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Neil

Lucy Show/Here's Lucy ratings

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C L A U D E    2,006

Of course for us here in Canada, The Lucy show and Here's Lucy aired at different times so we were able to see her without ever worrying about her competition.  BUT, they inserted a couple more commercials which sometimes eliminated a few punchlines or set ups.

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Neil    1,350

Found an article listing the top shows for the week "Lucy Phones the President" aired.  The special came in 12th, pretty good considering its competition was a 90 minute "Little House" and Monday Football.  Also considering this one of of the few years CBS Monday did not dominate the ratings.  "Phones" was preceded by Charlie Brown Christmas and pre-empted the last half of "Young Daniel Boone" and 9:00's "Betty White Show", neither of which lasted out the season. There was a sudden shift in tastes, if Nielsen is to be believed, with ABC having the top shows.  #1,2 and 3 were "Laverne and Shirley" "Happy Days" and "threes Company".   I was surprised to see among the bottom 10: "Carol Burnett" in its last season.   Without "All in Family" (moved to different night) and "Mary Tyler Moore" (ceased the previous spring), CBS's once-heralded Saturday night line up faltered.  Carol had the night's 10pm slot and was moved to Sunday at 10, mid-season.  Though Carol, like Lucy before her, said she herself ended the run, it was clear CBS was not going to continue with it.

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C L A U D E    2,006

Found an article listing the top shows for the week "Lucy Phones the President" aired.  The special came in 12th, pretty good considering its competition was a 90 minute "Little House" and Monday Football.  Also considering this one of of the few years CBS Monday did not dominate the ratings.  "Phones" was preceded by Charlie Brown Christmas and pre-empted the last half of "Young Daniel Boone" and 9:00's "Betty White Show", neither of which lasted out the season. There was a sudden shift in tastes, if Nielsen is to be believed, with ABC having the top shows.  #1,2 and 3 were "Laverne and Shirley" "Happy Days" and "threes Company".   I was surprised to see among the bottom 10: "Carol Burnett" in its last season.   Without "All in Family" (moved to different night) and "Mary Tyler Moore" (ceased the previous spring), CBS's once-heralded Saturday night line up faltered.  Carol had the night's 10pm slot and was moved to Sunday at 10, mid-season.  Though Carol, like Lucy before her, said she herself ended the run, it was clear CBS was not going to continue with it.

I always love these tid bits of info, but wasn't her special called Lucy CALLS The President?

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Neil    1,350

You're right, of course.  Today it might be Lucy Texts..or Tweets or whatever the newest thing is... the President.

Can you imagine Lucy's schemes augmented by today's technology?  Of course some of them would be thwarted, such as if the Tropicana had caller ID and discovered all those reservations were coming from the same 2 numbers.

I always love these tid bits of info, but wasn't her special called Lucy CALLS The President?

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Neil    1,350

I've mentioned this before but I was in Europe with a group in the summer of '78 and passing through Switzerland on the train, I noticed across the aisle someone was reading the newspaper and on the back page was an ad for "Calls the President" calling it "Laf Mid Lucil Ball" with a picture from the mid-60s.  I found a way to watch it and it was dubbed in German (I assume Swiss-German).  Lillian Carter was dubbed but you could hear her actual voice in the background.  They got a whiskey-voiced woman to replicate Lucy's "Calls the President" voice, which was very rough.  Rougher than other things I saw her do at the time.

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C L A U D E    2,006

You're right, of course.  Today it might be Lucy Texts..or Tweets or whatever the newest thing is... the President.

Can you imagine Lucy's schemes augmented by today's technology?  Of course some of them would be thwarted, such as if the Tropicana had caller ID and discovered all those reservations were coming from the same 2 numbers.

I always think of that every time i watch the show where they reserve every table, LOL! 

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C L A U D E    2,006

I've mentioned this before but I was in Europe with a group in the summer of '78 and passing through Switzerland on the train, I noticed across the aisle someone was reading the newspaper and on the back page was an ad for "Calls the President" calling it "Laf Mid Lucil Ball" with a picture from the mid-60s.  I found a way to watch it and it was dubbed in German (I assume Swiss-German).  Lillian Carter was dubbed but you could hear her actual voice in the background.  They got a whiskey-voiced woman to replicate Lucy's "Calls the President" voice, which was very rough.  Rougher than other things I saw her do at the time.

