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Paul Sheehan

'I Love Lucy' Christmas special on CBS: Dec. 7, 2014

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The I Love Lucy Christmas Special is once again the best Christmas special of 2014. A great presentation.The colorization of Job Switching is just amazing. Beautifull bright clear color. The show looks like it was filmed on color film. This colorization technology is very good. Colorization will extend the life of the shows. New generations will see the show in a great new way. The commerical for the color dvd set did not mention the new color Job Switching dvd that Target will have. I hope the dvd will still be available at Target. Once again a super presentation. Thanks to all involved  in the making of this special. Your work is super. Thank you. :ill:

I agree, i thought the same thing, it looked like it was FILMED in color.  One thing that suffered though, it made us see what a shitty kitchen floor the Ricardos had, LOL!

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My mother and I wached it together. When it was over, I asked her what she thought. She said, she liked it a,lot. I asked her if it looked colorized to her, and she said they didn't, and that they did a good job. She said, if she didn't know that this episode was originally filmed in black and white, she would've thought that thsee episodes were originally in color

 

I always thought that the Kramer's Kandy Kitchen uniforms were pink,until I got a book on her wardrobe, and it said that Lucy's & Ethel's uniforms were grey-on-grey. The forewoman's uniform looked more accurate, than Lucy, Ethel and the chocolate dipper.

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My mother and I wached it together. When it was over, I asked her what she thought. She said, she liked it a,lot. I asked her if it looked colorized to her, and she said they didn't, and that they did a good job. She said, if she didn't know that this episode was originally filmed in black and white, she would've thought that thsee episodes were originally in color

 

I always thought that the Kramer's Kandy Kitchen uniforms were pink,until I got a book on her wardrobe, and it said that Lucy's & Ethel's uniforms were grey-on-grey. The forewoman's uniform looked more accurate, than Lucy, Ethel and the chocolate dipper.

Tests were done when the colorization process started, and a sample of the white and grey uniforms was tried -- and the uniforms looked terribly dull and dingy... The decision was made to go for something more colorful...

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The Christmas episode has such a strange and interesting history.  When the late, great Bart Andrews wrote his book in the mid-70s all the easily accessible information we take for granted today was not at his or anyone's fingertips.  He researched the old-fashioned way.  But....nobody he talked to seemed to remember the Christmas episode.  He wrote: "One 6th season episode was not very funny and hasn't been aired since December 24, 1956 but it was a yuletide themed episode which TV Guide described 'It's Christmas and Fred grudgingly buys Little Ricky a tree, then Lucy decides to improve on its looks by cutting a branch here and there'.  Nothing further is known about this episode."  In his log of each episode, the Christmas show is not even listed.

 

Fidelman quotes Lucy as saying "There is something eerie and spooky about this show. I don't know what it is but it makes me a little nervous and I don't enjoy watching it."  His quotes from Lucy have an authentic sound, but I've always wondered: WHERE did he find these quotes??

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Those behind the colourization have really improved with each successive episode -- although "Scotland" was much better than "Italian Movie", IMO. It will be interesting to see how they do on their next effort. They really need to make Lucy's hair less neon salmon and more orange, however.

Totally agree. I think the orangish tint needs to come out, and less red. It almost matches her lipstick. 

Sometimes, I notice the natural color on Ethel's hair and then wish the same kind of realistic "carrot top" orange would be applied to her hair. 

THEN we are talking perfect colorization. 

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Tests were done when the colorization process started, and a sample of the white and grey uniforms was tried -- and the uniforms looked terribly dull and dingy... The decision was made to go for something more colorful...

Great decision. After all, its a candy factory, and its the 1950s so it isn't a far stretch, plus I think the costumes were made with the idea of showing correctly on film, and you couldn't be too vibrant when working with a BW scheme. 

I thought it was awesomely done. I LOVED Lucys lipstick in "Switching" It popped and looked so vibrant. Way more than the orangish toned lipstick in the Christmas episode. 

All around- AWESOME JOB. I will DEF. get this copy! It'd be nice to have a short doc. on the coloring process of one of the most loved TV shows of all time!! :D Lets see how the magic is done when it comes to Lucy Ricky Fred and Ethel :D

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The Christmas episode has such a strange and interesting history.  When the late, great Bart Andrews wrote his book in the mid-70s all the easily accessible information we take for granted today was not at his or anyone's fingertips.  He researched the old-fashioned way.  But....nobody he talked to seemed to remember the Christmas episode.  He wrote: "One 6th season episode was not very funny and hasn't been aired since December 24, 1956 but it was a yuletide themed episode which TV Guide described 'It's Christmas and Fred grudgingly buys Little Ricky a tree, then Lucy decides to improve on its looks by cutting a branch here and there'.  Nothing further is known about this episode."  In his log of each episode, the Christmas show is not even listed.

