CBS to Air I Love Lucy Christmas Special in December

CBS has announced it will air a special hour-long presentation of I Love Lucy episodes on Friday, December 20th from 8-9PM. The episodes to be broadcast are “The I Love Lucy Christmas Special” and “Lucy’s Italian Movie,” both from 1956. The episodes have been colorized and will be aired with just one set of opening and closing credits. A full press release can be found here.

Originally aired on December 24th, 1956, “The I Love Lucy Christmas Special” was not included in the I Love Lucy syndication package because of its holiday theme and use of flashbacks to earlier episodes. As I discussed back in 2009, the episode was considered missing until it was 1989 when it was rediscovered in the CBS vaults. Some 29 million viewers tuned in when CBS aired the episode in December 1989. The non-flashback portions were later colorized and CBS aired the episode again in December 1990.

As for “Lucy’s Italian Movie,” it is the episode that featured the iconic scene of Lucy stomping on grapes.

Any guesses on how many people will watch these episodes in December?

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2 Replies to “CBS to Air I Love Lucy Christmas Special in December”

  1. Probably not as many as those who watched the initial revival of the ’56 “Christmas episode” in December 1989 [which consisted of several 1952-’53 highlights from Lucy’s pregnancy storyline; Lucy said that special episode was a gift “for those who wanted to see the baby shows again”], but it WILL be a “Top Ten” hit again (along with the colorized “Italian Movie” episode). And this time, there won’t be any cynical TV critics around like Robert Strauss, who virtually sneered at the “Christmas episode” when it aired in ’89 {see the 2009 article for his scathing review- IF YOU DARE}.

  2. On a tangential note, one of my friends and voice instructors, Thom Pinto, told me he will be doing the “old school” announcing for this special (he even gets to say “THIS HAS BEEN A DESILU PRODUCTION”). Go Thom!

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