In what's become a holiday tradition, CBS aired the special Christmas installment of I Love Lucy Friday night. The classic episode, titled simply "The Christmas Episode," first aired on Christmas Eve in 1956 and was considered lost for decades before it turned up in a vault back in 1989. The following year, a colorized version aired, as it has every December since then.
While adding color to black-and-white productions has been a divisive issue before, co-creator/star Desi Arnaz, had long talked about wanting to broadcast I Love Lucy that way. Unfortunately, the technology was too expensive at the time, but in the years since the episode has become a staple of holiday viewing.
Several fans tuning in also thought so and they lit up Twitter like a Christmas tree talking as a result.
So geeked. Colorized I Love Lucy Christmas special. Originally aired in 1956, and was lost until 1989. Thanks CBS for putting it on the air the last few years. This is the first I’ve been able to see it. pic.twitter.com/0TVW0iN8Fc— Deidre | Siempre (@deidre_2002) December 21, 2019
Tbh I live for the colorized I Love Lucy episodes that play at Christmas time 🖤— Krïstën (@shadebird17) December 21, 2019
The 'I Love Lucy' colorized Christmas special on CBS. Fun stuff.— Pete Christensen (@chrispj53) December 21, 2019
"The Christmas Episode" was initially lost because Arnaz thought its holiday-centric theme wouldn't work if it was part of their syndication package. It's also thought to be the first TV episode to employ the use of flashbacks. In previous years, the flashbacks remained in the show's original black-and-white format, but also got the color treatment this year.
#ILoveLucy I'm so glad they colorized the flashback scenes along with the Christmas parts. I always thought it was weird to back and forth from color to black and white.— MERRY CHRISTMAS ☃️☃️☃️🎄🎄🎄🎁🎁🎁 (@Mariah_NBCSNL) December 21, 2019
@realluciearnaz I’m watching the #ilovelucy Christmas special. You must love watching these old episodes in color ❤️❤️❤️ I get teary eyed. I can’t imagine how your family feels. Happy holidays to you all!!!!!!— tammy k. (@tammy129) December 21, 2019
The episode shows Arnaz along with co-star and co-creator of the series Lucille Ball celebrating Christmas Eve together and recalling how much their life has changed since the arrival of their son, Little Ricky. It was paired with the newly-colorized "Paris at Last," which follows Lucy, Ricky, and their neighbors, the Mertzes, as they travel to the City of Lights. It first aired in February 1956.