Press Release

October 5, 2021

Season 44 Premiere of ‘20/20’ Uncovers the Dark History of Greed and Murder-for-Hire Behind the Rise of Male Exotic Dance Troupe Chippendales

Two-Hour Program Features Never-Before-Seen Footage and an Interview With Lead FBI Agent Who Cracked Case Linked to Chippendales Creator

’20/20’ Airs Friday, Oct. 8 (9:01-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC

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*ABC News

The season 44 premiere of “20/20” dives deep into the dark history of greed, paranoia and murder behind the rise of male exotic dance troupe Chippendales, which became an international cultural phenomenon in the 80s and 90s. By creating Chippendales, Steve Banerjee found the success and fortune he always craved — but his ambition was insatiable. “20/20” documents the harrowing stories of how Banerjee conspired to eliminate those who he believed got in his way, including the shocking murder-for-hire plots against close business associates and a competing male dance troupe, and an alleged blackmail operation against an aggrieved patron of the club who sued the organization for racial discrimination. “20/20” also reports on how, over the course of 15 years, Banerjee’s obsession with wealth and control ultimately led to his own demise. The two-hour program features never-before-seen footage as well as interviews with Scott Garriola, a retired FBI special agent, who played a major role in catching and arresting Banerjee; Read Scot, a former Chippendales dancer who opens up about being the target in a thwarted murder-for-hire plot; and Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, historian and host of “Welcome To Your Fantasy,” a popular podcast on Chippendales. The special also includes interviews with former Chippendales dancers, producers and employees; Banerjee’s business associates; and family and friends of those impacted. “20/20” airs on Friday, Oct. 8 (9:01-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC.

ABC News’ “20/20” is an award-winning primetime program anchored by David Muir and Amy Robach. A proven leader as a long-form newsmagazine for over 40 years, “20/20” features unforgettable, character-driven true-crime mysteries, exclusive newsmaker interviews, hard-hitting investigative reports and in-depth coverage of high profile stories. The two-hour “20/20” events air Fridays from 9:01–11:00 p.m. EDT on ABC and are available to stream on ABC News digital platforms and Hulu. David Sloan is senior executive producer, and Janice Johnston is executive producer.

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ABC News Media Relations
Elizabeth Russo
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elizabeth.russo@abc.com

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Elizabeth Russo

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