The creator and host of a series that has been a fixture on television since the 1980s reportedly plans to pitch a new show to CNN.
"America’s Most Wanted" creator John Walsh tells TV Guide that he’s considering options for the show, and will meet with CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker this month about possibly joining the network. “AMW” aired from 1988-2011 on Fox and had a brief run on Lifetime before being canceled last month.
"Maybe Jeff will say there’s room on this channel, especially with CNN’s international reach," Walsh told the publication. "They ask me constantly to go on Anderson Cooper, Erin Burnett and Piers Morgan. Maybe I can come up with some kind of hybrid show that might serve those purposes. … I hope that maybe with the blessing of Lifetime that I might be able to do something."
Walsh is still working with Lifetime, even after the network canceled "America’s Most Wanted," including working on a project called "John Walsh Investigates." It will focus on three cases per episode, with the pilot looking at the case of convicted murderer and sex offender Joseph Edward Duncan, among others.
"I’m not ready to throw the towel in yet. It’s very hard to turn down these people who are constantly reaching out and saying, ‘Catch this guy, find justice for me.’ We are the court of last resort," Walsh said.
Walsh, who once hosted a syndie talk show for Zucker at NBC, said of the new CNN boss: "He knows my passion."
“America’s Most Wanted” has been off television since October, after a 25-season run in which it is credited with helping to catch 1,202 criminals. But if some version of the show returns, it is likely to be under a new name.
Said Walsh: "Lifetime had to pay pretty heavy duty license fees to use the name ‘America’s Most Wanted.’ That’s something Fox trademarked and copyrighted before I even did the show.”
Walsh’s next venture is likely to step away from the “AMW” brand. "I think it would be easier," he said. "Fox has been great to me. But with the ‘America’s Most Wanted’ brand name comes the license fee and the obligation to Fox. And that comes off the top. Not to disrespect Fox in any way or their support to me, but maybe it’s time to make it something else. I’m in that thought process."