1 9 6 8 – 1 9 7 4 (USA)
144 x 30 minute episodes
Lucille Ball’s fourth series, Here’s Lucy, debuted on 23 September 1968 and aired on the CBS network on Monday nights.
In all but name, the show was a direct continuation of The Lucy Show, with the setting transferred to Los Angeles and a slightly different spin applied to the main characters.
This time around Lucille Ball was Lucy Carter, a scatterbrained, over-zealous secretary to her boss and brother-in-law Harrison Otis Carter, the owner of ‘Carter’s Unique Employment Agency’.
Lucy’s real-life children portrayed her new on-screen family (Kim and Craig) and her friend and confidante was once again Mary Jane Croft using the same name she had in The Lucy Show, Mary Jane Lewis.
At home (4863 Valley Lawn Drive, Los Angeles), Lucy struggled valiantly to cope with the problems of raising two teenage children and often called upon their Uncle Harry to help out.
Living in LA, Lucy also managed to wangle meetings with many celebrities of the day – Having lunch with Johnny Carson, fixing a tap (faucet) with Richard Burton, taking tea with Ginger Rogers, and, after breaking her leg skiing, sharing a hospital room with Eva Gabor.
The change of format made little difference to the Lucille Ball style which by now was written in marble, and the show continued in much the same vein as those that had gone before, once again featuring occasional appearances from Vivian Vance and using celebrity guest stars to pep up the plots.
Guest stars included Jack Benny, Shelley Winters, Wayne Newton, Carol Burnett, Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Andrews Sisters, Liberace, Lawrence Welk, Ann-Margret, Vincent Price, Sammy Davis Jr, Rudy Vallee, Mannix, David Frost, Joe Namath, Petula Clark, Donny Osmond, Danny Thomas, Eddie Albert, Andy Griffith, Joan Rivers, Frankie Avalon, Chuck Connors and Milton Berle.
Here’s Lucy still wasn’t the end of Lucille Ball’s remarkable television career, since she returned for one more series, Life With Lucy, which ran on the ABC network in the USA from 21 September to 15 November 1986, when she was 75 years old.
It was a poor show, and while 13 episodes were made only eight aired. The series was never screened on British TV.
The first three seasons of Here’s Lucy were filmed at Paramount Studios and the last three at Universal.
Harrison Otis Carter
Desi Arnaz Jr
Mary Jane Lewis
Mary Jane Croft