Depending on your viewing preferences, you can catch CNBC’s longest-running primetime original series on various platforms. These networks and streaming platforms include:

However, it’s not on Netflix.

This article talks about the true-crime reality series’ overall premise, its three spinoffs, and the possibility of renewal by CNBC. We’ll also discuss how you can access high-quality entertainment news on BuddyTV.

What Is “American Greed” About?

Throughout this reality crime series, you’ll see high-profile corporate crimes, billion-dollar scams, and brutal betrayals by greedy individuals. This show takes you through the biggest financial scandals in American history, involving companies like Tyco International, WorldCom, and HealthSouth.

Even lower-profile cases that’ll leave you on the edge of your seat appear on “American Greed.” Often, they affect smaller companies and individual investors who get taken for a ride in various real estate or other investment scams and elaborate Ponzi schemes. There’s also a litany of corporate crimes and scams perpetrated by people like NXIVM leader Keith Raniere and Michael Avenatti. 

Here are the other transgressions you can expect to see on the show:

  • Bank robberies 
  • Embezzlement cases 
  • Insurance fraud 
  • Theft of precious artifacts 
  • Political corruption
  • Credit card fraud 
  • Murder-for-hire
  • Money laundering

This reality crime series also includes three special episodes: 

  • “American Greed Special: Bernie Madoff Behind Bars” 
  • “Mob Money” 
  • “9/11 Fraud – A Contractor Capitalizes on Disaster”

CNBC also brings another special episode, thanks to its partnership with AMC. “American Greed: James McGill”  focuses on the life and crimes of Jimmy McGill, a fictional attorney. The network used this episode to promote the 6th season of “Better Call Saul,” a television drama series.

Stacy Keach narrates the gripping stories appearing on “American Greed.” Events documented by the show prove just how cunning and heartless individuals driven by criminal intent can be. This popular reality crime series helps you stay alert about scammers bent on swindling your hard-earned money.

And it’s not only the criminals who become greedy; even the victims of these crimes fall prey to this age-old vice by having unrealistic expectations of returns on investments.

Is “American Greed” Based on Real Crimes?

Produced by Kurtis Productions, the show closely examines real-life stories involving financial crimes. It also talks about the impact of these unethical activities on victims. Some episodes focus on mortgage fraud, identity theft, and the infamous Ponzi schemes. These are real-life cases involving crooks and the Feds. So, you can expect to see fraud investigators come on the show and talk about high-profile cases. 

It’s also common for victims and fraudsters to appear on the show. “American Greed” premiered on CNBC starting June 21, 2007.

American Greed” Companion Series

CNBC realized just how popular this crime reality show is and introduced three companion programs. The legendary actor Stacy Keach narrates all of them. One of the spinoffs, “American Greed: The Fugitives,” premiered in August 2012. It looks closely at white-collar criminal cases involving suspects still on the run from the law. This companion series covers 13 cases over two seasons. In one of the episodes, tips from the viewers led to the arrest of the FBI’s most wanted fugitive David Kaup. He had evaded justice since December 17, 2012, after failing to appear in a Los Angeles court for sentencing.

In early 2019, “American Greed: Deadly Rich” became the second companion series to air on CNBC. This spinoff covers high-profile murder cases committed by wealthy individuals.

Meanwhile, “American Greed: Biggest Cons” appeared on the screens on July 20, 2020. It documents some of the stories that previously appeared on the main program, including Madoff, Martin Shkreli, and William “Rick” Singer’s college-admission scheme cases. Meanwhile, in April 2022, CNBC uploaded a short faux-documentary on YouTube titled “American Greed: James McGill.” The program focuses on “Better Call Saul” and “Breaking Bad” events.

About “American Greed: The Fugitives”

This companion series follows white-collar crime cases that negatively impact the lives of many families. The program zooms in on the masterminds of the most infamous financial crime cases in the United States. Elaborate scams covered in the show often compromise companies’ financial stability. It examines these crimes in interviews with the victims and law enforcement officials. In one episode, a married couple talked about how mortgage fraud funded their lavish lifestyle. In another story, the show looks at how a mutual fund manager plotted an investment scam to defraud unsuspecting investors. 

You’re sure to learn about intriguing white-collar crime stories in “American Greed: The Fugitives.” By documenting the cases, which become more and more sophisticated, the show informs you about the nature of crimes out there. A con man or woman can use many techniques and tools to swindle vast amounts of money.

