These days, versions of I Love Lucy episodes which are substantially different from the originals which aired in the 1950s are available for purchase, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s daughter, Lucie Arnaz, was not a fan of these changes at first. However, she changed her mind for a very specific reason.
How an ‘I Love Lucy’ fan helped CBS changed episodes of the show
If one thing dates I Love Lucy more than anything else, it’s the visuals. Specifically, it’s the fact that it’s in black-and-white. In recent decades, a number of classic black-and-white movies have been colorized. This is to make them more palatable to audiences that aren’t interested in watching a black-and-white movie. Audiences can find colorized versions of films ranging from It’s a Wonderful Life to Night of the Living Dead. It only makes sense that episodes of I Love Lucy got colorized as well.
During an interview with TV Insider, Ken Ross, the executive of CBS home entertainment, gave fans insight into how I Love Lucy was colorized. Ross and his team wanted to remain true to the show’s time period. They conducted research to make sure the colors they used were accurate, even consulting a collector of I Love Lucy memorabilia to make sure they used the correct colors for sets and props from the show. They even consulted a 1954 issue of TV Guide to make sure Ball’s dress looked like it did in real life.
It took several tries to get the color of Ball’s hair just the right shade. Ross wanted Ball’s hair to appear “coppery.” Ross stressed I Love Lucy would have been shot in color if the the television industry was more advanced in the 1950s.
How Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s daughter reacted to the colorization
So what did Lucie Arnaz think of the colorization of I Love Lucy episodes? “I didn’t get as excited about it as everybody else, and I think there could be something in my brain that remembers what it looked like for real and so black-and-white or color doesn’t affect me really,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I still appreciate black-and-white, and I kind of didn’t like the intrusion in the color, it took me out of it….”
Why Lucy Arnaz changed her mind
Arnaz revealed what subsequently changed her mind. “I’ve changed my mind a little bit because it seems to be attracting so much of the younger crowd who don’t like black-and-white,” she said “If that’s true, then that’s great. I do think it’s hilarious that Lucille has become ultra-famous on that show for being a redhead in a black-and-white show. It just proves that you didn’t need it to be color. But hey, it’s like a party — they spent an awful lot of money to do this well, and they did it really well.” I Love Lucy remains a classic comedy — whether in color or black-and-white.
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