That's Incredible!

That's Incredible! is an American reality television show that aired on the ABC television network from 1980 to 1984. In the tradition of You Asked for It, Ripley's Believe It or Not! and Real People, the show featured people performing stunts and reenactments of allegedly paranormal events. The show also often featured people with unusual talents, such as speed-talker John Moschitta, Jr., who made his first national television appearance on the show, as well as scientific, medical, and technological breakthroughs such as the Taser and cryogenic corneal reshaping by lathe keratomileusis. The show's catchphrase said by one of its hosts at the conclusion of a particularly amazing segment was the same as its title: "That's incredible!"

That's Incredible!
That s incredible 1980-show.jpg
John Davidson (left), Cathy Lee Crosby (middle), and Fran Tarkenton (right); from ABC promotional photography.
GenreReality
Created byAlan Landsburg Productions
Presented byJohn Davidson
Fran Tarkenton
Cathy Lee Crosby
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons5
Production
ProducerAlan Landsburg
Running time60 minutes
Production companyAlan Landsburg Productions
DistributorMCA Television
Release
Original networkABC
Original releaseMarch 3, 1980 (1980-03-03) –
April 30, 1984 (1984-04-30)
Chronology
Related showsIncredible Sunday

Despite accusations of being "sadistic",[1] the series was a huge success and influenced many entertainers.

SynopsisEdit

The show was co-hosted by Fran Tarkenton, John Davidson, and Cathy Lee Crosby, and was produced by Alan Landsburg Productions. Originally aired as an hour-long program, episodes were later re-edited into 30 minute segments for syndication. It debuted on March 3, 1980.[2]

A number of the stunts performed were dangerous, including juggling knives, staying inside a small box for hours, and one involving a man supposedly catching a bullet between his teeth. The dangerous nature of these stunts eventually prompted producers to augment the footage with the caption "Do Not Try This Yourself". Steve Baker, also known as "Mr. Escape", was frequently featured on the show.

The show has been cited as an influence on hip-hop culture in New Zealand, where much television programming in the 1980s was American. In 1983 the show featured several dancing crews, giving youth of Pacific Island and Maori heritage, many of whom were interested in hip-hop culture and dance, a sense of connectedness to global youth culture.[3] In the early 1980s, Army Lt. Col. Earl Woods (Ret.) brought his five-year-old son Eldrick to That's Incredible, showing his ability to putt a golf ball into a hole from different areas.[4] Eldrick is now better known by his nickname Tiger.

Nielsen ratingsEdit

The show ranked in the top 30 for its first four seasons, and ranked at #3 during its first season, but fell out of the top 50 during its final season.

  1. 1979–80: #3 (25.8 rating)
  2. 1980–81: #22 (20.5 rating)
  3. 1981–82: #28 (18.4 rating)
  4. 1982–83: #22 (18.3 rating)
  5. 1983–84: #58 (14.6 rating) [5]

Spin-offEdit

Those Amazing Animals is a reality television series about animals and their extraordinary lives. It was hosted by Burgess Meredith, Priscilla Presley and Jim Stafford. Also appearing were explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, undersea photographers Ron and Valerie Taylor, and Joan Embery of the San Diego Zoo. The series aired on ABC on Sunday nights from August 24, 1980, to August 23, 1981.[6]

RevivalEdit

That's Incredible! was revived for the 1988–89 season, hosted by Davidson, Cristina Ferrare, and Tracey Gold, as Incredible Sunday.

SyndicationEdit

The show was seen weekends on Retro Television Network. It was also broadcast overseas in Australia.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1186. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  2. ^ Smith, Fred L. (3 March 1980). TV Talk: "That's Incredible!" Starts Tonight; A Step Backwards, News & Courier
  3. ^ Henderson, April K. “Dancing Between Islands: Hip Hop and the Samoan Diaspora.” In The Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Culture, ed. by Dipannita Basu and Sidney J. Lemelle, 180-199. London; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press, 200
  4. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Fran Tarkenton and Tiger Woods". YouTube.
  5. ^ "The TV Ratings Guide: 1983-84 Ratings History".
  6. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 1197. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.

External linksEdit