View Full Version : Why exactly did Vivian Vance leave the show?


MamasFamilyFan
01-27-2002, 05:39 PM
HEY everyone, just curious to know, why did Viv leave the show? I thought everything seemed to be going well, until Viv left and Mr. Mooney came in. I much rather prefered the Vivian episodes than the later Mooney episodes, and why did Jerry and Chris leave the show too? I thought they made it more interesting. I guess the only good thing about the later episodes was Maryjane, who helped make the show a little more "alive" Just my opinion, I love the Lucy Show very much...

dillon Strunck
01-27-2002, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by MamasFamilyFan
HEY everyone, just curious to know, why did Viv leave the show? I thought everything seemed to be going well, until Viv left and Mr. Mooney came in. I much rather prefered the Vivian episodes than the later Mooney episodes, and why did Jerry and Chris leave the show too? I thought they made it more interesting. I guess the only good thing about the later episodes was Maryjane, who helped make the show a little more "alive" Just my opinion, I love the Lucy Show very much...

She left because She was diagnosed with cancer and then died in 1978.:crying:
Well Bye:wave:

TV Guy
01-27-2002, 09:38 PM
Vivian actually died in 1979, and she wasn't diagnosed with cancer until many years after she left "The Lucy Show" (she left in 1965). According to most of the references, Viv was tired of commuting from her Connecticut home to Hollywood, where the show was filmed. During the 1964-65 season, she cut back her appearances and didn't appear in all the episodes. When it came time to negotiate a new deal in 1965, she made it clear that she didn't really want to do the show anymore, but would be willing to continue if they really made it worth her while (a LOT more money, and opportunities to write, produce, and direct).

Lucy was willing to go along with Vivian's desire to be more involved behind the scenes, but Lucy's advisors at Desilu told her to turn Vivian down because she wanted too much money. So, Viv left the show, returning occasionally for guest appearances. Supposedly, Lucy and Viv's relationship had become strained during Viv's last year on the show, and when Viv did return to guest star, they got along much better because they weren't spending as much time together (and Viv was happier because she was spending more time with her husband at home).

Lucy and her producers used Viv's departure as an opportunity to overhaul the format of the show (they had actually been contemplating this for awhile). They decided to get away from the domestic comedy and just focus on Lucy, Mooney, and various guest stars, so the kids were written out. I agree with you -- the show was never as good once they made this change.

LucyFan
01-28-2002, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by TV Guy
Vivian actually died in 1979, and she wasn't diagnosed with cancer until many years after she left "The Lucy Show" (she left in 1965). According to most of the references, Viv was tired of commuting from her Connecticut home to Hollywood, where the show was filmed. During the 1964-65 season, she cut back her appearances and didn't appear in all the episodes. When it came time to negotiate a new deal in 1965, she made it clear that she didn't really want to do the show anymore, but would be willing to continue if they really made it worth her while (a LOT more money, and opportunities to write, produce, and direct).

Lucy was willing to go along with Vivian's desire to be more involved behind the scenes, but Lucy's advisors at Desilu told her to turn Vivian down because she wanted too mucy money. So, Viv left the show, returning occasionally for guest appearances. Supposedly, Lucy and Viv's relationship had become strained during Viv's last year on the show, and when Viv did return to guest star, they got along much better because they weren't spending as much time together (and Viv was happier because she was spending more time with her husband at home).

Lucy and her producers used Viv's departure as a reason to overhaul the format of the show (they had actually been contemplating this for awhile). They decided to get away from the domestic comedy and just focus on Lucy, Mooney, and various guest stars, so the kids were written out. I agree with you -- the show was never as good once they made this change.

Well said TV Guy! :) I couldn't have done it better myself. Btw, how did you get so good at writing detailed material such as this one?

TV Guy
01-28-2002, 10:24 PM
Thanks, LucyFan. I've read a few books on Lucy, Desi, and Desilu because the behind-the-scenes information about them is so interesting to me. I guess some of what I read rubbed off on me.

ClassicComedyFan2
08-05-2002, 11:34 AM
Hmm...interesting...but with Hollywood, it makes sense.

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baronzzz
08-05-2002, 12:08 PM
Lucy without Viv is like peanut butter without jelly.

