Who is Your Favorite Television Child?
Lorenzo Dominic LaValle born just before 3am to Snooki Polizzi is the latest in a long line of television babies who’s births started almost 60 years ago when Lucy Ricardo gave birth to “little Ricky” aka Lucille Ball giving birth to Desi Arnaz on Jan 19th 1953.
Just to show how immersed the country was in Little Ricky’s birth, Desi Arnaz Jr. appeared on the cover on the very first issue of TV Guide with a title that read: “Lucy’s $50,000,000 baby.”
Just like when Snooki got pregnant, the producers of I love Lucy didn’t know how the public was going to deal with their star being “with child”. In those days, they couldn’t say “pregnant” In fact there were several challenges from CBS, insisting also that a pregnant woman could not be shown on television, After approval from several religious figures[ the network allowed the pregnancy storyline, but insisted that the word “expecting” be used instead of “pregnant.” (Arnaz garnered laughs when he deliberately mispronounced it as “‘spectin'”).
Once they saw the ratings success of having a baby on television, shows were “spectin” like crazy, Wilma Flintstone. Bewitched’s Samantha Stevens, Rachel on Friends, even the King of Queens ended their run with Carrie Heffernan not only having her own baby but adopting one as well.
Children mean ratings on television and you can expect to see a lot of Lorenzo Dominic, especially if the clock winds down on Mom’s 15 minutes of fame. Through the ages of television, it was the children brought their own audience to the table.
This was never better illustrated than in the late 50’s when Jersey City’s own Ozzie Nelson had his son Ricky sneak Rock N Roll into the homes of all the parents who were dead set against it at the end of every show. This tradition was carried on in the 70’s when West Orange’s own David Cassady sang to the masses at the end of every Partridge Family episode. Even Jake Harper plays guitar and with the way Two and a Half Men is going, it’s only a matter of time.