Desilu Studios fostered more than Ball’s own show. It also produced “Mission: Impossible” and the original “Star Trek,” and helped produce other iconic TV hits, such as “The Andy Griffith Show” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” according to the Lucy Desi Museum. Desilu became the top TV operation in the world during its peak.

After Arnaz and Ball divorced in 1960, Ball purchased Arnaz’s company interest two years later, making her the first female Hollywood studio head, according to History. Her daughter, Lucie Arnaz, asserted that her mother enjoyed performing more than spreadsheets, and that her father had made most of the business decisions while they were married. “She hated the business side,” Lucie said to the Television Academy Foundation, quoted by Showbiz CheatSheet. “She gets a lot of credit for [being the] first woman to run a studio. Hated that whole thing. Hated it. Just wanted to be Lucy. Just wanted to do her show and not be worried about any of that business stuff. That was my father’s domain.”

Ball did make some good calls during her tenure, her daughter pointed out to WTOP. When her management team consulted her about budgets, and asked which shows on the studio’s docket should get cut — two on the chopping block were “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible” — Ball replied, “‘I like those … do we have to cut those two?’ They said, ‘OK we’ll try,’ and the rest is history.” Fans are still grateful.