JaneTVFan
08-07-2002, 09:14 PM
Originally posted by baronzzz
Lucy without Viv is like peanut butter without jelly.

Agreed. In addition to what TVGuy said, Lucy pretty much drove Vivian from the show. If you look at Vivian's contribution to TLS during the third season, she had pretty much been reduced to a secondary player whereas in the first season, she and Lucy were a team. It was a slap in the face. And Lucy was behind this. She didn't want to be upstaged by Vivian, so this was her way of controlling her. And besides, the original writers were no longer involved with the show, so the scripts were not as good. I'm sure Vivian was embarrassed by the way the show had declined and the way she had been demoted and was being treated. Lucy was being a bitch. It's no wonder Vivian made such big demands to stay. But Lucy was encouraged not to accept her demands, and Gary Morton was encouraging Lucy to go on without her. Gary Morton seemed to be behind all the bad decisions made with respect to Lucy's career.

Brenton
10-02-2002, 05:51 PM
Gary Morton and Vivian Vance hated each other. Gary did everything he could to put a wedge between the two ladies'. It was a shame, because Lucy and Viv were great on screen together. They weren't that great without each other. Without Viv, future "Lucy" shows just weren't that good. (I HATE GALE GORDON!)

SPLAIN
10-03-2002, 02:48 PM
Wow, i should have come to this board before! TV Guy, i agree, you are good, Jane, you are bad. For a lady so knowledgable about Lucy you just love to throw those bad words around, don't you. Looks like we're finally going to have that fight. Viv was FULL of herself and made insane demands, when she left she wound up doing coffee commercials and then a few more jobs, then her career was over. Don't get me wrong, i LOVE Viv, but Lucy went on to higher ratings after she left because although many of you seem to think the first seasons were the best, the general public preferred the last three. It was called the Lucy show, not the Lucy and Viv show. People tuned in to see Lucy! Lucy was a pro not a b****, if she had been a man, nobody would have made those comments. Here i am, a guy, defending her and you Jane, a woman, calling her that! I was kidding about the fight, but i think this subject needs lots more discussion. I am sorry to say i agree also with the one that said they hated Gale, I NEVER liked him then, and although i respect him more today, all he did was yell, rant and rave and he blew up so often and yelled at her so much, i rarely thought it funny, and NEVER liked him back then. Over the years my feelings have changed about him, he's part of classic TV, but anybody around Lucy was just a prop anyway, a good prop mind you, but a prop nonetheless.

JaneTVFan
10-04-2002, 11:54 PM
Originally posted by SPLAIN
Wow, i should have come to this board before! TV Guy, i agree, you are good, Jane, you are bad. For a lady so knowledgable about Lucy you just love to throw those bad words around, don't you. Looks like we're finally going to have that fight. Viv was FULL of herself and made insane demands, when she left she wound up doing coffee commercials and then a few more jobs, then her career was over. Don't get me wrong, i LOVE Viv, but Lucy went on to higher ratings after she left because although many of you seem to think the first seasons were the best, the general public preferred the last three. It was called the Lucy show, not the Lucy and Viv show. People tuned in to see Lucy! Lucy was a pro not a b****, if she had been a man, nobody would have made those comments. Here i am, a guy, defending her and you Jane, a woman, calling her that! I was kidding about the fight, but i think this subject needs lots more discussion. I am sorry to say i agree also with the one that said they hated Gale, I NEVER liked him then, and although i respect him more today, all he did was yell, rant and rave and he blew up so often and yelled at her so much, i rarely thought it funny, and NEVER liked him back then. Over the years my feelings have changed about him, he's part of classic TV, but anybody around Lucy was just a prop anyway, a good prop mind you, but a prop nonetheless.

