Sixty Three Years of “I Love Lucy” ↳October 15, 1951 - ∞
The first episode of I Love Lucy premiered on CBS on Monday, October 15th, 1951 at nine o’clock and hasn’t gone off air since. As I Love Lucy has been passed down from generation to generation, it has been translated into seventy-seven languages, produces millions of dollars for CBS each year, and has been estimated to be the most watched television show of all time. Desilu Productions, run by married stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, pioneered and perfected the live audience, the three camera system, and the rerun. During its original run from 1951 - 1957, I Love Lucy enjoyed such immense popularity that business owners would close their stores on Monday nights. Telephone companies confirmed that phone calls plummeted to a minimum during the Lucy half hour. Parents adjusted bedtimes so families could stay up to watch Lucy. Tuesday morning conversations consisted of, “Did you see ‘the show’ last night?” And when Lucille Ball gave birth to her television son - the night of the day she gave birth to her real life son - sixty eight percent of American viewers tuned in, easily trumping the number of those who watched the inauguration of the president the following day. The show’s continuing popularity is a result of its timeless principles: friendship, laughter, and love.