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End of an Era: ‘America’s Most Wanted’ Goes Quarterly

“America’s Most Wanted,” a staple of Saturday nights on the Fox network since 1988, will end its weekly edition this year, shifting to two-hour quarterly installments. In its place Fox will air encore episodes of other shows.

Hope is not all lost, however. Someone close to the show says that host John Walsh and the producers are looking for other homes for the long-running program

“We have not made money on the show in quite a while,” said Fox president Kevin Reilly, announcing the move to reporters, “but we wanted to keep the franchise alive.”

The program, hosted by Walsh, looks at high-profile (and some not-so high profile) cases, with the goal of assisting police. The program says it has helped catch more than 1,100 criminals since its debut. “America’s Most Wanted” celebrated its 1,000th episode in March, 2010, with a visit to the White House and a guest appearance by President Obama.

“America’s Most Wanted” was briefly canceled back in 1996, when Fox tried to launch a  night of comedy on Saturday. Protests from viewers, law enforcement and politicians convinced Fox to bring the program back, however. It probably also helped that the comedies flopped.

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