So you're dying to fight with me. Well I'm not about to get into a fight, but I will apply some common sense. First, about the ratings, I get so sick of people assuming The Lucy Show was more popular after Vivian left because it was ranked higher in the ratings. The fact is fewer people were watching TV over all. So TLS could get the same ratings, but be ranked higher. Also, television across the board went downhill fast in the first couple years after Vivian Vance left the show. The Dick Van Dyke Show was gone in 1966. Don Knotts left The Andy Griffith Show in '65, the same time Viv left TLS. Bill Frawley left My Three Sons that year, too. Classics like The Danny Thomas Show were off the air by then. Shows like Bewitched and The Beverly Hillbillies started repeating themselves, recycling the same jokes and storylines. And all that was left was garbage like Gilligan's Island and The Flying Nun. In short, The Lucy Show no longer had any real competition. The viewing choice was simple: either watch Lucy or some boring, wretched crap on the other channel. Lucy was NOT more popular after Viv left, she was just the only show left in town. And that's how things continued in television until the early '70s when classics like All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, Maude, M*A*S*H, Sanford and Son and Bob Newhart began to surface on TV.

Regarding Viv's "insane demands" do you not understand business and negotiation? Viv never really wanted to do TLS in the first place. Why would she continue doing something she didn't really want to do unless Lucy and company made it REALLY worth her while? She would have never been happy continuing on the show unless she had been compensated GREATLY. In the beginning, she was almost an equal on the show. Desi, who she respected and loved, was around. Bob and Madelyn, who she respected, were around. But by 1965 they were all gone, and Viv's role on the show had been reduced from equally ranked, equally important co-starring performer, to mere second banana. Not even that. Gale Gordon was given more prominence on the show by that time than Viv. If that episode with Lucy on roller skates had been produced in the first season, Lucy and Viv BOTH would have had roller skates stuck on their feet and they would have been pushing eachother and fighting over that man Lucy was after, and it would have been a scream. But by this time, all the Viv character was allowed to do was stand by and watch Lucy do all the comedic stunts all by herself. This was Lucy's stubbornness and ego taking over and it ruined the show. The scripts, even in the third season, started getting silly and probably embarrassed Vivian. She was happy to go I am quite sure.

oldshows
10-05-2002, 10:57 AM
I agree with Jane that The Lucy Show's ratings increased not because it was better than before but because there was nothing else on t.v. in the mid to late 60s. It was either Lucy or something not worth watching at all. I also agree with Jane that Vivian's demands weren't insane. She was tired and weary and didn't want to keep up with the demands of doing a t.v. show anymore. So she decided that if Lucy REALLY wanted her to do it, she was going to keep compensated in way that would REALLY make it worth her while. I do think Vivian's role was reduced in Season 3 but not neccessarily because of Lucy. Vivian announced at the beginning of the Season 3 that she was going to have a few episodes off, was going to do a little less on the show to prepare it for her departure at the end of the season.... unless of course Lucy met her demands.

buddy love
10-05-2002, 04:01 PM
I'm with Jane on this. As far as ratings success the same thing happened to another tv show from the same period when another very valuable and well liked co-star left. That show is the Andy Griffith Show and the co-star, obviously, Don Knotts. TAGS always had high ratings in the top ten, but it was actually the number one show on television for the season during its last season 67-68 season--three seasons after Knotts left. Most people who are fans of TAGS believe the show was best when Deputy Barney Fife was a regular and yet it achieved its best ratings after he left--same thing with the Lucy show. The quality of the show was not as high after Viv left yet it continued to get good ratings and even better ratings. Jane hit it on the head--less people were watching and what they were offered wasn't all that great.

SPLAIN
10-07-2002, 09:53 AM
Three to one, i lose. Jane, i've told you before, you and Dawsongirl are the reasons, i came on here in the first place, so i'm joking when i always refer to the FIGHT thing. I wouldn't bother answering you if i didn't respect you, you made good points, i won't be able to answer them for months as i have only the first 50 shows, the next 100 are coming soon. I'm the one who's weird here, i find the the ones in the beginning slow and mundane, i preferred the later shows, but that might be because i'm remembering shows i saw over 20 years ago, when i finally get them and compare, then we'll talk. You're absolutely right, Viv did not want to come back and her agent made these outrageous demands and as i recall from my books, Lucy was willing to let her direct and do other things to keep her, but her advisors told her she should let her go, as Viv was starting to think she WAS the show. They were great together, but Ann Sothern or Audrey Meadows could have replaced her, Lucy needed a foil/partner in crime, i gotta admit though that when i saw the last special recently, you know the Lucy meets the President one where they were together one last time, it was so moving because these two were magic together! Forgive me, i'm a Lucille Ball fanatic, i defend her whenever i can, but like Jane, i realize she wasn't perfect!

