America’s Most Wanted: FOX TV Show in Danger of Being Canceled? [Report]

America's Most WantedAfter 22 years on the air, it appears that FOX’s America’s Most Wanted series may be in some trouble — and not because of fugitives from justice. According to MediaBistro, the show has lost nearly a third of their staff, including the TV show’s entire West Coast Bureau.

According to the report, host John Walsh fired Lance Heflin last August, his executive producer for 20 years. Steve Katz was hired as the new co-executive producer and “has not endeared himself to staff.” Numerous reporters and producers have either been laid off or have quit in the last 12 months.

One still-employed staffer calls it a “blood bath” while another isn’t sure how they’ll still get the show on the air each week.

From the report…

“John Walsh is only in the office twice a year,” a producer says. “He won’t interact with the staff. He has no interest in the stories we’re producing. He has no idea who any of us are, and he could care less who’s writing his scripts. We’ve made huge sacrifices to do this work because we believe in it, and we’re all being replaced by unpaid interns as a result.”

Another staffer remarked, “Everyone loved, trusted and respected Lance. In the last year, everything has fallen apart. There’s no way FOX will renew this show for another season.”

What do you think? Could America’s Most Wanted be on its way out? Would you miss it?

Canceled and renewed TV show

35 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Chris says

    I grew up on AMW, every Saturday my family and I would watch it. This went on my whole life until the very last episode. So being an AMW buff I knew something was wrong within the last year of watching the show. It just hasn’t been the same and now I know why. As far as it being moved to Lifetime I could care less which channel it’s on as long as they don’t make any more huge changes to it and for sure not cancell it. I watch the Lifetime channel more than Fox anyway. All the good shows are moving over there like Unsolved Mysteries is one. Remember that show? I do and I love it. The only reason I watched the Fox channel was because of AMW so now I have no reason to. Seriously, Nascar on Sturday nights now, who wants to watch cars drive around in a circle? Or baseball? Play that crap on the sports channel. I think they will lose a ton of ratings after this.

  2. B.W. Nyangoni says

    As a long time employee of AMW and as one who loves the program, it is true that the show began to stray from its mission after Lance Heflin was relieved of his responsibilities as executive director. Not only was there trouble at the top but it permeated all the way down to the hotline operators. I do believe that Steve Katz tried, but it seems that John Walsh remained the guiding force in policy matters. One huge mistake was the hiring of a highly inexperienced and unqualified hotline manager. Even though she got positive publicity through an article in the Wall Street Journal (I believe that was the publication), she had little relevant work experience, no management skills nor a real passion for the work of AMW. It is unclear whether she had even watched the show before she was hired. Clear oversight over the hotline staff, poor hiring practices and the inability to motivate and lead the hotline staff, resulted in low morale. This had a troublesome impact on aspects of each show. It is a fact that any and all segments of an organization are affected by what happens at the top level of management. AMW was no exception.
    It is my understanding that Lifetime has picked up the show. Several long time, experienced and capable staff were not asked to return or chose not to return. John Walsh will continue to be executive director, his son and a person with a prison record will lead the effort. I have no knowledge of their capabilities, especially the latter two, but I do know that the hotline manager is still in her position. I know her capabilities and lack thereof… Good luck AMW. I will be watching.

  3. Anonymous says


  4. Robin says

    AMW is so important, there is no way fox can do this it only strenghtens the view people
    have money is more important then human life

    • says

      I don’t believe that is the reason why the show was cut down on Fox (Not cancelled “special” episodes on FOX will be produced.) I believe the show was cancelled ’cause of finances that John Walsh must have approved that involved to many lengthy reenactments being made, traveling around the world to produce episodes at those places, and just going all around; traveling anywhere than stay in the “Museum of Crime and Punishment” before, or do less. While I think the decisions Fox made were pretty harsh, I do feel they know about what’s going on in the AMW Offices, but don’t want John Walsh a man who’s done a lot of good to get “too much negative skeptical press”. That is why I think the show went down. Don’t believe compare recent AMW episodes to the ones seen in 2008 or 2005, you’ll see what I mean and this is coming from a huge AMW fan. I doubt the show was cut over Fox being greedy, but John Walsh making bad choices.