 

Fidelman quotes Lucy as saying "There is something eerie and spooky about this show. I don't know what it is but it makes me a little nervous and I don't enjoy watching it."  His quotes from Lucy have an authentic sound, but I've always wondered: WHERE did he find these quotes??

 

I wonder why she felt it to be eerie or spooky. Maybe it was misinterpreted when describing the Santa Clause disappearing. She may have been use to the normal flow of the show, where it was situated around a thicker plot than reminiscing and cutting the christmas tree

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I agree, i thought the same thing, it looked like it was FILMED in color.  One thing that suffered though, it made us see what a shitty kitchen floor the Ricardos had, LOL!

 I LOVED seeing the details in the floor and even in the little small nick nacks they had around the house. If they are given the time and money, Im sure they could put even more color and detail into it. To have colored the clock, and the detailed painting- all of that tireless work- my goodness!!! BRAVO job 

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 I LOVED seeing the details in the floor and even in the little small nick nacks they had around the house. If they are given the time and money, Im sure they could put even more color and detail into it. To have colored the clock, and the detailed painting- all of that tireless work- my goodness!!! BRAVO job 

I did notice the floor too. Details were well done. I also noticed the pink flowers on the mantle and especially the sofa was dead on. I'm still not a fan of the pink uniform but that's just me.

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The Christmas episode has such a strange and interesting history.  When the late, great Bart Andrews wrote his book in the mid-70s all the easily accessible information we take for granted today was not at his or anyone's fingertips.  He researched the old-fashioned way.  But....nobody he talked to seemed to remember the Christmas episode.  He wrote: "One 6th season episode was not very funny and hasn't been aired since December 24, 1956 but it was a yuletide themed episode which TV Guide described 'It's Christmas and Fred grudgingly buys Little Ricky a tree, then Lucy decides to improve on its looks by cutting a branch here and there'.  Nothing further is known about this episode."  In his log of each episode, the Christmas show is not even listed.

 

Fidelman quotes Lucy as saying "There is something eerie and spooky about this show. I don't know what it is but it makes me a little nervous and I don't enjoy watching it."  His quotes from Lucy have an authentic sound, but I've always wondered: WHERE did he find these quotes??

 

I have never truly believed the Fidelman quote, only because I have NEVER heard or seen it anyplace else... Also, if it is legit, I'd love to know the context in which Lucy made the statement. It just does not ring true to me, but I'll reserve judgement...

 

Interesting side story about Bart:  he and I were independently doing research on LUCY back in the late 1960s/early 70s... and we both had manuscript ideas floating around publishing houses in New York. Mine was called "The Lucy I Love" and his was "Lucy & Ricky & Fred & Ethel." We were both told NO by more publishers than I care to name... No one thought ANYONE would be interested in a two-decades old black-and-whiteTV show... I was working at the time in New York for CBS, and Bart was in Los Angeles, writing TV trivia books. By luck of the draw, he finally convinced a publisher he was working with to take on his Lucy book -- but a week later his editor called him and said, "You'll never believe what just landed on my desk -- some guy over at CBS is also doing a Lucy project."  The editor introduced us, and we were friends thereafter.  Bart also knew a young artist in St. Louis named Rick Carl, who was a big Lucy fan, and the three of us became good "cross country" buddies. This was light years before anyone had a computer or email, so everything was done the old fashioned way: by expensive long-distance phone calls and US postal service. Finally in 1977 I moved to LA, and Rick did likewise in 1978...

 

The point is -- the three of us bonded via our affection for Lucy at a  time when hardly anyone cared a twit about "the old shows." They were still being shown around the country in syndication, and Lucy herself was still very active with new programs, specials, etc. We'd visit what few nostalgia shows there were, and when we'd ask the dealers if they had anything on Lucy, they'd look at us as though we were demented.  "Who cares about Lucy?" they'd ask. A few had some of her old movie stills and posters, but most of the dealers had either old movie things from the 1940s -- Gable, Crawford, Davis, etc., or the brand new sci-fi posters, etc. 

 

So for us now to see the show not only "alive and well" but back in network prime time -- all these years later! -- it's a bit of a joyous overload!

 

Rick and I are still best friends, by the way -- and he helped us in the colorization of the props -- he has an extensive interest and knowledge of those, and was able to send our colorists great color photos from which to work...

 

Am glad people liked the show.... Am praying for good ratings so we can do this again next year!

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Am glad people liked the show.... Am praying for good ratings so we can do this again next year!

 

Looks like you got your wish, Tom! If I'm reading Media Insights correctly, the Special came in second in its time slot, just behind Football on NBC and the ratings for this year's ILL Special were higher than last year's!