SPLAIN
10-07-2002, 10:34 AM
Finally figured out where the PM's were and had a few to answer from a while back, i'm such an idiot with these computer things, thanks Jane for understanding everything, i will NEVER mention the fight thing again, i want nice friendly discussion between fans, and fans can disagree now and then. People here are very knowledgable, really glad i came here!

joan davis fan
10-07-2002, 07:43 PM
another possible reason why Vance left the Lucy Show was to save her troubled marriage, as it was brought up in "The Lucy Book" that Vivian Vance heard that her husband John Dodds ( who was either gay or bisexual ) was seeing men on the side while his wife was 3000 miles away on the west coast doing the Lucy Show.

True or not, who knows for sure but I remember reading about it.

SPLAIN
10-08-2002, 08:56 AM
Thanks, never even considered that. Always wondered when Lucy went to see Viv on her death bed, where the heck her husband was!

Cityskys
10-12-2013, 04:20 AM
Wow, i should have come to this board before! TV Guy, i agree, you are good, Jane, you are bad. For a lady so knowledgable about Lucy you just love to throw those bad words around, don't you. Looks like we're finally going to have that fight. Viv was FULL of herself and made insane demands, when she left she wound up doing coffee commercials and then a few more jobs, then her career was over. Don't get me wrong, i LOVE Viv, but Lucy went on to higher ratings after she left because although many of you seem to think the first seasons were the best, the general public preferred the last three. It was called the Lucy show, not the Lucy and Viv show. People tuned in to see Lucy! Lucy was a pro not a b****, if she had been a man, nobody would have made those comments. Here i am, a guy, defending her and you Jane, a woman, calling her that! I was kidding about the fight, but i think this subject needs lots more discussion. I am sorry to say i agree also with the one that said they hated Gale, I NEVER liked him then, and although i respect him more today, all he did was yell, rant and rave and he blew up so often and yelled at her so much, i rarely thought it funny, and NEVER liked him back then. Over the years my feelings have changed about him, he's part of classic TV, but anybody around Lucy was just a prop anyway, a good prop mind you, but a prop nonetheless.
Nope! Yes it was called the Lucy show. But if it would of been kept like the first season it would of still been around to this day! like I love Lucy! They were great together period. The complimented each other. But greed got the best just like on I love Lucy. and it sucks. to see them both working together was amazing and as equals even funnier and different. It was interesting. kept that little spark. But then it died out. Still glad it kept going though Lucy's brilliant no matter what. :-(

rjt100
10-12-2013, 08:52 AM
Vivian Vance left The Lucy Show for greed. She wanted more money, star billing and wanted to direct some of the shows. She felt if her demands were not made she would quit. She also felt that without her Lucy would fail and be cancelled, but, Lucy was smart. Lucy knew she was the star of the show and people tuned in to see her. During the third season Viv did not star in six episodes and those shows were hilarious. Lucy got Ann Sothern to star in a few episodes and got Jack Benny to do a show. I believe that The Lucy Show would have been canceled by the end of its' fourth season if Viv had stayed. Lucy took a chance, changed the format and the series went up higher in the ratings all the way up to number 2 during the final season (6th season). It missed being number 1 by 0.6 tenths of a rating point to Andy Griffith. It also earned Lucy an additional 3 Emmy nominations and 2 consecutive wins as Best Actress In A Leading Role In A Comedy Series. Since Viv left and Lucy continued it showed that people always watched because of Lucy and it further enhanced her legacy as Queen of Comedy and First Lady of TV. Lucy went on without Viv for an additional 9 years. 3 years of The Lucy Show and 6 years of Here's Lucy and a year after Viv left she then decided to guest on both series. She did 3 guest appearances on The Lucy Show and 6 appearances on Here's Lucy.

LittleRickyII
10-13-2013, 10:30 PM
Vivian Vance left The Lucy Show for greed. She wanted more money, star billing and wanted to direct some of the shows.

