Tuesday, February 6, 2018

What Might've Been: Life With Lucy (1986)

Lucille Ball's final series turned out to be her least successful.

It had been 12 years since Here's Lucy had ended, and with it CBS' long standing partnership with the comedy legend. Lucy made a TV movie here and there (i.e. "Stone Pillow"), and had been feted by Dean Martin on his Celebrity Roast.

So what lured Lucy back to television in 1986?

ABC was looking to duplicate what NBC had done two years earlier, welcoming back prodigal son Bill Cosby, whose Cosby Show was about to enter its 3rd season. CBS, for some reason, wasn't interested in bringing Lucy back, though they wouldn't have a problem bringing back another of their older stars, Dick Van Dyke, a few years later (Diagnosis Murder). Lucy had never done anything for ABC outside of perhaps being interviewed by either Dick Cavett and/or Barbara Walters.

Lucy's 2nd husband, Gary Morton, co-produced Life With Lucy with Aaron Spelling, whose golden touch didn't extend to sitcoms, a problem he'd had dating back to his days at Four Star. ABC slotted Life With Lucy on Saturday nights, as they had no room on Mondays, which Lucy ruled back in the day for CBS, due to Monday Night Football, although Lucy as a lead-in to football might not have been so bad an idea.

Long time foil Gale Gordon was lured from retirement to work with Lucy one last time.

ABC gave up after 2 months and cancelled the show. An inglorious finish to a legendary TV career.

No rating. Being on Saturdays meant I wasn't home when it was on.

No comments: