But Ricky, I want to be in the article!

Written by: Amber Baldwin

Have you ever wondered why TV shows are filmed in front of a live studio audience or why reruns exist? Well, if you have the answer is because of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

Before I Love Lucy premiered, Lucille Ball wanted the show filmed in front of a live studio audience. She thought that she performed better in front of people, and Desi Arnaz agreed. No one else thought this was a good idea because it wasn’t how TV shows were made in the early 1950s. To prove them wrong and to give his wife what she wanted, Desi Arnaz created the three-camera technique so that they could film in front of a live studio audience. This is still used today by many sitcoms.

Ball and Arnaz also wanted the show to be seen in high quality no matter where it was watched. At first, TV shows were filmed on kinescope because videotape was not invented yet. If a show was filmed on the west coast, then to get the show to the east coast, someone would record the TV show off of a video monitor. This would create a blurry recording for people everywhere except on the west coast.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz started their own production company called Desilu so that they could record the episodes on 35mm film. Thus, creating reruns. By using 35mm film, people would be able to rewatch the high-quality episodes. This was expensive and both of them did take a pay cut in the beginning to do this.

I Love Lucy premiered on October 15, 1951, and ran until May 6, 1957. It has five Emmy Awards and was the number one TV show during four out of the six seasons. Even though the show is 70 years old now, it still has over 40 million viewers and has been called the most successful television sitcom in history.

It also was the first show to air with a bi-racial couple, Lucy was the first woman to run a major studio, and with the new production company, Lucy fought for the show Star Trek to be produced when no one else would.

There is even a new movie coming out December 10, 2021, in select theater and on Amazon Prime December 21, 2021, called Being the Ricardos which takes place during one week of filming I Love Lucy. The movie will star Nicole Kidman as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem as Desi Arnaz. Also in the cast is J.K. Simmons, Greg Clark and it was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin.

There is also a Lucy Desi Museum located in Jamestown, New York where Lucille Ball spent most of her youth. It is open all year long. During the first week of August, they have the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy. For more info on the Museum and the Lucy Festival visit https://lucy-desi.com/

Reruns of I Love Lucy can be viewed on Hulu, Paramount plus, Amazon Prime Video, and on the Hallmark Channel.

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