screen, with the original opening sequence showing a black and white animated Lucy and Vivian hanging up the letters to form "THE LUCY SHOW", THE LUCY SHOW: THE FIRST SEASON is not rated in the U.S. and rated G in Canada. The total running time is 12 Hrs., 53 Min. The DVD disc breakdown is as follows:

  • Disc 1:
    • Lucy Digs Up A Date
    • Lucy Is A Referee
    • Lucy Misplaces $2,000
    • Lucy Buys A Sheep
    • Lucy Becomes An Astronaut
    • Lucy Is A Kangaroo For A Day
    • Special Features
      • A Message From CBS DVD
      • Special Footage: Seven Wonderful Nights
      • Special Footage: CBS Prom
      • Let's Talk to Lucie
      • Flubs, Original Opening, Cast Commercials and Original Closing

  • Disc 2:
    • Lucy The Music Lover
    • Lucy Puts Up A TV Antenna
    • Vivian Sues Lucy
    • Lucy Builds A Rumpus Room
    • Lucy And Her Electric Mattress
    • Together For Christmas
    • Chris's New Year's Eve Party
    • Lucy's Sister Pays A Visit
    • Special Features
      • CBS Mini-Promo
      • Flubs, Original Opening, Cast Commercials, Original Closing

  • Disc 3:
    • Lucy And Viv Are Volunteer Firemen
    • Lucy Becomes A Reporter
    • Lucy And Viv Put In A Shower
    • Lucy's Barbershop Quartet
    • Lucy And Viv Become Tycoons
    • No More Double Dates
    • Lucy And Viv Learn Judo
    • Lucy Is A Soda Jerk
    • Special Features
      • Promo: Fair Exchange
      • Flubs, Original Opening, Cast Commercials, Original Closing

  • Disc 4:
    • Lucy Drives A Dump Truck
    • Lucy Visits The White House
    • Lucy And Viv Take Up Chemistry
    • Lucy Is A Chaperone
    • Lucy And The Little League
    • Lucy And The Runaway Butterfly
    • Lucy Buys A Boat
    • Special Features
      • GF Opening Night: Staircase Scene
      • GF Opening Night: Dance Sequence
      • Let's Talk to Jimmy
      • Collecting the Memories
      • Flubs, Original Opening, Cast Commercials, Original Closing
CBS Home Entertainment manages the worldwide DVD and Blu-ray businesses for the CBS Corporation across all lines of content including current hits and classic series from the vast CBS library, as well as new releases from Showtime Video.

Paramount Home Entertainment (PHE) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. PHE is responsible for the worldwide sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment products on behalf of various parties including: Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Studios, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, CBS, PBS and Hasbro and for providing home entertainment fulfillment services for DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment.

Be sure you order your copy from the Everything Lucy store! On sale Now!

Lucy and Desi's Home Open for Events

An "Old Hollywood" celebrity home is opening its gates for events.

In April, The Lucy House, once owned by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, became the second establishment to receive an event-home permit from the city of Palm Springs.

The home, located at 1194 N. Via Miraleste, previously was open for short-term vacation rentals, intimate weddings and small events.

Now property owner Amber Willat and planning director Gina Leslie have plans to expand its use to private and community events.

"It's just one of those old celebrity homes that we're reviving and bringing in, and with that we're bringing back the old stories," Willat said.

The 3,000-square-foot home sits on 3/4

In the 1930s it sat across from the El Mirador Hotel and was frequented by celebrity guests, Leslie said.

The home is built in traditional hacienda style. None of the rooms shares a common hallway. Each room faces out toward the central swimming pool area instead.

In the past two years, Willat and her family have given the house a facelift. They replaced the tile, painted the interior and installed modern appliances.

"When we picked it (the house) up, it was recognized as one of the Lucy homes, but it was in a state that no one could really enjoy," Willat said.

Willat said they have also worked closely with Laura Whittier Fontana and Reno Fontana, the owners of the Elvis Presley estate, through the permit process.

In the future, they would like to connect the two homes with dual events and tours, Willat said.

"We have to give credit to the Fontanas because they worked for five years to pave the way for us," Willat said.

For information about renting actress Lucille Ball's former home for events, go to www.thelucyhouse.com.

July 16, 2009

Lucie Arnaz singing at Old Time Radio Convention

Lucie Arnaz singing at last fall's Friends of Old Time Radio Convention in Newark, NJ:

July 09, 2009

Former Lucille Ball Actress to Perform in Tempe

Former childstar, Jenny Lewis, who played Lucille Ball's granddaughter in Lucy's last fateful sitcom, "Life With Lucy", will be playing in Tempe, Arizona.

Jenny Lewis made her professional acting debut as a kid in a Jell-O commercial prior to played a grandchild to Lucille Ball in her last TV show. More recently she contributed "Barking at the Moon" to Disney's animated dog adventure "Bolt." But, she may be better known for fronting indie darlings Rilo Kiley and launching a solo career in 2006 with a countrified album called "Rabbit Fur Coat." A second, far more raucous solo effort, "Acid Tongue," drew raves from Entertainment Weekly, Alternative Press and Rolling Stone, to name a few, with guest appearances by the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson, indie-rock darling M. Ward and Elvis Costello.

She will be performing this coming Saturday, July 11th at 7:30pm at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, Arizona. Tickets are $17. Tickets are available at the Marquee box office, Bookmans, Hoodlums, Stinkweeds and on the internet. You can also listen to Jenny Lewis on her MySpace page.