|Created by||Bobby Goldstein|
|Written by||Bobby Goldstein|
|Directed by||Tim Wilkins|
|Presented by||Tommy Habeeb (2000–2002)
Joey Greco (2002–2012)
Clark Gable III (2012–present)
|Narrated by||Robert Magruder (2000-2015)
Ken Eaken (2015)
|Opening theme||"Broken Hearted" by Bill Mason and Bobby Goldstein|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||14|
|No. of episodes||290 (First Run episodes)|
|Running time||60 mins. (weekly episodes)
30 mins. (strip version)
|Picture format||480i SDTV (1999–2012)
1080i HDTV (2012–present)
|First shown in||November 26, 1999|
|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". As of the 15th season, it has been hosted by Clark Gable III.
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It airs on Saturday nights on The CW Plus and also aired on G4TV from 2006–2012. The CW Plus airs two episodes: a one-hour-long episode followed by a 30-minute episode. A 10-minute version of the show called Cheaters: Amazing Confrontations is available through on-demand services. On June 29, 2012, news magazine program 20/20 announced that as of season 13, longtime host Joey Greco, once supposedly stabbed while filming an episode for the show by a cheating lover, would be replaced by Clark Gable, grandson of the actor of the same name. Greco had hosted the show since late 2002 to mid-2012.
This has been rated TV-14 due to strong language, and sexual and potentially violent situations. However, all uncensored pay-per-view episodes of Cheaters are rated TV-MA as they contain nudity and explicit language.
The show's complainants can be either married or long-term significant others, and have included both opposite-sex and same-sex couples. It 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.
Next, narrator Robert Magruder, (then by Ken Eaken since 2015) describes the progress of the investigation of the partner (referred to as "the suspect"), including surveillance footage of the suspect's actions with their alleged paramour (dubbed "the companion") recorded by the show's private investigators.
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; 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.
This meeting takes place when the suspect and their companion are being observed together elsewhere; the intent is to allow the complainant to catch the suspect in the act of infidelity. The host and the complainant, along with a full crew of production and security personnel, seek out and confront the alleged cheater. The confrontation often takes place in public, with the complainant and host both trying to get an explanation out of the suspect for their behavior. In very seldom 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, created by Bobby Goldstein, an attorney in Dallas, Texas, 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 the strip version with faster-paced editing and music due to complaints that the show seemed boring and contrived, as well as a different narrator, for weekly airings on its Midnight Spank block. On December 9, 2009, G4 moved this show to the short-lived "Junk Food TV" block. G4 has not aired it since December 2012.
With the premiere of its 13th season, new weekly episodes are airing in 1080i High-Definition. The show's titlecard, used for eleven seasons, was altered to 3D, and more "high definition" graphics were placed onto the show. The format in the very beginning has also changed to having the announcers "read" before clips of the episode are shown.
Representatives announced on their Facebook page that season 16 is in the works. However, as of September 2015, Cheaters is running season 3 episodes.
Death of Robert Magruder
On January 2, 2015, longtime Cheaters narrator Robert Magruder died after suffering a brief illness. He was 82 years old and had been with the series from the very beginning. He was succeeded by Ken Eaken.
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.
References in pop culture
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The show has been parodied and referenced in several films and television shows, such as Janky Promoters (2009), George Lopez, Disturbia (2007), Sex Drive (2008), Just Go With It (2011), Mind of Mencia, TV: The Movie (2007), Talkshow with Spike Feresten, Unhitched, and The Jay Leno Show.
- "THE TOXIC LIFE: Joey Greco - The Man, The Myth, The Legend". Thetoxiclife.blogspot.com. 2007-03-05. Retrieved 2013-04-26.
- "Cheaters on G4". g4tv.com. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
- 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.
- [dead link]
- "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. Retrieved 2008-05-05.
- 'Cheaters' Now Offers Spy Products With the Launch of Cheaters Spy Shop, GlobeNewswire - October 04, 2011