REELZ: TV's First Multicultural Couple Profiled In 'I Love Lucy: The Unknown Story'
REELZ premieres I Love Lucy: The Unknown Story on Saturday February 26th. This week's fascinating documentary reveals how CBS took a big gamble with I Love Lucy in 1951, resulting in an unexpected smash hit, which would later be known as one of the most beloved sitcoms in television history.
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz not only created an incredible show, but their forward-thinking revolutionized how television was made, and it continues to set the multi-camera sitcom standard used today.
The groundbreaking sitcom was centered around the lives of a multicultural couple, “Lucy” and “Ricky Ricardo,” who were famously married in real-life.
"'I Love Lucy' is really about the marriage of 'Lucy' and 'Desi' that’s really art imitating life, imitating art in a lot of ways," host of PeopleTV's Reality Check, Darvin Carp, comments of the cherished comedy.
The sitcom wouldn't have been the same without the the Ricardos' classic sidekicks accompanying them on their hilarious escapades. Along with the show's main duo, I Love Lucy also heavily featured Lucy's best friend and landlady, "Ethel Mertz," and her landlord husband, "Fred."
"They found Vivian Vance performing in San Diego on stage," biographer Tom Gilbert recalls. "And the director went down and saw her, and he brought Desi to see her and said, 'she's great, she's perfect, she's Ethel.'"
However, Gilbert details when they introduced Vance to Ball, their star didn't initially react as well as they had hoped to the proposed casting because she thought Ethel needed to be "dumpy" and older to look more like a landlord.
The story of an inter-cultural married couple brought the world’s first pregnancy announcement — and birth — to network television soon after it premiered 70 years ago, and it continued to make waves with TV "firsts" throughout its six-season run.
Find out more in I Love Lucy: The Unknown Story on Saturday, February 26th at 8 ET/PT on REELZ.
Watch REELZ on DIRECTV 238, Dish Network 299, Verizon FiOS 692, AT&T U-verse 1799 and in HD on cable systems and streaming services nationwide. Find REELZ on your local cable or satellite provider at reelz.com/get-reelz/.