|Created by||Bobby Goldstein|
|Written by||Bobby Goldstein|
|Directed by||John McCalmont (2000–02)|
Kenneth M. Smith Jr. (2002–10)
|Presented by||Tommy Habeeb (2000–02)|
Joey Greco (2002–12, 2015–present)
Clark James Gable (2012–15)
|Theme music composer||Bobby Goldstein|
|Opening theme||"Broken Hearted" by Bill Mason and Bobby Goldstein|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||17|
|No. of episodes||290|
|Executive producer(s)||Bobby Goldstein|
|Production location(s)||Various, but mostly in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.|
|Running time||60 mins. (weekly episodes)|
30 mins. (strip version)
|Production company(s)||Bobby Goldstein Productions|
|Picture format||480i SDTV (2000–2012)|
1080i HDTV (2012–present)
|Original release||October 21, 2000 – present|
Cheaters is a weekly syndicated American hidden camera reality television series about people suspected of committing adultery, or cheating, on their partners. Investigations are headed by the "Cheaters Detective Agency". It began airing in 2000, and has aired 17 seasons so far. It has been hosted by Tommy Habeeb, Joey Greco, and Clark James Gable.
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Actor Joey Greco was the show's longest-running host, hosting from late 2002 to mid-2012. On season 13, he was replaced by Clark James Gable, grandson of Clark Gable. Greco resumed hosting the show beginning with the season 15 finale.
The show's complainants can be either married or long-term significant others, and have included both opposite-sex and same-sex couples.
Each episode begins with a brief interview of the complainant, detailing how the complainant met their partner and what has led them to believe that the partner is cheating, explaining suspicious activities or behavior. Next, the narrator (originally Robert Magruder, then Ken Eaken since 2015) describes the progress of the investigation (subtitled “Investigation Day xx” throughout this part of the segment) of the partner (referred to as "the suspect"). Private investigators follow the suspect over the course of several days or weeks at their home, workplace, and/or in public with their alleged paramour (dubbed "the companion"). Occasionally, hidden cameras are installed in the complainant's and suspect's home. One or more recorded telephone conversations between the complainant and suspect, in which the suspect lies about his or her whereabouts, are also played.
When the investigation turns up enough evidence of the suspect's infidelity, the show enters its second segment, "the confrontation." The host meets with the complainant and shows them the evidence collected on a video camera or an iPad. Graphic footage from the investigators—for example, the suspect and their companion engaged in a sexual act—is shown uncensored to the complainant but digitally blurred to the show's viewers; however, uncensored versions of the trysts have been released on DVD.
The briefing takes place when the suspect and their companion are concurrently being observed together nearby; the intent is to allow the complainant to catch the suspect in the act of infidelity. After contacting the detective on his cell phone to find out their whereabouts, the host and the complainant, along with a full crew of production personnel all carrying 35 mm cameras, and security personnel travel in a van and seek out and confront the alleged cheater. The confrontation often takes place in public places, such as bars, restaurants and parks, with the complainant and host both trying to get an explanation out of the suspect for their behavior. Confrontations are often violent in nature, forcing security guards to restrain the complainant, suspect and/or companion. Confrontations also have the potential to end badly, as one episode during Joey Greco's tenure when he was stabbed during a confrontation. However, it has been disputed whether or not the stabbing incident was real. Suspects also have been known to push the security guards, which causes the security guards to push back and let them know that they will retaliate  In very rare cases, animals unwittingly featured will have their heads blurred out for humorous effect.
The final segment, "the conclusion," presents parting thoughts from the complainant, the suspect and their companion as they depart the scene of the confrontation. Next, updates from previous cases, including interviews from suspects and their companions, are presented. Lastly, the narrator describes what became of the complainant, the suspect and the companion (and in rare cases, others that may also be involved) after the show.
The show was created by Bobby Goldstein, an attorney in Dallas, Texas. It made its debut in 2000. The original host of the show was actor Tommy Habeeb aka "Tommy Grand" (2000-2002). 2004 brought syndication reruns of previous seasons, edited into a half-hour Monday-through-Friday strip format with new intros by Joey Greco as host. In 2006, G4 began showing a version edited with a faster pace to each segment. VH1 has begun airing reruns, as well.
