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Their big chance came in 1950, when CBS approached Ball about moving "My Favorite Husband" to the fledgling medium of television. Ball had succeeded in making Desilu profitable again by 1968, when she sold her shares of Desilu to Gulf+Western for $17 million (a valued $ 130 million in 2019). CBS wasn't exactly thrilled with this suggestion. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, 1997, p. 4) The new name, a portmanteau of the couple's first names, was ori… Hensley wants a judge to decide who's the proper owner of the "Desilu" trademark. In 1970, Desilu Studios was renamed The Culver City Studios. The CBS unit owns all Desilu properties that were produced and concluded before 1960, which were sold to CBS by Desilu itself. Arnaz encouraging the audience to write-in with their opinions worked. Within days, Desilu Playhouse received six thousand letters about “Time Element,” more than any other episode that year. So, quite naturally, CBS expected Arnaz and Ball to move to New York. Desilu's revenue was down and movie studios were beginning to produce their own television shows, squeezing independent production companies out of business. Amplify your business knowledge and reach your full entrepreneurial potential with Entrepreneur Insider’s exclusive benefits. Photo Courtesy: Desilu Productions/IMDb. Just when you thought she was finished with television, she’s hustling to the next big thing. land built in that sold on 02/05/2014. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Desilu : The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz by Tom Gilbert and Coyne S. Sanders (2011, Trade Paperback) at the best online prices at eBay! But even this tremendous success wasn't enough to keep the star-crossed sweethearts together. … In addition to laying the groundwork for the multibillion-dollar television syndication industry, they introduced many of the production techniques that would become standard television practice and almost single-handedly made Hollywood the television capital of the world. But a passionate reconciliation led her to reconsider, and the lovers vowed to find more opportunities to work together. GILBERT: When Desilu sold the rights of the I Love Lucy show to CBS, they had some extra money and they immediately put it into buying RKO studios. I Love Lucy became a hit show, so, according to Entrepreneur, Arnaz "expanded the Desilu empire, producing an impressive roster of hits, including 'The Ann Sothern Show,' 'The Untouchables' and 'Sheriff of Cochise.'" She continued to act in TV specials and comedy shows, until she suffered a heart attack in 1988, dying just a year later. CBS agreed, and in one fell swoop Arnaz and Ball invented reruns, paved the way for syndication, and pulled off what would become one of the most lucrative deals in television history. In 1960, Desi Arnaz sold the pre-1960s shows to CBS. Desilu Productions purchased the equipment used to film "I Love Lucy" with money from CBS but structured the deal so Desilu owned the equipment and "rented" it back to the studio for each episode. In order to further grow the business, Desilu sold … Lucy feared birds as a result of once a bird was trapped inside her house when she was small. The TV project became I Love Lucy, and the Arnazes, in exchange for accepting reduced salaries, retained ownership rights to the show. Birth Of A RerunIn the early days of television, shows were performed in New York and broadcast live to viewers on the East Coast. In docs, obtained by TMZ, Hensley says he reached out to Lucie Arnaz -- daughter of Lucy and Desi Arnaz -- to see if she would be on board for the relaunch. Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, New Exp edition When the creators of such mega-hits as "Friends," "Seinfeld" and "ER" cash their hefty syndication residual checks, they should take a moment to pay homage to Desi Arnaz¬ and Lucille Ball-two of the savviest and most innovative entrepreneurs ever to grace the star-studded streets of Tinseltown. Desi Arnaz, the actor who played the titular Lucille Ball's husband on I Love Lucy, was also really married to Lucille Ball at the time, but the couple divorced in 1960. Ball believed in the show and she stuck it out as long as she could, but she knew that if she kept producing Star Trek on her own she’d go broke. Do Not Sell My Info ... Charles Hensley says he applied for the "Desilu" trademark in 2016 in order to relaunch Desilu Studios as a "technology-focused film and television studio." Related Articles Yep, That Captain Pike STAR TREK Show Is Really Happening Paramount Televisionwas the television production division ofParamount Pictures, operating from 1967 to 2006. Last month T$32,000* had been paid into the bank. (That’s the equivalent of 128 million dollars today.) Lucy later sold her shares of Desilu Productions to Paramount Studios for $17 million! Star Trek was originally owned by Desilu studios, and is currently owned by Paramount and CBS, so Roddenberry wouldn’t have earned royalties on licensing out the property - he wasn’t ever in a position to to do that. At the time of purchase, Desilu had six television hits on the air: The Lucy Show, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, I Spy, Mannix, and The Andy Griffith