Last May, FOX shocked many by cancelling their longest-running series, America’s Most Wanted. The network planned to air quarterly two hour specials but the weekly series was finished after 24 seasons.
Host and producer John Walsh said that he wanted to find a new home for the regular series and Lifetime ended up picking it up for 20 new episodes. The woman-focused channel might seem like an odd choice but the show actually has a significant female audience.
FOX’s first AMW special aired last Saturday and the next airs on December 17th. Lifetime has now announced that season 25 of the regular series kicks off on the cable channel on December 2nd.
Here’s the full press release:
CRIMINALS, CONSIDER YOURSELVES ON NOTICE…
CRIME-FIGHTING PIONEER JOHN WALSH AND AMERICA’S MOST WANTED TO RETURN WITH ALL-NEW EPISODES AND CASES FOR 25TH SEASON ON DECEMBER 2 ON LIFETIME
LOS ANGELES, CA (November 1, 2011) – Criminals can run. But they can no longer hide as John Walsh’s pioneering series, America’s Most Wanted, television’s top crime-fighting show, will return with all-new episodes for its 25th season on Friday, December 2, at 9:00pm ET/PT on Lifetime. Once again Walsh will, as he’s successfully done for 24 remarkable years, put all criminals on notice throughout America’s Most Wanted’s Silver Anniversary, during which the series will continue to leverage the power of television to inform viewers of some of the world’s notorious crimes and bring their alleged perpetrators to justice.
Lifetime has ordered 20, one-hour-long episodes of America’s Most Wanted that will feature new late-breaking cases, providing the audience with the most up-to-date information and empowering them to play an important role in assisting law enforcement officials to help capture fugitives showcased on the program.
“I am excited to be back in the saddle and working with Lifetime. We are the court of last resort and with the show getting back to our weekly airing, we’ll have the capability of getting more fugitives off the streets and behind bars where they belong. We hope our observant fans continue the mission with us, on our new night – Friday — and keep our capture number climbing while helping those crime victims that need us,” said Walsh.
“We’re thrilled to be working with John to re-launch America’s Most Wanted,” said Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President of Programming for Lifetime. “It’s rare to be able to broadcast a show that is both vital programming for our viewers and provides a true public service. In the history of media, there’s never been a show quite like this one.”
Since its 1988 premiere America’s Most Wanted has become one of the most important programs on television, having played a major role in the capture of more than 1,100 fugitives in the U.S. and 30 countries, including 17 on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, and the rescue of 61 children and missing persons during the program’s history. Aside from its landmark status in the annals of television as a leader in using the medium to apprehend the world’s most dangerous criminals, the series also has shaped legislation and the national dialogue on crime fighting, and received numerous honors for its work. The influential series has helped lead to arrests in major unsolved crimes such as the missing Elizabeth Smart case, the murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen and the capture of FBI’s top ten Most Wanted fugitive, crime boss Whitey Bulger.
This past September, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented Walsh with its prestigious Governors Award, which “salutes an individual, company or organization that has made a substantial impact and demonstrated the extraordinary use of television.”
More information on America’s Most Wanted can be found at www.amw.com. Become a fan of America’s Most Wanted on Facebook at www.facebook.com/1800crimetv.
America’s Most Wanted is produced by Walsh Productions and distributed by Twentieth Television, Inc., with Walsh serving as executive producer, along with Rob Sharenow, Gena McCarthy, Abigail Harvey and Jim Rapsas of Lifetime.
ABOUT WALSH PRODUCTIONS
Walsh Productions, based in Washington, DC was founded by John Walsh, who is best known as host of America’s Most Wanted, the show that pioneered reality television. Walsh, the most recognized voice for victim’s rights, has produced primetime series, syndicated programming and movies of the week. Recognized by the past five Presidents for his work, John Walsh is also the author of three bestselling novels. Now, John is bringing his 24 years of network experience to create a new generation of television programming.
Lifetime Television is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. Lifetime Television®, Lifetime Movie Network®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group, Hearst Corporation and NBC Universal.
What do you think? Are you glad to hear that AMW is returning? Will you be watching the specials, the series, both or neither?