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America's Most Wanted Canceled After 23 Years

America's Most Wanted Canceled After 23 Years

Chicago Sun-Times via YellowBrix

May 17, 2011

‘America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh isn’t burned out, nor does he plan to fade away anytime soon. But he’ll likely need to find another home for his long-running true crime show, which aired on Fox for 23 years until its cancellation Monday.

While four more episodes of “Wanted” will trickle out as two-hour specials, the weekly program — whose high profile and flurry of called-in tips helped local, national and international law enforcement officials nab more than 1,100 bad guys — will go away after June 18.

“[‘Wanted’] bridged the gap between Hollywood and the real world of law enforcement, which is tough to do at times,” said Jason Grunwald, chief inspector for the U.S. Marshal Service’s Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, which is headquarted in Chicago.

Grunwald, who worked with Walsh and his producers on several occasions, lamented the fate of “a great partner” in crime fighting.

Chicago-based FBI special agent Ross Rice expressed similar sentiments, saying he was “shocked and saddened” by the news.

Crime victims will feel the loss, he added, because they’ll no longer have the same “opportunity to get some closure, to bring to justice the person or persons responsible for causing pain in their own lives. … I don’t think we’re going to be able to replace ‘AMW.’ There isn’t another show out there that did what they did as well as they did it.”

For Fox, bumping “Wanted” was merely a business decision. Although it was “an important show for us historically,” Fox Entertainment president Kevin Reilly said, it “wasn’t particularly viable” financially.

Walsh, 66, is frustrated and puzzled by the decision. “Maybe we’re not a huge money­maker, but my God, we’ve saved lives and gotten people justice who have nowhere else to go,” he told the Sun-Times.

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John Walsh was moved to launch “America’s Most Wanted” in 1988 after the murder of his son, Adam, went unsolved for years. The killer was discovered in 2008. [AP]

Surely, though, it came as little surprise that bottom-line concerns trumped public service. “Maybe it shouldn’t be only about the money,” said Walsh, who predicted the show “would kick ass in syndication” and is working on a global version.

Walsh’s 6-year-old son, Adam, was abducted and murdered in 1981 by serial killer Ottis Toole. That painful incident eventually spurred the former Florida-based luxury hotel developer to begin his dogged televised manhunt. “Wanted” first aired on only a handful of Fox stations in early 1988 and soon shot to No. 1 in its time slot.

Two decades later, in late 2008, Adam’s case was finally solved.

“I’ll always be the father of Adam,” Walsh said, “and it took 27 years of anguish and pushing to get the cops to close that case. I think I’ve gotten better at it. I think I’ve gotten tougher and smarter and I figured out how to incorporate the public, who are my biggest resource. The public has kept the show on the air.”

And the public, he knows, can help reinstate it. When “Wanted” was dropped once before, in 1996, “the public went bananas,” Walsh said. Governors, members of Congress and affiliate stations around the country, he noted, “roared up” as well.

“We were the shortest-canceled show in TV history, so you never know. I always look at it as the glass half full.”


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  • Jack_bauer_max50

    Allen705

    over 3 years ago

    1466 Comments

    For a show that really, cost almost nothing to produce to get cancelled is pure crap. It's budget has to be almost nothing compared to other shows. On this note, I never watch it anymore. I think this should be something fox should play at an earlier time slot around the news in 30 minute episodes.

  • Cop_car_night_max50

    THOMASCOFFMAN

    over 3 years ago

    120 Comments

    WE ALSO NEED TO REALLY THINK ABOUT THE ""UNIONS"" IN POLICE DEPTS---BETTER THINK REAL HARD---PD'S DO NOT NEED UNIONS----EVER---WE NEED STRENGTH, BROTHERHOOD AND TOGETHERNESS....STICK TOGETHER FOR ALL THAT IS RIGHT & GOOD FOR OUR SAFETY & THE SAFETY OF OUR COUNTRY!!! "GOD BLESS AMERICA" ------

  • Cop_car_night_max50

    THOMASCOFFMAN

    over 3 years ago

    120 Comments

    WHAT THE H--- IS WRONG WITH FOX---GLENN BECK--NOW---AMW---THERE'S SOMETHING GOING ON HERE---WE BETTER FIND OUT BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!! --- IF FOX GOES THRU WITH THIS ONE
    WE MAY HAVE A PROB--I KNOW THERE IS POWER BEHIND THIS "FARST" WE CALL A GOV'T --- BUT WE BETTER STOP THIS CRAP---OUR COUNTRY IS AT STAKE HERE--- "GOD BLESS MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN LAW ENFORCMENT--& GOD HELP AND BLESS OUR TROOPS & THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" LAND THAT I LOVE-----!!!!!!

  • Img_0103_max50

    LAWMANTUKES

    over 3 years ago

    6976 Comments

    Personally, I don't think that FOX will go through with this decision......

  • 1848092686_b2df4305f6_max50

    baxuzid

    over 3 years ago

    20 Comments

    Oh wow, I'm shocked. I'm hoping it gets picked up on another network.

  • Dsc02083_max50

    cmh308

    over 3 years ago

    3516 Comments

    Great show! Sad to see it go.

  • 014_max50

    securetexas

    over 3 years ago

    1038 Comments

    Leave K-9s of Broward County alone, that's good TV...LOL

  • 014_max50

    securetexas

    over 3 years ago

    1038 Comments

    With all of the BS reality shows, we have one that is an asset to the general public, not just a ratings... Granted it has been around a while, BUT it works!!!!!
    Someone will pick it up, let's hope... It can take the place of Jersey Girls in my book...

  • Picture_1556_max50

    jcneville

    over 3 years ago

    78 Comments

    AMW is a great show and a huge help to LE... Sure hope some smart network keeps it running!

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    over 3 years ago

    11226 Comments

    Hoping another network picks up AMW and keeps it on for another 23 years, catching criminals and helping bring closure to families of victims.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Laduin

    over 3 years ago

    28 Comments

    John Walsh has done more for this nation than any amount of money could help. Hopefully another TV company out there will care enough about that to pick the show up.

  • M_9667fc2c687f23a8152f2bc98d03777d_max50

    TXMEDICGRL

    over 3 years ago

    92 Comments

    Always about the all mighty dollar. This sucks.

  • 1211120858_max50

    FreezeP

    over 3 years ago

    1456 Comments

    Fox suxs you are IDIOTS, seems that you care more about money than the closure and justice that AMERICAS MOST WANTED brought to alot of families.This is the only show that me and my wife would watch on fox together, it was the only show on fox other than prison break that we loved.I hope you go bankrupt now.Good Luck to AMW hopefully another station will carry the torch of a great and respectable show.I bet the criminals love the decision, i wonder if they had a influence in the matter,um!

  • Xd9scod-left-full_max50

    benjaminsanders3

    over 3 years ago

    40 Comments

    GREAT SHOW. HATE THAT IT'S GONE.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    John Walsh has done a great service to the country hope he finds a new home for amw soon.

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