Still in Love with Lucy

by Thomas Watson

Monday, September 20, 2004

Thanks, once again, for all the e-mail regarding the new "I Love Lucy (Second Season)" and "(The Best of) Here's Lucy" DVDs... Apparently both sets are doing well, at least among us die-hard Lucy fans! Many people, in fact, are asking when they can expect another set of both series...

Paramount, which releases the "I Love Lucy" discs, has not announced a release date for Season Three. As I mentioned here last week, I spoke with Gregg Oppenheimer (who produces the discs) about this, and he is estimating that it will be marketed during First Quarter, 2005. On the other hand, it would not be too surprising if Paramount decided to issue one season per year, which would mean Season Three would not be out until late next summer. We will keep you updated as something definite is known...

The "Here's Lucy" set is clearly a test. It is the first time a major distributor has invested heavily in marketing what is considered "latter day Lucy." (Translation: any of the shows she did after "I Love Lucy.") If the general DVD-buying public picks up on it, Shout Factory (the discs' distributor) will almost certainly want a follow up set. But it is much too early to know... Lucy discs, even latter-day Lucy discs, are great gifts, and with Christmas coming up, Shout Factory will probably wait until the holiday sales figures are in before it makes a decision about a subsequent "Here's Lucy" release. In the meantime, I'd love it if Paramount would consider releasing some of "The Lucy Show" programs on DVD. There are some wonderful episodes of that series that have not been available anywhere for years!

"Here's Lucy," by the way, went on the air 36 years ago this week, on September 23, 1968. It ended 30 years ago in 1974 -- and yet, thanks to the new technologies, here it is again, entertaining thousands of viewers who were not even alive when the shows were produced... Such is the magic of Lucy's comedy. Many purists carp that some of these later shows were not as satisfying as Lucille Ball's earlier work... I find it noteworthy, however, that only a precious few of the programs that were on the networks back in 1968-74 have found new life in the home video market. Sadder still are the prospects of many of the new programs making debuts this month on the networks. I wonder how many of them will still be in demand in 2040, whatever the technology... Any guesses about the Redhead?

Enough pontificating! Have a great week everybody!


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