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. Roseanna Kelley says

    I have been watching AMW for 23 yrs & I looked forward to it every Sat. night. I am so disappointed in Fox for cancelling it that I just can’t believe it. I can’t believe the almighty $ can come before the safety of your viewers. I am getting more upset by the minute and hope you rot in hell! And my husband agrees!!!

  2. Frances Roberts says

    In today’s crime ridden environment, this is a much needed show. It is helping catch criminals with the public’s help and I don’t know of any other program that does that as well as this one. The fact that it has helped catch over 1000 criminals should be enough to keep it on the air. Everything should not always be about money. What about service to the public? Please do not take it off the air.

  3. Michelle says

    Such a disappointment. My husband and I would have something to watch on a Saturday night if we didn’t have plans – and what I like about it most is that it was real, not BS “reality” – and that it put the identity of serious criminals out there. We live in Ohio and all through the winter, being snowed in usually, we’d make Saturday nights AMW nights. It was a Saturday night ritual.

  4. mickey says

    This was one of the shows I would not missed because I enjoyed all the low life that were caught and it was the greatest show. I caught alot of crooks and I missed it. Please bring it back I dont care how or what time just bring it back

  5. says

    Hey i watch the show from the very beginning and it did a lot for all communities around the states. On a Saturday night not too many people would stay home to watch TV but AMW would make them pospone whatever they was going to do for a later time just for they wouldn’t miss any episode of the show. That Reily guy from Fox network has made the biggest mistake of his career and hopefully he will soon find out how important this show was to America. Mr. Walsh don’t give up what cost you so much to built remember that their are other ways to aire a great show(internet) the people in America and around the world depend on your show. Thanks for all these years of keep all the creaps off the streets.

  6. Gilbert Lawrence says

    Americas Most Wanted was a great show. I felt it brought the FOX broadcasting network up to a higher level of entertainment. The show offered help to our society in fighting crime and always displayed empathy towards the victims of crime. It is painful to see a program canceled that has done so much for others and provided us with so much valuable information and has been replaced with cheap re-run series such as “FamilyGuy”, “Everybody Loves Raymond” & “Cops”. I say Thumbs Down to Fox for canceling that great show and I will be tuning into another station on Saturday nights.

  7. Robin says

    please choose human life over money, crimminal’s are rejoicing over the fact amw is not going to be there to help

  8. says

    Please do not take America’s Most Wanted off the air we looked forward to seeing this program on Saturday night. My wife and daughter would always check to make sure we had our tv’s on that program on Saturday nights. Please consider putting this program back on the air. It has taken so many of the bad guys down. Thank you.

  9. javier enrique says

    Americas Most Wanted is a great show that serves our nation well by aiding law enforcement. Tonight i rushed home to watch the show to dissapointly find out it was cancelled.

  10. Scottie and Connie Spates says

    Please do not take such an honorable and helpful program off the air. America’s Most Wanted is the only show our whole family and community looked forward to seeing every Saturday night. This program is very important, the other programs are silly and not real life. Thank you for your consideration of returning America’s Most Wanted to your schedule. It does not matter what time slot, just so you put it back on your weekly schedule. Thank you!

  11. Natalie Davis - Eltahir says

    Very sad, upset, disappointed and worried. This was my favorite tv program and only program I refuse to miss. This was an educational piece for my children to use as a learning tool. My daughter is now worried about the public safety and not knowing. Please bring back this program for weekly viewing. Tell the viewers how we can support the show so we can continue to watch it more. We need AMW. Seriously. I’m very hurt, Im having a hard time with this and miss the knowing of bad people and great team work fromAMW and Americas viewers.

  12. Bruce Regan says

    just found out you canceled AMW what a stupid move on your part he has done so much in taking scum bags off the streets, the people are the ones who bring in the bad guys,to help the police in there fight on drugs and crime especially in the case of children. Get you head out of your backside bring this back…

  13. Kathy Oliver says

    Please don’t cancel America’s Most Wanted. With all the good it has done, and all the evil it has taken off the streets, it really needs to continue. If not by Fox, then by another network.

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