Using hidden cameras, host John Quiñones observes and comments on how ordinary people behave when they are confronted with dilemmas that require them either to take action or to walk by and mind their own business. Various scenarios are created that force people to make split-second -- and often surprising -- decisions, and variations of the situation (such as changing the genders, races or clothing of the people involved) are often featured to see if different reactions are elicited. Examples of situations on the show include a waitress being harassed by her boss, and a drunken valet trying to park cars.
A restaurant employee asks black teens to prepay for their meal; a bakery owner refuses to sell a wedding cake to a lesbian couple; a mother forces her child to shoplift; a woman tears recipes from a cookbook at a bookstore.
A woman's parents voice disapproval about her engagement; a teenage boy is controlling toward his girlfriend; a bus driver drinks at a bar before returning to bring students on a field trip; a restaurant customer insults his elderly waiter.
The hourlong broadcast includes insightful interviews with notable figures from the worlds of news, politics and entertainment, hosted by David Muir and Amy Robach. A revolving team of journalists from ABC News also contribute investigative stories.
"Dateline" has been a staple of the newsmagazine genre since premiering in 1992. Given how long it's been on the air, the show has an extensive archive of in-depth news stories and investigative journalism. This syndicated version offers viewers another chance to watch some of the show's previous content, serving up real-life mysteries and in-depth investigations from the show's 20-plus years on the air. Cases involving murders and missing people are frequent topics on the series that has won multiple Emmys in the news and documentary category.
Anchored by Lester Holt, "Dateline" is NBC's signature newsmagazine, bringing viewers storytelling at its best by putting the pieces together to present the full picture of real-life events. NBC News correspondents cover compelling stories and issues of the day, ranging from mystery and crime to in-depth investigations and breaking-news events.
This newsmagazine investigates intriguing crime and justice cases that touch on all aspects of the human experience. Over its long run, the show has helped exonerate wrongly convicted people, driven the reopening -- and resolution -- of cold cases, and changed numerous lives. CBS News correspondents offer an in-depth look into each story, with the emphasis on solving the mystery at its heart. The program and its team have earned critical acclaim, including 20 Emmys and three Peabody Awards.