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I Love Lucy
Season Three: 1953-54



SEASON ONE: 1951-52
SEASON TWO: 1952-53
SEASON THREE: 1953-54
SEASON FOUR: 1954-55
SEASON FIVE: 1955-56
SEASON SIX: 1956-57
CREDITS
EMMY AWARDS

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"I Love Lucy" on Video or DVD

1953-54: THE THIRD SEASON

Year-End Rating: 58.8 (1st place)

Producer Jess Oppenheimer heads a creative staff that remains largely unchanged as the series moves into a third season of uninterrupted critical and popular success.


67 Ricky's Life Story    First Aired: October 5, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Louis Nicoletti

Life magazine does a big story on Ricky, but leaves Lucy out of the picture.


68 The Girls Go Into Business    First Aired: October 12, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Mabel Paige, Emory Parnell

Lucy and Ethel figure to make a killing when they buy a dress shop, but revise their optimistic projections when they sell only five outfits--to each other.


69 Lucy and Ethel Buy the Same Dress    First Aired: October 19, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Shirley Mitchell, Doris Singleton

Lucy and Ethel are horrified to discover that they both plan to wear the same outfit on a TV talent show.


70 Equal Rights    First Aired: October 26, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Lawrence Dobkin, Fred Aldrich, Louis A. Nicoletti

Lucy and Ethel demand equal rights, but their protest backfires when Fred and Ricky stick them with an equal portion of the dinner check at a restaurant.


71 Baby Pictures    First Aired: November 2, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Doris Singleton, Hy Averback

Caroline and Charlie Appleby arouse Lucy's competitive instincts when they brag endlessly about their son, Stevie, who was born the same day as Little Ricky.

The Applebys seem well suited to provide the writers with fresh plot springboards: They have a boy the same age as Little Ricky; Charlie runs a local TV station; and Caroline is involved with the wives in the women's club. Oddly, Charlie Appleby rarely figures in future stories, and the character is soon dropped. But his wife, Caroline, would prove a frequent and worthy foil for Lucy and Ethel during this and ensuing seasons.


72 Lucy Tells the Truth    First Aired: November 9, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Doris Singleton, Shirley Mitchell, Charles Lane, Mario Siletti

Lucy alienates practically everyone she knows when she attempts to go twenty-four hours without telling a single lie.


73 The French Revue    First Aired: November 16, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Alberto Morin, Louis A. Nicoletti

Lucy hires a French waiter to teach her the language after Ricky announces his plans to stage a French revue at the club.


74 Redecorating the Mertzes' Apartment    First Aired: November 23, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher

Lucy wreaks her usual quotient of disaster when she organizes a painting party to redecorate the Mertzes' apartment.


75 Too Many Crooks    First Aired: November 30, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Elizabeth Patterson, Allen Jenkins, Alice Wills

Lucy and Ethel mistake each other for Madame X, the neighborhood cat burglar.

No matter how ludicrous the situation, according to head writer Jess Oppenheimer, logic remained the key to the comedy of I Love Lucy. "I insisted on starting every show with a very basic, utterly believable premise," the producer explained to broadcast historian Alex C. MacKenzie. "If you motivate your audience in a series of small steps, you can go to absolute heights."


76 Changing the Boys' Wardrobe    First Aired: December 7, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Oliver Blake, Alberto Calderone, Jerry Hausner, Lee Millar

Indignant over their husbands' utter disregard for fashion, Lucy and Ethel donate the boys' cherished old clothes to a second-hand store.


77 Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined    First Aired: December 14, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Arthur Walsh, Dayton Lummis, Shepard Menken

Lucy valiantly auditions for the part of a jitterbugging coed, even though eyedrops have left her temporarily blind.


78 Ricky's Old Girlfriend    First Aired: December 21, 1953
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Rosa Turich, Lillian Molieri, Jerry Hausner

Ricky is more surprised than anyone when the old flame he invented to make Lucy jealous suddenly arrives in New York.


79 The Million-Dollar Idea    First Aired: January 11, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Frank Nelson

Lucy and Ethel are convinced that they've finally struck it rich when they're deluged with orders for homemade salad dressing.


80 Ricky Minds the Baby    First Aired: January 18, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher

Concerned that Ricky isn't spending enough time with his son, Lucy leaves the new father to baby-sit Little Ricky.


81 The Charm School    First Aired: January 25, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Tyler McVey, Vivi Janiss, Natalie Schafer, Maury Hill

Lucy and Ethel enroll in charm school after an attractive young bombshell overwhelms their husbands.

