Primetime: What Would You Do?

Primetime: What Would You Do? Information

Primetime: What Would You Do? is an American television news magazine broadcast on ABC since 2008 as part of the Primetime series. Reruns of older episodes began airing on OWN as What Would You Do?: OWN Edition since February 15, 2011 (similar to Dateline on ID and 48 Hours on ID). As of October 21, 2012; HLN also aired reruns of the show. Currently, What Would You Do? is the only format of Primetime that is aired year-round. Other subjects, such as Family Secrets, are aired in special summer segments.


The show is about setting up everyday scenarios that reflect on how people react, why they react, and what they decide to do. Scenarios staged are usually injustices or illegal activity; things you do not experience in everyday life. Actors and props are used, as well as hidden cameras to view the action. Whether they're compelled to act or mind their own business, John Quiñones reports on their split-second and often surprising decision making process. As the interveners finish, Quiñones himself shows up and reveals that they are on TV and the situation is not real. Often people react differently if the actors are switched up in number, race, age or gender. As the experiment goes on, psychology professors, teachers, or club members watch and discuss the video with Quiñones, explaining and making inferences on why the certain reaction is made. This series mainly looks at how they actually do in the face of everyday dilemmas that test their character and values. A cast of actors, all strong improvisers, commit to their characters, creating believable and real people in real-life scenarios.


  • Diana Henry
  • Vince August
  • Yuval David
  • Hassan Goding
  • Christopher Peuler
  • Tyler Hollinger
  • Jennifer Brock
  • Aubrey Mozino
  • Joey Mintz
  • Michael J. Lyons
  • Donna Ross
  • Traci Hovel
  • Kevin T. Collins
  • Brad Lee Wind
  • Nicholas J. Coleman
  • Anthony Ippolito
  • Dawn Yanek
  • Michele Ammon
  • Ross Gallo
  • Brigitte Hagerman
  • Jake Suffian
  • Fajer Al-Kaisi
  • Kyle Kirkpatrick
  • David Pinon
  • Kathy Wittes
  • Rebecca Lynn Goldfarb
  • Mia Caress
  • Kathryn Gerhardt
  • Jaden Michael
  • Gene Snitsky
  • Anthony Amorim
  • Nicolette Pierini
  • Jake Schwencke
and many more

Examples of scenarios

  1. A pompous club promoter denies people entry into a club based on their appearance, and is rude, condescending and mean to people. Others in line, on the other side of the velvet rope watch what happens and either step up to defend the victims of the rude behavior or stay silent.
  2. A flamboyant hair stylist destroys women's hair. Other clients see the interaction and try to rectify the situation. Who is right and who is wrong when a hair stylist does something the client does not want?
  3. A transgendered woman named Carmen Carrera works at a diner and begins to serve a loyal customer and ultimately informs him that she used to be a man named Chris, during which the customer begins to harass her.
  4. A Muslim woman attempts to buy some items from a bakery, though the rude and prejudiced cashier denies any kind of service for her and kicks her out of the store while throwing bigoted comments at her.
  5. On a sidewalk, three teenagers beat and taunt a homeless man in front of passersby.
  6. Same-sex parents are at a restaurant with their adopted children, though the waiter attempts to kick the family out of the restaurant, claiming that the parents are "messing up the kids".
  7. A café manager berates, insults, and attempts to kick a breastfeeding mom out of the store, thinking that she is disturbing other customers around her. There were three alternates used in the experiment, replacing the white woman with an African-American woman, a teenager, and a woman consuming alcohol.
  8. Multiracial children (different race in each vandalism) vandalize a random car.
  9. A grocery bagger with noticeable Down syndrome is insulted and raged at by a shopper, who calls him a "retard" because of his condition.
  10. A woman needs to fill a prescription at a pharmacy, but doesn't have the money to pay for it. Other customers sit and watch in the waiting room, and some offer the woman the money she needs.
  11. Multiple men and women of varying races steal items from an open house showing.
  12. A young pregnant woman offers her baby to two different couples without their knowledge.
  13. An Asian American woman berates and insults her young daughter for getting an A- on a test, later the woman is replaced by a Caucasian woman (this experiment is based on Amy Chua's style of parenting).
  14. A sketch artist creates bad drawings after the customers have already paid.
  15. A man accidentally drops an expensive bottle of wine at a liquor store when the manager is not looking. He proceeds to deny responsibility, even blaming other customers and a latino maintenance employee.
  16. A fundamentalist Mormon polygamist family attempts to convince a new underage bride that she must accept her new life; as she cries hysterically, customers begin to notice and eventually threaten to report them for bigamy.


  • 2007"2008: #81, 8.0 million
  • 2008"2009: #79, 6.8 million
  • 2009"2010: #90, 5.7 million
  • 2010"2011: #123, 4.9 million
  • 2011"2012: #123, 5.0 million

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