Dateline NBC

10 Worst Episodes of Dateline NBC

Dateline NBC is an American newsmagazine and documentary series airing on NBC since 1992. The show is widely credited for its in-depth coverage of news stories and its investigative journalism, which often involves researching and interviewing people closely involved. Dateline NBC has aired for over 30 seasons, making it the longest-running primetime newsmagazine on American television.

In this article, we rank the worst episodes of Dateline NBC. As a show that has been on the air for so long, Dateline NBC has had its fair share of hits and misses. We have carefully reviewed every episode and ranked them according to user ratings, reviews and critic feedback.

If you're looking for a comprehensive overview of Dateline NBC's worst episodes, you are in the right place. Read on to discover the worst episodes of Dateline NBC and why they are ranked so low.

Warning: the following content contains spoilers!

This page was generated using automation technology and thoroughly edited and fact-checked by an editor on our editorial staff.

Dateline NBC - S27E22

#1 - The Golden Child (Season 27 - Episode 22)

The Dateline NBC episode, "The Golden Child" centers around the mysterious disappearance of a woman from her home in Washington, D.C. Viewers follow along as the investigation reveals a shocking connection to the similarly unsolved disappearance of a woman decades earlier. This episode keeps viewers on the edge of their seats as the investigation takes several surprising turns.

The episode starts with the disappearance of the woman from her home in Washington, D.C., with no clues or evidence left behind. From there, the investigation takes several unexpected turns as detectives uncover a connection between the two cases. As they dig deeper, they find evidence linking the two disappearances and uncover a shocking truth that had gone unnoticed for decades. The episode ends with a shocking conclusion as the detectives reveal the truth behind the mysterious disappearances.

The episode was rated 6.60 from 10 votes.

Dateline NBC - S28E7

#2 - The Black Widow of Lomita (Season 28 - Episode 7)


The newest episode of Dateline NBC, titled The Black Widow of Lomita, brings viewers a thrilling crime story that spans almost two decades. It follows the case of two military men and two murders, each seemingly unrelated. But as the story unravels, shocking connections come to light.

The episode follows Keith Morrison as he delves deeper into the case, discovering incredible clues and uncovering the truth behind this mysterious case. With interviews from witnesses, family members, and more, Morrison paints a vivid picture of what happened, and the motives behind it. As Morrison reveals the events that led up to the crimes, viewers are taken on a journey through the dark side of human nature.

The episode was rated 6.67 from 21 votes.

Dateline NBC - S1E1

#3 - Premiere (Season 1 - Episode 1)

Stone Phillips investigates problems with drug labeling. Jane Pauley profiles two young me living with Down Syndrome. Meanwhile, Brian Ross investigates a direct mail scam targeting conservatives.

The episode was rated 6.70 from 10 votes.

Dateline NBC - S26E17

#4 - The Women and Dirty John (Season 26 - Episode 17)


Dateline NBC's episode "The Women and Dirty John" is an investigative report by Keith Morrison on conman John Meehan and his infamous crimes. Meehan became a national headline last year after his story was featured in the popular podcast, ‘Dirty John’. The episode, listed as 26x12 on Peacock, follows the story of John Meehan, a master manipulator who tricked women into believing he was a successful doctor.

Throughout the episode, Keith Morrison interviews key figures in Meehan's twisted schemes, including his victims, family members, and former friends. Through their stories and testimonies, viewers gain a detailed insight into how Meehan was able to deceive these women and the lasting impact his manipulation had on their lives. Further, Morrison dives deep into the case, exploring the motivations behind Meehan's crimes and the events that led to his eventual arrest.

The episode was rated 6.73 from 15 votes.

Dateline NBC - S28E15

#5 - The Black Candle Confession (Season 28 - Episode 15)

Dateline NBC's "The Black Candle Confession" follows a 9-year-old girl's recollection of a sobbing woman lighting black candles. The memory was seared into the girl's mind and decades later she reveals what she saw, reopening the investigation of an unsolved murder of an Iowa bartender. Keith Morrison reports, uncovering evidence and testimonies that may finally bring justice to the victim.

The episode revives the cold case that had been forgotten for years and as the investigation progresses, viewers will be taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions. The mystery of the case will be unveiled, as the investigation reveals clues and testimonies from people who were close to the victim. With new evidence, the case starts to unravel, painting a bigger picture of the story. It will be an emotional journey for viewers, as the truth is revealed and justice is served.