Natalie Schafer later found considerable recognition when she was stranded with six other castaways on Gilligan's Island in the 1960s.


82 Sentimental Anniversary    First Aired: February 1, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Barbara Pepper, Bennett Green, Hazel Pierce

Lucy and Ricky plan to commemorate their anniversary with a romantic, candlelight supper, but the Mertzes have other ideas.


83 Fan Magazine Interview    First Aired: February 8, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Joan Banks, Jerry Hausner, Kathryn Card

The Ricardos and Mertzes put on airs for the benefit of a reporter who arrives to do a magazine piece on a day in the life of Ricky Ricardo.


84 Oil Wells    First Aired: February 15, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Harry Cheshire, Ken Christy, Sandra Gould

The Ricardos and Mertzes buy shares in an oil well but have second thoughts when they suspect they've been swindled.


85 Ricky Loses His Temper    First Aired: February 22, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Madge Blake, Byron Kane, Max Terhune

To win a $50 bet, Lucy has to force Ricky to blow his top within twenty-four hours.


86 Home Movies    First Aired: March 1, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Stanley Farrar

Lucy and the Mertzes create an unintentional comedy when they splice scenes from their home movies into the workprint of Ricky's new TV pilot.


87 Bonus Bucks    First Aired: March 8, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Tony Michaels, Don Garner, Frank Jacquet

Lucy loses a lucky buck that's worth $300 in a newspaper contest and then sets off on a mad chase as she tracks the bill across the city.


88 Ricky's Hawaiian Vacation    First Aired: March 22, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Frank Nelson

Lucy once again suffers abuse from radio quizmaster Freddie Fillmore when she attempts to qualify for an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.


89 Lucy Is Envious    First Aired: March 29, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Mary Jane Croft, Herb Vigran, Dick Elliott, Kay Wiley

Lucy tries to earn $500 to cover an impossibly large charity pledge by performing a dangerous publicity stunt atop the Empire State Building.

Mary Jane Croft appears as Lucy's society friend, Cynthia Harcourt--a role she would reprise when she played Lucy's sidekick, under various names, on later variations of the star's sitcoms over the next two decades.


90 Lucy Writes a Novel    First Aired: April 5, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Pierre Watkin, Dayton Lummis

Ricky, Fred, and Ethel are less than flattered to find themselves depicted in Lucy's novel--a roman à clef about life around the Ricardo household.


91 Lucy's Club Dance    First Aired: April 12, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Shirley Mitchell, Doris Singleton

Ricky is drafted into service to conduct the would-be musicians in Lucy's all-girl band.


92 The Black Wig    First Aired: April 19, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Eva McVeagh, Douglas Evans

Ethel and Lucy test their husbands' fidelity by disguising themselves as a pair of exotic foreigners.

Another sturdy plot line enters the lexicon of situation comedy when Lucy discovers the invigorating effect a different-colored coiffure can have on a jaded marriage. The tactic would be used by countless sitcom wives, from Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show to Gloria Stivic, who donned a black wig of her own on All in the Family some twenty years later.


93 The Diner    First Aired: April 26, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: James Burke, Fred Sherman, Don Garner

The Mertzes and Ricardos pool their finances to buy a diner, but soon find themselves competing with each other for a single customer.


94 Tennessee Ernie Visits    First Aired: May 3, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Tennessee Ernie Ford

The Ricardos play reluctant hosts to Cousin Ernest Ford, a backwoods rube with a powerful yen for big-city life.


95 Tennessee Ernie Hangs On    First Aired: May 10, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Star: Tennessee Ernie Ford

The Ricardos' schemes to rid themselves of their unwanted houseguest backfire, and they end up performing with Cousin Ernie on a hayseed amateur hour.

This two-parter, featuring the popular hillbilly performer Tennessee Ernie Ford, scored ratings that were far above average, a fact that was not lost on the network or the producers. From that moment on, special guest stars became an integral part of the Lucy formula.


96 The Golf Game    First Aired: May 17, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Jimmy Demaret, George Pirrone

To discourage Lucy and Ethel from tagging along to the golf course, Fred and Ricky conspire to make their wives' day on the green as difficult as possible.


97 The Sublease    First Aired: May 24, 1954
Writers: Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, Bob Carroll, Jr.
Director:William Asher
Guest Stars: Virginia Brissac, Jay Novello

Skinflint Fred foils Ricky's efforts to sublease the Ricardo apartment for the summer after he discovers that his tenants will make a small profit.


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