Dirty Rotten Cheater
|Dirty Rotten Cheater|
|Presented by||Bil Dwyer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Location(s)||Studio 41, CBS Television City|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Jonathan Goodson Productions|
|Original run||January 6 – April 14, 2003|
Dirty Rotten Cheater is a game show that aired on PAX from January 6 to April 14, 2003. The show's gameplay combines elements of Weakest Link and Family Feud along with the BBC game format The Enemy Within, with a contestant being privy to answers in each round and trying to elude detection by fellow contestants and the studio audience. The PAX version, of which 13 weekly episodes aired, was hosted by Bil Dwyer, produced by Jonathan Goodson, and shot at CBS Television City in Hollywood (except for the original pilot, which was titled Cheaters and produced on The Weakest Link's set at NBC Studios in Burbank). Different versions of the show also aired in other countries.
Each episode opens with six contestants walking up to their podiums, each of which is equipped with a monitor. The contestants open their monitor doors and find out if they have been designated the "Dirty Rotten Cheater." After each contestant is introduced, he or she faces the camera and other contestants and claims to not be The Cheater.
Each round (there were 5 rounds total) begins with a survey question, similar to those on Family Feud (for example, "Which parts of their body do women think are too big?"). In the first four rounds, each player gives one answer, with he or she receiving money if their answer appeared on a list of top 10 responses given. As shown in the below table, answers that rank lower in the top 10 are worth more money than the higher-ranked answers (as opposed to Family Feud, which gives greater reward for higher-ranked answers). A contestant receives no money for giving an answer that is not on the top ten list. The Cheater can see the entire top ten list of answers displayed on their podium monitor, and may choose to either give a high-dollar answer to build their own bank (and raise suspicion from their fellow contestants) or a low-dollar answer in hopes of throwing off suspicion.
|10th ranked answer||$2,500|
|9th ranked answer||$2,250|
|8th ranked answer||$2,000|
|7th ranked answer||$1,750|
|6th ranked answer||$1,500|
|5th ranked answer||$1,250|
|4th ranked answer||$1,000|
|3rd ranked answer||$750|
|2nd ranked answer||$500|
|1st ranked answer||$250|
At the end of each of the first three rounds, bonuses are awarded to the players who scored the most money in the round. The first place bonus is $10,000, second place is $7,500, and third place is $5,000. If there is a tie, the appropriate bonuses are combined and split between the tying players (i.e., if two players tie for first place, each receive $8,750).
The players are then given an opportunity to accuse one another of being The Cheater. After a few contestants have opined, they all secretly vote for whom they think is The Cheater; using cards with the players' names on them, the players reveal their votes from camera left to camera right. The first contestant who receives three votes for that round is eliminated, losing all of his/her winnings, and must then truthfully state whether or not he/she is The Cheater.
Depending on the outcome of the vote and the eliminated contestant's revelation, one of three possible scenarios occurs:
- If the eliminated contestant is The Cheater, he/she is eliminated from the game with no further participation, the remaining contestants keep all the money in their banks, and one of the remaining players is designated as the new Cheater in the same manner as at the beginning of the show.
- If the eliminated contestant is not The Cheater, all the money earned by the remaining contestants up to that point is halved, and the eliminated contestant is later given a chance to win money in Round 5. The Cheater in that round remains Cheater in subsequent rounds until being eliminated and/or revealed.
- If no contestant receives three votes, after the contestants' earnings are halved The Cheater determines who will be eliminated. Each player reaches into their podium, where a button is hidden. This is done to conceal the identity of The Cheater, who has the only working button. One at a time, The Cheater is asked if he/she desires to eliminate one of the other players. Once The Cheater decides to push the button, a red light at center stage is lit and the player who was called on is eliminated.
At the end of the fourth round, after the 3 remaining players have a chance to accuse the other players, the studio audience votes for whom they think is The Cheater. If a contestant receives at least 50 percent of the audience vote, he or she is eliminated, and as before must honestly reveal if he or she is The Cheater. If none of the contestants achieves a majority, The Cheater again decides who will be eliminated. However, there is no further reduction in score.
In the 5th and final round, two survey questions are asked. For each question, the two remaining contestants alternate turns, giving three answers each. After both questions have been asked, the remaining two contestants plead their cases to the studio audience as to why they are not the Cheater. Any eliminated contestants that were proven not to be the Cheater are brought back out to hear the pleas, and both the contestants and the audience vote on who they think is the Cheater.
While the vote is tabulated, two vaults containing the remaining two contestants' money banks are brought out. The Cheater is then revealed to the audience, and any eliminated contestant that chose that player wins $500.
After the Cheater's identity is revealed, he/she is prompted to "go for the money" in the vault. Depending on the audience's vote, one of two things will happen.
- If the majority of the audience correctly identified the Cheater, the money will drop through a trap door in the vault and the other player wins his/her bank.
- If the audience instead thought the honest player was the Cheater, the trap door does not open and the Cheater wins his/her bank.
In Japan, the program was broadcasting as The Cheater (ザ・チーター) on TBS between October 2005 and August 2006. It was broadcast as a special program in May 2005, then as a late-night program between October 2005 and March 2006.
A short-lived version of the program also aired on France 2 (July 2006) as "Qui est le bluffeur?" ("Who is the bluffer?") with Belgian host Jean-Michel Zecca.
The UK version was hosted by Brian Conley. Originally this was to transmit in spring 2007, but eventually began on BBC One at 2.35pm on Monday 15 October. It was screened every weekday for three weeks, but was then replaced in the schedule by Diagnosis: Murder - the final five shows switched channels and were shown from Monday 12 November at 2.00pm on BBC Two. The UK version was taped at the Maidstone Studios in Kent, but edited at BBC Television Centre.
There are some format differences between the US and UK versions, the most obvious being that the UK version has one less contestant.
In addition to being produced in France, Italy, Japan, and the UK, the show was also produced in Hungary, India (as "Bluff Master"), Spain, & Vietnam.