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Irene Kampen Tripp

JESS OPPENHEIMER

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Thank God, we've still got Gregg in our court, and still promoting his father's hard work. 

 

In my opinion, he would be the man to ask about 'things' his father differed with regarding Lucille's career; his creation beginning with, and expanding from to tv - from with My Favorite Husband, etc.  I'd surely love to hear all of it; perhaps, we could have it cleared up by Gregg.

 

BY THE WAY, TOMORROW IS GREGG'S BIRTHDAY -

 

JK

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Exactly, he helped create the show and for five years he was always seeing Desi take credit for HIS great work, his problems were with Desi, not Lucy, she did get to work with him again on that great Danny Kaye show though.  And he had to sue because he wanted a cut of ANY Lucy type role she played thereafter saying it was all based on HIS early creation, but Lucy hated that, you sued her and you paid the price.  I think he died a year before her.

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Well... she SHOULD have not tried to skate by him and not give him money/credit for LUCY.

Even that wasn't HER fault, it was Desi who used that BOOK BY YOU, I MEAN IRENE KAMPEN to try and get it by Jess whom he resented.  I think the last straw was when Desi took EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit for the series.  Not that he didn't deserve that, he did look over every facet of the show but Jess had created it AND the Lucy character and would not let that guy and i can't say that i blame him.  Like i said many times, put three tv sets next to each other playing all three series and you can't tell it's the same actress playing the same part, just the kookiness was in all three for the comedy aspect. 

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If one wants proof that Lucy was a great actress, just look at her playing the role as opposed to how she really was in REAL life, two totally different women.

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Had Jess been around for Lucy's later series, the quality would've been much more consistent. As someone pointed out in an interview, Bob and Madelyn were great at writing but they didn't have the knack for planning and story arcs that Jess had. Jess wouldn't have let Vivian leave without a proper sendoff.

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Oppenheimer's depiction in the 2003 telefilm was probably the most egregious bit of dramatic license that film took. His involvement in reshaping and developing "My Favorite Husband" was completely written out. He was dramatized as having been hired specifically to produce "I Love Lucy", and was basically shown smiling and nodding in agreement as Lucy, Desi, Bob and Madelyn created the show alone. He was portrayed as a benevolent figurehead who seemed to have no creative input. Far from the truth.

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I don't know who exactly Jess sued: Lucy?  Desilu?  Lucille Ball Productions?  Gulf&Western/Paramount?  Seems to me the suit was the late 60s and Desilu had been dissolved.  Don't know why it took him so long and what inspired him to sue when he did.  I'm a fence-sitter about the legitimacy of his claim.   I'm more on his side about the 1st year of The Lucy Show, less so after that.  By the time of Lucy Carter, there was very little Lucy Ricardo left in her character, except the common first name "Lucy", which is what Jess laid claim to.  Very interesting provision in the original contract about his "ownership" of the character.  I wonder whose idea it was to insert the clause.   

On the other hand, almost every actor who appeared in a subsequent series was very similar to their previous character.   Bob Newhart in Bob Newhart Show and Newhart.  Mary Tyler Moore in The MTM Show and the short-lived "Mary".   Hazel Pierce in I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show...

I was always under the impression that all the horn-locking on I Love Lucy was with Desi; mainly about who was in charge.  Jess returned to Desilu (under Lucy's ownership) to develop "Glynis" and then he produced the Lucille Ball special with Bob Hope later that season.

I agree that I Love Lucy took an abrupt dip in quality for the first half of the 6th season, though I think they found their groove with the 'move to country' arc.

So WHY wasn't he hired for the head writer job of "the Lucy Show" over Milt Josefsburg?  Or was he considered?  His post-Lucy success was spotty and I think he would have been willing to work with Lucy again.  When TLS was in preparation there was some talk of him being on the production team but I don't know how far that went.

The "based on the book "Live without George" now seems a pretty transparent attempt by Desi to circumvent Jess's ownership.  This credit, part of the end credits throughout the series, seem ludicrous when tacked on the end of such episodes as "Carol Burnett/Stewardess Musical".

