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Life With Lucy 30th anniversary

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When was it announced that Lucy was coming back to TV? Sometime in April or May of 1986? Or more towards July? I thought that they had to do one unaired pilot to sell to a network in the spring, then tape a 2nd slightly different "pilot" in the summer, that airs on TV. Golden Palace did it, ALF did it, Full House did it . . . apparently LWL didn't have an unaired pilot but I think they were all pretty familiar with Ball's work so they didn't need one. But I thought that was protocol. 

 

Would be nice to see some Behind the scenes stuff, like Lucy talking about having "Ritter-itus." lol. Does she mention it on her Joan Rivers show interview? 

 

But, poor Lucy, 1986 was just not a good year for her at all. I think from 1987-1989 she was just heartbroken that her career was over, Desi was gone . . . why didn't any TV show at the time want her to guest star after that? Could you imagine her as a guest star on any of the sitcoms I mentioned? Like ALF, Full House, Cheers, Married with Children, Family Ties, Mama's Family, Cosby . . . Most of those were NBC sitcoms anyway. She should've guest starred on Golden Girls too. 

 

It must have been pretty difficult to get tickets for a sitcom taping back then. How was it done? 

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When was it announced that Lucy was coming back to TV? Sometime in April or May of 1986? Or more towards July? I thought that they had to do one unaired pilot to sell to a network in the spring, then tape a 2nd slightly different "pilot" in the summer, that airs on TV. Golden Palace did it, ALF did it, Full House did it . . . apparently LWL didn't have an unaired pilot but I think they were all pretty familiar with Ball's work so they didn't need one. But I thought that was protocol. 

 

Would be nice to see some Behind the scenes stuff, like Lucy talking about having "Ritter-itus." lol. Does she mention it on her Joan Rivers show interview? 

 

But, poor Lucy, 1986 was just not a good year for her at all. I think from 1987-1989 she was just heartbroken that her career was over, Desi was gone . . . why didn't any TV show at the time want her to guest star after that? Could you imagine her as a guest star on any of the sitcoms I mentioned? Like ALF, Full House, Cheers, Married with Children, Family Ties, Mama's Family, Cosby . . . Most of those were NBC sitcoms anyway. She should've guest starred on Golden Girls too. 

 

It must have been pretty difficult to get tickets for a sitcom taping back then. How was it done? 

It was sold to ABC without the usual prerequisite of having to shoot a pilot first (I've often wondered whether they'd have picked it up if they had to have made one!); partly on Spelling's long-successful track record at ABC (Love Boat, Dynasty, Charlie's Angels et. al.) and partly due to Ball's "clout"/reputation as an industry veteran and pioneer. (Unsure about your reference to Golden Palace since as I recall there was no pilot per se there as it was a spin-off of the long-established Golden Girls and thus didn't really need one.)

 

Yes, it would be nice to finally get a legitimate DVD release of the short-lived series, complete with "behind the scenes" stories and footage but I don't honestly ever see that happening. :(

 

I'm sure most of the shows you mentioned would have LOVED to have La Ball guest star but I think after (as you mentioned) the year she had she simply wasn't interested and hadn't yet gotten over the double-whammy loss of her beloved "arena" as well as Desi's passing. 

 

I'd always wished she'd done a guest shot or recurring part on GG, say as one of their aunts or something, I'm sure it would have been a great showcase for her...and a rare opportunity to work with not only Bea again but Betty as well! ;)

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I remember reading in one of the Lucy biographies that Bob and Madelyn's original script was very different from what eventually aired on television. Apparently, the original draft had more of a "Golden Girls" vibe, and Aaron Spelling/Gary Morton were the ones who pushed to add the grandchildren and to have Gale Gordon's character move into the house. I would be curious to hear about what other changes were made, and why.

I've only ever seen the bootleg episodes on YouTube, and they weren't horrible, but Lucy deserved better. I did like the episode with Audrey Meadows as Lucy's sister though - if they had done more shows like that, I think it would have lasted longer.
 

Who's bright idea was it to put it on Saturday nights, on ABC?

 

I remember reading somewhere that "Life with Lucy" aired right opposite to "The Facts of Life" over on NBC. Since both shows were family-friendly and aimed at a similar type of audience, I'm guessing ABC thought Lucy could give "Facts" girls a run for the money - especially since Charlotte Rae was leaving "The Facts of Life" that season, and that show had already been in a ratings decline before that.

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Best episode was where Lucy takes over M & B Hardware but spends way too much money with promotional stuff, Mother Of the Bride, the Computer episode (which is still pretty far fetched) the one where the lady holds that teddy bear for ransom (most likely later inspired that Golden Girls episode with . . . Jenny Lewis as a guest star) the John Ritter episode and Sax Symbol. I think Aaron Spelling is mostly to blame for changing the scripts. 

 

 

What did the critics say after One Good Grandparent aired? Did they think she sounded like a bullfrog and that she wasn't the adorable Lucy Ricardo anymore? 

