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America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back 

America's Most Wanted (original title)
True crimes are dramatized in hopes that viewers can give information leading to the capture of the criminals.
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Himself / ... (267 episodes, 1988-2011)

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Storyline

In this series, John Walsh, the father of a murdered child hosts this show that illustrates crime stories which have lead to the capture of hundreds of fugitives from the law. With as much luridness and accuracy as possible, various crimes are dramatically recreated with an appeal for any viewer with information as to the crime and the perpetrators to call the show and the authorities and help the cause of justice. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

law | criminal | victim | tragedy | evidence | See All (8) »

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America's Most Wanted is where America Fights Back


Certificate:

TV-PG

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

7 February 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A.M.W.  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The show's most spectacular success was the case of John List, a man who murdered his entire family in cold blood nearly twenty years earlier and was never caught. Using the standard dramatization and an amazingly accurate forensic sculpture to account for his age since his last known photograph, the show was instrumental in the identification and capture of the fugitive within one week of broadcasting the segment. List was captured on June 1, 1989 after having lived under the pseudonym Robert Clark in Denver, Colorado and Midlothian, Virginia. On April 12, 1990, he was convicted in a New Jersey court of five counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to five life terms in prison. On March 21, 2008 List died at age 82 in a Trenton, New Jersey prison from complications of pneumonia. See more »

Quotes

[Repeated Line]
John Walsh: And remember, you can make a difference.
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Connections

Spoofed in The Simpsons: Some Enchanted Evening (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Check The Lock
Written by Carlos Villalobos
Performed by Carlos Villalobos
Courtesy of Quantum Tracks/APM Music
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User Reviews

Durable show
7 February 2009 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

America's Most Wanted began as a mid-season replacement in early 1988, and now, twenty-one years later, it shows no sign of slowing down. To date, more than one thousand fugitives profiled on the show have been caught (or, in some cases, found deceased).

It is interesting to note that John Walsh wasn't the only person who was approached about hosting AMW. A number of actors were also considered, including: Treat Williams and Theresa Saldana. True crime author/former detective Joseph Wambaugh was another candidate for the job. However, the studio wanted John Walsh, apparently because he had the credibility they were looking for; the 1981 abduction and murder of his son Adam turned him into an activist, which resulted in the passage of laws that required law enforcement agencies to become more involved in the search for missing persons.

Walsh was reluctant at first, but the case of a fugitive named David James Roberts finalized his decision to host the show. A few days after the AMW pilot aired in February 1988, Roberts, who murdered four people (including two small children) became the show's first capture. Walsh was admittedly nervous during the taping of the pilot, and it was evident.

I still remember the day in 1996 when Fox announced its decision to cancel America's Most Wanted. This surprise announcement prompted viewers (including myself), law enforcement agencies, politicians, and government officials to protest the decision. The public outcry resulted in the show returning to the air in November 1996, after being off the air for six weeks. The day AMW was reinstated was a great day.

The show airs on Saturday nights. Although we have reached the era where Saturday is generally one of the least watched nights for prime-time television, America's Most Wanted continues to be a durable and consistently watched television program.


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