Earlier this year, Fox canceled the long-running Saturday crime-fighting series "America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back" -- as it had done in 1996, before a torrent of complaints from law enforcement urged a change of heart -- but said the show would continue as quarterly specials.
That was met with skepticism, and host John Walsh began a campaign to find the show a new home so he could maintain its ability to take in tips from viewers and put the spotlight on fugitives.
But as it turns out, Fox is as good as its word, and the first two-hour "AMW" special, "America's Most Wanted: 50 Fugitives 50 States Special Edition," airs Saturday, Oct. 29.
At the same time, Walsh succeeded in his quest to keep the show going on a weekly basis. In early September, female-skewing cablenet Lifetime announced it had picked up "AMW" for its 25th season, beginning later this year.
In a statement, Walsh said, "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 to bring it back on Lifetime.
"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."
In addition, before the Lifetime pickup became a reality, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced Walsh as the recipient of the annual Governors Award at the Creative Arts Emmys, which took place Sept. 10.
The honor recognizes an individual, company or organization that has made a substantial impact and demonstrated the extraordinary use of television.
Former hotel developer Walsh got into the justice business after his 6-year-old son, Adam, was abducted and found murdered in Florida in 1981. Since its premiere on Fox in 1988, "America's Most Wanted" has helped catch more than 1,100 fugitives and find more than 50 missing children.
The prime suspect in Adam Walsh's abduction and murder, serial killer Ottis Toole, died in prison in 1996, and the case is now officially closed.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun