REPEAT: October 20, 1952 - CBS Television Network
OAD: November 12, 1951
NEW FOOTAGE: This telecast begins with the Ricardos and the Mertzes chatting in the Mertz livingroom. As usual the wives are on one side of the room, the husbands on the other. Lucy suggests they rearrange themselves -- but when they do, no one has much to say. Ethel remembers that she has tickets to a new radio game show the next day, and asks Lucy to go along... Lucy's excited about going, but Ricky interjects, "nothing doing..." and prompts the foursome to recall the last occasion on which Lucy went on a radio quiz show...
We then flashback to ("I Love Lucy" Episode 5) when Lucy was overdrawn on the household accounts and Ricky cut off her allowance. Ethel has tickets to a radio quiz show ("Females Are Fabulous"); Lucy goes along -- and becomes a contestant. All she has to do to win $1,000 is convince Ricky that she has a long-lost first husband!
GUEST CAST: Frank Nelson (Freddie Fillmore); Lee Millar (announcer); Hazel Pierce (Mrs. Peterson); John Emery (Harold, the tramp); Phil Ober (Arnold, the first husband)
This was the first "I Love Lucy" rerun -- ever!
It was also one of the very first network repeats in prime time of any sort... To this point, most network shows -- certainly during the September-June "winter season" -- were first-run originals (or, on occasion, restaged "live" re-broadcasts). Reruns of film shows were relegated to local stations.
This telecast pioneered the idea of using new footage to lead into a repeat broadcast. Desilu planned to use a total of 10 such repeats during the 1952-53 season, essentially to "buy time" while Lucille Ball was on maternity leave.
Because "I Love Lucy" had gained in popularity in the 11 months since this episode's original broadcast, and because more people in general now had televisions, this 1952 repeat actually received a higher rating than the 1951 original. According to A.C. Nielsen Company, this rerun averaged a 66.1 rating and 87.2 share, while the original received a 38.0 rating and 59.9 share. Obviously, CBS and Philip Morris were pleased, and okayed Desilu's plans to do more of these rebroadcasts.
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.