Connect with us
That's Incredible ABC That's Incredible ABC

TV

That’s Incredible! (ABC 1980, with John Davidson, Cathy Lee Crosby)

Published

on

In 1979, NBC’s Real People was a novelty hit, and don’t think ABC didn’t notice. The network powers-that-be decided that if real people were being covered already, the obvious next area to exploit was, well, all those not-quite-so-real people. The Frenchman who could eat a ten-speed bike, say. Or the guy who caught arrows with bare hands, the yogi who sandwiched himself in between two slabs of nails, the band of martial arts experts who leveled a barn with their collective “Hiiii-Yaaa!” karate chops…the list goes on. Actress Cathy Lee Crosby, actor/game show host John Davidson, and ex-football star Fran Tarkenton made up the host triumvirate for this early entry in the reality television niche that would, in years to come, grow to phenomenon status.

Sometimes, of course, the stunts didn’t go so smoothly. A daredevil named Stan Krumi was badly burned when he ran through a fire tunnel, and there were more than a few bones broken. That’s Incredible! was even awarded the dubious “Most Sadistic Show” award by Time magazine in 1980. In addition to the mishaps, there was a little stunt tomfoolery too—an article in a 1982 TV Guide gleefully exposed stunts that were rigged and stories that were blatantly false. But, as made clear by the triumph of programming like soap operas and professional wrestling, plausibility doesn’t hold a candle to entertainment value—a coda the That’s Incredible! behind-the-scenesters understood perfectly. Just slap an ominous “Do Not Try This Yourself!” caption at the bottom of the screen, then go for all all the shock value and melodrama you can grab.

Depending on the story’s tone, the show’s good-looking hosts were appropriately smiley or wide-eyed and serious, and they tried their best to look the camera in the eye and convey honesty. And interspersed with the wild stunts were the occasionally straightforward and non-fictional accounts of medical wonders and breakthroughs, handicapped people (“handicapable,” according to Crosby) triumphing over setbacks, and the occasional prodigy—Tiger Woods made an appearance in one early 80’s episode as a golf wonder kid. Between these carefully placed true stories, and devices like the oh-so-serious cautionary captions and earnest hosts, That’s Incredible had a slight, ever so slight, pretense of reality—which is all a TV viewer needs.

Four years after the program went off the air, it returned for a swan song season—this time called Incredible Sunday, and hosted by vet John Davidson and newcomer Christina Ferrare. The shocks didn’t seem as shocking, of course, but that’s the rub with reality-based programs that are on the air more than a season or two…the audience’s threshold for shock grows steadily, but the level of things you can show on TV reaches a certain plateau. All that’s left then is camp value, which of course, as evidenced by That’s Incredible! had certain guilty pleasure merits that can’t denied.

production details
USA / ABC / Broadcast 3 March 1980 – 30 April 1984

hosts
John Davidson
Cathy Lee Crosby
Fran Tarkenton
Christina Ferrare (Incredible Sunday)
Tracey Gold

Advertisement












TV

Clochmerle (BBC-2 1972, Cyril Cusack, Roy Dotrice)

Published

on

By

Clochmerle BBC 1972

Period sitcom, based on a novel by Gabriel Chevallier that was adapted by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, that saw the French villagers of Clochmerle kick up a fuss over plans to install a new toilet.

cast
CYRIL CUSACK as Major Piechut
ROY DOTRICE as Ponosse
KENNETH GRIFFITH as Ernest Tafardel
WENDY HILLER as Justine Putet
HUGH GRIFFITH as Alexandre Bourdillat
BERNARD BRESSLAW as Nicholas the Beadle
MADELINE SMITH as Hortase Girodet
GEORGINA MOON as Rose Biraque
PETER USTINOV as Narrator

crew details
Writers: Ray Galton, Alan Simpson
Novel: Gabriel Chevallier
Producer: Michael Mills

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC Two – Bavaria
Duration: 9×30 minute episodes
Aired From: 18 February – 14 April 1972 Fridays at 10.05pm

Continue Reading

TV

Clairvoyant, The (BBC-2 1986, Roy Kinnear, Sandra Dickinson)

Published

on

By

BBC 2 Logo

In Roy Clarke penned sitcom The Clairvoyant used car salesman Arnold Bristow is knocked down in a car accident and suddenly finds himself with psychic powers – or so he believes. There was a pilot broadcast 27 Nov 1984.

cast
ROY KINNEAR as Arnold Bristow
SANDRA DICKINSON as Lily
HUGH LLOYD as Burma
SHAUN CURRY as Newton
GLYNIS BROOKS as Dawn
CARMEL CRYAN as Carmen

crew details
Writer: Roy Clarke
Producer and Director: Alan J.W. Bell

production details
Country: UK
Network and Production Companies: BBC-2
Duration: 6×30 minute episodes
Aired From: Pilot – 27 November 1984 and Series – 15 May – 19 June 1986

Continue Reading

TV

Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

Published

on

By

Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

Continue Reading

THIS JUST IN

ADVERTISEMENT

MOVIES

ADVERTISEMENT

EPISODES

More to View