Fox Cancels 'America's Most Wanted' as a Weekly Series

The network will air quarterly specials of the long-running, money-losing law enforcement series.

After 23 years on the air, America's Most Wanted will end as a weekly series. 

Come fall, Fox brass is moving the long-running Saturday night crime show to two-hour editions four times per year. That's assuming AMW boss John Walsh doesn't find an additional outlet to air the series as a weekly, which Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly says the show's host and executive producer is already exploring with parent company News Corp.

"It has been an important show for us historically," explained Reilly on a conference call with reporters Monday. "But it's no secret to John, we have not made money on the show in a quite awhile. It wasn’t particularly viable. Also we need a space to air repeats."

This isn't the first time the series, which touts 1,151 captures on its Website, has flirted with death. The show was briefly canceled in the fall of 1996, when the network decided to air a sitcom block featuring Married... with Children in the time slot. But protests from viewers as well as law enforcement and government officials erupted, causing Fox to rethink its decision. The combination of the replacement comedies' low ratings and the public outcry ultimately inspired Fox to bring the series back later that season.

For its part, Fox's other Saturday night crime show, COPS, will remain on the air for a 24th season.