Suppose you witnessed a stranger slip a suspicious powder into his date’s drink – would you tell his date? “What Would You Do?” finds out, when the highest rated news magazine in the key 18-49 demographic of last season returns on January 6. Using hidden cameras, the series captures people’s reactions to provocative situations. Whether they’re compelled to act or mind their own business, John Quiones reports on their split-second and often surprising decision-making process on this “Primetime” limited series, premiering TUESDAY, JANUARY 6 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
From light-hearted situations like missing out on a supermarket prize to potentially life-threatening scenarios where people are faced with how to handle a baby left alone in a hot car, the series will look at what people actually do in the face of everyday dilemmas that test their character and values. The Columbia Journalism Review said: “What Would You Do?” is “the flip side of reality TV…rather than show how people act in manufactured situations when they know they are being watched, they show us how people act when they don’t.” Some of this season’s scenarios include:
* DATE RAPE DRUG: How will people handle witnessing a stranger slip a suspicious powder into his unsuspecting date’s drink? What if the female is dressed provocatively?
* AMERICAN TOURISTS: For the first time, “What Would You Do?” travels overseas to find out how American tourists, oblivious to French culture, will be received in Paris. The Americans in this situation are loud, annoying and don’t know the difference between haute couture and oat bran. John Quiones finds out what the French will do with these ‘obnoxious Americans.’
* LATINO DAY LABORERS: “What Would You Do?” explores how people react when they witness blatant racial discrimination. In this scenario, Latino men and women attempt to place an order in broken English at a deli in downtown Linden, NJ. But their requests are met by extreme prejudice from the cashier. Hidden cameras capture how customers respond to the scenario.
In each hour there will be an interactive “What Would You Do” component, where viewers, by logging on to ABCNEWS.com, will have the opportunity to share their views online on how they would react to a situation.
“What Would You Do?” has won awards from the Chicago International Television Festival, and the Avon Foundation’s 2006 Voice of Change Award for exposing “injustice and wrongdoing against women and bringing the message of domestic violence to the mainstream.” The foundation called the program “an important work of journalism that illustrates the unwillingness of many people to become involved or speak out against domestic violence.”
Robert Lange and David Sloan are co-executive producers of “What Would You Do?” Chris Whipple and Danielle Baum are the senior producers.