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Everything posted by tjw

  1. Sorry to report that there will NOT be a colorized I LOVE LUCY special on CBS this spring... However, we are at work colorizing two additional LUCY episodes, one of which will almost definitely be used as part of this year's I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL... The other will either be used as part of a spring special NEXT year, or held for Christmas of 2019... Just wanted you to know... Tjw
  2. Just heard that Lou Ann Graham, Vivian Vance's youngest sister, passed away Tuesday (November 1). Do not know any of the details...(Will let you know if I hear more...)
  3. Just saw that Hugh O'Brien -- star of "The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" -- filmed by Desilu back in the 1950s, has died. I am sure there will be various on-line obits... http://variety.com/2016/film/news/hugh-obrian-dead-the-life-and-legend-of-wyatt-earp-1201852383/ I met him a few times when he and Lucy attended various charity events here in Los Angeles, usually for his Youth Leadership Foundation.
  4. It looks as though the "I Love Lucy Superstar Special #2" (the John Wayne hour) will be released on DVD sometime in the spring. Will let you know if I hear a definite release date...
  5. Sorry to hear the news. Jonathan certainly was enthusiastic about Lucy -- and especially about the colorization! Always hate to hear about losing "one of our own."
  6. This may be old news, but it was new to me, so I thought I would share that Screen Archives is issuing Desi Arnaz's motion picture, THE NAVY COMES THROUGH on DVD. Technically, I believe it is a made-to-order DVD-R, but "beggars can't be shoozers." It sells for $19.95... Here's a link http://www4.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/31685/THE-NAVY-COMES-THROUGH-1942/ Just wanted everyone to know...
  7. #2t -- I believe -- means #2 in the time period (in that demo)... which is still very good. CBS historically has done better with slightly older audiences -- the 25-54 (and older) crowd... Conversely, some of the other networks -- ABC, FOX and especially some of the niche cable networks -- attract younger viewers...
  8. Actually "Together for Christmas" is on CBS' radar and the show almost made it last year. We were trying to find something to pair with "The Andy Griffith Show" Christmas episode, and one of the candidates seriously under consideration was this episode of "The Lucy Show." However, the network had already committed to airing the "I Love Lucy Christmas Special" (the Christmas episode + Vitameatavegamin), and they thought doing yet another "Lucy" program a couple of nights later would be a mistake... We went with a second classic episode of the Griffith series instead, and the hour worked very well on Christmas night.
  9. Am glad you mentioned "The Operetta." It is one of the episodes we have been discussing for possible colorization... Am wondering, though, whether it would be appropriate at Christmastime? Two schools of thought: (1) the Christmas shows so far have teamed the Christmas episode, which is essentially a clip-show, with a strong (dare I say "classic") script show in which Lucy is up to some of her zany shenanigans... We've done the grapes, the chocolate factory and the Vitameatavegamin programs so far. Each illustrate Lucy being Lucy and at her comedic best. Is "The Operetta" too much of a "special" (as in atypical) episode? It is essentially a show-within-a-show, with only a rather weak first few scenes as the set-up. There is not a typical Lucy Ricardo plotline... (2) By pairing the two of these shows, one creates a very jolly holiday hour... I think both are valid opinions... Just not sure which would work best in 2016 prime time television...
  10. Yes, there are many ways to read the ratings... While the rankings -- Top 10, Top 20, etc. -- are great, that is not the only measure... Winning one's time period is also very important. It is saying, of the people who are watching TV at that hour of the week, a show -- in this case, the I LOVE LUCY SPECIAL -- was seen by more people than any of the competing shows. That counts! I know CBS is very pleased by last Friday's numbers.
  11. We were going to be up against the BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS on ABC again this year (on Sunday), so the "powers that be" at CBS thought that the special would do better on Friday night. I think, but am not sure, that our replacement on Sunday will be just an extended two-hour version of 60 MINUTES. They were trying to give the special a better shot...
  12. My favorite line: "Oh, no... I may go home without any fingers but I'm not going home empty handed!" Love it! T
  13. I believe the first episode to be repeated in color after having originally aired in black-and-white was the weirdly popular "Lucy and the Ceramic Cat" -- which was part of the FIRST batch of summer reruns, which filled in between the end of THE LUCY SHOW (SEASON 6) and the premiere of HERE'S LUCY. That summer was a grab bag of shows -- most of them from the California based episodes... But this one opened the series... (Repeats of THE LUCY SHOW often filled in for the summer during the early years of HERE'S LUCY.) The show that opened the daytime series was "Lucy Plays Cleopatra," again being seen for the first time in color. I remember feeling cheated when that show first aired in 1963. TV GUIDE ran a full color photo from the show that looked wonderful, making the broadcast itself look kinda dowdy by comparison... Of course, I did not have a color set at the time, so I guess it really didn't matter!
