As usual, @Harvey and I (with the able assist of @Ryan Thomas Riddle) are giving TrekBBSers an advance peek at our latest blog post, where we take to task the historicity of the debut episode of The Center Seat. Below are a few of excepts. If you find it compelling, you can read the entire and far more in-depth piece at our blog here (link). In today’s post-truth, fact-challenged world, just what, in fact, is a fact? And what happens when the people who have direct and personal experience/memories of an event are no longer with us? Absent their first-hand accounts must we depend on second-, third- or nth-hand accounts by people who weren’t there? With that in mind, let’s rip through the upholstery of “Lucy Loves Star Trek,” the debut episode of the recent docuseries The Center Seat, and see how close the oral tradition on display in it conforms to historical documents, first-person accounts, and contemporaneous media coverage. Format We present quotes from the show in the following format: We’re also not going to I.D. the speakers in most instances because the program is terribly edited and we suspect some of the mistakes are soundbites used in the incorrect context, and it’s unfair to pillory the speakers for the mistakes of the filmmakers. DesiLucy CBS didn’t rebroadcast any episodes of I Love Lucy the summer after its inaugural season (1951-52). For 14 weeks it was replaced by My Little Margie. We’ll address the “million dollars” in a moment… CBS actually paid Desilu 4.3 million…and that deal didn’t happen after the first season in 1952. 1957 is when the deal was completed. The final sale price for RKO was $6,150,000. Startup SNAFUs Confusing presentation, conflating the network (NBC) with the studio (Desilu), over the total pricetag of the pilot. What they appear to be inarticulately relating is that the cost of the second pilot wasn’t what anyone thought the episodes should cost. This is a big “well duh.” Due to start-up costs, pilots are almost always more expensive than regular production episodes. Anyway, to clear up this confusing mess, for the second pilot NBC actually increased their investment by 13% and ponied up $209,000. The $185,000 figure is roughly what Desilu itself budgeted as the average cost per-episode when the budget was cut at the end of the 1st season (when it was dropped by ~$7,000 per segment). Liar liar pants on fire. NBC never paid a licensing fee of less than $140,000, 40% more than claimed, and that fee went up every year. In the first season, when you add in foreign sales and the license fee for on-network reruns—and subtract Ashley Famous’ 5% commission, foreign distribution costs, and network repeat costs—against an average episode budget of (initially) $192,373 that was lowered to $185,349 near the end of the season, the studio was actually deficit financing something closer to $26,308 per episode (dropping to $19,284 when the budget was cut at the end of the season). That’s still a lot of money but more than three times lower than the figure claimed. In fact, by the end of the Star Trek’s run NBC was paying $160,812 out of the average episode budget (slashed by Paramount) of $178,362, which meant NBC was paying 90% of the average 3rd season budget, leaving the studio (now Paramount) only deficit financing $17,550 per segment. When we factor in all the other fees and revenues, during the third year, the studio was actually bringing in more net revenue per episode ($185,004) than the average budget per episode. Yes, we’ve looked at the actual paperwork. You’re welcome. That's 5 out of 45 items on our blog. The rest is here (link). End Notes & Sources  ‘My Little Margie’ Replaces ‘Lucy’ for Summer—’Celebrity Time’ Alters Its Format, New York Times, June 20, 1952, p.33  Desilu Closes Buy Of RKO Lots; Must Alter Studios' Tag, Daily Variety, December 12, 1957, p.3.  1968 (approximate, document undated) Paramount Television Division Cost-Revenue Analysis for Mission: Impossible, Star Trek, and Mannix, UCLA, Gene Roddenberry Star Trek television series collection, 1966–1969.