Following Fox’s decision in May to cancel America’s Most Wanted as a weekly series, relegating it to quarterly specials, the venerable crime-fighting franchise has found a new home on Lifetime. The female-centered cable network has picked up John Walsh’s series, which will launch its 25th season on Lifetime later this year. While AMW appears male-oriented, industry observers pointed out that it is actually female-skewing because of its wish-fulfillment element that justice will be served. In its 24 years on Fox, AMW has played a major role in the capture of more than 1,100 fugitives in the U.S. and 30 countries, including 17 on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, and the rescue of 61 children and missing persons. “America’s Most Wanted is a seminal program that provides a very valuable service to both viewers and law enforcement agencies,” said Lifetime’s president and general manager Nancy Dubuc said. “For more than two decades John Walsh has been leading the fight against crime and it’s an honor to partner with him on bringing back this important show.”
Back in May, Fox brass explained their decision to drop AMW with the fact that the network was not making money on the series as its cost had gone up through the years. The series’ producers vowed to look for a new home right away, and now they have found one on Lifetime. “I’ve always believed there was something very special about America’s Most Wanted and that there should be a home for it on television, and I couldn’t be happier to now be able bring it back on Lifetime,” said Walsh. “We’ve often been called the court of last resort … now we are back in the game and ready to saddle up for another season to get justice for victims and put dangerous criminals behind bars.” This month at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, Walsh is set to receive the Governors Award, which “salutes an individual, company or organization that has made a substantial impact and demonstrated the extraordinary use of television.”
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