  14. I Love Lucy was not syndicated to Canada until 1955... However, harkening back to my original discovery about stations in this country showing I Love Lucy prior to its Monday night broadcast -- YES, at least one station (WTTV-TV, then in Bloomington, Indiana) presented the baby show two nights early: Little Ricky was born in that community on Saturday, January 17, 1953 -- two days before Little Desi arrived in Hollywood!
  15. Good question! The Lucy broadcast on CKCO was in black-and-white. Most of the local stations (at least in the smaller communities) were among the last to convert to color... After seeing your question, I flipped through the rest of the magazine to see if any of CKCO's other programs were in color that week, and no they were not... BUT I also discovered that three other Canadian stations in that area -- CKVR-TV (Channel 3) in Barrie; CBLT (Channel 6) in Toronto, and CHEX-TV (Channel 12) in Peterborough, all simulcast a showing of The Lucy Show on Thursday evening April 30, 1964, at 8:30PM. This simulcast was again in advance of the CBS airing: it was a repeat of "Lucy Gets Locked in the Vault," the program seen on CBS in the United States the following Monday, May 4. Again... did not know about these advance showings!
  16. First of all -- never say never, particularly when consumer products are concerned. Things that are not selling well today, may in fact be hot items a few years from now (and, sadly, vice versa)... We will just have to wait and see. It IS true that the I LOVE LUCY blu-ray project is "on hold" (or "on hiatus," to use a Hollywood production term)... But that is not to say that it will not be revived at a moment's notice sometime in the future. I agree, in retrospect, that the sets were over-priced... But, quite honestly, they did cost a fortune to produce. I know: I saw the bills! If we had it all to do over, we probably should have done what Image did with THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW and (1) put out a full-series set first, then individual seasons if needed, and (2) include just the basic episodes with a smattering of new "special features." In all fairness, we DID discuss this early-on, but the consensus at the time was that Gregg Oppenheimer had done such a marvelous job with the original DVD releases, that there would not be a big market for blu-rays that were just the same material in higher definition. A lot of people over the years -- Tom Watson, in particular -- had been very vocal about hoping to see the shows in their original "as broadcast" format, with all the original openings, closings, commercials, etc., restored... We thought that by doing this, we would in fact be making the new releases "unique and euphonious" -- and desirable by consumers... Sadly, there simply were not enough people who wanted to see the original broadcasts to justify the added expenses (and the high sales price!)... Live and learn -- ain't hindsight grand! As for the colorized LUCY projects: yes, we are moving ahead with at least three new colorized episodes. And NO, I cannot and WILL NOT tell you which ones they are. No broadcasts have been scheduled as yet -- this is all just in the very preliminary stages... But I am guessing that we will be doing another Christmas broadcast, with the traditional Christmas episode leading into another of Lucy's classic misadventures... And we are hoping to have another independent one-hour special possibly between now and Christmas or, at the latest, sometime next spring... But we are working on it! Lastly, I am hearing that there may in fact be a single-package DVD re-release of THE LUCY SHOW sometime in the fall... It will include all the same material that we released between 2009 and 2012 on the six single season sets. They will now all just be in one very compact package. No new materials will be added... That's all the news for now... Will keep everyone up to date as we move forward...
  17. A few years ago I wrote an article for my Lucy web site entitled “When is a Premiere Not a Premiere,” which dealt with the fact that back in 1951 there was at least one TV station (and possibly more) that showed I Love Lucy prior to its “official network premiere” on CBS on October 15, 1951. The experts all told me that such things occurred many times back in the early days of television, before all the network links were in place, etc. This morning, I stumbled on something similar that was happening as late as 1964 – when episodes of The Lucy Show were being shown on an independent station in Canada days before they aired on CBS here in the United States. Who knew? I found this information while thumbing through an old TV Guide for the week of April 25, 1964 – the “Lake Ontario Edition,” which reported the programming schedules for stations in the western New York area: Buffalo, Rochester, Erie (PA), etc. It also reports the lineups for independent CKCO-TV (Channel 13) in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada – just to the north of Lake Erie… CKCO-TV carried (presumably via 16mm film) the episode “Lucy Enters a Baking Contest” on Saturday evening, April 25, at 7:30PM, two days before the same show was telecast over the CBS Television Network on Monday evening at 8:30PM. The CBS version was shown over WBEN-TV (Channel 4) in Buffalo and WHEC-TV (Channel 10) in Rochester. I assume that the signal from neither of these two stations was strong enough to be received in the Kitchener community – hence, Desilu (or CBS) arranged for Channel 13 to carry the show on its own. I must also assume that there were other stations in Canada that made similar arrangements. I realize that this is not “earth shattering news,” but it is another eye-opener because we have always been trained to believe that a network program had its first-ever showing on the network in question – but that (obviously) was not necessarily true… Gosh, if we had all known each other back then -- Brock might have been the first of "our crowd" to see the weekly Lucys... (And here I thought people were moving north to avoid the draft!)
