It’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.
Image courtesy FOX.
I think it’s a damn shame that money is more important than the results this show has had. You’d think that Mr. Reilly would sleep better at night knowing the show is instrumental in the capture of OVER a thousand criminals in the last quarter of a century than losing sleep because the show’s losing a few dollars. I think the mucky mucks need to get their priorities straight.
What does Fox have on the air now that is of higher quality or does more of a public service than America’s Most Wanted? I hope that whatever they put on in place of AMW fails miserably and that Fox then brings AMW back. We can only hope!
I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS!!
I am a loyal viewer and watch every Saturday night. I am VERY UPSET by this!!!
I can not believe this news. FOX is making a HUGE mistake by taking this show off the air. It is so important for the general public to be exposed to these people so we can take action and give families justice. I really hope FOX changes their minds. What a shame!
are you kidding me? The show hasn’t made any money lately?
Is that all that is important to the networks? Sometimes you have
to think outside of money. The show has certainly changed the
lives of many; victims & their families and of course, the convicts
that never thought they would get apprehended. I am so disappointed
that the network could not find another way to keep this show on
I am totally freaked that FOX cancelled AMW. It is absolutely the only show I follow on TV. Didn’t understand what type of outlet was being discussed to keep it on weekly;I’ll immediately change my tv plan to whatever will get AMW. AMW catchs so many criminals;FOX cancelling the show is evil! Hope its back on immediately! I was sorry it was on only once a week. I’ll be listening too,hoping John gives us viewers instructions what he wants us to do;re;the show & FOX network!
wish he would bring it here canadian most wanted
This show was great service to the nation!!!! Thank you John Walsh and Fox for keeping it on air for so long.
I hate it that they canceled a show that does so much good every week…looks like fox is looking at the almighty dollar.
The difference this show has made to thousands of people is something no other show on tv has done before. Aside from the general impact on the public AMW has made a personal difference in my families life. Because of AMW my wife can sleep at nite knowing the man who kidnapped her is behind bars. This is after 10 years on the run and it is all because of AMW. Please look at the greater good society and not so much on profit. Thank you.
I believe this show is a great attribute and it is disappointing that they would really discontinue it. The cost shouldn’t matter when we are dealing with the issues that America’s Most wanted is handling
Does FOX not understand how important this series is and how many criminals have been caught? FOX is just about worthless now.
I have to say this really shocked me. I didn’t think this show was in any danger at all. I fiqured it would be on the air until JW decided to retire.
For America Most Wanted to be cancelled is a travesty. We need AMW. AMW is what we need to fight crime in this country! The network is crazy to get rid of this show. I hope that the network changes their mind.
Anytime you have a show like AMW, it should air no matter what. helps put the bad guys away. That’s what we need.