- 2019 Seasons
Dateline is a television show that made its first debut in 1992 with Stone Phillips and Jane Pauley. Through the exploration of controversial subjects and stories, it has emerged over the past twenty years as a top rated news program. The show covers a wide range of subject matter from unresolved crimes to in-depth probes into the lives of celebrities. Whatever the topic explored, viewers tune in to the program each Friday at 10 PM because of its informative and professional nature. One of the most innovative and popular spin-offs of the show is a segment called To Catch a Predator. Hosted by Chris Hansen, the series is dedicated to catching potential child molestors by way of a sting that is carried through in cooperation with local police authorities. Agents go undercover as teenagers whose ages range from twelve to fifteen who have chats online with random adults, usually culminating in an agreement for the adult to meet him or her at a fictitious house. Upon arriving at the house, Chris Hansen appears and questions the individual about his intentions. Meanwhile, agents are waiting around the corner to arrest the suspect as he is leaving the house. The show has sparked attention and sensitivity to the rights and protection of minors against adult sex predators. Other segments on the show take a more personable approach to informative news. Dateline Timeline features a song, a famous celebrity, or nostalgic item and viewers can guess what year they are from. Another popular segment is called Dateline Consumer Alert, in which viewers are educated about the potential flaws in a popular product or food item. Lastly, State of the Art is another segment that appeals to movie enthusiasts as it explores how different special effects in popular movies are created. For twenty years, Dateline has created entertaining and informative shows that have educated the public about subjects that matter in society. Its legitimate approach to broadcast journalism and exploration of popular culture are a few qualities that has already helped it make its mark on television history and will for years to come.