The Lucy Show
The Lucy Show
The Lucy Show

Produced by Desi Arnaz for Desilu Production, The Lucy Show went into rehearsals on July 12, 1962, five years after I Love Lucy stopped production. Lucille Ball was apprehensive to start a new show without Desi so she had him produce the first few episodes. The new cast included Vivian Vance, who came out of retirement to help out her red-haired buddy. She left the cast after three seasons due to the long commute from Connecticut to California. Although, she returned every year to guest-star in one of the sitcoms. It debuted on television on October 1, 1962 and was embraced by the public.

The show had several formats during its 6 year run. The first format featured Lucille Ball as Lucy Carmichael, a widow and Vivian Vance as Vivian Bagle, a divorcee sharing a house with their three kids in Danfield, New York. The original script title of the series was The Lucille Ball Show for the first few drafts (and known among people in the biz as The Dykes Sans Dick Show because it featured two women living together), but when it aired it was called The Lucy Show. It was based partially on the book Life Without George by Irene Kampen. Lucy's character was made a widow due to her fans empathy for her recent divorce with Desi.

The second format of the show featured Gale Gordon as Mr. Mooney, who joined the cast in 1963, and the stories began centering more on Lucy outside the home, as the lovable redhead found herself getting in trouble with the easily agitated skinflint Mr. Mooney, her new banker. Lucy Carmichael was living on a meager trust left by her dead husband, and Mr. Mooney was in charge of that trust.

The third format of the show was in 1965 when Vivian Vance retired for the fourth season. The children were written out of the show as well. Lucy's son, Jerry played by Jimmy Garrett, went off to military school. Her daughter, Chris played by Candy Moore, went off to college and Vivian's son, Sherman played by Ralph Hart, moved with his mother. Lucy moved from Danfield to Los Angeles, California - where, coincidently, her banker Mr. Mooney just moved. She becomes his secretary at the bank and situations are now built around Lucy in the workplace. After trying out Ann Sothern (the Countess Frambroise) as Lucy's sidekick the year before, Mary Jane Croft was brought in as Lucy's regular best friend, Mary Jane Lewis (the actresses' real married name) in 1965. Croft also appeared as Lucy Ricardo's friend, Betty Ramsey in I Love Lucy.

Lucille Ball ended The Lucy Show when she sold her studio, Desilu Productions to Paramount Studios in 1967, severing Lucille Ball's connection with the company. Rather than continue and not own the production, she canceled the top-ten rated show, changed the format slightly and renamed it Here's Lucy.

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