I Love Lucy: A Short History

A Chronology of I Love Lucy:

-- 1950: CBS decides to convert its popular radio show My Favorite Husband to television, using the same stars: Lucille Ball and Richard Denning. Ball insists on her husband, Desi Arnaz, as co-star. Ball and Arnaz take a vaudeville act on the road, and CBS agrees to the pairing.

-- March 2, 1951: The I Love Lucy pilot, without the Mertzes, is shot on kinescope at CBS studio in Hollywood. It is designed to lure potential sponsors. The pilot is never seen by the public, but parts are included in future shows.

-- Oct. 15, 1951: I Love Lucy debuts on the CBS network. Vivian Vance and William Frawley have joined the cast as the neighboring Mertzes. The show, "The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub," was the fourth to be filmed, but it was scheduled for the premiere because of a surefire slapstick scene at the end.

-- Jan. 19, 1953: Ball gives birth to Desi Arnaz Jr. on the same day that Lucy Ricardo gives birth to Little Ricky.

-- June 1953: Ball and Arnaz return to their alma mater, MGM, to film a theatrical movie, The Long, Long Trailer.

-- September 1953: Gossiper Walter Winchell makes headlines by reporting that Lucille Ball was a registered communist in the 1930s. The accusation proves unfounded. Arnaz comments: "The only thing red about Lucy is her hair and even that's not legitimate."

-- May 6, 1957: After 180 episodes, I Love Lucy finishes its run.

-- Nov. 6, 1957: Ball and Arnaz in their I Love Lucy roles begin a series of one-hour specials, The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show.

-- March 3, 1960: Lucille Ball divorces Desi Arnaz.

-- April 13, 1960: After 13 shows, The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show ends.