It’s an awesome extension of “American Greed,” given its focus on cases, such as the mortgage fraud committed by John and Julieanne Dimitrion. The duo tricked distressed homeowners into giving away their homes, thinking that doing so would help improve their financial situation. Unbeknown to the homeowners, the couple uses the ill-gotten money to fund a lavish lifestyle.

The first episode of “American Greed: The Fugitives” also features the story of a ruthless fund manager who scammed more than 25 victims. Spiro Germenis swindled life savings from seniors and middle-class victims using forged financial documents in an investment fraud case. 

Other episodes of the companion series chronicle criminal cases involving a contractor who takes home renovations payments from homeowners but never does the work. You can also expect to see the story of a lottery scheme perpetrated by a man who’s the only winner, and everyone else suffers heavy losses.

About “American Greed: Deadly Rich”

This true-crime series is another extension of the main program that tells gripping real-life crime stories. It’s no surprise that there are “American Greed” podcasts if you want an audio version of the stories. Family members, victims, and law enforcement officers tell the stories of greed and financial embezzlement.

“Deadly Rich” provides a glimpse of how money drives people to do unimaginable things. You see how wealthy perpetrators even commit murder differently. The show exposes intriguing secrets involving money, greed, and lust. It chronicles the stories through first-person accounts. 

One of the episodes focuses on the murders of Ben Novack Jr. and his mother, Bernice Novack. Ben was the heir to the Miami Fontainebleau Hotel. They found him dead in a New York hotel room. After the gruesome discovery, the public learned about Ben’s unusual lifestyle. 

“American Greed: Deadly Rich” also delves into the story of serial imposter Clark Rockefeller, the Pamela Fayed murder-for-hire scheme, and the murder of Lynn and Toni Henthorn.

About “American Greed: Biggest Cons”

This companion series digs into the shocking scams that grabbed headlines across America. When you watch this show, you get a chance to understand how the inner workings of real masterminds and villains. The riveting television series follows the money trail, courtroom drama, and imprisonment. It also reveals stunning updates following courtroom events and incarceration.

The television show gives the inside scoop on shocking plea bargains. In the first episode, you witness CCL the story behind the college admissions scandal committed by Eric Singer. He’s the mastermind of a $25 million scam. The story also sucks in a celebrity couple, fashion mogul Mossimo Giannulli and his wife, Lori Loughlin. They allegedly conspired with Singer to rig the college admissions system, paving the way for their daughters’ admission into prestigious universities. Loughlin and Giannulli paid Singer a lot of money to get this done.

“Biggest Cons” also looks at Jordan Belfort (the “Wolf of Wall Street”), who runs a drugs, sex, and rock ‘n roll brokerage firm. He later faced justice and went to prison for his wrongdoing.

In comes the notorious “Pharma bro,” who infamously spiked the price of a critical medication by 5,000%. The culprit known as Martin Shkreli got incarcerated for defrauding investors. While in prison, he tried to pull a fast one on the authorities by asking the prison officials to free him. This guy claimed he had a cure for the pandemic that brought the world to a halt in 2020.

John Bravata is another con man who makes it on “American Greed.” The shady character lured hundreds of middle-class victims to free lunch seminars. Upon arrival, the attendees got sucked into a $50 million real estate investment scam. 

“American Greed: Biggest Cons” also documents crimes committed by Eric Conn. He plotted the biggest social security embezzlement in American history. Later, he tried a vanishing act, but his luck ran out, and he got arrested. Thousands of people could barely put food on the table after falling victim to the scam. Fortunately, a whistleblower came up with new evidence that gave victims the hope of recovering their disability benefits.

Is “American Greed” Coming Back for Season 16?

If you’re anxiously waiting for season 16 of “American Greed,” you’re probably wondering whether CNBC will cancel or renew one of its most popular TV shows. Although the network hasn’t put any word out about the show’s future, it hasn’t been canceled yet. This status should be good news if “American Greed” is one of your favorite shows.

CNBC’s longest-running television series made a mark on many fans with its 200th episode, which documented the trial of Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes. It also did several exclusives to keep viewers glued to TV screens. From cases involving insider trading and opioid scandals to college admission rigging and scams involving insurance companies, “American Greed” quenches viewers’ fascination with the crafty tricks crooks use to get money.

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Rebecca Swanson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV