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Brock

The Lucy Show - Season 4 - The Great REWRITE!

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These 4th season Lucy Show episodes are all so brilliant I'm speechless.

I've griped about how this series threw away a great story arc for so many years that my endless quotes finally made it into a book.

"Lucy" was always best with a strong plot, but "The Lucy Show" really didn't have very many. The show was even better with a story arc and this seemed like such a natural.

 

 

OMG, the lightbulb just went on. You're the Neil quoted in "The Other Side of Ethel Mertz"!

Can't believe I didn't make the connection before now.

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I was rereading these brilliant season 4 plot lines.  We're a clever bunch!

Here's a little different what-if take on season 4

Hedda Hopper's column Feb. 5, 1965:

"It's official.  Vivian Vance has turned in her resignation and will not be a regular when "The Lucy Show" begins its 4th season next fall.  However, in a happy turn of events "Vivian Bagley" will be back for a limited run.  
Desilu has offered Vance a very lucrative deal to return for the first 13 episodes of the new season which will be a story arc chronicling her meeting and marrying new character "Vern Bunson" with the promise that many episode will center more on the lovey-dovey couple with little involvement from Lucy Carmichael.  
Doubling the enticement, if the couple clicks, is the possibility of her own "Viv & Vern" spinoff, which Vance would produce in partnership with Desilu.  
Story outlines for the 13 episodes have been completed which will include the courtship, wedding and the tearful parting of Lucy and Viv, sure to be a ratings winner for CBS  (last episode in the arc "Viv Is Enciente").   Vance signed her contract, which puts her new salary on par with the series star and studio head Lucille Ball with the proviso that she waive casting approval.  
Desilu wanted her new co-star to be a surprise but Vance picked up little pieces of information from the gossip-mill.  She heard the name "Fred" and the fact that the actor just completed 5 seasons of a hit sitcom on ABC.  Naturally she thinks it will be tall, dashing and age-appropriate  Fred MacMurray who recently quit "My Three Sons". *.   
When the cast sits down for the first table read of "Viv Meets Vern Bunson", she blows a gasket when the actor hired to play Vern walks in, a completely different My Three Sons "Fred" than she was expecting.  
Vance's contract is iron-clad so she'll make the best of it but has nixed the idea of a V&V spinoff unless her real-life husband, New York based bon vivant John Dodds can replace Frawley as Vern.  Vance's weekly 3000 mile commute has afforded the couple little time together.  Vance adds: "You can't have children long distance".  Dodds: "U-u-u-u-u (spider voice)" 
 
*This part is based on fact.  MacMurray's My Three Sons ABC contract WAS for 5 years (1960-65) and he wanted to walk but was talked into returning by CBS who offered him a sweetheart deal: all of his scenes for the entire season would be filmed in 3 months.  Then the cast would do their scenes after MacMurray's departure which accounts for the show's clunky feel, post 1965. 
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That is so clever and reads like a real gossip column. This brings up the idea of who would be a good Vern for Viv. Gotta think about that. 

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On 7/1/2020 at 12:12 PM, Luvsbway said:

That is so clever and reads like a real gossip column. This brings up the idea of who would be a good Vern for Viv. Gotta think about that. 

Looking at the earlier entries on this thread, Brock cast Bob Cummings in the role. He certainly would’ve been good. I think I kept that choice for my “The Viv Show” spin-off concepts. 

Going in a different direction, Red Skelton could’ve provided Viv with another wacky redhead to play against. 

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On 7/1/2020 at 10:17 AM, Neil said:

I was rereading these brilliant season 4 plot lines.  We're a clever bunch!

Here's a little different what-if take on season 4

Hedda Hopper's column Feb. 5, 1965:

"It's official.  Vivian Vance has turned in her resignation and will not be a regular when "The Lucy Show" begins its 4th season next fall.  However, in a happy turn of events "Vivian Bagley" will be back for a limited run.  
Desilu has offered Vance a very lucrative deal to return for the first 13 episodes of the new season which will be a story arc chronicling her meeting and marrying new character "Vern Bunson" with the promise that many episode will center more on the lovey-dovey couple with little involvement from Lucy Carmichael.  
Doubling the enticement, if the couple clicks, is the possibility of her own "Viv & Vern" spinoff, which Vance would produce in partnership with Desilu.  
Story outlines for the 13 episodes have been completed which will include the courtship, wedding and the tearful parting of Lucy and Viv, sure to be a ratings winner for CBS  (last episode in the arc "Viv Is Enciente").   Vance signed her contract, which puts her new salary on par with the series star and studio head Lucille Ball with the proviso that she waive casting approval.  
Desilu wanted her new co-star to be a surprise but Vance picked up little pieces of information from the gossip-mill.  She heard the name "Fred" and the fact that the actor just completed 5 seasons of a hit sitcom on ABC.  Naturally she thinks it will be tall, dashing and age-appropriate  Fred MacMurray who recently quit "My Three Sons". *.   
When the cast sits down for the first table read of "Viv Meets Vern Bunson", she blows a gasket when the actor hired to play Vern walks in, a completely different My Three Sons "Fred" than she was expecting.  
Vance's contract is iron-clad so she'll make the best of it but has nixed the idea of a V&V spinoff unless her real-life husband, New York based bon vivant John Dodds can replace Frawley as Vern.  Vance's weekly 3000 mile commute has afforded the couple little time together.  Vance adds: "You can't have children long distance".  Dodds: "U-u-u-u-u (spider voice)" 
 
*This part is based on fact.  MacMurray's My Three Sons ABC contract WAS for 5 years (1960-65) and he wanted to walk but was talked into returning by CBS who offered him a sweetheart deal: all of his scenes for the entire season would be filmed in 3 months.  Then the cast would do their scenes after MacMurray's departure which accounts for the show's clunky feel, post 1965. 

So many LOL moments it’s hard to choose a favourite, but “New York based bon vivant John Dodds” makes me chuckle every time. 
 

I’m also cracking up at “Viv is Enciente” and the visual of William Frawley being so strong despite you never mentioning his name once. 

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Brian, this is another entry that makes me wonder why you don't write for a living, you are that GOOD! (And oh so clever! "Viv is Enciente"....almost fell off my chair laughing!! )

Good job! :HALKING:

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On 6 July 2020 at 8:57 AM, JoeySoCal said:

Brian, this is another entry that makes me wonder why you don't write for a living, you are that GOOD! (And oh so clever! "Viv is Enciente"....almost fell off my chair laughing!! )

Good job! :HALKING:

Compliment Neil on this one, I was merely quoting him. This was all his work :) 

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This thread makes me realize that it was a shame that "Here's Lucy" did  not have staff writers.  For example, the character of "Craig" disappeared with even less explanatory dialogue than "Viv's" absence on "The Lucy Show."  "Craig's" departure could have been an interesting story arc.  Also the cheapness bothers me.  "The Brady Bunch," which was far less popular than "Here's Lucy" during their network runs, could afford to shoot in Hawaii.  But "Here's Lucy" went cheap and cancelled its plans to have part three of "Lucy Goes Hawaiian" shot on location even though CBS has production facilities for "Hawaii Five-0."

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11 hours ago, RodMcK1 said:

This thread makes me realize that it was a shame that "Here's Lucy" did  not have staff writers.  For example, the character of "Craig" disappeared with even less explanatory dialogue than "Viv's" absence on "The Lucy Show."  "Craig's" departure could have been an interesting story arc.  Also the cheapness bothers me.  "The Brady Bunch," which was far less popular than "Here's Lucy" during their network runs, could afford to shoot in Hawaii.  But "Here's Lucy" went cheap and cancelled its plans to have part three of "Lucy Goes Hawaiian" shot on location even though CBS has production facilities for "Hawaii Five-0."

This is getting off the topic but was there EVER a mention of Craig in the first of the 4th season HL episodes?  Or any that season?

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50 minutes ago, Neil said:

This is getting off the topic but was there EVER a mention of Craig in the first of the 4th season HL episodes?  Or any that season?

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any episodes, but I recall the first episode of season 4, the Flip Wilson one, didn’t mention his absence at all. Later in the season, however, there were a few mentions of him being away at college, and Kim received a phone call from him once. 

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45 minutes ago, Mot Morenzi said:

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any episodes, but I recall the first episode of season 4, the Flip Wilson one, didn’t mention his absence at all. Later in the season, however, there were a few mentions of him being away at college, and Kim received a phone call from him once. 

Kim did??  Did she refer to it or did they show her talking to him on the phone?   

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14 minutes ago, Neil said:

Kim did??  Did she refer to it or did they show her talking to him on the phone?   

As memory serves, she answered the phone in the office and said, “Well, hello little brother!”

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The phone call with Craig (not seen on camera) was from Lucy's Bonus Bounces. I think that's the first mention of Craig in the season and it's more than half way through the season. 

Later in the year Craig is mentioned by name in Kim Moves Out and With Viv as a Friend, Who Needs an Enemy?

 

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