Was ‘I Love Lucy’ the first TV show to do these things or not?

The iconic sitcom broke barriers in front of and behind the camera.

Lucille Ball cemented her namesake sitcom's place in television history with her hilarious and endlessly rewatchable performances alone. But I Love Lucy also broke barriers, becoming the first TV show to achieve many things both in front of and behind the camera.

Here are ten television firsts. Can you guess which ones were accomplished by I Love Lucy… and which ones weren’t?

  1. The first TV show starring a real-life married couple.
  2. The first TV show featuring an interracial couple.
  3. The first TV show to feature a real pregnant woman onscreen.
  4. The first TV show to feature the birth of a child.
  5. The first TV show to have an actress (and her real-life baby) on the cover of 'TV Guide.'
  6. The first TV show to feature a toilet onscreen.
  7. The first TV show that made its actors millionaires.
  8. The first TV show from a studio and production company owned by a woman.
  9. The first TV show to feature the death of a main character.
  10. The first TV show to use lights hung directly above the set to allow for easier filming with three cameras and a live audience.

Was ‘I Love Lucy’ the first TV show to do these things or not?

Your Result...

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Lillyrose 6 months ago
9 out of 10. I Love Lucy is my favorite show ever! Please air it again on MeTV!
AgingDisgracefully 7 months ago
The first show where a regular character repeatedly went, "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"
BanaBabe1 7 months ago
You got 7 out of 10
Cheers to you! Great job!
Dario 7 months ago
7 out of 10; the answers to the first three questions were new to me! 🙂
Stoney 7 months ago
7 out of 10. Not bad considering that I missed the first 3.
JHP 7 months ago
9-10

NOW where's my cookie? :)

now who the heck is Mary Kay and johnny?
RedSamRackham 7 months ago
* 1st filmed TV sitcom was The Trouble With Father (aka Stu Erwin Show) which had no studio audience and no laugh track. We the viewers had to know when to laugh! ☺
Toot1956 7 months ago
8/10 I never heard of that Mary Kay and Johnny????
superdonwu 7 months ago
Got them all. I personally found this to be pretty easy
AllisonWunderland 7 months ago
9/10...Dang it, I missed #3 😜 Hopefully I can ace one of these before Christmas 😳😂
LucyImHome1951 7 months ago
Perfect score. It's amazing to see all of the things that the show was the first to do. Maybe that's why the show was so funny, it did things that no one had ever done before. Not only did they do it first, they did it best. I'm also glad that someone remembers Mary Kay and Johnny. That show is my holy grail of all the shows I've never seen. It was the first sitcom ever to air on network TV. Over 300 15-minute shows aired live DuMont Television Network before moving to CBS and then NBC. Sadly only one full episode is known to survive, from June 13, 1949 and is owned by the Paley Center for Media. Much of the show's film was destroyed in by the mid-70s. Some (or most) of The Mary Kay and Johnny episodes were dumped into Upper New York Bay during the 1970s because they were deemed insignificant (along with almost every from the Dumont Network). It quite sad, maybe one day I'll see the episode of the show at the Paley Center or someone will find some more episodes but until then this show will be lost for the ages.
Pacificsun 7 months ago
They didn't actually feature the birth of the child (of course). But came as close to the event as permissible in the 50's. Which was groundbreaking in itself. As the story goes (from MeTV Staff) didn't the network want permission from Church clergy to ensure everything was proper? I'm pretty lights have always been hung from above (thus the purpose of catwalks). And were certainly necessary for the smooth movement of camera work, particularly shooting from 3 angles. The first TV show (being the product of Desilu productions) to generate a million dollars in revenue (eventually) as owners of the studio.

CaptainDunsel Pacificsun 7 months ago
Lights had long been hung from above for movie studios and stage plays. But most early TV studios weren't purpose-built for production. Many were just modified from large spaces in radio stations (often in office buildings) where the "tv station" was a totally new thing, and there wasn't the vertical space to hang lights from above. Instead, the lights were mounted on moveable tripods, or hung from jury-rigged cross bars.
ncadams27 CaptainDunsel 7 months ago
Most of the early TV shows, especially variety and sitcoms, were done live. A camera would be placed in front of a TV monitor to record it as a kinescope so it could be aired at the same local time in other time zones. Lucy and Desi didn’t want to move to NY and CBS didn’t want to show kinescopes on the east coast where the majority of viewers and TV stations were. That’s why Lucy and Desi formed their TV production company. It was basically filmed as a movie with bleachers installed for a live audience.
Pacificsun CaptainDunsel 7 months ago
Thanks! No wonder we see a difference in quality. So Desilu offered a full scale production space?
CaptainDunsel Pacificsun 7 months ago
DesiLu was a movie studio. Located on Gower Street, IIRC. It's also where some obscure and forgotten shows such as "Star Trek" and "Mission: Impossible" were filmed.
CaptainDunsel 7 months ago
7/10
I take slight issue with #7. Lucy and Desi weren't *just* "actors". They were also owners of the show. I wonder what show first made millionaires of its actor solely in their capacity as actors? (It could still be "I Love Lucy", for all I know.)
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