EXCLUSIVE: A signature Fox program may be making a return on the network. Fox Entertainment is developing America’s Most Wanted, a new incarnation of the crime-fighting unscripted series, which aired on the broadcast network for a quarter century. The network is looking to make a pilot and is currently searching for a host, Fox Alternative president Rob Wade confirmed to Deadline during TCA.
“It’s a great format, very Fox format,” he said Tuesday of AMW, which prompted the public to help track down dangerous fugitives while also reenacting the crimes the fugitives had committed.
The new version will build on the legacy of the John Walsh-hosted original but aims at creating urgency and going global.
“It is America’s Most Wanted but with the help of our producer and Interpol we are now able to work outside of the U.S. because a lot of the fugitives these days travel; you need to be able to have a global reach to find fugitives,” Wade said.
Wade outlined three main reasons why he and his team are looking to launch a contemporary version of America’s Most Wanted.
“We have seen that sometimes, there is success in bringing back existing IP, it immediately gives you a massive leg-up in the marketing. That’s what is attractive to us,” he said.
“Secondly, crime is something that is hugely consumed — certainly on cable and streaming — but has not been cracked in unscripted on network.”
“Thirdly, I think it is a show that can create urgency and has a kind of a good heart at the end of the day. It is a crime show but it has positivity to it; you can try to find a fugitive and help.”
America’s Most Wanted was the longest-running program in Fox history when it was canceled by the network in 2011 after 25 seasons, a mark since surpassed by The Simpsons. Following its cancellation by Fox, the show was picked up that same year by cable network Lifetime, where it aired until March 2013.
Hosted by Walsh, the original series featured reenactments of dangerous fugitives portrayed by actors, interspersed with on-camera interviews, with a voice-over narration by Walsh. Each episode also featured photographs of dangerous fugitives, as well as a toll-free hotline number where viewers could give information. On May 2, 2008, the program’s website announced its 1,000th capture.
Walsh currently headlines the similarly-themed series In Pursuit with John Walsh, which returns for Season 2 on Investigation Discovery next week.