I Love Lucy Dominates Television Comedy (Great Events from History II: Arts and Culture Series)
Article abstract: Innovative in its manner of filming and use of sound techniques as well as strengthened by superb writing and acting, I Love Lucy consistently ranked among the most popular shows of its era.
Summary of Event
Television was in its infancy in 1950, when the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) network notified Lucille Ball of its desire to transfer her successful radio program, My Favorite Husband, to television. Although only four million television sets were in American households at the time, this number represented a quadrupling of the number from the previous year. It was obvious that entertainment was shifting to the new visual medium.
An astute businessperson, Ball quickly recognized the growth potential of television and strongly favored the move. It was her desire, however, that the male lead in the show be portrayed by Desi Arnaz, a Cuban entertainer and bandleader who was Ball’s real-life husband.
The network was reluctant to hire Arnaz for the part, for several reasons. First, there was concern about his ability to act. There was also a fear that the public would not accept a Cuban as Ball’s husband. Ball’s answer was simple and straightforward: “We are married!” To overcome the network’s reluctance, Ball and Arnaz decided to perform a show on tour. Forming Desilu Productions in 1950, the pair traveled and displayed their act before live...
(The entire section is 2318 words.)
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