It's called negotiation. Vivian Vance never really wanted to be on The Lucy Show and was content to be back east with her husband. She needed a huge incentive to stay. She wasn't provided that incentive, so she left.

She also felt that without her Lucy would fail and be cancelled,

Where did you get that information?

During the third season Viv did not star in six episodes and those shows were hilarious.

That's a matter of opinion. A couple of those episodes are pretty good, but personally I don't like the ones with Ann Sothern. And I remember being excited as a kid when Viv returned from her "vacation."

I believe that The Lucy Show would have been canceled by the end of its' fourth season if Viv had stayed.

What is the basis for that over-the-top prediction? The Lucy Show had never been out of the Top Ten before, so how would making no changes to a successful format result in it tanking in the ratings?

Lucy took a chance, changed the format and the series went up higher in the ratings all the way up to number 2 during the final season (6th season).

That's just its ranking, but actual ratings were highest the first two seasons. These are the average ratings for each season:

S1: 29.8
S2: 28.1
S3: 26.6
S4: 27.7
S5: 26.2
S6: 27.0

So Season 5 was actually the lowest rated of the six seasons. Season 1 was highest, followed by S2, S6, S4, S3, S5.

The interesting thing that happened at the beginning of the 4th season in '65, besides Vivian Vance's departure, was that the show switched time slots with The Andy Griffith Show. During the '64-'65 season (S3), TLS aired at 9:00. In '65-'66 (S4) it was moved to 8:30. The Andy Griffith Show made the opposite change. For several years, the 8:30 time slot was doing better than the 9:00 time slot, regardless of what show was airing in that slot. This is how the ratings panned out in '64-'65 and '65-'66 for the 8:30 and 9:00 programs:

'64-'65
8:30 Rating: 28.3 (The Andy Griffith Show)
9:00 Rating: 26.6 (The Lucy Show)

'65-'66
8:30 Rating: 27.7 (The Lucy Show)
9:00 Rating: 26.9 (The Andy Griffith Show)

Notice that the ratings in the 8:30 slot dropped by more than half a point when The Lucy Show moved into that slot in '65-'66 (from 28.3 to 27.7). And notice also that the ratings for The Andy Griffith Show were just slightly higher in the 9:00 slot than they were the previous season when The Lucy Show was on in that time slot with Vivian Vance (from 26.6 to 26.9). So you might deduce from that that the ratings might have been even higher had Vivian Vance stayed on. Another thing you need to consider is that beginning in S4 there were lots of guest stars. How many viewers might have been tuning in to see those guest stars?

Since Viv left and Lucy continued it showed that people always watched because of Lucy and it further enhanced her legacy as Queen of Comedy and First Lady of TV.

Yet if you poll fans of the show, you will find that by a very large percentage they much prefer the first three seasons of The Lucy Show with Vivian Vance.

rjt100
10-14-2013, 10:50 AM
Vivian Vance's negotiations were way over the top. Lucy could never have given her star billing because is was called THE LUCY SHOW. That is why Ann Sothern didn't take over for Viv because she also wanted star billing. The assumption you made about Viv wanting to stay home with her husband is not true. Her husband was gay and the marriage was a sham. As far as the ratings go for Lucy, there was 3.2 rating drop between the first and third seasons. CBS executives were nervous that Lucy was down to 8th place and luckily for Viv's outrageous demands the ratings went up 1.1 in season four. The ratings from season four to season six were more consistent:

27.7 (no.3)
26.2 (no.4)
27.0 (no.2)

During the first three seasons the ratings went down:
29.8 (no. 4 tied with Bonanza)
28.1 (no.6) down 1.7
26.6 (no.8) down 1.5

The show was definitely on a downward trend. It would never have made it to season six and where is this national poll that the viewers preferred the first three seasons over the last three. I never seen this poll. Basically, The Lucy Show was good all six seasons. The Lucy Show is a classic and I'm just stating that season three's ratings fell because the format was getting tired.

LittleRickyII
10-14-2013, 11:49 AM
You're missing my point, and also not answering my questions about some of your comments. In your previous post you said that Vivian Vance "felt that without her Lucy would fail and be cancelled." Again, where did you get that information? I've never read or heard that she said that.

