TV US TV

Those Amazing Animals (ABC 1980-1981, Burgess Meredith, Priscilla Presley)

Those Amazing Animals

Sometimes, there’s just too much incredibility for one show to handle. ABC’s That’s Incredible! did fine with the astounding human beings, but the wild kingdom was feeling a bit neglected. And so, spin-off.

Those Amazing Animals took the all-too-infrequent animal segments of That’s Incredible! and gave them a show of their own. Like its parent program, the new series had a trio of hosts: Burgess Meredith, Priscilla Presley, and Jim Stafford (a singer whose biggest hit was, ironically enough, “Spiders and Snakes”). It was aimed at a family audience and featured a mixture of taped features and in-the-studio appearances.

Most segments highlighted the more unique and unusual aspects of the animal kingdom, like the one about a 121-pound dog with a habit of snatching rear-view mirrors from moving cars and eating them. Trained animals doing unusual things were another recurring theme, including a horse that could count.

Despite the show’s focus on the sensationalistic, there were also plenty of segments with an educational intent. The show was aided in this aim by contributions from top-flight experts like aquatic explorer Jacques Cousteau and frequent Tonight Show guest Joan Embry, a naturalist for the San Diego Zoo.

Despite its positive educational value, Those Amazing Animals lasted only one season, finishing its run in August of 1981. For the record, those blasted humans got to keep their That’s Incredible! for another three seasons. There is no justice for the beasts.

production details
USA / ABC – Alan Landsburg Productions / x50 minute episodes / Broadcast 24 August 1980 – 23 August 1981

hosts
Burgess Meredith
Priscilla Presley
Jim Stafford