It would be interesting the speculate what direction the Lucy Show would have taken from the third season on with Jess at the helm.  With Jess handling things, maybe Lucy wouldn't have felt the need to take over the producer/director role which it seems she did.   And I don't think it was Lucy's quest for power that prompted this.  I think she realized that decision were made that were not always in the best interest of the show; and stepped into the void.

Or could it be that with the ratings for The Lucy Show actually IMPROVING after Viv left lulled them into thinking they were putting out the product the public wanted?

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Oppenheimer's depiction in the 2003 telefilm was probably the most egregious bit of dramatic license that film took. His involvement in reshaping and developing "My Favorite Husband" was completely written out. He was dramatized as having been hired specifically to produce "I Love Lucy", and was basically shown smiling and nodding in agreement as Lucy, Desi, Bob and Madelyn created the show alone. He was portrayed as a benevolent figurehead who seemed to have no creative input. Far from the truth.

Exactly, another perfect example of how flawed that project was.

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I don't know who exactly Jess sued: Lucy?  Desilu?  Lucille Ball Productions?  Gulf&Western/Paramount?  Seems to me the suit was the late 60s and Desilu had been dissolved.  Don't know why it took him so long and what inspired him to sue when he did.  I'm a fence-sitter about the legitimacy of his claim.   I'm more on his side about the 1st year of The Lucy Show, less so after that.  By the time of Lucy Carter, there was very little Lucy Ricardo left in her character, except the common first name "Lucy", which is what Jess laid claim to.  Very interesting provision in the original contract about his "ownership" of the character.  I wonder whose idea it was to insert the clause.   

On the other hand, almost every actor who appeared in a subsequent series was very similar to their previous character.   Bob Newhart in Bob Newhart Show and Newhart.  Mary Tyler Moore in The MTM Show and the short-lived "Mary".   Hazel Pierce in I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show...

I was always under the impression that all the horn-locking on I Love Lucy was with Desi; mainly about who was in charge.  Jess returned to Desilu (under Lucy's ownership) to develop "Glynis" and then he produced the Lucille Ball special with Bob Hope later that season.

I agree that I Love Lucy took an abrupt dip in quality for the first half of the 6th season, though I think they found their groove with the 'move to country' arc.

So WHY wasn't he hired for the head writer job of "the Lucy Show" over Milt Josefsburg?  Or was he considered?  His post-Lucy success was spotty and I think he would have been willing to work with Lucy again.  When TLS was in preparation there was some talk of him being on the production team but I don't know how far that went.

The "based on the book "Live without George" now seems a pretty transparent attempt by Desi to circumvent Jess's ownership.  This credit, part of the end credits throughout the series, seem ludicrous when tacked on the end of such episodes as "Carol Burnett/Stewardess Musical".

It would be interesting the speculate what direction the Lucy Show would have taken from the third season on with Jess at the helm.  With Jess handling things, maybe Lucy wouldn't have felt the need to take over the producer/director role which it seems she did.   And I don't think it was Lucy's quest for power that prompted this.  I think she realized that decision were made that were not always in the best interest of the show; and stepped into the void.

Or could it be that with the ratings for The Lucy Show actually IMPROVING after Viv left lulled them into thinking they were putting out the product the public wanted?

You see, now there's another perfect example of why YOU should write a Lucy book.  As for your last line, isn't it a Hollywood saying DON'T TAMPER WITH SUCCESS, IF IT WORKS, LEAVE IT ALONE?  Yes, the public tuned in to see Lucy in comic situations, happy light comedy, no war, no social issues dealt with, no message, no sacharine crap like Family Affair, Lucy said it herself, everybody else was changing but her audience wanted her to stay the same and go on forever.  Exactly as she was.

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I don't know who exactly Jess sued: Lucy?  Desilu?  Lucille Ball Productions?  Gulf&Western/Paramount?  Seems to me the suit was the late 60s and Desilu had been dissolved.  Don't know why it took him so long and what inspired him to sue when he did.  I'm a fence-sitter about the legitimacy of his claim.   I'm more on his side about the 1st year of The Lucy Show, less so after that.  By the time of Lucy Carter, there was very little Lucy Ricardo left in her character, except the common first name "Lucy", which is what Jess laid claim to.  Very interesting provision in the original contract about his "ownership" of the character.  I wonder whose idea it was to insert the clause.   

