Lucille Ball will forever be associated with the beloved show, “I Love Lucy.” Even after the show ended its run, both Ball and Desi Arnaz enjoyed the success of their follow-up shows, such as “The Lucy Show” and “Here’s Lucy.”
Another show to follow, “I Love Lucy,” was “Life with Lucy,” which debuted the year Arnaz died. Unlike her other work, “Life with Lucy” was the only show with her name in the title that wasn’t successful.
It tanked so severely that many consider it among the worst television shows ever made. Ball played a widowed grandmother and child star and future singer Jenny Lewis as her granddaughter.
Produced by Desi Arnaz for Desilu Production, “The Lucy Show” went into rehearsals on July 12, 1962, five years after “I Love Lucy” stopped taping new episodes.
It debuted on television on October 1, 1962 and the public welcomed it with open arms.
Lucille Ball Continues Television Career After Iconic Show
However, the producers never intended for the show to go beyond one season. Desilu productions (Arnaz and Ball’s production company) wanted to use the series to force the network to invest in other Desilu productions.
The show had several formats during its six-year run. The first featured 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 show’s second format included Gale Gordon as Mr. Mooney, who joined the cast in 1963. The stories began centering more on Lucy outside the home, as she found herself getting in trouble with the easily irritated Mr. Mooney.
In 1965, in the third format of the show, Vivian Vance retired for the fourth season. Lucy’s son, Jerry, went off to military school. Her daughter, Chris, went off to college, and Vivian’s son, Sherman, moved with his mother.
Lucy moved to Los Angeles, where, coincidently, her banker Mr. Mooney just moved. She becomes his secretary at the bank, and the show centers on Lucy in the workplace.
Lucille Ball ended the show when she sold her studio, Desilu Productions to Paramount Studios in 1967.
She canceled the top-ten rated show, changed the format slightly, and renamed it “Here’s Lucy.” CBS aired the show from 1968 to 1974.