Re: 15-minute Life with Luigi

Randy Watts

A number of newspapers carried the following brief announcement in late spring/early summer 1954 that LIFE WITH LUIGI would be returning to radio as a daily serial.

"'Life with Luigi," starring J. Carroll Naish, didn't make the grade as a TV show but returns to CBS radio as a daily 15-minute soap opera."

No more can be found about a daily LIFE WITH LUIGI radio show after July, when newspapers carried a story that Cy Howard, creator of LUIGI, had refused to sign an exclusive contract with CBS and was taking his shows (LUIGI, MY FRIEND IRMA and THAT'S MY BOY) elsewhere. 

Which would explain why both IRMA and THAT'S MY BOY ended on CBS that year.

In late 1954 a few newspapers carried an announcement that Howard had signed with NBC. The following year announcements were made that Howard had a new series coming titled JUST PLAIN FOLKS, a sitcom that was to star Zsa Zsa Gabor. Later that year there were news stories that NBC had passed on JUST PLAIN FOLKS and had decided against reviving LUIGI and IRMA.

Maybe the 15-minute LUIGI episodes that are out there were pilots or tests, made to see if the series would work as a daily serial. That's just supposition on my part. In newspaper searches there was no evidence to be found that LUIGI ever made it to the air as a daily.



On Sunday, May 24, 2020, 07:48:14 PM CDT, DaveC <craigdav@...> wrote:

In an essay, "What Luigi Basco Taught Americans about Italian Americans" (in a 2010 book, Anti-Italianism: Essays on a Prejudice, eds. W Connell and F. Gardaphi), the essay author, Dominic Candeloro, states that some 15-minute episodes were broadcast in 1954. The link to the essay is below. Hope it works.

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