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Freddie2 last won the day on November 7 2019

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  1. From what I've seen, in spite of its numbers always being near the top, TLS never spent a full season as CBS's most-watched show. It looks like one year Gomer Pyle just barely beat it. That contrasts with the third season HL, which as we all know was not only the #1 show on the network, but also the only sitcom in the Top Ten (and the only funny one in the Top Twenty!). So at least in that sense, HL actually has a couple more "Ratings Merit Badges" than its predecessor. It should be noted that of the handful of shows over the years that bested Lucy in the ratings (like Bonanza, Laugh-In, Petticoat Junction, Julia, Family Affair), quite a few of them dropped drastically in viewership, were cancelled, or fell out of fashion while the country and the network's loyalty to Lucy never truly waned, proving that you can't beat quality!
  2. Also, for Twitter users, get ready for the annual deluge of schmucks who see Betty trending and respond with “OMG! I thought the worst!” coupled with that tired Denzel Washington gif.
  3. It’s past midnight here in Michigan, and a friend texted me to remind me of the good news! I’m so grateful for all of the laughs Betty’s given us over the years. According to the tabloids (yes, Closer magazine) she’s having a get-together with friends and family, including Allen Ludden’s children. It also mentioned that she continues to get offered jobs, but her mobility is a bit of an issue- apparently she’s using a walker around the house. Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of our girl on TV, but if so, she certainly deserves her retirement!
  4. Patricia Neal is TCM's Star of The Month, and last night they showed a Yours, Mine, and Ours-type comedy from 1951 called Weekend With Father, which she did with Van Heflin. A very bland movie, but it featured Elvia Allman as Heflin's no-nonsense maid (what else?) and Richard Denning (the funniest part of the movie) as an overenthusiastic and over-athletic vacation lodge employee. It gave me newfound respect for Denning- not that I ever thought less of him, but seeing him play something other than the straight man makes me want to see him in roles with a little more meat on their bones.
  5. On the new season of Grace and Frankie (premiered today!), Sam Waterston compares a Grace and Frankie split-up to “Lucy without Ethel”.
  6. As Betty's birthday approaches, last year's documentary First Lady of Television, which first aired on PBS, is available to view on Netflix in the United States!
  7. Buck Henry, writer of What's Up Doc?, The Graduate, Get Smart, and actor in the likes of 30 Rock, Murphy Brown, Hot in Cleveland, Grumpy Old Men, Short Cuts and so many others has died at 89. When I first saw "Ginger Rogers Comes to Tea", I thought that the William Lanteau role was played by him.
  8. In a CBS Sunday Morning segment on something called "competitive tablescaping", an ILL-themed table can be seen a couple of times.
  9. This time around I noticed that the pickup shot of Lucy’s escargot being revealed isn’t a still photo, but an actual piece of footage, which my brain didn’t expect it to be. I haven’t seen “Paris” in awhile so it was a lot of fun. This one feels just as engrained on my memory as the rest of the classics, but it wasn’t included on either of the “Best of I Love Lucy” VHS tapes I had growing up. Maybe we had it recorded off of TV somewhere; if memory serves, was the bastille scene featured in the 50th Anniversary Special? I also fondly remember having a Lucy calendar with a still from the café scene as the photo for one of the months. Unfortunately the Christmas episode has diminishing returns for me every year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond grateful that these specials have become a tradition, and the episode is a good fit with its holiday setting and flashbacks to a couple of classic scenes, but I find myself not paying much attention to it lately. That being said, the colors are fantastic and WOW, isn’t that “Enciente” scene just one of the most heartwarming in TV history?
  10. What fantastic catches! I can definitely see the Wyllie resemblance (never knew her name before now), but I'm not sure on the Pleasant Peasant Girl. I'd have to rewatch the episode and see them in motion. And does that PPG really not have a credit in "Operetta"?
  11. As I'm scrolling through The Lounge right now, my neighbor's dogs two houses down won't stop barking. Their names? Lucy and Ethel. Maybe they sense what I'm up to.
  12. During the broadcast, ABC will be airing retro-style promos for its regular programming, a few of which you can watch ahead of time in this Variety article: https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/live-in-front-of-a-studio-audience-norman-lear-abc-promos-stumptown-rookie-1203439622/
  13. Did the color episodes play in theaters in Australia, Mot? I don't remember you mentioning it before. Heck, do they even air on TV down there? Excuse my American-ness. "Dancing Star" is so, so, so incredible- probably even better than the way more famous second half with Harpo. It's interesting to think how this two parter reunited Lucy with former co-stars. I wonder how many movie buffs would've recognized the connection at the time; same with William Holden's appearance. When the TV special featuring "Dancing Star" aired, naturally my family gathered together for it, and before it aired I went on a tirade about it being "one of, if not the greatest Lucy performance ever", and afterwards the general consensus was that Lucy's performance is otherworldly. Maybe part of it comes from the fact that it's kind of an underground gem, not included with the evergreen classics that will always be engrained in pop culture. There aren't any huge comedy scenes, but the episode really gets to the heart of the Lucy character. For once, she finally gets a chance to shine onstage with a big star- independent of Ricky, no less! And she doesn't ruin the situation, either. That scene where Lucy and Van perform the number together at the show should be studied by actors everywhere. You'd expect everything to fall apart, and it seems that way at first, but as the number continues Lucy eases into it and it's just so crazy good. It makes you think that maybe she should be included in Ricky's show once in awhile! And the look on her face when she comes backstage after performing is one for the ages. It's the Lucy character at her most crystallized, pure essence.
  14. Wendie Malick is a great choice, Mot! She has the "bite" that Maude should have, but would certainly bring her own thing to the role. As much as I enjoy JLD, I really can't see her playing the character. I think Louis CK would've been an awesome Archie Bunker. His first sitcom, Lucky Louie, was pretty obviously inspired by Lear's works. Let's not forget that Maude has been remade before, as Nobody's Perfect in the UK with Elaine Stritch and Richard Griffiths! Re, Upperco: I remember reading on your blog that you were involved with this endeavor at one point, and it's a shame that they aren't still consulting you. Hardly anybody has such terrific insight into what makes great television.
  15. I have to agree with Neil on his Good Times assessment. Perhaps whatever episode they've chosen to recreate has themes that relate to some important issue going on today. Also, Good Times has a handful of cast members who are still with us, so I wouldn't be surprised if we got one or two cameos. I thought that The Jeffersons cast pulled it off better than the AITF cast last time, but they didn't pick a very good showing for the Bunkers. Personally, I think these specials are a great idea, because Norman Lear's shows are so very theatrical. Next to All in The Family, Maude is probably his greatest show, but I have no clue who could fill Bea Arthur's shoes today. Then again, you'd never think of Marisa Tomei as an Edith Bunker type.
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