1 9 8 6 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes
Television legend Lucille Ball’s final series premiered on 20 September 1986. It was not her finest half-hour.
75-year-old Ball played a madcap (as usual) widow called Lucy Barker who inherited part-ownership of the M&B hardware store and moved in with her daughter’s family in Pasadena to be nearer her grandchildren, raising the hackles of her son-in-law’s 80-year-old father, Curtis (her Lucy Show nemesis Gale Gordon) who was also a partner in the shop.
But Ball’s character was not a loveable kook. She was a meddlesome, obnoxious battle-axe, bossy and insensitive. She bullied those around her like a dictatorial cruise director and aspects of the Lucy Barker personality that the writers and star imagined to be endearing and rib-tickling came across instead as coarse and mortifying.
Critics didn’t respond well, and neither did viewers, so ABC killed the show after just eight episodes, leaving the other five episodes in the can.
I Love Lucy veterans Madelyn Davis and Bob Carroll Jr. were the series creators, and Ball and Aaron Spelling the executive producers. Guest stars included John Ritter, Ruth Buzzi, Peter Graves and Audrey Meadows.
Margo Barker McGibbon
Philip J. Amelio II
One Good Grandparent Deserves Another | Lucy Makes a Hit with John Ritter | Love Among Two-by-Fours | Lucy Gets Her Wires Crossed | Lucy Is a Sax Symbol | Lucy Makes Curtis Byte the Dust | Lucy Legal Beagle | Mother of the Bride