'I Love Lucy' Christmas special on WHIO tonight

I Love Lucy special
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I Love Lucy special

Celebrate the holidays with the I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, a new one-hour special featuring two back-to-back colorized classic episodes of the series, to be broadcast Friday, Dec. 25 at 8 p.m. on WHIO.

The I LOVE LUCY CHRISTMAS SPECIAL features “The Christmas Episode” and the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures.” Both were colorized with a vintage look, a nod to the 1950s period in which the shows were filmed. The main titles and end credits of the two episodes are seamlessly combined into one set at the beginning and end of the hour, with no interruption between the episodes.

“The Christmas Episode” finds the Ricardos and Mertzes decorating Lucy and Ricky’s Christmas tree and reminiscing about how their lives have changed since the arrival of the Ricardos’ son, Little Ricky (Keith Thibodeaux). Flashbacks recall the night Lucy tells Ricky she is pregnant, the time Lucy shows up unexpectedly as part of a barbershop quartet and the day Ricky and the Mertzes rehearse taking Lucy to the maternity ward.

I Love Lucy special
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I Love Lucy special

“The Christmas Episode” was first broadcast on CBS in December 1956. The episode was not included in the series’ long history of rebroadcasts, first on CBS Daytime and later in syndication. Thought to be lost, CBS rediscovered the episode in 1989.

In the newly colorized “Lucy Gets in Pictures,” Lucy’s lifelong dream of appearing in a motion picture seems to have come true when Ricky arranges for her to play a showgirl in a new musical. Unfortunately, the enormous feathered headdress she is expected to wear as she descends a staircase proves to be too cumbersome. After numerous mishaps on the stairs, the musical’s frustrated director (Lou Krugman) decides to make a change.

“Lucy Gets in Pictures” was originally broadcast Feb. 21, 1955, and was an immediate favorite not only of viewers, but of Lucille Ball herself. She restaged the famous headdress scene, again with Krugman, in the 1962 CBS special, “Opening Night,” and in 1965 in a slightly modified form, this time with actor Danny Thomas, in her second CBS series, “The Lucy Show.”

I Love Lucy special
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I Love Lucy special

“I Love Lucy” Christmas specials have aired on the Network the past three years, each combining the holiday-themed episode with a different comedy classic. The 2013 special included “Lucy’s Italian Movie” (aka “Grape Stomping”); 2014’s included “Job Switching” (aka “Chocolate Factory”); and last year’s included “Lucy Does a TV Commercial” (aka “Vitameatavegamin”). In the 2015 special, “The Christmas Episode” was shown colorized in its entirety for the first time, with fully colorized flashback scenes that had previously always been presented in black and white, including the heartwarming scene in which Lucy Ricardo tells her husband, Ricky, that they are going to have a baby.

"I Love Lucy" was broadcast on CBS from Oct. 15, 1951 through June 24, 1957. It was voted "The Best TV Show of All Time" in a 2012 viewer poll conducted by People magazine and ABC News. "I Love Lucy" stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, and Vivian Vance and William Frawley as the Ricardos' friends and landlords, Ethel and Fred Mertz.