And where did you get this:

CBS executives were nervous that Lucy was down to 8th place


I've read extensively about this show and never heard that CBS was nervous about its ratings. Moreover, I've never heard that a network was ever worried about ANY show's ratings when it was in the Top Ten!

Vivian Vance's negotiations were way over the top.

Like I said, she was never that interested in doing the show. Lucy visitedher in person in 1962 and begged her to be her co-star. After a lot of prodding from both Lucy and Desi, she eventually agreed to join the show. But she wanted to leave after the second season. Lucy had to talk her into continuing for a third season. She reluctantly returned on the condition she not have to appear in every episode, and that it would be her final season. She then became concerned with the quality of scripts in the third season, which elevated her desire to leave the show. So when she was asked to continue for a fourth season, she upped her demands. Her demands were not met so she left, and I don't think she was crying over it.

The assumption you made about Viv wanting to stay home with her husband is not true. Her husband was gay and the marriage was a sham.

That's why she wanted to be near him; she was concerned he was having affairs when she was on the West Coast. Notice that she stayed married to him until her death.

As far as the ratings go for Lucy, there was 3.2 rating drop between the first and third seasons.

And the ratings continued to drop further by the 5th season, to their lowest point, in spite of being in a better time slot. 3rd season rating: 26.6; 5th season rating: 26.2.

The best rating the series ever got was the 1st season (29.8), second best was the second season (28.1) as Vivian's role was being diminished. The third season saw even less of Vivian Vance with her not appearing at all in a number of episodes, so the ratings dropped further to 26.6. In the fourth season, the show was moved to a better time slot, yet only increased to 27.7 (whereas, The Andy Griffith Show had held a 28.3 the previous year in that same time slot). The fifth season, the show dropped to its lowest rating ever: 26.2. It got a new and better lead in for its sixth season (Gunsmoke) and the rating improved slightly to 27.0. Again, I wonder how much of a boost the show might have been given by big name guest stars like Jack Benny, John Wayne and Joan Crawford.


During the first three seasons the ratings went down:
29.8 (no. 4 tied with Bonanza)
28.1 (no.6) down 1.7
26.6 (no.8) down 1.5


Indeed they did, right alongside a decrease in Vivian Vance's participation on the show. The first season, her presence was just as prominent as Lucille Ball's. All those classic scenes from the first season were Lucy and Vivian together. They were a team. The second season, Gale Gordon was brought in and Vivian's role was reduced. And it was reduced even further the third season when she didn't participate in nearly one quarter of the episodes.

It would never have made it to season six and where is this national poll that the viewers preferred the first three seasons over the last three. I never seen this poll.

LOL! I didn't say anything about a national poll. :lol: Thanks for putting words in my mouth. My comment again was this: If you poll fans of the show, you will find that by a very large percentage they much prefer the first three seasons of The Lucy Show with Vivian Vance. And here are some examples from right here on this board:

Here, people were asked which format they preferred, with Vivian Vance and without. It was unanimous: WITH Vivian Vance: http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=282000

And here, people were asked what their favorite episodes were. Almost all of them were from the first and second seasons: http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=26166

That's just a couple threads. I'm sure there are others with the same or similar results. I can count on two fingers the number of people I've ever heard say they prefer the last three seasons. Also, look at the DVD sales. They dropped off after the third season.

rjt100
10-15-2013, 09:13 AM
First of all, the DVD sales for all six seasons of The Lucy Show were good.

CBS made a big mistake thinking The Lucy Show wouldn't sell, but it sold great - all six seasons. First, CBS lost lots of money by losing the copyright to the 30 episodes of The Lucy Show, but, you got to remember that The Lucy Show for years was being sold in different covered versions and the DVD's mainly consisted of almost all of season 5 (21 episodes out of 22) and 7 episodes of seasons 6 and the episodes were the lost copyright ones. However, after speaking to CBS Home Entertainment they were very happy with the sales. Season 2 sold the best, followed by Season 1, season 3 and season 4, which was closely behind season 3. Season six sold better that season 5 and that's because, like I said before, they were already out in public domain and lots of people probably didn't want to spend money on episodes that already had. However, season five sold surprisingly well considering that almost all the episodes had been on the market for years. So season 5 and some of season 6 had a little bit of a disadvantage because of someone who forgot to renew the copyright.

