Lucille Ball was offered her own televison program by CBS in 1949, at the dawn of television. Modeled after her hit Radio Program, My Favorite Husband, Lucille Ball was excited by the new medium. She told CBS that she would only do it if her husband, Cuban bandleader Desi Arnaz, could be her co-star. CBS had more of an all-American couple in mind, and they flatly turned her down. Not one to take no for an answer, Lucy raised $5000 and, together with Desi, produced a pilot. That historic show did not air ... but it contained all of the elements that would make I Love Lucy an instant hit, and it convinced CBS to sign the deal.
On October 15, 1951, I Love Lucy debuted on CBS and the rest is TV history.
For its entire run, I Love Lucy maintained its time slot, Monday night at 9pm, during which millions of Americans stopped whatever they were doing to join the Ricardos and the Mertzes for a half hour. The series' premise focused on the antics of a wacky wife who drives her husband to distraction. As one of the ultimate Classic TV shows, I Love Lucy continues to be enormously popular worldwide.