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 Censorship & Scandals
Little Ricky Ricardo - TV Guide MagazineLucy's Pregnancy - Despite the moral concerns and the attempts at keeping "pregnancy" in the closet, the subject did eventually make it onto the television tube. The most memorable pregnancy from the golden days of television had to be the birth of Ricky, Jr. to Lucy (Lucille Ball) and Ricky (Desi Arnaz) Ricardo on the Jan 19, 1953 episode "Lucy is Enceinte" on the sitcom series I LOVE LUCY. That same night Lucille Ball gave birth to her second child, Desiderio Alberto Arnaz IV. Surprisingly, their real-life baby never was used on the series.

When the character Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) was pregnant, the censors would not let the word "pregnant" be used on the air. Instead, they used "Expecting." But when a priest, a minister and a Rabbi consulted with Desi Arnaz at Desilu Studios, they agreed that the pregnancy was appropriate for the sitcom and that people would empathize with, rather that resent or be affronted by it.

After the episode aired only 207 letters arrived disapproving of the pregnancy whereas thousands who were pregnant sent letters of support.

TRIVIA NOTE: When Little Ricky Ricardo was born on 1/19/53, 69.2 percent of TV households viewed the event. When Pebbles Flintstones was born on 2/22/1963, 39% percent of TV households viewed the blessed event.


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