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We Finally Understand Why Here’s Lucy Was Canceled

By the time that Here’s Lucy ended it’s run, Lucille Ball had spent nearly two decades as a successful primetime television actress. Though her new series wasn’t performing in the ratings nearly as well as I Love Lucy had, she was still pulling in a reasonable audience and making decent money for the network. However, after six seasons of Here’s Lucy, Lucille Ball decided to officially retire from the weekly primetime television slot that she had essentially been occupying for two decades. Join Facts Verse as we finally understand why Here’s Lucy was canceled.

Lucille Ball may be best known for her time on I Love Lucy, but the star continued to be a primetime television actress for many years after that show came to an end. After I Love Lucy, Lucille could be seen in The Lucy Show. The Lucy Show started in 1962, and Here’s Lucy subsequently followed it later in the decade after it’s end. These three shows had provided Lucille a primetime television platform that had allowed her to maintain stardom for two decades, and her stepping down from Here’s Lucy represented her official retirement from being a primetime television star.

There were numerous reasons that Lucille Ball was ready to call it quits after six seasons of Here’s Lucy. Lucille had always been somewhat of a workaholic, but even she had her limits. After two decades of creating various weekly sitcoms, as well as plenty of time spent running Desilu Productions, Lucille was nearly spent. However, she also wanted to start pursuing other endeavors. Around the time that she stepped down from Here’s Lucy, she was preparing to promote the film Mame, which she had starred in. Lucille felt as if the feature might be her way to break into films, though it has only attained cult status since it’s release.

By the time that Lucille Ball quit Here’s Lucy, she had the longest run of any primetime television star in history at over two decades. Other stars had stayed successful on television for many years, but none had ever stayed successful for as long as Lucille. The star likely could’ve kept at it if she had desired, though she had simply grown weary of her television days. However, it’s also impossible to deny that ratings for Here’s Lucy were not only lower than ever but were also lower than any of Lucille’s previous works.

Although Lucille Ball stepped down from Here’s Lucy, she agreed to maintain her relationship with the CBS network by appearing in various specials. Lucille had been considering giving up her role on Here’s Lucy for several years before eventually making the decision. The final episode of the show’s fifth season was originally meant to be it’s last before Lucille was talked into returning for another one.

Despite the fact that Lucille had quit Here’s Lucy, she was always adamant about the fact that she never wanted to truly retire from working in general. Instead, the move just meant a retirement from weekly television shows. Lucille continued to work in various capacities and actively promoted her film Mame. Lucille was around 60 years old at the time that she said goodbye to primetime television. Lucy continued working after Here’s Lucy ended and even returned to television in numerous roles before her 1989 death.

While new episodes of Here’s Lucy were airing, I Love Lucy was nearly as popular as ever in syndication. Lucille had created the show with husband Desi Arnaz in 1951, and it’s impossible to deny that the seminal show stands as both performers’ most successful work. The show continues to be popular amongst new demographics to his day, and a biopic about the production of the series is soon to be released starring Nicole Kidman in the role of Lucille Ball.

I Love Lucy is largely credited with being one of the first situational comedies on television, and it has proved incredibly influential in several other regards. The show was the passion project of it’s married stars, who created the series simply to give themselves starring parts. Each of Lucille’s subsequent series was increasingly less successful than her and her former husband’s original show.

By the time that Here’s Lucy had come to an end, it was only 12th in the ratings. Previously, the show had reached as high as 3rd in the ratings, and it had maintained in one of the first ten positions for it’s first four years. Although the network didn’t demand Lucille to end the show, these dwindling ratings likely didn’t instill much confidence in the redheaded star to continue.

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Although Lucille Ball was no longer the ratings draw that she had been in years previous, the CBS network was still incredibly sad to see the actress go after the end of Here’s Lucy. Although the actress agreed to maintain her relationship with the network by appearing in various specials, the relationship was severely minimized. Lucille had been filming weekly shows for the network for the past two decades. As well, she could still pull in a reliable audience for the network, even if it was growing smaller.

