Happy 50th Anniversary!
Lucy, Ricky, Ethel and Fred...
...and the dozens of artists and craftsmen who worked with Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley to create the most successful television comedy of all time.
Fifty years ago this week -- on Monday, October 15, 1951 -- I Love Lucy premiered on the CBS Television Network. The first episode, "The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub," was but a glimmer of what was to follow: the wacky adventures of Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, and their friends Fred and Ethel Mertz.
The story that first night was a "battle of the sexes," with Lucy and Ethel campaigning to celebrate the Mertzes' wedding anniversary in a fancy nightclub -- while the boys wanted to go to a prize fight. The resultant slapstick was silly -- but somehow endearing, and audiences flocked to spend time with these two couples week after week, year after year...
The series was in production for six years as a half-hour show, and three more as periodic 60-minute specials -- but even after 41 years of reruns, it shows no sign of wearing out its welcome: I Love Lucy makes its "debut" this week on TV Land Cable Network, which will present the program again in prime time, and CBS Television will present its own two-hour I Love Lucy 50th Anniversary Special in November.
The show has given the world 50 years of love... 50 years of laughter... 50 years of Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel... Long may it continue!
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If you've missed any of this year's photos, you can access them in our
LUCY PHOTO GALLERY