In order to get the show filmed on the most expensive - and therefore best - type of film possible, Ball and Arnaz both took pay cuts so the production crew could afford it.
The series was so popular during it’s initial run that parts of American life would simply shut down while it aired. Telephone and water usage would dip dramatically for the program’s half-hour duration, and even department stores would shut their doors early due to lack of customers.
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz demanded the show be filmed on 35mm film, which is expensive, and in Hollywood instead of New York City. CBS wasn’t convinced but the couple settled their differences by getting ownership of the series. Desilu Productions, formed by them, made about $40 million from this move, which is a lot more now…try $256 million in today’s economy.
The episode of Lucy giving birth to “Little Ricky” was viewed by over 70 percent of all U.S. households and had higher ratings than the inauguration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ironically, the storyline coincided with Lucy’s reali-life pregnancy of Desi Arnaz, Jr.
Lucille Ball initially did not want to make the jump from film to television. But then, she had a dream featuring Carole Lombard — a comedic actress and deceased friend — who convinced Ball to “take a chance” with the TV gig. Ball listened to her friend in the dream, and it obviously worked out.