A new set of television programs are featuring main characters which can detect lies and deceit. The shows are airing as mistrust in civic leaders and institutions grow, reports Reuters.

The programs come at a time when banks are crashing, and major public officials are embroiled in scandal, the report states.

Among the shows mentioned, are The Mentalist on CBS, an upcoming show called Lie to Me and a new drama called The Moment of Truth, which all have a focus on rooting out people's untruthful habits.

It is a perennial trend on television where you have the fantasy that someone with eccentric talent will be able to fix a system that is horribly wrong, said Johanna Blakley, a popular culture expert, tells Reuters. She is a deputy director at the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center think tank.

The TV industry is all about trying to read the tea-leaves of what is in the American soul, said Thompson, director of the Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University.