The episode was rated 6.75 from 12 votes.

Dateline NBC - S27E21

#6 - Secrets of Lake Seminole (Season 27 - Episode 21)


The Dateline NBC episode Secrets of Lake Seminole follows the mysterious disappearance of a man after a duck hunting trip in Florida. The man had been married for six years, and his disappearance left his family and friends baffled. The episode dives into the investigation to uncover the truth and find out what happened to the missing man.

The episode follows the detectives as they search for clues and uncover the secrets of Lake Seminole. The investigation leads to some shocking revelations and the detectives soon discover that the man was a victim of a murder. The episode follows the investigation as the detectives try to find the culprit and bring justice to the missing man's family.

Dateline NBC's Secrets of Lake Seminole is a gripping and intense episode that takes viewers on a thrilling journey as the detectives try to uncover the truth. With its intense storyline and edge-of-your-seat moments, this episode is sure to keep viewers glued to their screens. From the mysterious disappearance to the shocking revelations, Secrets of Lake Seminole is an episode that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

The episode was rated 6.82 from 11 votes.

Dateline NBC - S26E7

#7 - The Prophet's Daughter (Season 26 - Episode 7)

In the episode of Dateline NBC, The Prophet's Daughter, Rachel Jeffs speaks out about her experience growing up as the daughter of Warren Jeffs, the self-proclaimed prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS). Rachel shares her story of living under the oppressive rule of her father, who has been convicted of sexual assault on a minor, and the struggles she faced trying to escape the clutches of his authority and control. Rachel explains the feelings of betrayal and guilt she felt, as well as the difficulty she experienced in finding a place to fit in after leaving the FLDS.

The episode also shines a light on the issues of sexual abuse, religious control and freedom of choice that come with extreme religious sects. Rachel's story is heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful. While her father was a powerful and unyielding leader, Rachel's strength and courage to stand up for herself and break free from his oppressive rule is inspiring. In the end, Rachel's story is a reminder of the power of the human spirit and its ability to overcome tremendous adversity.

The episode was rated 6.84 from 19 votes.

Dateline NBC - S26E10

#8 - Finding Sarah Goode (Season 26 - Episode 10)


Dateline NBC’s episode “Finding Sarah Goode” follows the story of Sarah Goode, a young woman who vanished without a trace. Despite numerous searches and investigations, Sarah had not been seen or heard from in years, leaving her family desperate for answers. This episode of Dateline takes a deep dive into the search for Sarah and the truth behind her disappearance.

The episode follows the investigative team as they dig deeper into her case. They interview friends and family, search for clues, and finally, uncover the mystery of Sarah’s disappearance. Through their work, the team discovers that Sarah had been a victim of human trafficking and was taken away against her will. This episode of Dateline gives viewers a unique insight into the work of the investigative team and the danger and fear that Sarah’s family faced for years.

The episode was rated 6.85 from 20 votes.

Dateline NBC - S26E4

#9 - One Moment (Season 26 - Episode 4)

Dateline NBC's episode "One Moment" tells the tragic story of Crystal Taylor, a beloved mother, sister, and daughter whose life was taken too soon. Josh Mankiewicz reports on the unexpected source that ultimately solved the case. Crystal's sisters were determined to find the killer and refused to give up until justice was served.

The episode follows the investigation of Crystal's murder and the lengths her sisters went to in order to find her killer. From the moment Crystal was murdered, her sisters worked hard to find the killer and bring him to justice. They left no stone unturned and eventually, the unexpected source helped them uncover the truth and put an end to the tragedy.

The episode was rated 6.86 from 28 votes.

Dateline NBC - S24E45

#10 - The Trouble in Quitman (Season 24 - Episode 45)


Dateline NBC's episode "The Trouble in Quitman" follows the police investigation into the shooting deaths of a woman and her son in a small Texas town. This 24x48 episode was originally featured on Peacock.

The town of Quitman is left reeling after the tragedy, as the police try to determine if the husband of the woman and father to the son is responsible. The episode follows the police as they investigate the scene, analyze the evidence and try to figure out who is behind the shooting.

This episode is a gripping look into the events that unfolded in Quitman and the emotions of the townspeople. It offers an in-depth look at the tragedy and the police investigation, as well as a glimpse into the lives of those affected by the tragedy. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in crime and justice.

The episode was rated 6.89 from 18 votes.

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    Last updated: feb 13, 2023

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