I Love Lucy—On the Move
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.
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