Everyone experiences a week or two in their lifetime that stands out as being "most memorable" for one reason or another. For Lucille Ball, the week of September 6-13, 1953 (50 years ago this week) was just such a time... Seldom had she experienced such "highs;" never had she experienced such lows.
It was, of course, the week of the "Red Scare" -- when zealous news reporters accused her of being a Communist... a threat that could have ruined her career.
Happily, Lucy had her work to keep her sane... Production was starting this week on the 1953-54 Lucy shows, and there was much for Lucy to focus on... For one, the studio itself: Desilu had relocated over the summer from its original home at General Service Studios to the more spacious Motion Picture Center.
Also, joining the show this week was Lucy's old friend Elois Jenssen (photo, left), who would design her fashions... And writers Jess Oppenheimer, Bob Carroll Jr. and Madelyn Pugh had decided to "advance" the age of Lucy's TV son, Little Ricky, from six to eighteen months. A new set of twins would be joining the show this week -- Joseph and Michael Mayer (photo below, right).
Because Jess planned on opening the season with "Ricky's Life Story," an episode filmed the previous May -- when Richard and Ronald Lee Simmons were playing the Ricardo infant (that's Ronald in Lucy's arms in the photo, above) -- the scenes that involved the child would have to be reshot. The footage would be filmed on Friday afternoon (without an audience), a couple of hours before this week's show, "The Girls Go Into Business" went before the cameras.
By late Friday, CBS and Philip Morris had declared their loyalty to Lucy, and the "red scare" -- at least for her -- quietly ended.
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Original material © 2003 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.
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