I saw her show here in French but it was dubbed in France back then and it was called L'extravagante Lucie, which means she was extravagant, yeah, to put it mildly, LOL!  I think eccentric might have been more apt.  But they gave her this sophisticated and quite high pitched voice, but do you SPECT from these people who think jerry lewis is a comic genius.

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Neil    1,350

Here's Lucy started its rerun cycle at the end of the 5th season with (at least) the FOURTH prime time showing of "Meets the Burtons", propelling HL to #6 for the week.  Certainly the episode had paid for itself by now.  I think it was rerun three times in season 3: the first airing, the first of the reruns and again in the fall.

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Neil    1,350

At the start of the 66-67 season it looked like "The Rat Patrol" would be the first series to give "The Lucy Show" a run for its money.  For the two week period that included Sept. 12th and 19th  ("George Burns" and "Submarine"), LS was #8 and Rat Patrol was #3.

But "The Lucy Show" bounced back:

Sept. 26th "Bean Queen"  and Oct. 3rd "Paul Winchell", LS: #6 of the top ten while RP was #8.

In 1966 the ratings were released covering two weeks rather than one.

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C L A U D E    2,006

Here's Lucy started its rerun cycle at the end of the 5th season with (at least) the FOURTH prime time showing of "Meets the Burtons", propelling HL to #6 for the week.  Certainly the episode had paid for itself by now.  I think it was rerun three times in season 3: the first airing, the first of the reruns and again in the fall.

I'm sure they did the same thing with the baby show for ILL, rerun the ones that do the best in the ratings.

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C L A U D E    2,006

At the start of the 66-67 season it looked like "The Rat Patrol" would be the first series to give "The Lucy Show" a run for its money.  For the two week period that included Sept. 12th and 19th  ("George Burns" and "Submarine"), LS was #8 and Rat Patrol was #3.

But "The Lucy Show" bounced back:

Sept. 26th "Bean Queen"  and Oct. 3rd "Paul Winchell", LS: #6 of the top ten while RP was #8.

In 1966 the ratings were released covering two weeks rather than one.

Well, Lucy ALWAYS did better with women and kids than she ever did with men, so rat patrol was aimed at MEN and i saw it and it was a pretty shitty show, how long did it last?

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Neil    1,350

Well, Lucy ALWAYS did better with women and kids than she ever did with men, so rat patrol was aimed at MEN and i saw it and it was a pretty shitty show, how long did it last?

2 seasons.  It ended the first season at #22 and remains the only show that lasted opposite The Lucy Show more than one season. One was moved ("Wagon Train"): 9:00 Lucy vs. Andy Williams: Lucy moved back to 8:30, but most, including some long running hits "Rifleman", "Dr. Kildare" "Man From Uncle" were canceled.  With "The Lucy Show" and "Rat Patrol" both in the top ten, at least for the first part of the season, no wonder "The Roger Miller Show" got cancelled mid-season.  In the first half of  Rat Patrol's 2nd year , "The Lucy Show" was #1; and for the last half when "Laugh In" gained ratings strength, there wasn't much audience left for RP.

 

How would YOU know it was a shitty show?  Do you mean instead of watching "Mooney the Monkey", you tuned in to "The Rat Patrol"??  I have no idea what that show was even about.  Always assumed it was a group of young/attractive rouge-ish pest control technicians, constantly up against their crusty boss, who disapproved of their methods, including the musical episode (a 2-parter with special material by Mel Torme) where they try to lead the rats out of New York City by playing the flute and having all the rats follow them singing  "Christopher Street, USA"

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C L A U D E    2,006

2 seasons.  It ended the first season at #22 and remains the only show that lasted opposite The Lucy Show more than one season. One was moved ("Wagon Train"): 9:00 Lucy vs. Andy Williams: Lucy moved back to 8:30, but most, including some long running hits "Rifleman", "Dr. Kildare" "Man From Uncle" were canceled.  With "The Lucy Show" and "Rat Patrol" both in the top ten, at least for the first part of the season, no wonder "The Roger Miller Show" got cancelled mid-season.  In the first half of  Rat Patrol's 2nd year , "The Lucy Show" was #1; and for the last half when "Laugh In" gained ratings strength, there wasn't much audience left for RP.

