Sections: Latin Roots/Yankee Roots | The Cast, Crew, and Set | I Love Lucy—On the Move | Theme Songs | Legacy 

By 1954, after more than one-hundred episodes set in New York, the ratings had slipped, and Oppenheimer felt that the show needed “something new.” That novelty was created by changing locations during the show’s final three seasons and by elevating Ricky’s professional reputation and the Ricardos’ social standing. As a result, the writers created a thirty-episode chronicle in the fourth season of the cast’s trip to California, prompted by the prospect of a starring role for Ricky in a Hollywood movie and providing opportunities for appearances by a number of leading screen stars.

This location change was followed by a seventeen-episode visit to Europe in the fifth season, when Ricky’s orchestra, with Fred as the band manager, goes on tour, taking Lucy and Ethel along. During the sixth season they travel to Florida and Cuba when Ricky’s band is invited to play at Miami Beach’s Eden Roc Hotel. After returning to New York, Ricky’s professional prominence increases again, and the scene is changed once more, this time to “the country”—Westport, Connecticut.

Hollywood

The Ricardos and Mertzes travelled to Hollywood by car; the images of Ball, Arnaz, Vance, and Frawley displayed on the necktie in the exhibition come from the final scene of Episode No. 110, “California, Here We Come!” as the four are driving across New York’s George Washington Bridge. Twenty-two episodes later, they return to New York by train in Episode No. 132, “The Great Train Robbery,” where Lucy catches a thief while on board.

I Love Lucy Comics, Vol. 1, no. 13, 1956. Cover. New York: Dell Publications Co., 1956. Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (057.00.00). [Digital ID # lucy0057]. Courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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Script page from Episode No. 132, “The Great Train Robbery,” 1955

Script page from Episode No. 132, “The Great Train Robbery,” 1955. Facsimile. Jess Oppenheimer Collection, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress (059.00.00). [Digital ID # lucy0059]. Courtesy of Gregg Oppenheimer

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Europe

The fifth season’s trip to Europe allowed the writers to devise situations related to various European destinations: a dream based on Lucille McGillicuddy Ricardo’s Scottish heritage, Lucy and Ethel’s desire to own original Paris gowns, the foursome getting snowbound in the Swiss Alps, and, one of the most famous of all, the grape-stomping scene in Episode No. 150, “Lucy’s Italian Movie.”

Scrapbook page showing an article from TV Star Parade regarding the fifth season’s European tour, 1956. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (064.00.00). [Digital ID # lucy0064p1]. All scrapbooks donated by Lucie Arnaz. Rights to the images in the photographs and scrapbook items in this collection are the sole property of Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr./Desilu, too, LLC

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“Lucy Goes to Scotland,” 1956

Scrapbook page showing an image of Ball and Arnaz costumed for Lucy’s dream of Scotland from Episode No. 144, “Lucy Goes to Scotland,” 1956. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (065.00.00). [Digital ID # lucy0065]. All scrapbooks donated by Lucie Arnaz. Rights to the images in the photographs and scrapbook items in this collection are the sole property of Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr./Desilu, too, LLC

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“Lucy’s Italian Movie,” 1956

Photograph of Lucille Ball and Teresa Tirelli from Episode No. 150, “Lucy’s Italian Movie,” 1956. Facsimile. Courtesy of Private Collector (067.00.00). [Digital ID # lucy0067]. Use of photo still from I Love Lucy courtesy of CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

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Florida and Cuba

The final season of I Love Lucy included trips to Florida and Cuba, occasioned by Ricky’s orchestra engagement at Miami Beach’s Eden Roc Hotel. As with previous seasons, the writers maximized the comedic potential of the new locales, featuring deep-sea fishing in Florida, the cast marooned on a desert island, and a trip to Cuba to visit Ricky’s family.

Photograph of scene from Episode No. 161, “Desert Island,” 1956. Facsimile. Courtesy of Private Collector (074.00.00). [Digital ID # lucy0074]. Use of photo still from I Love Lucy courtesy of CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

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“The Ricardos Visit Cuba,” 1956

Scrapbook page with material relating to Episode No. 162, “The Ricardos Visit Cuba,” 1956. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress (075.00.00). [Digital ID # lucy0075]. All scrapbooks donated by Lucie Arnaz. Rights to the images in the photographs and scrapbook items in this collection are the sole property of Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz, Jr./Desilu, too, LLC

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“The Desi-Lucy Love Story,”

Robert Vose, photographer. “The Desi-Lucy Love Story,” Look, December 25, 1956. Cover (with Keith Thibodeaux). Des Moines, Iowa: Cowles Media, 1956. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (077.00.00). [Digital ID # cph-3g04889]

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Suburbia

The half-hour series concluded with thirteen episodes centering on the Ricardos’ move to Connecticut and their indecision about it, and Lucy missing the Mertzes until the Mertzes ultimately move there as well. The “suburban” location provided the opportunity for out-of-doors activities not possible in New York, including raising chickens, growing tulips, and building a barbecue in the backyard.

Script page from Episode No. 169, “Lucy Misses the Mertzes,” 1957. Facsimile. Jess Oppenheimer Collection. Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress (082.01.00). [Digital ID # lucy0082_01]. Courtesy of Gregg Oppenheimer

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“Building a Barbecue,” 1957

Photograph of I Love Lucy cast in the backyard patio from Episode No. 176, “Building a Barbecue,” 1957. Courtesy of Desilu, too, LLC (084.00.00). [Digital ID # lucy0084]. Use of photo still from I Love Lucy courtesy of CBS Broadcasting, Inc.

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Sections: Latin Roots/Yankee Roots | The Cast, Crew, and Set | I Love Lucy—On the Move | Theme Songs | Legacy