Not that Lucille Ball is ever not worthy of discussion, but the original queen of television comedy is having a bit of a moment right now. From the Oscar-nominated film “Being the Ricardos” to the Amy Poehler-directed documentary “Lucy and Desi” (both available on Prime Video, for which you can get a seven-day free trial), everybody’s favorite redhead has become even more popular than normal lately.
But now, all six seasons and 180 episodes of Lucy’s iconic television show “I Love Lucy” are finally hitting streaming thanks to Paramount+. Until now, parts of all six seasons have been available on Hulu and Prime Video, but Hulu only has 102 episodes and Prime Video has 40 with 62 more available for purchase.
Due to different contractual arrangements, many streaming services are only able to carry a handful of episodes from various seasons of legacy shows, for example, HBO Max only carries two to five episodes of the original PBS seasons of “Sesame Street.” The expansion of the number of “Lucy” episodes that are now available to stream is one of the benefits of more networks and studios launching their own streaming platforms.
“I Love Lucy” originally aired on CBS and as its parent company’s new service continues to explore how to maximize the century-plus worth of content in the Paramount archives, hopefully this will be a harbinger of more Golden Era television hitting the streamer in the future.
The classic sitcom originally ran on CBS from 1951 to 1957 and starred Ball, her real-life husband Desi Arnaz, along with Vivian Vance and William Frawley. In the show, Ball plays Lucy Ricardo as a young, middle-class housewife living in New York City who often concocts plans with her best friends Ethel and Fred Mertz (Vance and Frawley) to appear alongside her bandleader husband Ricky Ricardo (Arnaz) in his nightclub.
The series received 21 Emmy nominations during its run and four of its six seasons finished No. 1 in the ratings.
Paramount+ is a subscription video streaming service that includes on-demand access to 12,000+ TV show episodes including originals Star Trek: Discovery, Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants, and MTV’s Laguna Beach. Meet captivating characters, catch up on your favorite sport, explore new worlds in the growing collection of Paramount+.
Previously under the name ‘CBS All Access,’ Subscribers can choose between their Essentials Plan (which includes ads) for $4.99/month, or go commercial-free with their Premium Plan for $9.99/month. Subscribers can add Showtime to either plan for an additional $3/month.
With their Premium Plan, in addition to not having ads, you will also get access to your local CBS affiliate to stream your local news, prime-time line-up, and late-night. You will also be able to download offline and watch select shows in 4K.
With the lower cost “Essential” plan, you will still be able to watch live NFL games, Champions League, and national news – but you will no longer get your local CBS affiliate like the old ad-supported plan.
With their new app, enjoy advanced recommendations, curated homepages, and new content categories while still being able to stream major live sports like NFL, College Football, College Basketball. Sports fans will also appreciate the service’s inclusion of NFL on CBS, PGA Tour, along with every match of UEFA Champions League and Serie A.