‘I Love Lucy’ Returns: CBS Announces New Christmas Special With Classic Episodes In Color

I Love Lucy is back and in color! CBS announced plans to re-air two of the most memorable episodes from Lucille Ball’s iconic television show during the networks I Love Lucy Christmas Special.

The two episodes chosen for the special were “The Christmas Episode,” of course, and the “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” episode, most likely remembered for its “Vitameatavegamin,” CBS News reports.

“The Christmas Episode” follows iconic characters Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel as they decorate the Ricardo’s Christmas tree. In flashback fashion, the show revisits the moment that Lucy told Ricky that she was pregnant with Little Ricky and the time Lucy hilariously ended up in a barbershop quartet. “The Christmas Episode” first aired in 1956. The most interesting fact about the episode, however, is that for some reason it wasn’t re-aired until the year 1989. For that reason, it became known as a “lost episode.”

The “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” episode, on the other hand, is one of the most well-remembered episodes of the entire series. The episode, which originally aired in 1951, follows Lucy on her quest to star in a television commercial for a health tonic that goes by the name of Vitameatavegamin. The only problem is that the tonic contains 23 percent alcohol, which made for a very sloppy Lucy and comedy gold.

CBS has broadcast I Love Lucy specials for the past two years, making it a bit of a holiday tradition for the network. Both episodes will be broadcast in color; “The Christmas Episode” for the first time, and both will air without interruption. Don’t be alarmed if the color appears to be a little “off.” Entertainment Weekly reports that the episodes were purposefully colorized with a “vintage” look to pay homage to the 1950s period during which the episodes were originally filmed.

I Love Lucy celebrated its 64th birthday last month and Keith Thibodeux, who spent five years in the role of “Little Ricky” and is one of the only surviving cast members of the show, opened up about how he got the role, ABC News reports.

“I walked on the set and there was Lucy, she was standing there and she was looking at me,” he said. “She said ‘OK he’s cute, but what does he do?’ My dad said, ‘Well he plays the drums’ and she said, ‘Oh, come on — I can’t believe that.’ Then, she says ‘Look, we have a drum set over there, go ahead and let him play.’ Eventually Desi Arnaz himself came over and started jamming with me on the drums and then he kind of stood up and said ‘Well, I think we found Little Ricky.'”

Thibodeux went on to appear in more than 35 episodes of I Love Lucy, which was was ranked No. 3 in TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time in 2013.

“It was an interesting show, but it was a very special show,” Thibodeux said. “It seems to be very memorable and people of any different generation can appreciate it…appreciate the humor of it, appreciate the silliness of it.”

The I Love Lucy Christmas Special is set to air at 8 p.m. Wednesday, December 23, on CBS.

[Photo courtesy of David McNew / Getty images]

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