Hollywood - With the growing popularity of its "To Catch A Predator" investigations on 'Dateline NBC,' the network has given development deals to 10 of the show' most popular molesters.
"Every time we show the hidden camera investigations, the ratings go through the roof," said NBC spokesperson Ryan Ellis. "That' why we want these men to be part of the proud NBC family.'
"Dateline NBC" recently aired a fourth installment of the investigative series. On the show, online predators were baited by deputized civilians and then reeled into a rented house in Greenville, Ohio, where reporter Chris Hansen and news cameras were waiting.
NBC has already committed to give one of the "Dateline" molesters a half hour dramedy on its fall schedule. The planned show, which will air after "My Name is Earl," was a big hit with ad buyers at last week' network upfront.
Rather than cast a sex offender, the network is turning it into an event by letting viewers vote for their favorite one on the last day of May sweeps.
"Everybody has their favorite sex offender they've seen our our show, whether it' Karl the Marine recruiter who refuses to take 'no' for an answer, even when confronted by cameras, or Kevin the hard working insurance salesman, who managed to show up on three separate stings," said "Dateline NBC" executive producer Susan Macklin. "Now you can vote for them. It' like the 'American Idol' of statutory rape."