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. Dona says

    YES!!!!!!!!! I am very disappointed. Nice to know that fox feels the money is more important than catching even just one criminal. That one criminal that AMW could help capture could save at least one life.
    My husband and I watched it every Saturday night without fail. Looks like we will be looking for a different network to watch.

  2. liz says

    AMW was a great asset to law enforcement.I watched it as long as its been on.I am retired law enforcement and seen the need for this type of show.The shows in place of it are not viewed by anyone in our family.Please fox,reconsider this.thank you

  3. Jack Mayhew says

    I am a retired police officer and I don’t have to tell you how important this show is to the community at large. As a direct result of this show, murderers, robbers and rapists have been captured and brought to justice. The police and the people don’t always see eye-to-eye but there is no question here that both are fighting on the same side of the fence. The people need the help of the police, the police need the help of the people, and both the people and the police need the help of AMW.

    Some things are more important than the almighty dollar, and the safety of the people is one of them.

  4. MJ` says





  5. Janet says

    I was crushed when I heard they were canceling AMW ! I have watched every week faithfully. It is the only show on TV that is good for something other than entertainment. Please bring it back!!!!!!!!!

  6. Anonymous says

    Extremely upset that America’s Most Wanted is a no show on Saturday Night. How are we going to catch preditors i.e. criminals that walk the street and kill people and our children…………Horified that after 23 years of doing very fine work we no longer have this stablility of catching those people who kill people and steal from us and have no work for a living psychology like the rest of us.

    Just imagined that John Walsh retired or something but nothing like this…….
    horrible, horrible……………….

  7. jean fox says

    The show cancelling is devastating. I sent my story in August 2011 and have never gotten an answer. Can you get it to John Walsh or get me in touch with him? I did not like even the pre-empting of this show with other nonsense. Why did you do it? Cancelling them hurt America and no doubt others worldwide. Please get me in touch with them. I need help. Thanks. Jean Fox. There have been new developments since I wrote my first request and I can’t understand why you didn’t have better controls. Please tell everyone how to get in touch with them. If you answer, you don’t have to publish my comment. My address is P. O. Box 23113, San Antonio, Tx. 78223. Thanks.

  8. Angel Staggs says

    I have been watching the show ever since it first aired. I’m going to miss the show. John Walsh you are inspiration because of what happened to your son that was bad and you have made to something good. You will be missed John. I’m pretty sure your son is looking down on you and your family is very proud of making a difference out came negative in came a postive. I wish you luck, John, I know you’ll fight to keep this going.

  9. Raelene Ramirez says

    I can not believe AMW has been cancelled. What is wrong with this??? Everything!!!!!
    I have watched it from the beginning and always made sure I recorded each ellipsoid if I wasn’t home. This actually feels sacrilegious. I hope the world will push to have it back

    Thank you John and staff for the greatest show ever!!!

  10. mina says

    I am extremely disappointed with the decision of Fox network to take the show off the air. I will limit my viewing of other shows at Fox network in support of AMW. I hope AMW find’s a new home so that many loyal viewers can continue to watch.

  11. Anonymous says

    I am disappointed to learn of its cancellation. Lately, I do not watch all of Channel 11″s shows. Let’s hope that AMW will find a better station who is not so business minded.

  12. says

    very dissappointed to find this excellent show , America”s Most Wanted.,has been cancelled. Excellent writing & production. Presentation of stories excellent. Unbelievable that Fox finds that they didn’t have an audience. Good shows are really needed. Is Cop’s considered better…I would just catch some of cop’s because I would tune in waiting for AMW to start. Sorry, we have lost such a good program.

  13. Tara says

    My husband and I have both watched AMW, since we were young children with our parents. We continued to watch it every Saturday night; it was a ritual and an exciting part of our weekend viewing. If we weren’t at home to see it, we always recorded it to watch later. It was for the public good, and I can’t imagine what the increase in crime and at-large population will be. We’re upset to know that Fox’s profit margin is more important than America’s safety. God help our children! May the executives of Fox sleep well knowing this.

  14. darryl marable says

    amreicas most wanted was me and my wife favorite show saturday night was our tv night together and most wanted was because of that

    • kimberly says

      yes i am very dissappointed that AMW has been canceled. this is a show that i have watched since it first starting airring. it has been a staple in our home every saturday night.. i think that just because the show did not bring in money, it should not matter. THINK OF THE BAD GUYS THAT WERE ARRESTED AND GOT CONVICTED OF THEIR TERRIBLE CRIMES. THEY ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO HURT ANY BODY OR FAMILY AGAIN.. i vow never to watch fox AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! TO THE BIG GUYS UP THEIR IN YOUR FANCY OFFICE’S MAYBE IF IT WOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR CHILD OR PARENT THAT GOT HARMED, THEN MAYBE YOU WOULD SEE WHY AMERICAS MOST WANTED WAS SO IMPORTANT. IT WAS HOPE, NOT $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ SO I HOPE THE MONEY YOU MAKE OFF YOUR SITCOMS OR WHAT EVER IT IS YOU FILL THAT SLOT WITH , I TRULLY HOPE THAT IT MAKES YOU GO BROKE!!!!!!!!!FOX SUCKS

  15. 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 will never watch Fox again!!

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