Wednesday, April 11, 1990
For those who still love Lucy, there’s more to love. An audition film (these days known as a pilot) for “I Love Lucy,” which runs 34 minutes and has never been seen on television, will be shown in May as part of a CBS special devoted to Lucille Ball.
The film — actually a kinescope, a film shot off a TV monitor — was uncovered by given to Bud Grant, CEO of the Grant/Tribune Co. According to Grant, a former longtime programming boss at CBS, the film was labeled “Lucy-Desi-Pepito Audition.” It was given in 1951 to the famous clown Pepito Perez by Lucy and Desi Arnaz in appreciation for his support of their act during their vaudeville careers and earliest days in television. Pepito appears as a guest on the audition show. His widow, Joanne Perez, who has had the only copy of the audition film since then, gave the print to Grant.