America’s Most Wanted is returning to FOX after nearly a decade off the air. The series, which helps hunt down fugitive criminals, aired on the network for 23 years, between 1988 – 2011. After the network cancelled the show, Lifetime picked up the series for two seasons before ending the show in 2013. This new incarnation will land on FOX in March. The possibility of a revival for this series was first teased last year.
The revival of this popular series will not see the return of John Walsh as host. Former 20/20 anchor Elizabeth Vargas is taking on the reigns of the series. She will work with the FBI, U.S. Marshall’s Office, and Secret Service as she asks for the public’s help in bringing criminals to justice.
FOX revealed more about the America’s Most Wanted revival in a press release.
“One of television’s most iconic series, AMERICA’S MOST WANTED, returns to FOX with an all-new season beginning in March, it was announced today by Rob Wade, President, Alternative Entertainment & Specials, FOX Entertainment. Produced by FOX Alternative Entertainment and hosted by Emmy Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Vargas, AMERICA’S MOST WANTED will investigate some of the country’s most dangerous fugitives.
Each week, Vargas will ask for viewers’ help as she breaks down cases from the show’s new headquarters, consulting with a team of experts representing law enforcement units such as the FBI, U.S. Marshall’s Office and Secret Service. Returning at a time when social media and technology loom large in the public consciousness, AMERICA’S MOST WANTED will offer a unique and urgent opportunity for viewers to be armchair detectives by helping law enforcement solve some of the toughest cases.
Deploying a myriad of advanced, modern-day developments in technology over the last several years, the series builds on its original format, in which crimes are reenacted, by utilizing new state-of-the-art crime-fighting technology, such as augmented reality and 3-D life-size avatars that will illustrate what suspects might look like now, pinpoint map-tracking that will take the audience hot-on-the-trail of suspects, and social media that connect viewers to the AMERICA’S MOST WANTED team at lighting-fast speed. Viewers at home can attempt to aid in the pursuit of justice by using social media to try and help law enforcement track down culprits and keep America’s neighborhoods safe.
“AMERICA’S MOST WANTED empowered viewers to help America successfully capture some of its most dangerous fugitives,” said Wade. “By bringing back this groundbreaking series with new and effective tech-based crime-fighting tools and acclaimed journalist Elizabeth Vargas, we hope to continue John Walsh’s long-standing mission to be a powerful voice for crime victims everywhere.”
“Capturing dangerous fugitives, bringing justice to victims and finding missing children is my lifetime’s work,” said John Walsh. “I am so excited to hear AMERICA’S MOST WANTED is coming back and I support its return. God bless.”
Among its many accomplishments, AMERICA’S MOST WANTED has helped capture more than 1,186 criminals, including 17 on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. It also has reunited 43 missing children with their families.
Vargas hosted the ABC news magazine “20/20” for 15 years. Prior to that, she was the anchor of ABC’s World News Tonight and the news anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America. She has traveled the world covering breaking news stories, reporting in-depth investigations and conducting news-maker interviews with world leaders, interviewing everyone from the President of the United States in the Oval Office to the President of Afghanistan. She anchored ABC’s World News Tonight from Iraq during that country’s first democratic election in years. She won an Emmy for her live coverage of the Elian Gonzales raid, a Peabody Award as part of ABC’s team covering the Millennium and an Edward R. Murrow Award for breaking news coverage of Hurricane Katrina. Before ABC, Vargas worked at NBC News as a correspondent for Dateline, and as the anchor of NBC’s Weekend News. Most recently, she was named host of A&E Investigates. She is a best-selling author and the host of the podcast “Heart of the Matter.” She is on the Board of Directors of Partnership To End Addiction.
An exact premiere date for the new America’s Most Wanted has not yet been set.
What do you think? Did you watch America’s Most Wanted during its 25 years on television? Will you watch the new revival on FOX?