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When was it announced that Lucy was coming back to TV? Sometime in April or May of 1986? Or more towards July? I thought that they had to do one unaired pilot to sell to a network in the spring, then tape a 2nd slightly different "pilot" in the summer, that airs on TV. Golden Palace did it, ALF did it, Full House did it . . . apparently LWL didn't have an unaired pilot but I think they were all pretty familiar with Ball's work so they didn't need one. But I thought that was protocol. 

 

Would be nice to see some Behind the scenes stuff, like Lucy talking about having "Ritter-itus." lol. Does she mention it on her Joan Rivers show interview? 

 

But, poor Lucy, 1986 was just not a good year for her at all. I think from 1987-1989 she was just heartbroken that her career was over, Desi was gone . . . why didn't any TV show at the time want her to guest star after that? Could you imagine her as a guest star on any of the sitcoms I mentioned? Like ALF, Full House, Cheers, Married with Children, Family Ties, Mama's Family, Cosby . . . Most of those were NBC sitcoms anyway. She should've guest starred on Golden Girls too. 

 

It must have been pretty difficult to get tickets for a sitcom taping back then. How was it done? 

 

After Lucy announced she was coming back to TV, i found the name of some company,  think was called "Audience tickets" or some thing to that effect. It was over 30 years ago. I may have called ABC and then they told me to write to this company and you tell them what show you would like to see when you would be in LA and they would send you tickets by mail with a SASE. I requested tickets for Lucy for any dates in October and i had them within a few weeks.

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I just found my ticket from Life With Lucy and its dated October 16, 1986 taping at 7pm.

 

...and out in time for dinner! :blink:

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Frasier like Cheers was directed by the legendary James (Jimmy) Brooks, and I think he had a lot to do with that as I've seen other shows he's directed and the same held true: the cast was all introduced before filming began and they then proceeded, no "surprises" thereafter. (He was also one of the producers so that may have played into it as well.)

 

It was an MTM/Sandrich thing -- none of their shows wanted applause for a regular cast member. (Sandrich's own roots go back to I LOVE LUCY.) Burrows got his start shadowing there, and did direct episodes of THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, THE BOB NEWHART SHOW, PHYLLIS, and THE TONY RANDALL SHOW (among others). When several MTM vets went out to do TAXI, this decision followed. 

 

Interestingly, Loni Anderson gets applause in several Season Two episodes of WKRP IN CINCINNATI, but that's quickly halted. 

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The odd thing about Frasier was that even special guest stars didn't get applause, save for Ted Danson's appearance in season two. I wonder why that was.

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The odd thing about Frasier was that even special guest stars didn't get applause, save for Ted Danson's appearance in season two. I wonder why that was.

 

Ken Levine who wrote for Frasier and has a blog recently talked about that.  I wish I could remember it because I can't find it on his blog right now.  It was on purpose though.

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Ken Levine who wrote for Frasier and has a blog recently talked about that. I wish I could remember it because I can't find it on his blog right now. It was on purpose though.

I haven't been on BKL in awhile so I'll look through it and report back if I see anything. If I had to guess it was probably talked about as a Friday Question.

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I haven't been on BKL in awhile so I'll look through it and report back if I see anything. If I had to guess it was probably talked about as a Friday Question.

I thought so too but couldn't find it. Maybe it was in the comments.

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Which episode was the one you saw taped? Probably one that never made it to the air, right? 

Who are you asking Chedder?? :blink:

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Which episode was the one you saw taped? Probably one that never made it to the air, right? 

I was at the taping of Mother of The Bride on Thursday, October 16, 1986.

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Life with Lucy was cancelled the day they filmed World's Greatest Grandma not Mother of the Bride. The cancellation came on November 6.

That's right, I was mistaken (thanks, memory!). Thanks for the clarification Jimmy'! :HALKING:

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"........Some of us were not born yet when LWL premiered. I believe that if I was 17 or even 27 in 1986 (my mom and my dad were 27 and my mom was 7 months pregnant with my older sis) I'd stay with it until the end. I'm turning 27 in June. ........"

 

I think I can speak for Joey and myself when I say Oh SHUT UP, you young whipper-snapper!!

 

".everyone -- including Lucy, and with each entrance! --"  Even Herb Vigran as the vet in "Countess-Horse" got entrance applause which I thought was sort of cool for him. I think there was an episode where Mary Jane got entrance applause.  

 

I saw the unaired "Breaking Up in Hard to Do".  Gary introduced the whole cast except Lucy and told us we could "do what we want when we see her".   Having her get huge applause for her entrance in the first show is fine and appropriate but by this time, it was a little too self-congradulatory---and you're right: it didn't play well at home.  That sort of reaction sets the expectation level too high---much higher than LWL could deliver.  In retrospect MOST of the episodes are fine,  certainly as good as 90% of the comedies on the air at the time, but there's nary a classic along the Candy-Grapes-Stilts-Shower-Vita-LAatLast line.  A lower key approach might have worked better.

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