Life with Lucy
Life with Lucy was Lucille Ball's last television series.
The show ran on the ABC network in 1986, and unlike Lucy's previous smash
hits on television, it was a critical and popular flop. Fourteen episodes
were written, 13 filmed, and eight actually aired.
In order to get Miss Ball to agree to a new series, ABC allowed her
complete creative control, no requirement to make a pilot episode, and no
requirement for testing before focus groups or other tryouts. As all of
Miss Ball's previous efforts had proven to be "television
magic", the network acquiesced in this, even though she was at the
time already 75 years old and her long-time co-star Gale Gordon (whom she
insisted on using again) was 80.
Ball played a widowed grandmother who had inherited her husband's
half-interest in a California hardware store (the other half being owned
by his partner, Curtis McGibbon, played by Gordon). She insisted on
"helping" in the store, even though when her husband was alive
she had taken no part in the business and hence knew nothing about it.
The unlikely partners were also in-laws, her daughter being married to
his son, and all of them, along with other various family members, lived
together in the store building. In little more time than the number of
episodes needed to establish all of the premises, the program was
cancelled due to very low ratings.