America’s Most Wanted: FOX TV Series Cancelled But…

Americas Most Wanted canceledIt’s the end of an era for the longest-running TV series on FOX. After 24 seasons, the network has cancelled America’s Most Wanted. It’ll continue as a series of occasional FOX specials but, as you might expect, the show’s no-nonsense host isn’t taking the demotion lying down.

Debuting back in February 1988 on seven Fox-owned stations, America’s Most Wanted found immediate success. Within four days of its first broadcast, one of the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted was captured as a direct result. This made it clear to skeptics that the show could be a very effective tool for law enforcement agencies. A couple months later, the series debuted on the new FOX network and became its first hit.

The series was briefly cancelled in 1996 when the network opted to air sitcom repeats instead. Viewers and law enforcement officials voiced their upset and FOX reinstated the show. It didn’t hurt that the reruns weren’t performing particularly well.

Last March, the 1,000th installment of America’s Most Wanted aired live from the White House and Walsh and President Obama discussed the impact of the show and some of the administration’s crime-fighting initiatives. To date, more than 1,150 episodes have been produced. The official website touts that as many felons have been caught in part because of the show’s profiles.

The series has been one of the best-rated shows on Saturday nights for quite some time. Unfortunately, FOX entertainment president Kevin Reilly said today that the ratings weren’t enough to justify the cost. He said, “It has been an important show for us historically but it’s no secret to John, we have not made money on the show in a quite awhile. It wasn’t particularly viable.”

FOX has been the only network to schedule original programming on Saturday nights and Reilly feels that it makes more sense to air repeats of its drama series in the 9pm timeslot.

Reilly noted that America’s Most Wanted will continue on the network however, as a series of quarterly two-hour specials.

The show is produced by 20th Century Fox Television and STF Productions. Reilly also said that Walsh is in talks with other divisions of News Corp (which owns FOX) about the possibility of continuing the weekly series on another outlet. MyNetworkTV seems like a possible choice. Reilly added, “I would not be at all surprised to see the show pop up somewhere else.”

What do you think? Are you disappointed that the series won’t be on FOX every week? Has the show made a difference?

Wondering where the rest of your shows stand? Check our FOX cancel/renew page.

Canceled and renewed TV show

144 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Rene says

    I think it appalling that netwrok executives care more for dollars that could go in their pockets than they do for the welfare of the people, including their own family. There are scumbags out there that think they can do what ever they want to anyone and it is ok because they wont get caught, and do you know why???? Networks are afraid to take a stand to put on a show that will show case them and actually help law inforcement to catch them. Heaven forbid that something happens to their loved ones and they need a resource like Americas Most Wanted to help them catch the bad guy because that resource is no longer available.
    Come on FOX, get real.

  2. Bobbie says

    This show did a great service. It was also interesting to watch. Why does everything have to be about money? Now I don’t even watch Fox on Saturday night.

  3. Jane Stein says

    I wondered where my show went. I wait for it EVERY Saturday night after watching COPS. Has it been Cancelled or What? Ive been looking everywhere on the internet for information on America’s Most Wanted. What Happened?

  4. EKM says

    I miss AMW. It was one of view programs that I watched on FOX. I did watch the San Diego’s Most Wanted and the COPS shows that were broadcast there. Our local Fox station is the only one that carries the San Diego’s most wanted (FBI). COPS is on other networks.. Bring back AMW.

  5. Jim says

    It is a serious mistake to cancel America’s Most Wanted. This program takes criminals off the streets and makes people aware of the crimes going on around them. It is a public service and nothing else can match its effectiveness. I am a regular viewer of AMW, but I will not be watching the reruns that replace it.

  6. BARBRA LOVETT says

    I THINK THIS IS THE WORST DECIONION THAT COULD BE MADE IN THE TIME OF ALL THE BAD THINGS GOING ON NOW. AT LEAST HE WAS TRYING TO CTCH THE BAD GUYS AND RIGHT THE WRONGS.YOU NEED TO GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR SITTING SPOT AND PUT IT BACK ON. I AHVE WATCHED IT FOR SEVERAL YEARS IT IS THE ONLY SHOW TO GET PEOPLE INVOLED IN WHAT IS GOING ON.,

  7. says

    We have enough useless crap on TV to watch. Americas Most Wanted is wonderful series. We need this show. It has done so much good in capturing all these horrible people. I hope this show comes back like last time.
    Janet Nguyen

  8. I think its a crying shame to cancel a great show for crappy reruns that play over and over. My family is boycotting fox because of it. That is a total of 2,000 people says

    I have friends and family who are so discusted with Fox that we are boycotting that channel. We are so sick of reruns of crapy shows. Crap cancel reruns and put on good $hows. Fox is a bunch of retards. All they care about is who can get rich. Jerks!!!!!!!

  9. Pat says

    I am saddened by the canceling of America’s Most Wanted. I watch it regularly. You never know when you can help out law enforcement!!

  10. Erich says

    It’s sad day for America. Cancelling one of the few shows left in existence that actually does some good for the world just so they can show crappy reruns instead. I’ve hardly missed a week of AMW since its debut in the 80s. I hope that guy is right and it finds its way back on the air soon.

  11. says

    This is a show that has made a difference in the World , it puts details out there for us the people to help catch the people who do the crimes and then try to hide. What does Fox want to put in the time slot another SEX show, we do not need anymore shows like that, Please keep America’s Most Wanted. it is an education show.

  12. says

    Please dont cancel Americas Most Wanted. It is a very important show that does a lot of good. I watch it every Saturday and have done so since its inception. There is so much garbage on tv as it is dont let a quality show go.

  13. Crystal Terry says

    Please do not cancel americas most wanted I watch this show every saturday and if im not able to watch it I record it so that I can watch when I get the chance and 4 2hr shows a year is not enough I get upset when in goes off for weeks at a time. this will be a terrible injustice to many people whom john walsh has gotten justice for and still continues to get justice for. so please be smart and return the show back to the line up.

  14. DEBRA ANDERSON says

    PLEASE don’t cancel america’s most wanted. i watch it every saturday at 9pm and i agree with all this people about the show.

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