Cheaters is a weekly syndicated reality TV show that documents people who are suspected of cheating on their partners. Investigations are headed by the Cheaters Detective Agency.
The show is filmed mostly in North Texas around the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex as well as the Houston area. As of October 2007, Cheaters has started airing its eighth season of first-run episodes.
Cheaters episodes usually follow two unrelated complainants and follow a typical pattern:
- An episode usually begins with a brief interview with a complainant and a description of that complainant's partner.
- The episode shows investigation surveillance footage narrated by Robert Magruder. Later, the host shows portions of the footage to the complainant, which usually shows the complainant's partner cheating.
- After the complainant views the often-graphic video evidence, the host, the complainant, and a large group of camera and sound operators, drivers, and bodyguards seek out and confront the alleged cheater.
- Often during the confrontation, either a nasty verbal argument or violence will take place.
- The episode ends with parting thoughts from complainants, their partners, and any suspects. The narrator summarizes what appear to be post-facto interviews with each person. People who do not sign releases with the producers of the show are anonymized and their faces obscured.
- On occasion, Cheaters shows updates from past guests and their allegedly cheating partners.
- Very few episodes show that the alleged cheater was not really cheating.
- There have been episodes that featured homosexual couples.
The show, created by Bobby Goldstein, an attorney in Dallas Texas, made its debut in 2000
. Until early 2003
, the show was hosted by one of its co-producers, Tommy Habeeb
, who used the screen name Tommy Grand. Habeeb left the show due to a dispute with the production company regarding race. Later, Habeeb settled the dispute out of court and now hosts Pay-per-view
specials of raw Cheaters
footage under a different name and often nudity plays a part.
2004 brought syndication reruns of previous seasons, edited into a half-hour Monday-through-Friday strip format with new intros with 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 voiceover artist, for weekly airings on its Midnight Spank block.
The sexual encounters captured by the Cheaters' hidden cameras are usually displayed with heavy editing and verbal censorship in the broadcast version. Home video releases of several episodes, however, include uncensored footage. Cheaters is the backbone for other Bobby Goldstein ventures.
Goldstein and Cheaters has started a dating site called NO cheaters. you can find it at http://www.nocheatersdate.com
In an interview on Court News TV.com Goldstein says, he got into law to escape the milk business. The grandson of dairy magnate Harmon Schepps, he says he also attended Baylor Law School as a form of drug rehab. His most notable accomplishment as a lawyer, apparently, was being sued for $100 million in a malpractice claim for allegedly mishandling a high-society divorce case. (His former client testified that Goldstein not only stole from her, but also made sexual advances. Goldstein says they settled "for almost no money.") He says he created Cheaters to escape his law practice.
Goldstein admits that he himself was a cheater. He's been married to his third wife for 15 years, but five years ago, he was afraid that she was having him tailed by a private investigator.
courtesy of CourtTVnews.com page.
In September 2008 Bulgarian channel Diema started a local version of the show, titled Хванати в изневяра (a possible translation is Caught Cheating), produced by Niko Tuparev. The Bulgarian version's authenticity is heavily disputed, with several photographs of actors looking similar to supposed participants in the show being found by Web forum posters, and newspaper 168 Chasa publishing an article on the matter. One episode that is questioned a lot features a supposed car repair shop owner who suspects his fiancée is meeting another man. The episode's ending credits "thank" a particular repair shop, which is definitely not owned by the person shown in the episode.
In 2002, the Houston Press
tracked down several individuals 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 to refer other actors.
The show's private investigator denies that he staged anyone's scenario and further added that he does not need to do so based on the number of inquiries the agency receives. The producers of Cheaters
currently have a legal disclaimer at the end of each episode, reiterating the reality of the show.
Legal entanglements/Bizarre moments
- On December 16, 2005, four employees of the show were indicted on charges of restraining a woman. The charges were against the host Joey Greco, director Hunter Carson and two security guards. On November 9, 2006, the four were acquitted.
- Greco was stabbed during the filming of an episode.He recovered and came back to the show shortly afterwards. Jack E. Jett, served as a fill-in host briefly after the Greco stabbing incident (and hosted the episode with the incident itself), and several episodes were filmed where Greco hosted, but other personnel led confrontations. The stabbing incident was ranked number two by E! Entertainment's 101 Craziest TV Moments program.
- In another incident (shown in the DVD release The Best of Cheaters 5), Greco and his team are attacked by a man firing a semi-automatic paint ball gun.
- In a separate episode, Greco was arrested 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 his copy of a written warning.
- In one episode, a man named Drew caught his girlfriend having a lesbian threesome with costumes and ballroom music. After confrontation, his girlfriend asks for both forgiveness and if Drew wants to have (anal) sex while dressed as a construction worker. The crew were asked to leave by the couple and it is noted that they have strange sexual fetishes.
- In one episode, a wife suspected her husband was cheating on her in their home while she was away. Hidden cameras placed in the bedroom of the home revealed that it was actually their son having sex with his girlfriend in the home while both parents were away. This was one of the very few episodes in which the investigation found no evidence of cheating taking place.
of Canada has released several Best-of
collections of Cheaters on DVD in Region 1
In Other Media
- An episode of George Lopez called "George Thinks Vic's Fiancee is Lion About Being a Cheetah" in which George hires the cheaters crew to spy on Vic's young fiancee. It is revealed, not only she was cheating on him, but Benny was found by cheaters several times, resulting in her threatening them to leave her alone.
- Joey Greco occasionally showcases several "Cheaters" clips on the television show Maury.
- The visage of Joey Greco appears in animated form in an episode of the Simpsons, Dial 'N' for Nerder. For this episode, the program is renamed Sneakers.
- STAG - a similar reality hidden camera show.