Lucy Has Grown Up Alot
Lucy Has Grown Up Alot
U.S. News & World Report - September 22, 1986

Lucille Ball talks about how television has evolved

Q Ms. Ball, has the way women are portrayed on TV changed a lot since you started out?

Oh, God, yes. Today, women run things and take charge. They answer and respond differently than on shows in the past.

Q What about TV's Lucy - has she changed?

Lucy has grown up a lot from her beginnings with Desi. In later shows I was widowed with children and worked. But that was my only evolution. Now, I'm a grandmother, and there's great identification with the scrapes my character gets into.

Q Are you surprised at the way television has evolved since "I Love Lucy"?

I can't say that I am. I was part of the beginning, when TV was a lot easier and a lot more fun, especially when none of us knew what we were doing. To watch it come out all right was great. The innovations that Desi and our company made - filming shows before a live audience - were wonderful to be acknowledged for. An audience gives you an instant barometer, and we're doing it that way on the new show. It's a great feeling.

Q Has TV's power surprised you?

It did at first, certainly. I remember when we took our first tour and saw how people reacted. We'd made an instant, into-their-living-room connection. The closeness with the audience was unbelievable. I'd been in pictures for 12 years or more and made 40 or 50, and most people hardly knew who I was. Then after three months on TV, everybody in the country knew us and felt so close to us. That has never changed.

Q Do the networks seem more cost conscious today?

The cost of doing a show has more than tripled. And the networks talk cost conscious. Yet they act just the opposite. I see them throwing money away on shows that they do not give proper thought to or give a proper time slot to or give proper time to develop.

Q What do you think of the changes in TV standards?

It's not only television that has changed. It's books, magazines, every medium. They've gone too far as usual. They're too vulgar, too brutal, too violent. There's too much raw sex for young children to see early in the evening.

Q What are your favorite shows?

"Golden Girls," "Cosby" and "Valerie." And if John Ritter was on, I'd be watching him. I also like a lot of things on PBS and documentaries. But I can't say that I go for too much of the action stuff.
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