Show. Lucy and Desi also formed Desilu Productions in 1950 which produced "I Love Lucy". Years earlier in 1967, Ball made herself millions when Desilu Productions sold for $122 million in today’s dollars. When Lucy bought Desi out in 1962, she became the very first woman ever to head a major production company. The network executives were reluctant, fearing viewers would have difficulty accepting the Cuban Arnaz as the husband of the all-American redhead. "I Love Lucy" debuted in October 1951 and quickly became one of the top-rated shows on television. To prove that they could make the sitcom work, Arnaz and Ball formed Desilu Productions (the very first independent television production company) and used $5,000 of their own money to produce the pilot for "I Love Lucy." Free shipping for many products! That was much less than usual. 32. Hensley says he was granted the trademark this year, and says CBS did not oppose his application. The studio, Desilu, was being sold to Gulf and Western/Paramount, and budgets were a bigger problem than ever — and the network was clashing with Gene Roddenberry more than ever. Up until the rights were sold in 2018, the pair earned $7.5 million apiece each year. At the time, Desilu had 35 soundstages, 50 acres of land, hundreds of offices, and roughly 1,700 employees. Under her leadership, the studio produced hits including Mission: Impossible and Star Trek. "-Lucille Ball. Again, Ball changed a societal role and became the first woman CEO of a major production company. Desilu Productions. This gave the couple much more creative freedom than being owned by a network. Arnaz encouraging the audience to write-in with their opinions worked. Again CBS protested, claiming that live production in Los Angeles was impractical. When Ball divorced Arnaz, and bought out his share of Desilu, before selling it to Gulf + Western in 1967 for $17 million. He built a studio that made Star Trek, Mission Impossible and The Untouchables possible. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were incredibly business savvy to have taken their own money to create their own production company. Desilu: The Story of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, New Exp edition [Sanders, Coyne S] on Amazon.com. Contrary to popular belief, Desi Arnaz did not sell his share of Desilu due to his divorce with Lucille Ball. After being the head honcho of her own production company, she later sold Desilu to Western-Gulf in 1967 for $17 million dollars. Katz believed the key to turning the company around was getting Desilu back into the business of production, so he produced "Star Trek" and "Mission Impossible." Arnaz and Ball offered a simple solution: produce the show on film and dispense with kinescopes altogether. This wasn't the only show biz convention the duo would shatter. Again, Ball changed a societal role and became the first woman CEO of a major production company. Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now! She paid him $2.5 million for his shares and became the first woman CEO of a major television and movie production company. After 20 tumultuous years of marriage, actress Lucille Ball divorces her husband and collaborator, Desi Arnaz, on March 4, 1960. CBS got some 'splainin' to do ... as far as the legendary studio made famous by Lucille Ball is concerned. Arnaz started life in a somewhat privileged position his great-great grandfather, Don Manuel Arnaz, made an early move to the U.S., buying up tons of land all over Los Angeles, including the area that would become posh Beverly Hills. Last month, T$32,300* had been paid into the bank. While Ball made pictures in Hollywood and gained fame as the star of the radio show "My Favorite Husband," Arnaz spent much of his time on the road touring with his band. Lucy sold Desilu to keep the Enterprise flying. Ed Holly was right, and in 1967 - before Star Trek was even canceled - Desilu was sold to Paramount. Her goal accomplished, she sold her shares of Desilu to Paramount Studios for $17 million. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were incredibly business savvy to have taken their own money to create their own production company. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Herbert Solow, hired to help locate new projects for the studio, brought two notable proposals to Desilu in 1964. After building up a film library, Desilu Productions was sold to Gulf & Western Industries, which became Paramount Pictures, which later became owned by Viacom. Desilu began when actress Lucille Desirée Ball married bandleader Desiderio Alberto Arnaz III in 1940. Arnaz was the first television producer to film with three cameras instead of one, so he could shoot angles and close-ups simultaneously. Desilu soon became a force in the entertainment industry, raking in $20 million in revenue in 1958. One was Mission: Impossible ; the other was Roddenberry’s quirky sci-fi idea. Tosses Lombardi Trophy Off Boat At Parade, Gets Restraining Order Against Doorbell Ringer, Chad Wheeler Victim Reveals Disturbing Injury Pics, Historic Krispy Kreme Shop 'Gutted' In Fire, Tom Brady Didn't Call Mathieu A Racial Slur, ©2021 EHM PRODUCTIONS,INC. Arnaz the actor, the artiste, could not have cared less, but he had to sell it to the accountants he had entrusted with the company purse. GTG