(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.)
InFANity: America's Most Wanted Behind the Scenes
America's Most Wanted, or AMW as it's referred to in the "biz" (a concise and arrogant definition for the entertainment industry), is the cornerstone of the Fox network. Long before American Idol, way prior to 24, and just on par with Homer and Marge, America's Most Wanted quietly began what would become a revolution. Sounds ominous. Well, my unsullied readers, it is! How many TV shows change lives? Not Lost. Not Heroes. Not Grey's Anatomy. Not even Dancing with the Stars. DWTS doesn't change lives, even if it does affect them. (Mario was robbed!) But whatever, I've moved on. America's Most Wanted, a show directly descended from a horrific tragedy, is the genesis of reality TV here in the U.S. It is brutal, earnest and a contradiction of what much of today's reality TV is (for example, The Bachelor, Martha and The Flavor of Love). I'm not saying there isn't room for frivolous rudimentary spectacle, but America's Most Wanted is a show about something. It's of real consequence, about on-the-ground results, and about a man whose life took a 180-degree turn that nearly destroyed him. The thing you don't know about John Walsh, the man who lost his firstborn elementary-school-aged child to murder in 1981, is how diligent he still is, 20 years later. No amount of interviews, no passage of time can temper him. The feeling of life lost is forever fresh to him. His eyes soften and his speech turns repressed each time he recalls it. The people around him initiate an unspoken pause. That alone is agonizing enough, but knowing that laws are being changed because of the work the people on this show do, while I stand around wondering how surround-sound Direct TV TiVo would look in hi-def, makes being on this set even more unsettling. There is a reason the majority of people who have worked for America's Most Wanted for a decade and beyond continue to do it. Think about it: Wouldn't you have a hard time reconciling a job that's all about making a fast buck against the chance of finding justice every time you punch in? The people at AMW - whether you agree with it or not - have made their personal choice, and they are heroes. Each and every day. More than 900 criminal scum have been caught, just when they felt they had cut and run. Families have finality. Closure. Perhaps justice. Never tranquility. But never forsaken. So just when you think the show is so familiar, so old-school, so done, remember your favorite appointment television. Criminal Minds, CSI, Monday Night Football, Brothers & Sisters, whatever it is. How many lives will these shows change past the next episode? Watch InFANity: America's Most Wanted, hosted by Lisa Joyner, on TV Guide Channel: America's TV headquarters.
TV Premiere Dates
Because it's never too early to plan Thursday night... two months from now.See What's New
Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorite shows - Start Now
Lifetime Revives Betty White's Off Their RockersAfter being canceled by NBC in July, Lifetime has given new life to Betty White's Off Their Rockers. The cable network has ordered 20 half-hour episodes of the hidden camera series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Celebrities with doppelganger kids White will return as host for the third season, which will air sometime in 2014.
Exclusive: After 25 Years, Cops Moves to a New NetworkCalling all units: Cops is staking out a new home. After a landmark 25 seasons on Fox, the bad boys, bad boys of documentary/reality show will be moving to Spike TV this fall.
Exclusive: As America's Most Wanted Ends, John Walsh Mulls His Future. Could CNN Be Calling?America's Most Wanted may be coming to a close, but John Walsh isn't getting out of the crime-fighting business. In his first interview since TV Guide Magazine broke the news that Lifetime had canceled AMW, Walsh says he's mulling several options for his next move in TV.
Exclusive: Lifetime Cancels America's Most WantedLifetime has decided not to pick up another season of America's Most Wanted, TV Guide Magazine has learned exclusively. The decision effectively ends the groundbreaking reality series after 25 seasons, at least for now. Separately, however, the cable network is looking to stay in business with…
Exclusive: Cops Executive Producer on the Fate of His Long-Running ShowBad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Insiders confirm that the upcoming 25th season of Cops could be the last on Fox. But that doesn't mean the end of the show. Executive producer John Langley tells TV Guide Magazine that he will shop the long-running series elsewhere next spring should Fox decide not to pick up a 26th season. Earlier this month, Fox Sports announced that it would take over Fox's Saturday night slot for most of the remainder of 2012, airing a mix of…
The Guide to Weekend TV: Syfy's Neverland, Michael J. Fox on The Good Wife and More!First, a few words about fairy tales, one of the more unexpectedly hot trends of this TV season ...