  5. lulu says

    AMW isn’t just great drama. It’s a great public service. Take, for example, the sicko profiled again tonight – the guy who victimized so many boys and then fled to Brazil. He WILL be caught. Had he not been profiled, nooone but the victims would know who he is and where he is probably hiding. If John Walsh can’t or won’t host the show anymore, Fox needs to find a good, zealous replacement.

  6. Greg Baum says

    Why in the world would fox cancel AMW? If John Walsh does not want to continue then find a suitable replacement. To cancel AMW is stupid. It has been a vessel in opening Americans eyes to all these scumbags who kill or raped… or forced themselves on kids.

  7. elissa says

    If it wasn’t for this show, more than 1,500 criminals would still be on the street. To this day, I’m still impressed by the John List story. The New Jersey police were looking for him for 18 years, and, America’s Most Wanted got him in just a few months.

    Cancelling this show will only give criminals the green light to victimize innocent people, because they’ll know only local police will be after them. Unless they call CNN, or, MSNBC, for 30 seconds of air time on the story. And, for those people who don’t have cable, well….

    I hope another network picks it up. This show needs to be on the air. And, to all the show’s staff who are complaining about how impossible John Walsh is to work with, instead, think about all the crime victims who have gotten justice in the last 23 years.

  8. harvey winer says

    Fox has become so bought out by political lobbists and Re-election money show, what they want the viewers to see from their viewpoint-the rich elite and will not dare to keep shows on that tell the American Taxpayers of the Corruption and Payola Government of Millionaire Club, Good Ole Boys Club of the government rich elite from city,county, state and the federal government. Sorry to see America’s Most Wanted get the axe, but what it is is what it is. Fox has joined the government in slicing, dicing and elimating those viewer who don’t fit their Cash Profile.

    • says

      I don’t think AMW got axed ’cause of politics but because John Walsh wasting so much money to make the show look more “Cool” or “Modernized” since late August 2010 when he brought in a silly roundtable to “bounce ideas off other people around him” to make AMW the “John Walsh version” not what it was like under former executive producer Lance Heflin who is said to help the show move for at least 20 years,
      John also decided to waste a lot of money to get the show to travel around and produce episodes of AMW out of the studio, even out of the country for a loose and not so well supported idea that AMW is now the “World’s Most Wanted” and that they can solve cases outside of North America, which hasn’t lead to much success that AMW is now the World’s Most Wanted no matter how few fugitives get nabbed out of the US.

      I don’t like what FOX is doing and I want the show back BUT NOT NOW!
      Not until John Walsh and Steve Katz apologize for the lack of help they were as executive producers of AMW, reports of budget problems pop up, but they hardly say much to that and they still waste money to bring in nonsensical technology, produce too many lengthy reenactments to cases that can’t really be solved or get fugitives nabbed, travel around the world and make episodes in different countries along with the fact that less fugitives were caught in 2010, than 2007 or 2009.
      If that, then John Walsh has to be removed as Executive Producer, he’s brought the show down and it’s lead to this! It’s not FOX’s fault, it’s Steve Katz and John Walsh’s fault as to why the show went down.

      If I’m wrong, then how come when the show travelled out of the US and brought in possible pricy technology for the show in 2007 and/or (by) 2009, how come the show wasn’t cancelled when Lance Heflin looked over the show? There is a problem, but everyone will just assume things, it’s John Walsh’s fault to my opinion, not FOX’s, I don’t like what’s being done, I know I’m assuming things, but I stand by my theories which I believe have some merit, so I hope you hear me out than insult FOX again.

  9. diane viola says

    I have watched AMW since show no.1.i am very disapointed if it is cancelled.I always look forward to 9pm.

