Fox cancels 'America's Most Wanted,' plans specials

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Image Credit: America's Most Wanted

Good news for criminals: Fox is cancelling its long-running crime-stopping series America’s Most Wanted.

The series profiling men and women wanted by law enforcement agencies has been on the air since 1988 and consistently wins its time period. A few years ago it announced the capture of its 1,000th criminal.

The brand will still have a presence on Fox next season; the network will air four quarterly two-hour specials. But the Saturday night mainstay will otherwise be replaced by repeats.

Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly told reporters on Monday that the show was no longer profitable.

“John Walsh has been an important guy at network for a long time,” Reilly says. “It’s been an important show for us historically. We haven’t made money on the show in quite awhile. It wasn’t particularly viable. We wanted to keep the franchise alive. John is having conversations about ways to keep the series alive.”

Another factor, Reilly noted, is needing an open time period where the network can re-air episodes of other shows.

“We’re going to be in originals across our schedule,” Reilly says. “We want to be able to play repeats to give the audience a chance to catch up and that’s one of the few places we can do that.”

America’s Most Wanted has a good chance of finding a home someplace else. The show averaged 5 million viewers this season and a 1.7 rating in the adult demo — pretty impressive for a Saturday, though that number was down slightly from last year. The main issue with the show wasn’t its popularity, but the cost of production.

The announcement came as Fox revealed its 2011-12 primetime schedule.

Comments (141 total) Add your comment
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  • !

    This is terrible. Hopefully someone will pick it up.

    • Cygnus

      Wow, doesnt anyone but 50 year old, white trash, busy-body, housewives watch this any more?

      • tonya

        booo to you!

      • unknown

        Oh, I guess your mad because you did’nt get your 15 min’s of shame.

      • Lisa

        No, people who have been affected by criminals that want the bad guys caught. It’s a vital show. Even in the middle east we are capturing the guys that want to harm America. I’d think you’d be proud to have a show that is for the greater good of the people. I want to live in a safe neighborhood, how about you?

        \

      • rita smith

        do you have to be a over the top, over 50, busybody to care whats going on in our world. obviously you have never been a victim of a crime, or you would give a dam about others getting justice. you need a life. go watch whitney

      • Britt

        thats whack! I wait all the week for the show! That just shows what america has come too! God Bless John Walsh, and all that hes about! I will dearly miss the show!

    • Jen

      They’re probably just going down to 4 specials a year to avoid the backlash they received when they tried to cancel AMW previously. At least this show was actually doing some good. But the networks just want us to watch fake criminals being caught I guess. Hopefully it will be picked up by another network considering its good ratings. Heck it does better than some comedies on NBC’s Thursday comedy lineup. At any rate, I commend everyone involved in AMW, especially John Walsh. Catching over 1,000 criminals is just amazing.

      • Mr and Mrs Carrero

        AMC has been on the air for good reasons, to catch criminals! Looking forward to catching up! Also, viewing new crimes to unfold! Go John Walsh! The world is not safe without you!

    • ann

      i’m so discused that americas most wanted was taken off the air. it was one of 2 programs that i watched on saturday night. then you put the most dicusting program in it’s place. come on get real

  • Daily

    Wow…they’re getting rid of everything.

  • Smallville

    If they’re just gonna show repeats they might as well keep airing new episodes. Unless they’re gonna air a new series.

    • Fridge

      I think he meant re-airing their primetime shows from during the week, like Bones, Glee, or Fringe.

  • Lydia Atsma

    Well that just ruined my Monday…

  • Lily

    That’s right FOX, cancel something useful and replace it with more crap.

    • Donna

      Fox has always had a history of canceling shows that were still highly popular. Even way back when they were only on a few nights a week.

    • Dawn

      Instead of thinking about the money Fox is not making on AMW, perhaps FOX should be thinking about the lives that were changed, saved by criminals being captured and put back behind bars by the show being on. Good going FOX. I am sure the criminals are now your number 1 fans.

    • Christina

      Yeah I agree that Fox is just like our justice system sorry. They will air stuff that doesn’t help our society show CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • MeanderthalMan

      Amen Lily! My sentiments exactly. Why can’t NASCAR shell out some money. Walsh gives then tons of free advertising.