As far as CBS execuitves being concerned about Lucy's ratings, I believe it was in the Lucy Book and it talked about Mike Dann going out to see Lucy and discuss the show. Mr. Dann was concerned that during the second season there had been weeks when Lucy slipped out of the top 10 and I think (but I don't know) that is why The Lucy Show was moved to 9:00 pm during the 64-65 season and then switched back to 8:30 where it stayed for the last three years.

The sites you referred to me doesn't mean a thing. It's just a handful of Lucy fans. It doesn't speak for all fans. I just happed to like the Viv years just as much as the California Years.

Benno123
10-15-2013, 05:53 PM
The sites you referred to me doesn't mean a thing. It's just a handful of Lucy fans. It doesn't speak for all fans. I just happed to like the Viv years just as much as the California Years.

Yes because, when discussing Lucy, you wouldn't want to use opinions of Lucy fans now, would we?

LittleRickyII
10-16-2013, 10:48 AM
First of all, the DVD sales for all six seasons of The Lucy Show were good.

CBS made a big mistake thinking The Lucy Show wouldn't sell, but it sold great - all six seasons.

The Lucy Show did have strong DVD sales, but not for all six seasons. Sales of the last three seasons were down. I know this from someone involved in the project. They were questioning whether to release the last two seasons due to declining sales, but ultimately did so in order to maintain an option to do an eventual full series box set. And Here's Lucy DVD sales didn't do nearly as well as The Lucy Show.

As far as CBS execuitves being concerned about Lucy's ratings, I believe it was in the Lucy Book and it talked about Mike Dann going out to see Lucy and discuss the show. Mr. Dann was concerned that during the second season there had been weeks when Lucy slipped out of the top 10 and I think (but I don't know) that is why The Lucy Show was moved to 9:00 pm during the 64-65 season and then switched back to 8:30 where it stayed for the last three years.

That may be true, but I haven't read that book in a long time so I don't remember. But to blame any ratings issues on Vivian Vance is pure folly. As I mentioned before, after Gale Gordon joined the cast in the second season, her role on the show was reduced. Any ratings stumbles could be explained by less Vivian. Then by the third season, she was not even appearing in a quarter of the episodes. And I do recall that she was concerned about the quality of scripts being written that season; by the end of the third season, Bob Carroll, Jr., Madelyn Davis and Schiller and Weiskopf were all gone from the show. She was not happy performing substandard material. I imagine Bob and Madelyn's return to the writing staff in 1971 may be a reason Vivian was even considering Lucy's offer to join her on Here's Lucy in 1972.

Yes because, when discussing Lucy, you wouldn't want to use opinions of Lucy fans now, would we?

Thanks, Benno, for bringing some sanity to this discussion. To suggest that Vivian Vance was a detriment to the show is one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. This statement from rjt really takes the cake: "I believe that The Lucy Show would have been canceled by the end of its' fourth season if Viv had stayed." I don't know how anyone can look at this series objectively and think it was better off without Vivian Vance.

retroTVfan4ever
10-17-2013, 08:37 AM
I agree the first three seasons with Viv are better than the last three seasons without her. But seasons 4 to 6 are not without merit, there are several good episodes. Gale Gordon was a good foil for Lucy, and Mary Jane Croft did a commendable job in her own way as replacement for Viv.

Another thing I find interesting about this series is how the kids were gradually phased out of the show. The kids weren't really necessary to begin with, but when the series was created it was decided Lucy would be a single mom with two kids, son and daughter, and Viv a single mom with a son. They tried to fit the kids in and give them a few lines to say, especially in the 1st season, but after that they were given less to do and were eventually phased out.

rjt100
10-17-2013, 09:34 AM
All TV series on DVD decline in sales as seasons progress. I Love Lucy sold great but each season declined in sales, season one sold the best and season six (still sold great) but sales put it in 6th place out of the six seasons. As I said before season six of The Lucy Show (7 public domain episodes) sold better than season five in sales and one has to take into account that season 5 (almost all the episodes) were out on the market for years in different DVD and VHS covers. I to know someone at CBS and they informed me that they were pleasantly surprised by the sales of season 5 and even more suprised at season six sales. Also, if sales were declining due to Viv's lack of screen time, why did season 2 sell the best, since her screen time was cut due to Gale Gordon becoming a regular.

