'America's Most Wanted' is picked up by... Lifetime?
John Walsh's long-running series is a better fit than it seems
Lifetime has announced that it has salvaged "America's Most Wanted" from Fox's cancelation heap, giving the crime-fighting TV staple its 25th season on the air.
“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,” said host and executive producer John Walsh. “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.”
While "America's Most Wanted" seems like an odd fit for the home of "Project Runway," it's probably more appropriate than it may initially seem to be. As the go-to spot for TV movies about fictional murders ("Nora Roberts' Carnal Innocence") and true crime ("Amanda Knox Murder on Trial in Italy"), the one hole in the network's programming is a regular series covering the scary stuff. Oxygen, another female-centric network, has already jumped on the gore wagon with "Snapped" (a show about female killers now in its seventh season), so it's no surprise Lifetime is following suit.
More importantly, a show like "America's Most Wanted" is a welcome antidote to women-as-victim dramas which usually involve lots of screaming, running and narrow escapes (and sometimes no escape at all). A show that gives women a chance to help police catch the bad guys is downright empowering. It also doesn't hurt that "America's Most Wanted" has an impressive track record, leading to the capture of 1,100 fugitives including 17 on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, plus aided in the rescue of 61 children and missing persons since 1988. Later this month, Walsh will receive the Governors Award at the Emmys.
But Lifetime's decision to grab "America's Most Wanted" doesn't mean Fox has completely given up on the show. The network is contracted to do four "AMW" specials this year.