On This Day: Lucille Ball Moves on From ‘I Love Lucy’ with ‘The Lucy Show’ Premiere in 1962

by Megan Molseed

The Lucy Show, starring the remarkable Lucille Ball first premiered on this night fifty-nine years ago on CBS. Obviously, as with anything to which the iconic redheaded comedian and actress attached her name, the new show boasted rave reviews when it premiered to audiences in 1962.

A lot of times, television shows work as a sort of “lightning rarely strikes twice” situation.

Meaning, that once a groundbreaking hit series has been established, a follow-up will likely not find similar success. But, when talking about the great Lucille Ball, multiple successes are not hard to imagine. And, that follow-up success was apparent in The Lucy Show.

“‘The Lucy Show’ starring Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance premiered 59 years ago, October 1, 1962, on CBS,” notes our favorite retro Twitter page, Retro News Now of the popular sitcom.

Of course, what better way to recognize The Lucy Show’s premiere anniversary than to include a quick video of the series’s hilarious opening sequence; featuring cartoon versions of Lucille Ball and costar Vivian Vance. The cartoon Lucy and Vivian try desperately – and hilariously – to make all of The Lucy Show letters stay right where they put them.

We ALL Love Lucy

The extraordinary actress and comedian found herself to be at an unprecedented height of fame during her portrayal of her on-screen counterpart on the popular series I Love Lucy.

While this series may be the most popular of her sitcoms this many years later, Lucille Ball’s time on The Lucy Show certainly did not go unnoticed.

During its run, The Lucy Show celebrated a total of six successful seasons; running from October 1, 1962, until March 1968.

‘I Love Lucy’ Connections

While very different from I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show did include some similarities to the actress’s first television series.

The first of these similarities is the production background of each television series.

Even though Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were divorced in 1960, a few years before The Lucy Show’s premier, the CBS series was a production of the couples’ production company, Desilu. I Love Lucy was also a product of the Desilu company.

Additionally, one of the iconic redheaded comedian’s former I Love Lucy costar’s joined Lucille Ball in the new series.

‘The Lucy Show’ Reunites Costars

The show followed Lucille Ball as a recent widow who found a healing friendship in her new roommate. A recent divorcee played by none other than Vivian Vance.

Vivian Vance portrayed Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s neighbor, Ethel on I Love Lucy. Ethel was, of course, have of the famous arguing couple, Fred and Ethel.

Of course, this new series meant a new character for the iconic actress…but the Lucy we all know and love was a core part of the series.

Lucy’s oddball antics, wayward schemes, and propensity to land herself into heaps of trouble with hilarious consequences were core to the series. Just as they were when audiences fell in love with the actress on I Love Lucy.