OAD: January 19, 1953 - CBS Television Network
FILMED: Friday, November 14, 1952 - General Service Studios
PREMISE: With Lucy about to go into labor, Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse their plans to get Lucy to the hospital. All goes well until the big moment actually arrives -- then pandemonium reigns supreme. Once Lucy is safely ensconced in the maternity ward, Ricky paces anxiously in the expecting father's waiting room.
GUEST CAST:Charles Lane (Mr. Stanley); Adele Longmire (nurse in lobby); Peggy Rea (nurse with wheelchair); Bennett Green (orderly); William Hamel (maitre d'); Ralph Montgomery (policeman); Barbara Pepper, Ruth Perrott, Hazel Pierce (nurses); James & John Ganzer (Little Ricky).
As every actor knows, timing is everything -- and Lucille Ball did her part by delivering a real-life baby boy, Desi Arnaz IV, on the morning of January 19, 1953 -- less than 12 hours before this episode first aired.
That original broadcat received an astoundingly high 71.8 rating and 92 share of audience from the A. C. Nielsen Co. The competing Trendex rating service gave it a 68.8 rating (an all-time Trendex high). Trendex estimated the show was seen by 44 million viewers. The episode remains extremely popular among viewers all over the world, and is considered to be the most watched single episode of a TV series of all time.
Philip Morris closed the original broadcast with the following voice-over message:
"Yes, there's a new baby, a wonderful baby at the Ricardos', and we at Philip Morris rejoice in the blessed event. We know that all our millions of friends join us in extending congratulations and good wishes to the Ricardos. May their lives together be filled with as much joy and laughter and carefree happiness as they have brought all of us week after week. To Lucy, to Ricky, and to the new baby: love and kisses from Philip Morris and from all America."
Original material © 2005 Lucyfan Enterprises.
I Love Lucy is copyrighted by and a registered trademark of CBS Worldwide, Inc.
Images of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz used by permission of Desilu, too, LLC.
Licensing by Unforgettable Licensing, Northbrook, Illinois.