I Love Lucy Christmas Special

December 20, 2013
8PM CBS

Mark your calendars. Queue up your DVR boxes.

The I Love Lucy Christmas Special debuts on CBS 5 days before Christmas, a Friday night.

The I Love Lucy Christmas Special on CBS will feature colorized episodes of the 1950s CBS comedy series: the seldom-seen “Christmas Episode,” and “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (aka The Grape Stomping Episode). The network said the episodes were “colorized with a vintage look,” for all you purists out there, “in a nod to the 1950s period in which the shows were filmed.” That would be The Black-and-White TV Period. We're sure the special would have attracted record viewers if the studio had kept the show true-to-form, B&W. But beggars can't be choosy.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos (Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz) and Mertzes (Vivian Vance and William Frawley) decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky. Flashbacks are in black-and-white — to emphasize the time lapse, CBS explained. Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time she shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet, and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward. “The Christmas Episode” was first presented as part of the series in December 1956. The episode wasn’t included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication, the network noted, adding that it was thought to be “lost” until CBS “found” it — in 1989.

“Lucy’s Italian Movie” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes visiting Rome, where Lucy is invited by a famous Italian film director to appear in his next picture, Bitter Grapes. She mistakenly thinks is about the wine industry, so she visits a local vineyard for research and winds up soaking up more local color than intended. CBS owns the episode, and the network colorized it. Two episodes makes for a cheap holiday special, and CBS is airing it on a Friday. It’s the weekend before Christmas, so the company most likely will sell some DVDs from the popularity of the broadcast, just in time for stocking stuffers five days later.

Here's to wishing that the network actually brought back episodes of I Love Lucy and All In The Family and Everybody Loves Raymond every week.

I Love Lucy Christmas Special 2013 CBS