Just before starting work on Here’s Lucy, Lucille had sold Desilu Production for $10 million worth of stock. The actress had previously been the production company’s CEO, after acquiring Desi’s shares for $3 million after their divorce. While running Desilu Productions by herself, Lucille proved that she had plenty of skills to get the job done. During her time as the production company’s CEO, she was responsible for the production of Mannix and Mission: Impossible.

Six seasons of Here’s Lucy ended up being produced, yielding a total of 144 episodes. Though the show still isn’t nearly as popular as I Love Lucy, there are plenty of Lucille Ball fans that return to the show time and time again once they’ve grown bored of Lucille’s prior works. There is plenty to enjoy about the show, not the least of which includes Lucille Ball’s reliable skills as a comic performer. Here’s Lucy also featured some relatively lavish musical numbers given that it was filmed in front of a live studio audience.

The show followed Lucille Ball as a widow with two teenage children, who were played by her real-life children from her marriage to former husband Desi Arnaz. In the show, Lucille’s character takes a job working for the brother of her former husband. Lucille’s character is reliably goofy, while her new boss plays the straight man throughout the series.

While I Love Lucy came from a time before it became a thing to feature big actors and actresses on shows as guest stars, the phenomenon was in full swing by the time of Here’s Lucy. Both Here’s Lucy and the previous The Lucy Show had taken full advantage of Lucille’s clout in the industry to secure an impressive plethora of guest stars over the course of their runs. Some of the most impressive of these guest stars included Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, who lent their presences to an episode of Here’s Lucy that ended up performing higher in the ratings than any other.

Another notable guest star that Lucille Ball got to feature on Here’s Lucy was Jack Benny. Lucille and Jack had been friends for years, and Here’s Lucy wasn’t the first show of Lucille’s that Jack had appeared on. The episode of Here’s Lucy featuring Jack Benny is notable for another reason, because it also features a cameo from Jackie Gleason in character as Ralph Kramden from The Honeymooners!

One episode of Here’s Lucy featured a reunion between Lucille Ball and Ginger Rogers. The two had appeared together previously in the 1937 musical Stage Door, and the dance number they performed together on Here’s Lucy proved a touching homage for fans of both actresses.

While Here’s Lucy featured plenty of iconic guest stars, it also featured a strange crossover with Desilu Productions’ Mannix. The character of Mannix was featured in an episode of Here’s Lucy, which allowed audiences the chance to see Lucille Ball tied up next to the fictional detective that she helped bring to the screen. Lucille formulated the crossover after Mannix’s first season had struggled in the ratings.

Besides featuring popular stars and characters, Here’s Lucy was also notable for featuring Lucille Ball’s real-life children with former husband Desi Arnaz. Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. played Lucy’s character’s children on the show, and they loved getting the chance to perform alongside their mother! A spinoff of the series featuring Lucie Arnaz was even in the works towards the show’s final days, with one Here’s Lucy’s final episodes serving as a failed pilot.

Lucille’s children weren’t the only people close to her that appeared on Here’s Lucy. The show also featured numerous guest appearances from Vivian Vance, who had become famous alongside Lucille on I Love Lucy. Of course, Vivian played the character of Ethel on I Love Lucy, and her appearances on Here’s Lucy proved emotional reunions for Vivian and Lucille, as well as the television audience.

Vivian’s appearances on Here’s Lucy are marked with sadness, as the actress was originally meant to play a regular on the show before being diagnosed with breast cancer. Vivian’s final performance on Here’s Lucy was the last time that she and Lucille ever acted on a television sitcom together, though they did appear one more time together in an official capacity in a 1977 television special by the name of Lucy Calls the President.

While diehard Lucille Ball fans were devastated when the actress officially retired from weekly primetime television, she left behind plenty of work for them to revisit. Comment down below to share if you’re a fan of Here’s Lucy or if you wish that Lucie Arnaz could have gotten her own spinoff! As always, like this video so show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!

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