    • Tammie Hanenburg

      I dedicated myself and my Saturday night to spending watching America’s most wanted for over 20 years now and now they cancel it I watch because I want our country to be a safer place and I want these Criminals and pedophiles off our street. The only way that we could get them off our streets is by watching and my training in it guarantees they’re not close to me millions of us have done this for years and now they throw us away like it’s nothing that let’s let the criminals when that’s what they doing

      • Tammie Hanenburg

        Sorry about my last comments, It didn’t print out right and when I tried to change it I accidently pushed the submit button that’s what you get when your using talk to speak. What I am trying to say iis That we were there for the very first show and we will be there for the restart show no matter what network it’s on ,because that the only way we can get These violent predators and criminals off our streets and a sure justice to those that needed to most,THE VICTIMS…..We all watch, not Just American, but the rest of the world as well. Even the criminals themselves are watching ,those in and out of jail or prison. So what does this say,not only to the criminals but TO THE REST OF THE WORLD????? We are giving up our power… Our power in #’s to find the worst of the worst. Those that think they can evade justice by hiding amungst us. John Walsh You are a person that will NEVER GIVE UP ON JUSTICE , AND WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON YOU. IF FOX IS TO DUMB TO REALIZE THAT THEN IT WILL TRULY BE THEIR LOSS, BECAUSE WHERE YOU GO W E GO…….With the resesion
        erence for our children are families and even our grandchildren and our neighbors

      • Tammie Hanenburg

        With the recession that we are currently going through ,crime rates are higher than ever. Our technology is also better then ever, So is it not odd that other countries have started their own MOST WANTED SHOWS. While the country with the MOST CRIME , MOST PETIFILES, MOST CHILD ABDUCTIONS, and most likly the MOST URDERS

      • Tammie Hanenburg

        Contnued MOST MURDERS, KNOWING OF ALL THAT FOX SHUT DOWN OUR MOST EFFECTIVE OPPERTUNITY TO HELP ALL LAW ENFORCMENTS ACCROSS THE COUNTRY. IT TOOK AWAY THE ONLY HOPE THAT THOUSANDS OF VICTIMS AND OR THIIR FAMILIES HAD TO BE FOUND, FIND JUSTICE, OR JUST TO FINALLY FEEL SAFE…..THIS IS WHAT AMW TRUELY ABOUT. THAT IS WHY WE HAVE HAVE SACRIFICED OUR SAT.NITE FOR , FOR OVER 20 YEARS.

      • Tammie Hanenburg

        To the network that saves AMW, GOD BLESS YOU, ALL OF YOU, FOR DOING WHAT IS WRIGHT FOR AMERICA AND THE REST OF THE WORLD. IF I MIGHT ADD A SUGGESTION THOUGH I SUGGEST THAT YOU SHOW IT A FEW DIFFERENT TIMES DURING THE WEEK .THAT WAY EVEN MORE PEOPLE GET A CHANCE TO SEE IT. RERUNNING IT DURING THE WEEK ALLOWS AMW TO REACH MORE PEOPLE. ALLOWING MORE FUGITIVES LESS TIME ON THE RUN, AND RAISES THE CHANCES FOR KIDNAPPED VICTIMS TO BE FOUND AND BROUGHT HOME SAFE! ANOTHER THING IS IF YOU CANT AFFORD TO DO IT RIGHT,THEN LET OPRAH DO IT ON OWN……

  • Joe

    Everything is changing. Unreal. John Walsh’s program is an important part of our culture. Bummer.

  • Me

    That’s just awful.

  • Leroy Grey

    this seems ideal for daytime syndication, alongside all the courtroom shows out there… I’m already imagining all the hometown law firm ads.

  • Ha

    They cancelled it before and they brought it back…I have a feeling FOX willdo the same thing again…

  • Pink Lemonade

    Stupid Fox.

  • V.

    why would you take a show off the air that does something as valuable as taking criminals off our streets? i’m so confused right now. first the soaps and now john walsh, how bad can this fall get? keep your heard up john walsh, a smarter network will know the value of AMW!

  • Sean

    I heard a rumor that Fox might cancel AMW but that CurrentTV might pick it up.

  • Westfly

    This is ridiculous! They cancel good shows (AMW, Chicago Code, Human Target) and replace them with crap TV! Looks like I wont be watching ANYTHING on Fox anymore. Boo!

  • PopQ

    I hope AMW gets picked up. If not TV then the Web. We need a show like AMW. Hopefully things will be managed properly in the production department so we CAN have a show that catches troublemakers.

  • RaRa

    Why cancel a show like this that actually has redeeming value? It’s not like they are running out of “plot lines” like a regular show!

    • Janice Stanley & Shannon Jarman (Blind & Mentally Handycapped)

      What can be more profitable than catching murderers of adults and kidnappers of children and make sex rings, or murder when robbing banks. I know that Fox 59 can find difference between money and the precious lives of people, that only live once. We only live in this world one time, but the money circulates over and over. So what, if FOX 59 has a loss, the loss is not as much as the gain that it has with the world watching and the gansters that it has caught over the years.

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