  18. At this moment, there are no definitive plans to issue these most recent color shows on home video, but the topic HAS been discussed as a possibility for 2016 release, celebrating the show's 65th anniversary. No decisions yet...
  19. The "new" Complete Series set came out on Tuesday, but I am not seeing it listed on Amazon... I did see it today in a Costco outlet, priced at $49.99. It is also available on sites like that of Critic's Choice Video (www.ccvideo.com). I believe this last place has it for $62.86...
  20. Yes, we were fascinated by that episode, too -- and by the fact that instead of the middle and regular closing commercial they had the chairman of the board of Philip Morris speak directly to the audience about the show, etc. He seems to "real," as opposed to being a slick, polished company spokesman... Finding these interesting "historical nuggets" has made this project so much fun!
  21. He almost appeared on HERE'S LUCY -- at least if one can believe the rumors... The story I heard was that when Lucille Ball Productions moved from Paramount over to Universal Studios, the HERE'S LUCY writers hoped to include some of the Universal stars in some of the episodes, much as they had at Desilu/Paramount... They envisioned Robert Young (Marcus Welby) in "Lucy's Big Break," and Martin Milner and Alex McCord (from Adam 12) for "Lucy Plays Cops and Robbers." Am not sure what scotched the plans, other than the fact that most of the Universal shows were not CBS, and certainly not owned in any way, shape or form by LBP... So the series never did engage in the "cross-studio pollination" that the writers were thinking about... I guess we file this under "what coulda been."
  22. And Judy Carne died -- apparently on September 3 -- over in England... She played one of the "exchange" daughters in Desilu's "Fair Exchange" back in 1962-63. She was later in "Laugh In."
  23. Just wanted to update everyone -- and correct a statement I may have made earlier... When we first started discussing this new "Full Series Set" re-issue, I assumed -- and probably stated -- that it was simply the old set in new packaging... That is true, but only to a point: one of the discs -- the "Bonus" disc -- will not be included this time. All the regular I Love Lucy sets (Seasons 1-9) will be on board... The bonus disc, if memory serves, was merely a reissue of the I LOVE LUCY: THE MOVIE disc, which included the movie, the colorized Scotland episode, clips from the 1949 Ed Wynn show, and the clips from the 1954 Emmy broadcast on which Viv and the Arnazes pick up awards... Technically, only the last two elements -- the Wynn and Emmy clips -- are the only items that will be missing from the CBS/Lucy canon -- the Scotland show is now available on the Christmas disc that also had the colorized Christmas episode and the colorized grape vat episode... And the movie was just released as part of the Season Two blu-ray set. Just wanted to let everyone know, in case someone was thinking about handing off the original release to a friend, and replacing it with the new set... Sorry... Tjw
  24. Bite your Aussie tongue, birthday boy! As weird as it sounds, however, I have got to admit (albeit not too loudly) that I grew a little fonder of this very weak episode after working on the Season One blu-ray set. I guess when you work/live with a given episode for hours and days at a time, it takes on a life of its own... I came to appreciate the fact that we see not only the usual Ricardo livingroom, but the Mertz livingroom, the Ricardo bathroom and the Ricardo hallway/closet... It helps make the setting seem all the more real... And I love the fact that the original broadcast included the Christmas "tag"... Too bad the episode had such a silly "sitcom" script!
  25. Yes, these are in the mega-set... Am guessing that probably #104 and #006 might be in the smaller set. The large megaset is broken down into smaller sets once one opens the box. These first two Lucy appearances are included in the "first" of the smaller interior sets -- and it would make sense if the manufacturer is merely offering the smaller sets as stand alones... But I guess they could feasibly scramble things a bit, just to confuse us!
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