America's Most Wanted (partially found reality legal TV show; 1988-2012)


America's Most Wanted
The show's logo
The show's logo
Status Partially Found

America's Most Wanted was a reality legal show on Fox from 1988-2011 and on Lifetime TV in 2012. Hosted by John Walsh, the show would profile criminals who were on the run from authorities and show reenactments of the events that led up to the crime. Viewers were urged to call America's Most Wanted hotline, where tips would be forwarded to authorities. At the time of the show's cancellation on Fox, it was the longest-running TV show in the network's history with 25 seasons in total.

History

Background

Reality legal programming was nothing new. In the 1950's, a program on CBS called Wanted aired, but only lasted one season. The concept for Wanted was introduced to Europe in the late 1960's and a German show called Aktenzeichen XY … ungelöst (Case Number XY ... unsolved) premiered in Germany in 1967 and still airs to this day. In the 1980's, television programs were booming in numbers. The BBC decided to take a crack at the reality legal programming genre and in 1984 the TV show Crimewatch debuted. Seeing the success of reality legal programming in Europe, executives at CBS decided to re-visit the reality legal programming genre and the show Unsolved Mysteries debuted in 1987. Fox also wanted to have a program of their own.

In 1981, John Walsh's son Adam Walsh was kidnapped out of a mall in Hollywood, Florida. The murder of Adam Walsh soon became well known when in 1983, NBC aired a Made-for-TV film titled Adam which was based on the unsolved murder of Adam Walsh. Soon John Walsh would go to Fox and agree to be the host for America's Most Wanted. The first episode of America's Most Wanted aired on February 7, 1988, and was met with great success.

Cancellation

The first attempt to cancel America's Most Wanted came in 1996 when Fox wanted to cancel America's Most Wanted and replace it with a sitcom. Soon dedicated fans wrote to Fox and demanded America's Most Wanted to stay on the air. This campaign proved to be successful as the show was saved.

On May 16, 2011, Fox had announced that America's Most Wanted was going to be cancelled citing high production costs. Within hours of the announcement, fans took to social media to share their disappointment with Fox. Host John Walsh also expressed his disapproval of the decision and talks were made to have America's Most Wanted as a segment on Fox News. In September of 2011, Lifetime had announced that it had picked up the rights to America's Most Wanted and new episodes on the network Lifetime began to air in December of 2011. On October 12, 2012, America's Most Wanted ended its 25th season on Lifetime. This would be the last time the show would air as on March 28, 2013, Lifetime had announced that America's Most Wanted would be canceled due to high licensing fees from Fox and low viewership. John Walsh moved to CNN with a similarly-formatted series, The Hunt with John Walsh, which premiered in 2014 and has made no mention of America's Most Wanted since.

Current status

Due to the long run of the series, with over 1000 episodes produced over the span of 24 years, much of the episodes cannot be accounted for. Currently, there are some clips as well as full episodes available from various seasons on YouTube, but many full episodes and seasons of America's Most Wanted are still unavailable. There are no plans to release the series on any streaming sites or to DVDs.

Found episodes and/or clips

Full episode Season 3 episode 95.
part of Season 24 episode 14.
segment showcasing Ramón Arellano Félix.

References

  • Breslin, Jack (1990). America's Most Wanted: How Television Catches Crooks. New York, New York: Harper & Row. pp. 80–85

External Links

Comments


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Kobochat

1 months ago
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Wait, what? This is like a national staple that's been referenced by just about everything, there has to be at least SOME of this out there somewhere...
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Dark Timur

1 months ago
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There seems to be some at least,

Seasons Link 21-24 https://btdi...-most-wanted 21-22 https://btdi...-most-wanted

more can be found here, https://btdi...Most+Wanted+
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Anonymous user #1

1 months ago
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That's crazy that this show is lost. Used to watch it every Saturday night growing up along with Cops and Mad TV
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Anonymous user #2

1 months ago
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What are you talking about? There's two full episodes on YouTube. That might no be much, but hey, it's something.
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Anonymous user #3

1 months ago
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Wait, this is lost? ...............HOW!?
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Ghawk

1 months ago
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Most likely due to legal stuff. Fox gave partial rights to AMW to Viacom. My theory is that if either of them touches AMW, one will end up in legal issues from the other. It is also possible that because John Walsh is on a new show on CNN, Fox and Viacom cannot air AMW as John Walsh most likely has a contract with CNN.
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Anonymous user #4

1 months ago
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I understand that this is lost but ENTIERLY? Wow....i thought it would be PARTAILLY lost.
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ElectricBoltGaming8462

25 days ago
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The thing is: IT IS partially lost, maybe this guy forgot to search the episodes on YouTube, half of the show's episodes are there while most of them aren't even full episodes, there are some that survived in full.
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Anonymous user #5

29 days ago
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This has to partially lost. This show was too popular to be completely lost.
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Anonymous user #6

29 days ago
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I doubt that every full episode of this INSANELY POPULAR show is lost. I mean at least the recent seasons should have been recorded by someone.
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Thundermaster612

28 days ago
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The bizarre magic of reality somehow bends itself to make super famous stuff like this hard to find. This should at least be partially lost/found though, I mean somebody posted some episodes above already.
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ElectricBoltGaming8462

27 days ago
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Yo guys guess what? I found some episodes of "America's Most Wanted, Are these the episodes: (https://www....=CasNRUqT_t4 https://www....=qfafGx3LPBo https://www....=cA3xFl_k_ow https://www....=i3dzYSVVM-A https://www....=1OhSdxjivZI) I'm not sure about the rest though because I haven't watched this show before but seriously, shouldn't this be "Partially Lost" or something, because some of the episodes can be found on YouTube (Most of them aren't even finished)
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ElectricBoltGaming8462

27 days ago
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oh wait a minute, there's more: (https://www....=sLO3X9DJpKI, https://www....=6JnxTYxHiyA, https://www....=o7VdEYiU5oI, https://www....=H9MuHmX0-KQ, https://www....=WhdCT9QPmi8, https://www....amtI0Y)again, most of these episodes that are on YouTube aren't even full episodes but hey, its better than nothing.
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ElectricBoltGaming8462

27 days ago
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except for one which is aired in 1989 https://www....=x3qmfneqQMw
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ElectricBoltGaming8462

25 days ago
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Oh shit, what the hell is this? I found more only (I think) this one is the "complete" 1992 season

https://arch...tails/A_M_W_
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Ghawk

11 days ago
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Having checked that out, it is just a few segments and mostly commercials.
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ElectricBoltGaming8462

4 days ago
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oh right, well whats the exact length of each episodes exactly? are they supposed to be 22 mins? most tv shows run at that length I think.
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Anonymous user #7

23 days ago
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The status isn't right. This series isn't completely lost, there are still some footage that exists online. Change the status to say partially lost or partiality found. That makes more sense than just saying lost.
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Anonymous user #8

20 days ago
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This article needs work. It doesn't say what is lost and what isn't.
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Vamp1597

19 days ago
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There's over a thousand episodes, with bits and pieces scattered across the web. That would be way too much to list exactly what's lost and what isn't. It's really just a matter of that there isn't a lot of material from the show online.
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Anonymous user #9

16 days ago
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An episode was mentioned on Forensic Files.
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KaiserHyperionofTeutonica

16 days ago
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Damn it forgot to log in.
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Anonymous user #10

16 days ago
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Logo reused in real or fake by mr bill (youtube)
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