On October 15th, 1951, ‘I Love Lucy’ debuted on CBS starring Lucille Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz. The show ran until 1957, airing 180 half-hour episodes spanning six seasons.
The show involved Lucy Ricardo, played by Ball, as a young, middle-class housewife in New York City. She devised plans with her best friends Ethel and Fred Mertz to appear alongside her bandleading husband, Ricky Ricardo, played by Arnaz.
‘I Love Lucy’ was the most-watched show in the U.S. for four of its six seasons. It was the first show to end its run at the top of the Nielsen ratings. After the series ended, a new version of the show ran for three more seasons with 13 one-hour specials.
‘The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show’ was also referred to as ‘The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour.’ The show remains popular over 60 years later, with CBS releasing colorized specials of classic episodes.
Lucille Ball was a fantastic actress, comedian, singer, and producer who was nominated for 13 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning five times. She even has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and she’s basically received every lifetime achievement award there is for TV.
Lucille started her career in 1929 as a model and later became a star on Broadway. She appeared in movies in the 1930s and 1940s before marrying Desi Arnaz in 1940.
‘I Love Lucy’ seems to never age, as new audiences discover the wonderful comedy and acting. The show became a cultural icon of American sitcoms. Even though Lucille and Desi divorced in 1960, their TV marriage lives on in reruns and in our hearts!