 

 

In the specials department, the second annual “I Love Lucy” Christmas Special on CBS, featuring colorized editions of the Christmas episode and the classic “Job Switching” scored a solid 6.2/ 9 in the overnights from 8-9 p.m. (out of an 8.3/13 for “60 Minutes” from 7-8 p.m.). Comparably, that was seven percent above last year’s telecast (5.8/11 on Friday 12/20/13, featuring the Christmas episode and “Lucy’s Italian Movie”). And that translated into 8.71 million viewers and a 1.4 rating/5 share among adults 18-49, based on the Live Plus Same Day data.

 

http://www.tvmediainsights.com/newsletter/cbs-announces-line-changes-3-evenings/

 

Imagine how much higher it would have been if the show started on time for everyone across North America! lol

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Looks like you got your wish, Tom! If I'm reading Media Insights correctly, the Special came in second in its time slot, just behind Football on NBC and the ratings for this year's ILL Special were higher than last year's!

 

 

 

http://www.tvmediainsights.com/newsletter/cbs-announces-line-changes-3-evenings/

 

Imagine how much higher it would have been if the show started on time for everyone across North America! lol

In my best irish brogue, YES, THAT IS INDEED GREAT NEWS!  Let's hope this is a birth of a new Christmas tradition, of course that means in 180 years, we'll have every episode in color.  Hope they keep Drafted for last.  Getting back to ratings, wouldn't have scored better on Monday night?  

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Tom what a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

 

So glad the special did better this year. I had hoped people wouldn't say oh I saw that last year. But then again its Lucy who we've always watched over and over so I guess no worries there.

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Thanks for the good news...

 

I believe the show did start on time in most of the country. It was just in some markets on the east coast that football delayed things... But  60 MINUTES did well, so some of its audience stayed tuned to LUCY, rather than joining something else "in progress"...

 

Very encouraging report!

 

T.

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It MAY be repeated on Christmas Eve (or Christmas night) -- not sure if it's gonna happen or which night it might happen... Will keep you posted...

 

(And what do you mean, you missed it?)

 

T.

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Tom, was the first kitchen set really bluish walls with greenish yellow? My great aunt has a 100 or so year old house and her kitchen is almost the exact same colors. But, the house is so old that the foundation is kind of coming away from the ground so there's a little bit of unevenness in the kitchen floor! LOL. Hopefully looking at the colorized ep in B&W it looks pretty close to the original.

I almost forgot about the lights on the tree, yeah it must have not been easy to have colorized them so they were left white. I forgot what color the kitchen floor was in Switching. I was just smiling at the rice volcano. I'd love to know how they did that back in 1952. I love how Desi actually slipped on the floor then he purposely did it again for laughs but he ended up with bruised ribs.

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We are not sure what the actual kitchen set was painted... Most of the walls were always very neutral colors: grays, browns, blues, greens, etc. They had to photograph well IN BLACK AND WHITE and light reflection was always a problem. They could not be bright and sunny colors like many real-life kitchens. Our colorists tried various combinations, and did research into color schemes of the early 1950s, and hit up what we ultimately used... We tried some light yellows, etc., and they all turned to mud...

 

Yes, I agree that the colorists were able to do a lot of the detail work SO WELL... I love the livingroom couch/chair. They nailed those! And the little lamp in the corner with the flower on the lampshade, etc.  I was very pleased by that!

 

T.

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I forgot how funny that kitchen scene is. It gets over looked because of the brilliance of the chocolate factory scenes.

CBS wanted to include the whole show, but it's impossible with the modern broadcast standards (commercial loads, etc.) Something had to go. We started by trying to shave a second or two here, a few seconds there, but ultimately decided that was not going to work, and that the most expendable material, as wonderful as it was, was that kitchen scene. It meant that the chocolate factory scenes, and Fred and Ricky's botched housework could air virtually complete.  It's such a "full" show, nary a dull moment, that trying to trim it was a heartbreak... But I think the right decisions were made...

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It MAY be repeated on Christmas Eve (or Christmas night) -- not sure if it's gonna happen or which night it might happen... Will keep you posted...

 

(And what do you mean, you missed it?)

 

T.

I mean..life got in the way and I wasn't able to watch it sadly. Any chance the exclusive dvd will be added to online stores?

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CBS wanted to include the whole show, but it's impossible with the modern broadcast standards (commercial loads, etc.) Something had to go. We started by trying to shave a second or two here, a few seconds there, but ultimately decided that was not going to work, and that the most expendable material, as wonderful as it was, was that kitchen scene. It meant that the chocolate factory scenes, and Fred and Ricky's botched housework could air virtually complete.  It's such a "full" show, nary a dull moment, that trying to trim it was a heartbreak... But I think the right decisions were made...

Oh yeah, the scene at breakfast, true, you kept the best parts anyway.  Why were the tree lights white when they blow out but colored when the tree is decorated?

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