The I Love Lucy Christmas Special returns to CBS December 23



From CBS Press Release:

Ring in the holidays with the I Love Lucy Christmas Special, a new one-hour special featuring two back-to-back colorized classic episodes of the series, to be broadcast Wednesday, Dec. 23 (8:00-9:01 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.

The I Love Lucy Christmas Special features “The Christmas Episode,” colorized in its entirety for the first time, and the newly colorized “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” (aka “Vitameatavegamin”). Both were colorized with a vintage look, a nod to the 1950s period in which the shows were filmed. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

Similar I Love Lucy Christmas Specials have aired on the Network the past two years, each combining the holiday-themed episode with yet a different comedy classic. The 2013 special included “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (aka “Grape Stomping”) and last year’s show included “Job Switching” (aka “Chocolate Factory”). This year’s special includes flashback scenes within “The Christmas Episode” that until now have always been presented in black and white, including the heartwarming scene in which Lucy Ricardo tells her husband, Ricky, that they are going to have a baby.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS in December 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Thought to be lost, CBS rediscovered the episode in 1989.

In “Lucy Does a TV Commercial,” Lucy connives to land a job doing the commercial on Ricky’s TV variety show. Little does she know that the health tonic she is asked to sell, Vitameatavegamin, contains 23 percent alcohol.

“Lucy Does a TV Commercial” was originally broadcast April 5, 1952, and became an instant classic. The 11-minute scene, presented here without interruption, in which Lucy rehearses her sales spiel and becomes increasingly, but unwittingly, inebriated, is considered to be one of Lucille Ball’s finest performances.

I Love Lucy was broadcast on CBS from Oct. 15, 1951 through June 24, 1957. It was voted “The Best TV Show of All Time” in a 2012 viewer poll conducted by People magazine and ABC News. I Love Lucy stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, and Vivian Vance and William Frawley as the Ricardo’s friends and landlords, Ethel and Fred Mertz.

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