7. Some Arguments Were About How to Run Desilu Productions
Desi and Lucy produced the pilot episode of I Love Lucy using their own $5000 in cash through the studio that they formed in 1950, Desilu Productions. CBS agreed to air the show, and it quickly became the most popular television show in the country. The success of I Love Lucy heightened the success of Desilu, and they went on to get behind award-winning titles like Star Trek and Mission: Impossible. The studio retained the rights to the show, which Desi later sold to CBS. Fabulously wealthy, the couple couldn’t agree on what to do with their money.
Desi insisted that they now had more money than they could ever spend, so they could go into semi-retirement, produce a few one-offs now and then before getting back to a life of horseback riding and fishing. Lucy, however, wanted to use the money to buy out RKO studios, which they eventually did. A couple of years after they divorced, Desi asked Lucy to buy him out. When she did, she became the first female owner of a major television studio. Five years later, in 1967, she sold Desilu to Paramount Pictures. Still, the name Desilu lives on, as it is mentioned in the credits of every I Love Lucy rerun.