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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > The Lucy Show – The Official Fourth Season (1965 – 1966/CBS DVD Set)

The Lucy Show – The Official Fourth Season (1965 – 1966/CBS DVD Set)


Picture: B-     Sound: B-     Extras: B     Episodes: B



When Vivian Vance left The Lucy Show, Lucille Ball decided to end the series. The Warsaw Times Union published the following on February 1, 1964:


Lucille Ball To Drop ‘Lucy Show’

New York-Lucille Ball decided to drop her popular television comedy series, “The Lucy Show”, at the end of this season.



According to The Lucy Book (1999) it was Maury Thompson and Tommy Thompson (no relation to Maury) who talked Lucille Ball into continuing the show after outlining a new format for the series.  In a June 7, 1965, press release The News Courier announced:


When Lucy starts her fourth season of the series she will be located in Southern California instead of the fictional Danfield, Conn., locale.  Other changes are Vivian Vance’s departure as well as Ralph Hart (Vivian’s TV son), and Candy Moore, Lucy’s TV daughter, will be away to College-permanently.



The Ellensburg Daily Record offered this account of the format change from August 19, 1965:


In order to give the series continuity, the season’s first show will have Lucy’s divorcee housemate marrying and moving away with her young son. At the same time, Lucy’s television daughter will enter California College and, to be near her, the redhead moves west and puts her son in a military school.



This arrangement was mentioned in the season’s first episode, Lucy at Marineland.  Mrs. Carmichael’s daughter, Chris, apparently went to a university unknown to her mother.  Chris was never seen the entire season or for the remainder of the series. Jerry Carmichael appeared in two episodes then also joined his sister in television limbo land.  Writer Bob Schiller remarked in The Lucy Book, “These were bad writing decisions.  Unfortunately, you had two people in charge who shouldn’t have been.  One was Milt Josefsberg and the other was Lucille Ball. Lucy’s area was performing, not producing and script supervising.”


Lucille Ball’s format was evolving into a sketch-comedy.  Many guest stars appeared on the show, which also included big musical numbers.  The cast still provided excellent performances.  However I would have preferred occasional plots revolving around Lucy’s children.  These would have been a pleasant departure from constant celebrity encounters and the yelling from Mr. Mooney (Gale Gordon).


Guest stars who paraded through Lucy’s life this season included Milton Berle, Mel Tormé, Joan Blondell, Danny Thomas, Bob Crane, Wayne Newton, Dean Martin and Art Linkletter.


Episode highlights include Lucy and the Countess Have a Horse Guest (with guest star Ann Southern reprising her Rosie the Countess character and a touching cameo by William Frawley), Lucy and the Sleeping Beauty guest starring Clint Walker (Lucy veterans Mary Wickes and Mary Jane Croft offer excellent comedic support), Lucy the Choirmaster (one of the last episodes linking Lucy’s present situation to her previous lifestyle), and Lucille’s personal favorite episode of the entire series, Lucy Dates Dean Martin.


The excellent extras feature rare photos and behind the scenes rehearsal footage.  The Magic of Broadcasting (1966) gives the audience a chance to see what goes in the creation of a Lucy Show episode.  Gale Gordon said that Lucy gave it her all on the first script reading, which came as a surprise to other performers.  Informative production notes reveal that the black stallion used in Lucy and the Countess Have a Horse Guest was also the famous, Fury!


This DVD set is highly recommended to laugh with Lucy and learn how she created her unique style of comedy.


Picture and sound are amazing, coming from new or archival prints with outstanding color not seen since their first broadcasts, especially impressive considering the bad, faded prints that have been circulating since the dawn of VHS & Beta tapes.  It is fair to say the color has never been this good outside of actually 35mm and 16mm film prints few have had the chance to see.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono also sounds pretty good throughout for its age, making the series a real pleasure to sit through.


For more on the previous seasons, try these links:









-   Fred Grandinetti


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