I just want to say that The Lucy Show was a classic sitcom and further established Lucille Ball's legacy. Lucy and Viv were a great comedy team and Viv chose not to go on, but, people still tuned in because Lucille Ball is the Queen of Comedy.

It was nice discussing and agreeing to disagree with you on this topic.

lucy&vivfan
10-22-2013, 10:09 PM
Vance wasn't all that excited about returning to TV in 1962 in the first place. She did so because Lucy needed her and a good contract was negotiated for Vivian to join the show. By 1965, Desi Arnaz was no longer producing the series, Bob Carroll and Madelyn Pugh were long gone and Vance longed for the days with the original ILL crew. Most of which were gone by 1965. She did ask for a sizable salary increase to return for the 1965-66 season , more than likely realizing she wasn't going to have her demands met. By 1965 she was tired, wanted to move on and was tired of being in Lucy's shadow in many ways.

Fontaine
11-13-2013, 05:34 PM
It's been a long time since I watched The Lucy Show, but how exactly are kids "phased out" on a sitcom?

jehobden
11-14-2013, 04:50 PM
It's been a long time since I watched The Lucy Show, but how exactly are kids "phased out" on a sitcom?

They just appear less & less often until they don't appear at all.
TLS kids appeared less often in S3 than they had the previous 2 seasons, and then at the start of S4, Jerry appeared once (and once more around Christmas) as he was going off to military school, and Chris was off to college. I guess Lucy needed a job w/ Mr. Mooney because she was spending all her trust fund on her kids' education.
Viv & Sherman were written out together, as Viv stayed back East and somehow had someone (her ex I suppose) watch Sherman whenever she went out to visit Lucy in LA in the later seasons. Viv's recurring character in Here's Lucy was different, again, since her full name was Vivian Roberta Jones, which was actually Vivian Vance's birth name, so in a way she was playing herself on Here's Lucy.

lucy&vivfan
11-14-2013, 04:54 PM
They just appear less & less often until they don't appear at all.
TLS kids appeared less often in S3 than they had the previous 2 seasons, and then at the start of S4, Jerry appeared once (and once more around Christmas) as he was going off to military school, and Chris was off to college. I guess Lucy needed a job w/ Mr. Mooney because she was spending all her trust fund on her kids' education.
Viv & Sherman were written out together, as Viv stayed back East and somehow had someone (her ex I suppose) watch Sherman whenever she went out to visit Lucy in LA in the later seasons. Viv's recurring character in Here's Lucy was different, again, since her full name was Vivian Roberta Jones, which was actually Vivian Vance's birth name, so in a way she was playing herself on Here's Lucy.

The kids really were not necessary....I mean, it was all about Lucy & Vivian. I've heard many affiliated with the show say, over the years in countless interviews, the only point for having the kids was to "show proof" the Lucy and Viv characters were "straight"; otherwise, two middle-aged women living together had too strong of lesbian overtones back that time.

missy's pop pop
12-03-2013, 09:58 PM
It is no secret that Vivian Vance almost didn't appear at all in "The Lucy Show." In THE I LOVE LUCY BOOK (1985), Bart Andrews quoted an interview with Vivian Vance before her death in which Lucille Ball approached her in 1962 with the pilot script for what became "The Lucy Show."

Vivian's response was swift: "Lucy, don't take it out. I won't read it."

She did, however, and it at least temporarily solved the quandry Lucy was facing. She didn't want to do the show with Viv, but she didn't want to do the show without Viv. Lucy knew that it would be a challenge to do a comedy without Desi, and Viv was, and still turned out to be, her best sidekick. Lucy knew to that Viv had her new marriage and home in Connecticut, and her award-winning work in the state mental health association. In fact, her husband, John Dodds, approved Viv appearing on the show because he thought it would make her happy.

It wasn't the same without Ricky and Fred, while it was a good show on its own.