At 9PM on Oct. 15, 1951, I Love Lucy went on the air, and has never been off since. The sitcom centers on an unforgettable showbiz-wannabe redhead, her Cuban bandleader husband and their landlords, who also happen to be their best friends and co-conspirators.
I Love Lucy is a hit that continues to entertain millions of people the world over. Perhaps the key to its success lies within the show's mastery of a graceful transition -- from sense to nonsense. Each episode opens with a plausible situation (home economy, child rearing, post-dating a check) thrown awry with exaggerated absurdity (Lucy is starched, frozen, stuffed with chocolate, locked in a trunk and lowered to the deck of a ship by helicopter, just to name a few). Yet somehow, the show and its heroine never seem to lose touch with the audience.
While the comic brilliance of Lucille Ball and the magic chemistry of the four main characters were cornerstones of the show, I Love Lucy owes much of its success to a behind-the-scenes band of brilliant creators. The show gave birth to the rerun; was the first to use a three-camera setup before a live audience; and overcame many technical obstacles of early TV through ingenious lighting, set design and editing.