Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More Than A TV Show: The Cancellation Of "America's Most Wanted"

When I read online today that "America's Most Wanted" was being cancelled and taken off of the FOX lineup, I was left with a bunch of question marks floating through my head. According to FOX, they felt that AMW was not making them enough money and thus it was time to put the show to rest. While it's not exactly being put to rest completely, because they are going to air four two-hour specials, it's still being removed from the lineup, and unnecessarily so. Saturday night has been dominated by the tandem of AMW and COPS, which features two episodes before AMW comes on. On most occasions, COPS and AMW are the only new material on the Saturday primetime lineup. Anything else is repeats, movies, specials, or something of that caliber. It's unfortunate that what may be the most consistently dominant lineup of recent day may very well be no more.

To me and most Americans, "America's Most Wanted" is more than a TV show, it's a public service in which we watch the show and gain awareness about the cruel people that may be lurking around in the area. AMW has featured several walks of cruel people who have been murderers, rapists, kidnappers, and everything in between. Through AMW, 1,151 of these terrible people have been found and brought to face justice. Behind the genius of AMW has been those who have participated in making a difference, those who have coordinated the show, and the man who has led the path since 1988, John Walsh. Walsh became inspired to track down criminals on the loose (aka. "Cowards") when his own son, Adam, was kidnapped and murdered back in 1981. Before AMW, he was a key advocate in pushing the "National Center For Missing And Exploited Children" through Congress in 1984. For twenty-three years minus a month and a half, Walsh appeared on the televisions of millions of household across the country, and informed us of those people who committed cruel acts and were on the loose.

AMW saw its first cancellation in 1996, in favor of a few other fluffy sitcoms. This only lasted for a month and a half due to two reasons. One, the sitcoms weren't doing so well. Two, there was a revolt from several to bring AMW back onto television. The strongest being the government, several governors, and several authoritative figures. Any show that has this kind of impact would be impossible to see being taken off the air.

There's also a good chance that the same thing will happen this time around. At this point in time, I can hardly imagine another show that would fill in the 9 PM time slot on Saturday nights. I do not know how and in what way AMW will make it back onto air if it does, but I think there's a good chance and I have strong belief that it will. John Walsh has been extremely passionate about tracking down people who have committed cruel acts and need to face justice for thirty years and he should be given the platform to continue doing so. Cancelling AMW is not just cancelling a TV show, but is also cancelling a database in which the American people are able to have information about their surroundings and the dangers of these surroundings. I'm optimistic about the fact that the COPS and AMW tandem for Saturday nights will return.

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