‘Yellowstone’ TV: The Surprising Connection Between Lucille Ball and the Paramount Series

by Kayla Zadel
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You might be asking yourself, how could there possibly be a connection between “Yellowstone” and Lucille Ball?

The western drama series about Montana’s elite family, the Duttons, doesn’t have anything in common with the actress Lucy on the surface. A possible connection between Ball and one of the character’s on “Yellowstone” could be made. You probably know who we’re talking about. And if you guessed Beth Dutton (Kelly Reilly), you’re right. They’re both redheads and outspoken.

However, that’s not the surprising connection that we’re talking about.

‘Yellowstone’ and Lucille Ball are, Oddly Enough, Connected

Here’s the story of the connection between the hit TV series and this iconic actress.

In 1950 Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz founded Desilu Productions. The name of the production company is a combination of Desi and Lucy’s names. As a matter of fact, Ball was the first woman to run a major television studio. She bought out Arnaz’s share in the company in 1962. This made her the most powerful woman in Hollywood at the time.

Then in 1967 she sold Desilu Productions for $17 million. What’s more, if that’s calculated to today’s inflation, that’s $130 million.

When Ball sold her production company, the name was changed. Enter the “Yellowstone” connection. Desilu Productions was changed to Paramount Pictures.

Now, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Network, and Paramount+ are all under one umbrella. That parent company is ViacomCBS, according to Deadline. Viacom and CBS joined forces in 1971.

ViacomCBS is in the licensing business, or at least that’s what’s a big moneymaker for the media company. ViacomCBS recently converted one of its streaming channels, CBS All Access, to Paramount+. Paramount+ is going to carry “Yellowstone” spinoff series, like “6666” and “Y:1883.”

However, Paramount+ is not streaming “Yellowstone.”

More on Lucille Ball’s Production Company

Desi Arnaz and Lucy Ball started the company so they could have complete control over “I Love Lucy” and then, later on, turn around and sell the series to CBS. The couple used Desilu Productions to pitch the idea of adapting Lucy’s CBS radio series My Favorite Husband to television, Staff Writer Katie Maloney reports. As history would have it, the iconic show “I Love Lucy” was born.

Desilu Production was the second-largest independent television production company in the United States for a year. They were right behind the number one, MCA’s Revue.

Desilu Productions is best known for producing shows like I Love LucyThe Lucy ShowThe UntouchablesMission: Impossible and Star Trek.

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