 

How would YOU know it was a shitty show?  Do you mean instead of watching "Mooney the Monkey", you tuned in to "The Rat Patrol"??  I have no idea what that show was even about.  Always assumed it was a group of young/attractive rouge-ish pest control technicians, constantly up against their crusty boss, who disapproved of their methods, including the musical episode (a 2-parter with special material by Mel Torme) where they try to lead the rats out of New York City by playing the flute and having all the rats follow them singing  "Christopher Street, USA"

The Rat Patrol was a war show and we got to see Lucy a while before you guys did, she was shown here earlier.  I tested the show as i did also with Roger Miller and many others as i knew i could see Lucy at another time, the trouble was in Canada they added some commercials so the show was edited, so i would try and watch the American version also to see what i missed, usually just a  set up for a joke.

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Neil    1,350

1971-72 End of season ratings as reported by Variety in May 1972 differ from the official season tallies which place Here's Lucy in a tie for #10 with Mary Tyler Moore.  Perhaps that list tallied everything through the summer.

This May Variety tally has Here's Lucy at #8, making it the third highest rated sitcom of the season and CBS's 2nd highest behind the #1 show All in the Family.  CBS's 4th highest series (Gunsmoke and Mannix were the other two higher rated).  Of the 25 sitcoms that aired that season, only Family and Sanford and Son rated higher than HL.   Others on the list:

#9 Funny Face  (discontinued because of Sandy Duncan's health problems, but more of a time slot hit anyway, scheduled after "All in the Family".  The next season's revised "Sandy Duncan Show" failed.)

#11 MTM

#16 tie New Dick Van Dyke, Partidge Family

#22 Doris Day

#30 Room 222

#31 Brady Bunch

#33 Love American Style

#37 Odd couple

#42 Arnie

#44 Jimmy Stewart *

#47 My 3 Sons *

#56 Don Rickles *

#62 Courtship of Eddie's Father *

#66 The Partners

#67 The Good Life followed in descending order by, Nanny and The Professor, Smith Family, Chicago Teddy Bears, Bewitched, Getting Together and "Shirley's World" at #77 all cancelled.

 

In the Elizabeth Montgomery biography, the author contends that it was Elizabeth who ended Bewitched, not ABC but being #72 out of 78 shows would indicate otherwise.

 

*indicated cancelled show.

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JoeySoCal    1,009

In the Elizabeth Montgomery biography, the author contends that it was Elizabeth who ended Bewitched, not ABC but being #72 out of 78 shows would indicate otherwise.

 

*indicated cancelled show.

ABC's move of "Bewitched" to Saturdays against CBS juggernaut AITF in effect killed it but the show was basically already over as -- in another similarity to predecessors Lucy & Desi -- married couple/show star & EP/main director Montgomery & Bill Asher's marriage was ending and realistically could not have gone on working together and producing this now-classic sitcom.  (Watch most 8th (last) season eps and Montgomery's zest for the role is clearly gone: for much of the season, she seems to be "phoning it in" and injecting nowhere near any of the charm she did at the beginning of the series, so much so it's almost like watching a different show!)

 

ABC used this ploy several times to "kill off" a show on it's last legs for whatever reason, another example being "The Partridge Family" being moved for its 4th and final season against AITF after 3 high-rated (Top 25) seasons only after male lead David Cassidy announced his "retirement" and refusal to return to the show for a 5th season.  

 

There are other examples but my memory is failing me at the moment. :blink:

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Freddie2    846

In its 11th season, Murder She Wrote was still in the top 10 and Angela Lansbury was content with continuing the role but for its 12th season the show's timeslot was changed for the first time in its run. It was now opposite Friends, and ratings dropped to the low 50s. If the show had stayed on Sunday nights it might still be in first run to this day.

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Neil    1,350

Just picked up a good book about the history of the Dick Van Dyke Show, written in 1994.

In it the author Vince Waldron talks about the 2nd season of DVD (which coincided with the first season of The Lucy Show).  Dick Van Dyke had a disastrous first season in the ratings, finishing the season at  #80, barely out of the bottom 10 with no strong competition, and facing cancellation.   For its 2nd season it was scheduled after the new "Beverly Hillbillies" series.  I don't think CBS or anybody else expected "BH" to skyrocket to #1 but it certainly helped DVDyke ratings which stayed in the top 10 for the next 3 seasons, dropping to #15 during its last (65-66), the only season other than the first that it didn't directly follow "Hillbillies".    

But Waldron says of the "Beverly Hillbillies" phenomenon that the show "was the first time in prime time history a show hit the top of the ratings chart within 5 weeks of its premiere."  What about "The Lucy Show" ?  The premiere episode was the #1 show of the week.  

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Neil    1,350

In the "Weird Oscar" category, I was talking about the high ratings for HL's 3rd season and the fact that it was CBS's top rated show and the only sitcom to make the top 14--in a year that saw the debuts of Mary Tyler Moore and All in the Family, though both would catch on later.