With the premiere of its 13th season, the show began airing in 1080i definition, with Clark James Gable hosting and a change to updated graphics. The format in the very beginning has also changed to having the announcers read before clips of the episode are shown. On the show's fifteenth season finale, longtime host Joey Greco hosted the second case of the first run episode, remaining as host in subsequent episodes.
As of October 2016, Cheaters has started its seventeenth season. On June 2, 2018, longtime Cheaters detective Detective Gomez posted on his YouTube page that they will be filming new episodes of Cheaters and will begin to show new episodes in September 2018 after a long hiatus.
Controversy and incidents
In 2002, the Houston Press tracked down several people who said they were paid $400 per show by one of the detectives of the agency to act on the show, and were paid $50 per referral of other actors. One performer said, "What [the show's private detective] told me was that some of the episodes are real, but... they would do these ringer episodes to supplement the show." The show's private investigator denies that he staged anyone's scenario and further added that the number of inquiries the agency receives made this unnecessary. The producers of Cheaters currently reiterate the reality of each episode in a legalistic message at its end, though a Federal Communications Commission representative confirmed to the Houston Press that "there's no law or regulation against presenting acted-out scenarios as reality on television."
On December 16, 2005, four employees of the show, the host Joey Greco, director Hunter Carson and two security guards, were indicted on charges of restraining a woman. On November 9, 2006, the four were acquitted. In another episode, Greco was detained at the scene of a bachelor party while helping a man confront his cheating fiancée. After Greco explained the situation about the couple to police, he was given a short talk about disturbing the peace and released with a written warning.
On November 3, 2009, Inside Edition reiterated the claim that the show was staged, citing several more actors who said they were paid to appear. One of them appeared in the Greco stabbing episode and claimed it was staged. Despite the depiction of a male being placed under arrest for stabbing Greco, Inside Edition found that no actual arrest matching that description was made by the Rowlett, Texas police department, where the episode took place. The ambulance shown, along with the EMS personnel appeared to be from "Greater Dallas EMS". Greater Dallas EMS was a private transfer ambulance in the Dallas area but would have never been dispatched for a 911 emergency. They are now out of business after being raided by the FBI in an investigation known as Operation Easy Rider. Physician–patient privilege would prevent the hospital that treated Greco from releasing records to Inside Edition. Nothing prevents the producers of Cheaters from voluntarily displaying the records, yet they have not done so. Despite the lack of records, Goldstein denied in an interview that the episode was staged. In a follow-up, aired on Inside Edition the following week (November 9, 2009), Greco was interviewed by investigative reporter Matt Meagher about the previous week's accusations. Greco declined to respond, claiming that he could not legally do so.
On August 8, 2010, an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission press release reported that Bobby Goldstein Productions, Inc., and Cheaters II, Ltd. (Civil Action No. 3:08-CV-1912-P) paid $50,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The suit was brought on the behalf of two female office assistants who were the target of frequent sexual jokes and comments, unwanted physical advances, and propositions for sex. The alleged perpetrators included members of upper management. Says attorney Robert A. Canino, a regional attorney from the EEOC Dallas District Office, "just because the creator of Cheaters promotes a TV show business which thrives on featuring sexual transgressions, it is no justification for engaging in sexual improprieties which violate the employment rights of his female employees behind the scenes."
Visual Entertainment of Canada has released several best-of collections of Cheaters on DVD in Region 1. In addition the Cheaters Spy Shop was launched in September 2011 to sell items used on the show and has been promoted in episodes beginning in the Season 12. Cheaters DVD releases are uncensored, with language and sexual content (including occasional views of acts such as fellatio and penetration) shown unfiltered.
- "Cheaters Season 167". Retrieved 2016-10-15.
- Nowell, Scott (October 7, 2002). "Your Cheatin' Art". Houston Press. p. 1.
- Nowell, Scott (October 7, 2002). "Your Cheatin' Art". Houston Press. p. 2.
- Nowell, Scott (October 7, 2002). "Your Cheatin' Art". Houston Press. p. 3.
-  Archived December 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "INSIDE EDITION Investigates Cheaters: Is It All a Hoax?". Inside Edition. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 7 November 2009.
- "EEOC Gets "Cheaters" To Change Ways In Settling Sex Harassment Suit". EEOC. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2010.
- "Release Information for Cheaters". tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on 2004-12-16. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
- 'Cheaters' Now Offers Spy Products With the Launch of Cheaters Spy Shop, GlobeNewswire - October 04, 2011