Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsJess Oppenheimer
IN THE NEWS

Jess Oppenheimer

FEATURED ARTICLES
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2001
Thank you for your illuminating story on the history of the laugh track in situation comedy ("Need Laughter for Sitcoms? Can Do," by David Folkenflik, Feb. 13). A wonderful recent case study was the exceptional and underappreciated "Sports Night." After the well-publicized battle fought by its creators, Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme, with ABC to do the show without canned laughter, one can see the show both with (the early episodes) and without (the second season). It is fascinating to watch its development as the laugh track was phased out. Characters evolved and deepened, and the sophistication of the comedy was allowed to breathe, providing some of the most charming moments of television in recent memory.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2011 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Madelyn Pugh Davis, who with her writing partner Bob Carroll Jr. made television history in the 1950s writing Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's landmark situation comedy "I Love Lucy," has died. She was 90. Davis, a pioneering female radio and TV comedy writer whose work with the red-haired queen of TV comedy spanned four decades, died Wednesday at her home in Bel-Air after a brief illness, said her son, Michael Quinn Martin. The team of Davis and Carroll was writing Ball's CBS radio comedy "My Favorite Husband," co-starring Richard Denning, when they and their colleague, writer-producer Jess Oppenheimer, wrote the pilot episode for "I Love Lucy.
Advertisement
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2011 | By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times
Madelyn Pugh Davis, who with her writing partner Bob Carroll Jr. made television history in the 1950s writing Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz's landmark situation comedy "I Love Lucy," has died. She was 90. Davis, a pioneering female radio and TV comedy writer whose work with the red-haired queen of TV comedy spanned four decades, died Wednesday at her home in Bel-Air after a brief illness, said her son, Michael Quinn Martin. The team of Davis and Carroll was writing Ball's CBS radio comedy "My Favorite Husband," co-starring Richard Denning, when they and their colleague, writer-producer Jess Oppenheimer, wrote the pilot episode for "I Love Lucy.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 3, 2001
Thank you for your illuminating story on the history of the laugh track in situation comedy ("Need Laughter for Sitcoms? Can Do," by David Folkenflik, Feb. 13). A wonderful recent case study was the exceptional and underappreciated "Sports Night." After the well-publicized battle fought by its creators, Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme, with ABC to do the show without canned laughter, one can see the show both with (the early episodes) and without (the second season). It is fascinating to watch its development as the laugh track was phased out. Characters evolved and deepened, and the sophistication of the comedy was allowed to breathe, providing some of the most charming moments of television in recent memory.
NEWS
December 29, 1988 | CAROL MC GRAW, Times Staff Writer
Jess Oppenheimer, who created one of TV's most popular shows, "I Love Lucy," died of heart failure Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 75. One of television's top producers and directors, Oppenheimer's entrance into show business was as unusual as some of the program episodes he wrote over a career that spanned nearly half a century. Born in San Francisco, Oppenheimer attended Stanford University and followed in his father's footsteps, going into the fur sales business.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 12, 1990 | From Times Wire Services
CBS has announced that a previously unseen, 40-year-old, 34-minute pilot for the "I Love Lucy" series will air Monday, April 30. The one-hour special, hosted by Lucie Arnaz, daughter of the late comedian and her late husband, Desi Arnaz, will also include interviews and clips from some of the most popular shows in the all-time favorite series.
MAGAZINE
June 22, 1997
Was Lucille Ball, or perhaps the character Lucy, television's first feminist ("The Lucy Chronicles," by Steven Stark, May 4)? Absolutely! One of the most memorable moments of my telemarketing career was when I was confronted by a woman who stated in no uncertain terms that her husband made all the decisions. "That isn't how Lucy would have handled it," I suggested to this woman. "You're right," she corrected herself with a laugh, and I had made a sale. Frederick Cleveland Hollywood Allow me to challenge the claim that Lucy was TV's first feminist.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 23, 1991
Regarding Andrews' historical perspective on Lucy and Desi, I was pleased at the general degree of accuracy. However, on this particular day, the day after the Ackerman family put this marvelous man, Harry Ackerman, to final rest, I can't ignore the one blatant inaccuracy, one that although clarified by contemporaries still persists. Desi Arnaz, whatever his strengths or weaknesses, was not responsible for the inception or development of three-camera TV. The idea of filming "I Love Lucy" in front of a live audience was the idea of Harry Ackerman and producer Jess Oppenheimer and was presented to Bill Paley, head of CBS, by the two of them.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 27, 2010 | By Susan King, Los Angeles Times
Blame it on MGM. Back in 1953, Paramount was holding a test screening in Bakersfield for "I Love Lucy: The Movie." It featured three episodes — "The Benefit," "Breaking the Lease" and "The Ballet" — from the first season of the classic CBS sitcom starring Lucille Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz, as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, as well as 12 minutes of new footage to bridge the episodes. Arnaz, who not only produced the series but also ran Desilu Productions, had invited executives from MGM. They had signed the couple to star in a big new Technicolor comedy, "The Long, Long Trailer," which was to be released in 1954 and directed by Vincente Minnelli.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 26, 1997 | FRANCES HALPERN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Almost 40 years after the final "I Love Lucy" episode appeared on television, its appeal is still strong, and reruns of the series are aired daily. Jess Oppenheimer, creator and head writer of "I Love Lucy," began his association with Lucille Ball in 1948 when he wrote, produced and directed her radio show, "My Favorite Husband." At the age of 72, Oppenheimer finally began to write a memoir of the golden years of radio and television but died before completing the work.
NEWS
December 29, 1988 | CAROL MC GRAW, Times Staff Writer
Jess Oppenheimer, who created one of TV's most popular shows, "I Love Lucy," died of heart failure Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 75. One of television's top producers and directors, Oppenheimer's entrance into show business was as unusual as some of the program episodes he wrote over a career that spanned nearly half a century. Born in San Francisco, Oppenheimer attended Stanford University and followed in his father's footsteps, going into the fur sales business.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 24, 1992 | DAVID J. FOX, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The theme of the Writers Guild of America awards ceremony Sunday was a resounding salute to freedom of expression. It was also an evening in which half the audience chose the freedom to leave rather than stay for the entire three-hour program. The guild gave posthumous awards to two victims of the blacklist era, Dalton Trumbo and Albert Maltz, both members of the Hollywood Ten.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 2, 2003 | HOWARD ROSENBERG
She mugs. She laughs. She suffers. She fails. She suffers. She dyes her hair red. She charms Desi. She succeeds. She has babies. She laughs. She suffers. She charms America and fills a Philco as a prat-falling, nose-twitching, eye-crossing, cream-pie-in-the-face waiting to happen. But Sunday's "Lucy" -- straddling three hours on CBS -- is not worthy of much love as one more bonbon on a speeding conveyor belt of routine TV biographies.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|