I consider TLS and HL two different series but to the general public, they're the same.  CBS ran reruns of TLS during the first 3 summers after HL and I don't think anybody really noticed (except me).   Since HL's writing/production staff was virtually the same as the last season of TLS, there's not much change being offered, despite the title and the addition of the kids.   What other series in its 7th and 8th years (I'm limiting this to sitcoms) stayed in the top 10 for 2 seasons opposite the most-talked-about #1 hit show of its time "Laugh-In"?      HL has to hold some kind of ratings record: to remain in the top 10 against the #1 show; actually gaining ground: 1st as #9, then #6.  And  let's consider that 70-71 was the NINTH season of the new Lucy series started in 1962.  Its real claim to fame was out-rating the still-popular Laugh-In in its 9th season (LI's third), the last season the shows were directly opposite each other.  L-I had dropped out of the top 10 altogether coming in at #13 for that season 70-71.   

In 1974, the headlines blared "Lucy Bows Out After 23 Years".  Well not exactly true.  There were the 3 years of LDCH specials, which in total would make 26 half-hour shows (one season) and the 2 years 1960-62 where there was NO new Lucy on the air.  But in fact CBS had run Lucy in some form for 23 years, if you count the 60-62 daytime reruns, started in 1959 and going strong until 1966.  

I don't suppose we'll ever know the true story of HL's demise.  One side: CBS canceled it when the ratings declined from the 5th season's #15 to a still-respecible #29.  The other side: Lucy herself pulled the plug simultaneous to CBS wanting her to come back for a 7th year.  Remember that the last episode of the 5th season closed the office and seemed like a 'last episode'.  But despite falling out of the top 10 for the first time, CBS talked her into a 6th season.   In retrospect, CBS did better without Lucy on Mondays since its replacement, the 3rd season of Maude,  made the top 10 (#9)

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Mot Morenzi    1,501

I've never considered TLS and HL to be the same show and dislike it when sources refer to them as such. Yes, the latter is similar, but they are new characters with changed surnames. Legally speaking, they definitely are different shows, given the varying rights holders. HL is what TVTropes woud call a "spiritual successor."

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Freddie2    846

I think the 1974-75 success of Maude on Mondays at 9:00 had a lot to do with the fact that it was airing before the sensation that was the first season of Rhoda. Had Lucy done a seventh season (or thirteenth, depending on how you look at it) as the lead-in for Rhoda, surely her ratings would have improved, and as far as I'm concerned, creatively, HL was in a good enough place that another year would have been worthwhile.

Or... Lucy could have followed her "modus operandi", where each of her previous weekly shows had aired for six seasons, so she could have started a new sitcom for the 1974-75 season!

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upperco    66

Ball proved every season that she was open to negotiation, and while it's been reported that she almost bowed out in October '72, she seemed willing to stick around again when interviewed by the LA Times in November '73 ("if people still want me -- if CBS still wants me"). I won't speculate on what happened between then and February '74*, but I will say that the trades never contradicted the two commonly accepted facts: that she wanted to leave and that CBS executives would miss having her on a weekly series.

However, the extent to which both parties exhibited those claims privately during negotiations -- and I believe there were negotiations, for the announcement didn't come until the end of February (not since the mid-era Lucy Show days had Ball's fate remained uncertain that late in the season), a month after production wrapped -- is unknown and may indeed have been contradictory. 

As is always the case, I think there were a number of factors that probably influenced what happened -- the ratings being just one. (Incidentally, the numbers had fallen, but the network never expressed any public concern -- which means the show was likely still profitable -- and the press considered it, while still in the Top 30, in good shape.) 

  • The upcoming release of Mame (which looked to be a success and could have opened the door to different projects for Ball)
  • Lucie Arnaz's desire to move on (she booked Seesaw in December '73, two months before the official announcement of the series' end)
  • CBS' success in the fall of '73 -- there were only three midseason replacements (and no room to move good shows that deserved a second chance)
  • The problems with the likely-to-be-axed The New Dick Van Dyke Show (cancelling it would mean that Lucy didn't have a great companion on Mondays; Wood/Silverman would NOT have put Maude or Rhoda next to Lucy -- those were different types of shows and were held to different standards; that's part of the problem Van Dyke faced)

Conversely, some external things that could have indeed prolonged negotiations in February...

