|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 series was hosted by Bil Dwyer, and produced by Jonathan Goodson (son of famous TV game-show producer Mark Goodson).
Thirteen episodes were produced; in a 2006 online interview, Dwyer joked that "about two people" watched the series.
The show featured elements similar to the BBC's The Enemy Within as well as the international series Weakest Link. The show's original pilot, titled Cheaters, was produced on the NBC Studios set of the U.S. version of Weakest Link, in Burbank.
At the start of each show six contestants walk up to their podiums, open their monitor doors, and find out if they are the "Dirty Rotten Cheater". After each contestant's name is read, he or she faces the camera and other contestants and claims to not be the Cheater; hence, the sole Cheater is lying.
The game begins with a survey question, similar to those on Family Feud. In the first four rounds, each player gives one answer; if the answer is on a list of the top ten responses given, the player receives an amount of cash equal to $250 times its position on the list. If the answer is not on the list, no money is given. The Cheater can see the top ten list of answers, and may choose to either give a high-dollar answer to build their own total, or a lesser answer in hopes of throwing off suspicion.
The money is distributed like this:
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 worth $7,500, and third place is $5,000. If there is a tie, the bonus is split between the tying players. Then, the players are given an opportunity to accuse an opponent 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. When the show returns from a commercial break, the players reveal their votes, starting at the left and moving right. The first contestant who receives three votes for that round is eliminated, and must then reveal whether or not he or she is the Dirty Rotten Cheater.
Depending on the outcome of the vote, one of three possible scenarios is carried out:
In the fourth round, after the 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 vote, he or she is eliminated (however, the remaining players do not lose any of their money); if no majority is met, the Cheater secretly eliminates an honest player as outlined above.
In Round 5, two questions are asked. For each question, the contestants alternate turns, giving three answers each. After both questions have been asked (and a total of 12 answers have been given), each player gets 15 seconds to convince the studio audience that he or she is not the Cheater. After each player has been given time to state his or her case, all eliminated honest players vote for whom they think is the Cheater. After they vote, there is one more commercial break in which the audience votes for whom they think is the Cheater.
When the commercial break is over, the host reveals the identity of person who ultimately ended up as the Dirty Rotten Cheater, and the honest players who voted for that contestant as the Cheater win $500 each. Both remaining contestants are brought to center stage, each with a vault containing the amount of money in his or her bank. The Cheater only walks forward to his vault and opens the door. If the majority of the audience voted for that player, his or her money immediately falls through a trap door in the container, and the other player wins the money in his or her vault. If the majority of the audience voted for the other contestant, the trap door is not activated and the Cheater wins his or her money.
Six new contestants compete on each episode; there are no returning champions.
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.