‘I Love Lucy’: The Show Contributed to Developing Hollywood in This Way

by Clayton Edwards
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I Love Lucy was one of the most influential shows to ever air. It changed the face of television forever. Without the genius of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, we wouldn’t have many of the things we do today. It was the first show to record on film. So, it was the first one to have reruns. Without this classic show, we may not be able to watch the other syndicated classic shows that we love today. However, that wasn’t the only influence the show had. It also helped to build Hollywood.

There are several ways that I Love Lucy changed the world of television that it’s hard to say which is the most significant. However, the way the show changed Hollywood is definitely near the top of the list.

I Love Lucy Made Hollywood What It Is Today

Most shows shot live in New York before I Love Lucy. This was one of the first shows to be shot in Los Angeles, according to the Lucy-Desi Museum. It was such a smash that producers and showrunners took notice. Over time, television production moved away from the East Coast. Currently, we know Hollywood as the throbbing heart of television and film. The classic sitcom is one of the main reasons for that.

I Love Lucy changed more than just where people made television shows. Also, they changed the filming techniques of television series. When the show started, television shows used kinescope technology. Basically, one camera captured the action on the set and showed it on a monitor. Then, another camera taped straight from that monitor. The shows then aired live. At the same time, they only used one camera. So, audiences received a grainy recording from a single camera. I Love Lucy changed that.

Before they hit the airwaves with the classic sitcom, Lucy and Desi toured the country. They did a live music and comedy show. The couple wanted to duplicate the look and feel of their live shows with their television series. So, one camera wouldn’t cut it. Arnaz knew they would need three cameras to faithfully capture his vision for the show.

At the same time, Arnaz wanted I Love Lucy to look good. He didn’t want the grainy look of most TV shows of the time. So, instead of kinescope, he wanted the show shot on 35mm film. This would give the sitcom the same picture quality as a Hollywood movie.

So, I Love Lucy moved the heart of American broadcast television all the way across the country. At the same time, the show helped to usher in a whole new way of shooting TV shows. Lucy and Desi were true innovators. Without them, who knows how TV would look today.

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