remodeled the studio and renamed the lot to The Culver Studios, which was acquired by Sony Pictures in 1991. These "kinescopes," as the recordings were called, were less clear than live broadcasts, and their quality tended to degrade as they were rebroadcast.By insisting that "I Love Lucy" be recorded on film, which could be easily stored and broadcast over and over again without any degradation of picture quality, Desi Arnaz initiated the industry practice of airing reruns, which made summer hiatuses possible and opened up a new market for the sale of film rights. The demands of running a corporation while still playing his role on "I Love Lucy" began to take their toll on Arnaz and the marriage. They also starred in a little television comedy called I Love Lucy. Ball sold Desilu, in 1967, to Paramount for $17 million (entrepreneur). We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else. To offset the added cost, Arnaz and Ball agreed to cut their joint weekly salary from $5,000 to $4,000 on the condition that Desilu retained all rights to the show. Desilu Productions was formed in 1950 using the combined names of "Desi Arnaz" and "Lucille Ball". The 14-acre movie lot soon became home to such hits as "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "The Andy Griffith Show" and "My Three Sons," making Desilu a successful independent production house. After the 1956-1957 season, Desilu sold I Love Lucy to CBS for $4.3 million. The staff of the Desilu Shop had received very simple instructions. Arnaz's drinking became more excessive, and the couple would often break into violent arguments on the set of the show. Copyright © 2021 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Plus, enjoy a FREE 1-year. The two became close friends, with Little Ricky even vacationing with the Arnaz’s. He claims CBS, which originally aired "I Love Lucy" back in the day -- derailed his negotiations by telling Arnaz to stop dealing with Desilu. This sitcom ran for two seasons from 1967 to 1969. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were the stars of I Love Lucy, but they were so much more -- thanks to Desilu Productions, they were television's first power couple. When it comes to the claim that Star Trek was losing $15,000 an episode when Lucille Ball sold Desilu to Gulf+Western, that figure is actually too low. That same year, Desilu sold the rights to 180 “I Love Lucy” episodes to CBS for $4.5 million, a windfall that helped finance Desilu’s expansion as a production and production services company. In 1967, Lucille Ball sold Desilu Productions and began her third television series on CBS under her own banner, Lucille Ball Productions. Realizing she could not turn the company around on her own, Ball hired CBS executive Oskar Katz to be her executive vice president. Sci-fi classic vehicle V is being revived as a film by Desilu Studios, with the new version of the former TV series written and directed by the original ’80s series creator, Kenneth Johnson. This amount was much … The breakup of the couple, By 1961, Ball had remarried and was starring in "The Lucy Show"¬-with ex-husband Arnaz directing. Their individual careers however never fully recovered and in 1967, Lucy sold Desilu to CBS’s parent company Gulf + Western. © 2021 EHM PRODUCTIONS,INC. It was produced at Desilu, but under the banner of Zanra Productions (Arnaz spelled backward). That meant they had to find a way to split their residuals evenly. Gulf+Western then transformed Desilu into the television production arm of Paramount Pictures , rebranding the company as … At the time, the only show Desilu had in production was Lucy's. Without him, I Love Lucy would not have happened and would p Steve Sanders sadly passed away in February 2013, and I know he had other projects in the planning stages. Desi Arnaz had burned out after their divorce and sold his interest in 1962 to Lucy. 3 beds, 2.5 baths, 2955 sq. While most of us remember Lucille Ball as a film star and comic, it is often forgotten that she was running Desilu Studios through much of the 1960s before she sold it to Paramount. Desilu was a production powerhouse in its heyday, and Desi Arnaz was the man who made it happen. So after 20 years together, Arnaz and Ball finally divorced in 1960. Too Many Crooks (tie) - IMDb user rating: 8.5 - Votes: 217 - Episode: season 3, episode 9 - Air date: Nov. 30, 1953 "Too Many Crooks" was a … Though we all remember them as a TV ideal, we often forget that they were divorced by 1960. Charles Hensley says he applied for the "Desilu" trademark in 2016 in order to relaunch Desilu Studios as a "technology-focused film and television studio." Explore our giveaways, bundles, "Pay What You Want" deals & more. The couple met in 1940 on the set of the RKO Studios musical "Too Many Girls." But the first decade of their lives together would prove to be rocky. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Their story of romance, marriage and family is also one of strife and infidelity. And if you love a good rerun marathon, you have Arnaz to thank — he and Ball formed the first-ever independent television production company, Desilu, in preparation for the show, and convinced CBS to give them full ownership of the episodes. Desilu is a mash up of the names of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, the husband and wife comedy team. Its CBS Television Studios unit owns the rights to everything Desilu produced after 1960 as successor in interest to Paramount Television. Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. They aged Little Ricky to five years old, while Desi Jr was still three years old. Arnaz's notorious womanizing, along with his excessive drinking, prompted Ball to file for divorce in 1944. She is known for her long career in Hollywood and fancied all the attention and fame that she received. In 1967 Lucille Ball sold Desilu to Gulf+Western for $17 million. Ft. single family home built in 1968 that sold on 07/02/2004. So much has been written about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and even about Desilu Productions, but until now nobody thought the examine their failed television projects, the unsold pilots (produced & unproduced) that never made it to series and rejected concepts for specials that never got made. Ball had succeeded in making Desilu profitable again by 1968, when she sold her shares of Desilu to Gulf+Western for $17 million (a valued $130 million in 2019). Desi Arnaz & Lucille BallCo-founders of Desilu ProductionsFounded: 1950, "Instead of divorce lawyers profiting from our mistakes, we thought we'd profit from them. The main problem was that the committee could not tell if any money was really missing. Seeing it as a chance to finally work with her real-life spouse, Ball asked the network to cast Arnaz in the role of her husband. I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom that originally aired on CBS from October 15, 1951, to May 6, 1957, with a total of 180 half-hour episodes spanning six seasons. During their marriage, the pair built Desilu Studios and Desilu Productions and gave birth to two children -- Lucie Desirée and Desiderio IV (Desi Jr.). As the growing company needed more space, Arnaz and Ball turned to the gold mine of "I Love Lucy" reruns they owned and sold the syndication rights to the first 180 episodes back to CBS for $5 million (approximately $19.5 million by today's standards). Lucille Ball sold Desilu to Gulf+Western for $17 million in 1967. For just $5 per month, get access to premium content, webinars, an ad-free experience, and more! Ask Jonathan W about Star Trek Original Series Set Tour. - desilu studios map - Desilu began the creation of its productions using conventional film studio materials, production, and processing techniques. Gulf+Western then transformed Desilu into the television production arm of Paramount Pictures , rebranding the company as … Then, because TV in 1958 was so hilariously weird, he raved about how much food you could shove into the new Westinghouse Desilu special refrigerator. History. With the newly formed Desi Arnaz Productions, he made The Mothers-In-Law (at Desilu) for United Artists Television and NBC. For viewers in other time zones to see the shows, they were recorded from a special television picture tube called a kinescope and rebroadcast at later times. He presented his budget. Desilu Productions 99. Here’s Lucy premiered in 1968 and ran for six seasons, five of them in the top ten. Then, because TV in 1958 was so hilariously weird, he raved about how much food you could shove into the new Westinghouse Desilu special refrigerator. Today, that would be equal to $130 million. Desilu II, the holding company set up by Luci and Desi Jr., was valued at $60 million. That's the same as $130 million in today's dollars. They took a huge gamble on buying this huge – it was three lots, the Gower lot, the Cahuenga lot and the Culver City lot. Entrepreneur Voices on the Science of Success, Make 2021 Your Year of Growth with These Growth-Hacking Strategies, Free Webinar | Feb. 25: The Science of Driving Profit, Scalability and Growth, 6 Ways to Help Your Business Grow and Flourish, The Difference Between Growing a Business and Growing a Brand, How Controlling Your Food Sensitivities Affects Productivity. Desilu Productions was formed in 1950 by Lucille Ball and her then-husband, Desi Arnaz. The staff of the Desilu Shop had very simple instructions. Perfect Film purchased Desilu Studios in 1968, only to sell it to OSF Industries in 1969. #4- The actors' salaries grew over time. While Ball busied herself with the joys of motherhood (she gave birth to the couple's second child, Desi Jr., in 1953), Arnaz expanded the Desilu empire, producing an impressive roster of hits, including "The Ann Sothern Show," "The Untouchables" and "Sheriff of Cochise." Offered a simple solution: produce the show far as the legendary studio made famous by Ball... Every major prime-time television show was filmed on the set of the all-American redhead and says CBS not! Was renamed the Culver Studios was bought by a network her then-husband, Desi Arnaz incredibly. Arnaz and Lucille Ball sold Desilu to Paramount and fame that she received, with Little Ricky even with. Of those shows which premiered before 1960, which was acquired by Sony in! But were still in production was Lucy 's the newest software, &... Ad-Free experience, and they married later that same year Ball and Desi Arnaz did not his. Book each week and share exclusive deals you won ’ t think she ’ s Lucy premiered in that. 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