It sounds like an odd pairing, but the two may not be as mismatched as first appears. Earlier this summer, Lifetime President and General Manager Nancy Dubuc spoke of the network's new push to embrace the contemporary woman.
And, according to Deadline, although the series seems very macho and guy-oriented on the surface, if you dig a little deeper you find that it's actually female-skewing because of its "wish-fulfillment element that justice will be served."
In a statement announcing the move, Dubuc said "'America's Most Wanted' is a seminal program that provides a very valuable service to both viewers and law enforcement agencies. 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."
Walsh also issued a statement, saying that the deal was closed Tuesday afternoon: "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. 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."
After 24 seasons on the air Fox cancelled 'AMW' as a weekly series, citing soaring production costs. At the time, the network said it would air four quarterly specials in the upcoming fall season, with the first premiering in October. When the last weekly episode of 'AMW' aired on Fox in June Walsh vowed to keep the series alive. "We kept the hotline and website up, and we've caught four guys," he said. "The viewers didn't give up on us."
It was axed by Fox once before, in 1996, but was reinstated in its familiar Saturday night slot after protests from viewers and law-enforcement officials were boosted by low ratings for the shows that were brought in to replace it.
The long-running show premiered on Fox in 1981. Walsh, previously a hotel executive with no TV experience, was tapped as host after he launched his own crime-busting crusade following the abduction and murder of his young son Adam.
Over the last 24 season it's estimated that the series has played a role in the capture of more than 1,100 fugitives in the U.S. and in 30 countries, including 17 criminals who were listed on the FBI's 'Ten Most Wanted.' It has also assisted in the rescue of 61 children.
In recognition of his achievements Walsh is due to accept a special Emmy Saturday. The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will give Walsh its Governors Award at the Creative Arts Emmys ceremony in Los Angeles. This honor goes to a person or organization that makes a substantial impact or demonstrates an extraordinary use of television.
The first two-hour 'America's Most Wanted' special airs Saturday Oct. 29 on Fox.