  10. Diana says

    I can’t believe FOX is doing this again. They cancelled this show many years ago and there was such an outcry they brought it back. FOX, You are STUPID. This is the only show I won’t miss. There have been over 1.500 fugitives captured because of this show. Are you for fugitives on the run or what? DO NOT CANCEL AMW. This is a MUCH NEEDED SHOW. They even captured a fugitive here in my town last year and if it wasn’t for AMW he would have gone unnoticed. A tipster called it in because he was profiled on AMW just that weekend.

    • says

      First off, FOX has their rights to do what they want, even if they wanted AMW permanently removed, they have a right to do that, whether we like or not, I hate the decisions FOX made and their attitude towards this along with not really giving the FULL story of why AMW has been cut down, but I don’t think it’s really FOX’s fault.

      Secondly, cussing, shouting, and calling FOX negative things has not and won’t do anything, it’s been months and AMW will still be aired, it’s not really cancelled, just cut down, the next AMW episode airs October 29th,

      Yes the show has to go on and I want it back, but not now, despite what others will say..
      It’s not Fox’s fault for cutting AMW down, it’s John Walsh’s fault, ever since John, a great face for victims who made the show along with get the Adam Walsh act made, became Executive Producer in late 2009, AMW has gone down hill (to my opinion.)
      The show started to get bad ratings from people and by mid 2010 John decided to fix the show since he felt at the time it got (I quote) “stale”, he removed 15 Seconds of Shame, brought in a bunch of unneeded technology and got production people and producers to travel around the world despite a news article saying the show had laid off around 20 PEOPLE! If the financial situations were true, why still waste money?

      ‘Cause John Walsh just wants to do what he wants and now it’s turned AMW into a Sham, and he can’t even find a good place to air AMW than FOX ’cause of what happened, yeah, nice going John, you Executive Producer you! Also nice going hearing about FINANCIAL ISSUES and wasting money on traveling to all these places, producing these lengthy reenactments and bringing in a stupid roundtable that hardly got any cases or fugitives caught, and he even throws money to solve cases from Florida more than other cases.

      I want the show back, you’re right it is a “MUCH NEEDED SHOW” and I’m sure fugitives can get caught throw the site which is still up, but NOT UNTIL John Walsh is removed as executive producer and/or apologizes for wasting so much money for the show when it wasn’t needed.
      I now I’m on a minority opinion on this and I’m not saying I’m an expert, but I can’t think of any other reason why AMW is getting cut now than John and Steve Katz making bad decisions, they believe what they believe and now I’m really upset with them.
      AMW had new technology when Lance Heflin (Former Exec. Producer) around 2007-2009, so why wasn’t the show cancelled then?!?!? That’s why I believe what I’ve heard from other AMW fans, I’ve watched the show since late 2007, and I stand by my beliefs, John Walsh has to be removed as executive producer so AMW can keep going!

  11. Heather says

    I cannot believe FOX cancelled this show. I have been watching AMW since I can remember. I think this is a very important show and FOX should reconsider. Look at how many criminals have been caught because of this show, what will happen now??? I don’t know if I will even watch FOX anymore, It’s truly too bad!!!

    • jennifer says

      no way you are airing this show off.people sat down and believed in protection and felt more safe because there were other eyes out looking to come together and help each other,now because not enough people working your going to air it off but you guys give up ten thousand dollars to honored officer and might get other donation but what the problem?If some one not doing there job you don’t give up (the workers on amw) you all have a right to speak or talk to some one higher don’t let the bad guys win there might be throwing a party to this people need this show its made people want to make a difference if they can’t be a officer they can at least report a crime or if they saw a bad guy or watch the show to be safe for there child life or others around them .Don’t fight to take it off,fight to keep it on !You work get back to your sits and talk don’t leave you are a hero why stop that guy they fired can get put back on speak express your feelings .This was the best thing that happened for the law don’t stop people are dying every minute its aired off and unsolved cases ,they need a voice please team work we are all adults i wish i was in your shoes !

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