On the other hand, almost every actor who appeared in a subsequent series was very similar to their previous character.   Bob Newhart in Bob Newhart Show and Newhart.  Mary Tyler Moore in The MTM Show and the short-lived "Mary".   Hazel Pierce in I Love Lucy and The Lucy Show...

I was always under the impression that all the horn-locking on I Love Lucy was with Desi; mainly about who was in charge.  Jess returned to Desilu (under Lucy's ownership) to develop "Glynis" and then he produced the Lucille Ball special with Bob Hope later that season.

I agree that I Love Lucy took an abrupt dip in quality for the first half of the 6th season, though I think they found their groove with the 'move to country' arc.

So WHY wasn't he hired for the head writer job of "the Lucy Show" over Milt Josefsburg?  Or was he considered?  His post-Lucy success was spotty and I think he would have been willing to work with Lucy again.  When TLS was in preparation there was some talk of him being on the production team but I don't know how far that went.

The "based on the book "Live without George" now seems a pretty transparent attempt by Desi to circumvent Jess's ownership.  This credit, part of the end credits throughout the series, seem ludicrous when tacked on the end of such episodes as "Carol Burnett/Stewardess Musical".

It would be interesting the speculate what direction the Lucy Show would have taken from the third season on with Jess at the helm.  With Jess handling things, maybe Lucy wouldn't have felt the need to take over the producer/director role which it seems she did.   And I don't think it was Lucy's quest for power that prompted this.  I think she realized that decision were made that were not always in the best interest of the show; and stepped into the void.

Or could it be that with the ratings for The Lucy Show actually IMPROVING after Viv left lulled them into thinking they were putting out the product the public wanted?

 

Had Jess been involved with TLS, the transition from Danfield to Los Angeles would've been handled the way all of us wish it had been. Vivian would've been given a marriage arc and a proper sendoff, and Jess probably would've developed a great road trip with Lucy, Chris and Jerry trundling off to California. Then think of the other plots: Lucy getting Chris settled into college and barging into her dormroom nonstop with more furnishings and goodies; Jerry at Military School and Lucy clashing with Harvey Korman about visitation privileges, etc. It would've given the show continuity and dimension that it sadly lacked at that point.

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C L A U D E, on 26 Mar 2015 - 07:13 AM, said:

Exactly, another perfect example of how flawed that project was.

 

Dramatic license is to be expected in projects such as this, but to so willingly rewrite the history and character of such a major player was very bad judgment. It's a shame they couldn't have conceived a miniseries that would've devoted more time to the behind-the-scenes players. William Asher, Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf were also written out, so the movie depicted Marc Daniels, Jess, Bob and Madelyn as the sole creative team for its entire run.

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Dramatic license is to be expected in projects such as this, but to so willingly rewrite the history and character of such a major player was very bad judgment. It's a shame they couldn't have conceived a miniseries that would've devoted more time to the behind-the-scenes players. William Asher, Bob Schiller and Bob Weiskopf were also written out, so the movie depicted Marc Daniels, Jess, Bob and Madelyn as the sole creative team for its entire run.

Why don't you post more often, your insights are perfectly right on!

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He's too busy down under, mate! :blink:

Does busy down under have some sexual undertones?  I didn't even remember he was from Australia, he's not Mikidiki with a new name is he?

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Does busy down under have some sexual undertones?  I didn't even remember he was from Australia, he's not Mikidiki with a new name is he?

 

Haha, I'm not from Australia but it's where I currently am.

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Haha, I'm not from Australia but it's where I currently am.

Oh you exciting movers, i remember when Laura was from Australia, then she was from England and now she's from the USA.  David went from England to Australia, you guys really lead exciting lives.

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No, Brian is witty and a good sport. ;)

Oh good, i just feel so guilty about Mikidiki leaving because he thought we were anti Jewish for hating gary, our hating him had nothing to do with his being Jewish, more with his being other things.

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