Ordinary/Extraordinary

Yet another reality show surfaces with a six-week trial run. This one's an extension of the late Robert Ripley's original concept of startling, sometimes unbelievable, subjects such as cobra wrestling and trying to tame lightning bolts. Program satisfactorily directed by Glenn Weiss has every chance of bringing in numbers. Essential thrust for this new entry involves "ordinary people in the face of incredible obstacles," though some choices have to be squeezed into the format. "O/E's" smart having personable John Schneider and attractive Leanza Cornett hosting events, and Cornett even jumps into acts, as she does in feeding sharks.

With:
Hosts: John Schneider, Leanza Cornett.

A Chinese acrobatic troupe showcases a young lady, scarcely ordinary, who, lying on the floor, magically balances trays of wine glasses (doesn’t say if they’re glued to the trays or not) on her toes and other parts of her anatomy; she and her compatriots build a tower of chairs while gaping Schneider and Cornett gawk.

A 10-year-old four-way amputee shows true grit as he lives out his life with wonderful parents and choice friends. He’s charming, and his accomplishments and energy are impressive.

In yet another seg, a gigantic, gentle whale shark whose mouth could accommodate several people floats by in tropical waters as fish people nuzzle up to him.

Docu includes a “News of the Extraordinary,” collection of briefer items. A Hawaiian woman shells a coconut with her teeth; a blindfolded youth guesses a postage stamp’s origin by licking it (after Schneider and Cornett have both handled it).

Producers ballyhoo the hour in true carny style by flashing too many clips about upcoming acts, but it’s not much of a complaint. Schneider asks TV audiences for more features, which hands the show a comfortable, corn pone touch. Program in this day of overglitz and celeb flashing is comfortable and watchable and should do well. Believe it or not.

Ordinary/Extraordinary

Fri. (1), 8-9 p.m., CBS

Production: Taped at Sunset-Gower Studios by LMNO Prods. Executive producers, Eric Schotz, Bill Paolantonio; supervising producers, Scott Messick, Greg Czech; segment producers, Vicki Micheli, Scott Cordburn, Jonathan Dowdell, John McLaughlin, Susan Michaels, Shannon O'Rourke; director, Glenn Weiss; segment directors, Messick, Phyllis Ward; editors, Dave Harris, Ari Macht, Steve Rasch, Tom Siiter

Crew: theme, Jeff and Dave Koz; additional music, Alan Ett.

Cast: Hosts: John Schneider, Leanza Cornett.

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