  • The relaxation of the Prime Time Access Rule, as the networks suddenly got an extra hour on Sundays, even if they didn't have the pilots for it (this was later postponed)
  • The fact that the show's numbers were improving by nearly two ratings points in the period between January and March (so, February) 
  • The problems with the divorcing Sonny & Cher, who were likely to not return (meaning that CBS would be losing another hit show)
  • And, as with the above, the problems with The New Dick Van Dyke Show, which instead of reducing the need to keep Lucy, may have done the opposite: increased CBS' desire to hold onto her

*Okay, I will... Ball probably did her annual hemming and hawing -- this time more tired and ready to go than ever, but still hoping the network would negotiate like usual. Unfortunately, the brass didn't appear to fight as hard to keep her as they had before (like in October '72) and recognizing that maybe she wasn't as valuable to them as she once was, Ball decided to walk away from the weekly series and just commit to specials (which, in November '73, she said wasn't of interest to her, but I digress....) 

The_Los_Angeles_Times_Mon__Nov_5__1973_.jp2

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Neil    1,350
On 8/13/2018 at 10:41 PM, upperco said:

Ball proved every season that she was open to negotiation, and while it's been reported that she almost bowed out in October '72, she seemed willing to stick around again when interviewed by the LA Times in November '73 ("if people still want me -- if CBS still wants me"). I won't speculate on what happened between then and February '74*, but I will say that the trades never contradicted the two commonly accepted facts: that she wanted to leave and that CBS executives would miss having her on a weekly series.

However, the extent to which both parties exhibited those claims privately during negotiations -- and I believe there were negotiations, for the announcement didn't come until the end of February (not since the mid-era Lucy Show days had Ball's fate remained uncertain that late in the season), a month after production wrapped -- is unknown and may indeed have been contradictory. 

As is always the case, I think there were a number of factors that probably influenced what happened -- the ratings being just one. (Incidentally, the numbers had fallen, but the network never expressed any public concern -- which means the show was likely still profitable -- and the press considered it, while still in the Top 30, in good shape.) 

  • The upcoming release of Mame (which looked to be a success and could have opened the door to different projects for Ball)
  • Lucie Arnaz's desire to move on (she booked Seesaw in December '73, two months before the official announcement of the series' end)
  • CBS' success in the fall of '73 -- there were only three midseason replacements (and no room to move good shows that deserved a second chance)
  • The problems with the likely-to-be-axed The New Dick Van Dyke Show (cancelling it would mean that Lucy didn't have a great companion on Mondays; Wood/Silverman would NOT have put Maude or Rhoda next to Lucy -- those were different types of shows and were held to different standards; that's part of the problem Van Dyke faced)

Conversely, some external things that could have indeed prolonged negotiations in February...

  • The relaxation of the Prime Time Access Rule, as the networks suddenly got an extra hour on Sundays, even if they didn't have the pilots for it (this was later postponed)
  • The fact that the show's numbers were improving by nearly two ratings points in the period between January and March (so, February) 
  • The problems with the divorcing Sonny & Cher, who were likely to not return (meaning that CBS would be losing another hit show)
  • And, as with the above, the problems with The New Dick Van Dyke Show, which instead of reducing the need to keep Lucy, may have done the opposite: increased CBS' desire to hold onto her

*Okay, I will... Ball probably did her annual hemming and hawing -- this time more tired and ready to go than ever, but still hoping the network would negotiate like usual. Unfortunately, the brass didn't appear to fight as hard to keep her as they had before (like in October '72) and recognizing that maybe she wasn't as valuable to them as she once was, Ball decided to walk away from the weekly series and just commit to specials (which, in November '73, she said wasn't of interest to her, but I digress....) 

The_Los_Angeles_Times_Mon__Nov_5__1973_.jp2

Very interesting observations.  Where did you get the info that HL's ratings improved by 2 points between Jan and March?  These 2 months had some of the best HL episodes in a long time, starting with "NG as RN" which ran in January. 

 

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upperco    66
1 hour ago, Neil said:

Very interesting observations.  Where did you get the info that HL's ratings improved by 2 points between Jan and March?  These 2 months had some of the best HL episodes in a long time, starting with "NG as RN" which ran in January. 

 

Variety. Ratings for Here's Lucy for the "1st half season" (Sept. 10 - Jan. 13) averaged 19.2. Ratings for the "second season" (Jan. 14 - Mar. 24) averaged 21.3. 

(Remember, of course, that Lucy was up against Monday Night Football in the fall, and only movies in the winter/spring.) 

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