September 06, 2011 3:40pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'America's Most Wanted' Gets Second Chance on Lifetime
In a bizarre twist, Lifetime has picked up John Walsh’s long-running America’s Most Wanted.
The crime-fighting show, which Fox canceled due to soft ratings and rising costs in May, will return for its 25th season this year on the female-skewing cable network.
“America’s Most Wanted is a seminal program that provides a very valuable service to both viewers and law enforcement agencies,” Lifetime Networks president and GM Nancy Dubuc said in a statement announcing the news Tuesday. “For more than two decades John Walsh has been leading the fight against crime and it’s an honor to partner with him on bringing back this important show.”
Fox Entertainment topper Kevin Reilly noted in May that the show wasn’t a profitable one for the network. "It's no secret to John, we have not made money on the show in a quite awhile,” Reilly told reporters in May. “It wasn’t particularly viable. Also we need a space to air repeats."
The series, which Walsh launched after his only child, Adam, was murdered, has played a role in capturing more than 1,100 fugitives in the U.S. and 30 countries, including 17 on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List.
“I’ve always believed there was something very special about America’s Most Wanted and that there should be a home for it on television, and I couldn’t be happier to now be able bring it back on Lifetime,” Walsh said. “We’ve often been called the court of last resort … now we are back in the game and ready to saddle up for another season to get justice for victims and put dangerous criminals behind bars.”
Fox will still air its four two-hour quarterly specials as planned.