Life with Lucy was Lucille Ball's last television series. The show ran on the ABC network in 1986, and unlike Lucy's previous smash hits on television, it was a critical and popular flop. Reportedly, its failure so deeply hurt Lucille Ball that she never completely recovered from it, convinced that the public no longer wanted her. Although it was reported that during the filming of the first episode, the studio audience applauded for almost five minutes straight when Lucy came on stage.
Life with Lucy Edit
In order to get Ball to agree to a new series, ABC allowed her complete creative control, no requirement to make a pilot episode, and no requirement for testing before focus groups or other tryouts. As all of Ball's previous efforts had proven to be hugely successful, the network acquiesced in this, even though she was at the time already 75 years old and her long-time co-star Gale Gordon was 80. Ball played a widowed grandmother who had inherited her husband's half-interest in a South Pasadena, California hardware store (the other half being owned by his partner, Curtis McGibbon, played by Gale Gordon). She insisted on "helping" in the store, even though when her husband was alive she had taken no part in the business and hence knew nothing about it. The unlikely partners were also in-laws, her daughter being married to his son, and all of them, along with their young grandchildren, lived together. Fourteen episodes were written, thirteen filmed, and eight actually aired. On the day of the last filmed (but unaired) episode, producer Aaron Spelling learned of the show's cancellation by ABC; he decided to tell Lucille's husband Gary Morton, who decided not to reveal the news to her until after filming had ended. The last episode to be aired, "Mother of the Bride", featured Audrey Meadows, who was going to be cast as a regular to give the show a new direction and Lucille's character someone else to play off of, much like Vivian Vance, Gale Gordon, & Mary Jane Croft did on Lucy's previous shows. Its premiere episode on September 20th made the Nielsen's Top 20 (#23 for the week) for its week; however, following episodes dropped steadily in viewership. The highest rated episode was one with John Ritter.
CBS Paramount Television currently owns the rights to this series as it owns the Aaron Spelling library, it also owns all the other series starring Lucille Ball (except Here's Lucy).
Life With Lucy Theme Song Edit
Life With Lucy Theme Song was notable for the opening theme song performed by Eydie Gorme.