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‘Wanted’ headed for Lifetime

Cabler picking up 25th season of crime-busting show

True-crime fans, rejoice: “America’s Most Wanted” is not going away after all.

Long-running weekly crime-busting show, which had aired on Fox, is headed to Lifetime for its 25th season. Series will begin airing from its new perch at the femme-centric cabler by the end of the year.

Fox dropped “America’s Most Wanted” in May, citing the production costs associated with its Saturday night staple. “We haven’t made money on the show in quite a while,” Fox Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly said at the time. “It wasn’t particularly viable.”

Nevertheless, the net agreed to four specials to be broadcast on Fox starting in October, with the other three to follow quarterly.

The skein averaged some 5 million total viewers a night last season — a much more significant figure for a cable net than for a broadcaster.

Host and exec producer John Walsh started the show in 1988, after his 6-year-old son was abducted and murdered. The series has aided law enforcement officials over the years, as 61 missing persons featured on the show have been found, and more than 1,100 fugitives investigated by Walsh and his team have been captured.

“‘America’s Most Wanted’ is a seminal program that provides a very valuable service to both viewers and law enforcement agencies,” said Lifetime Networks prexy and g.m. Nancy Dubuc. “For more than two decades, John Walsh has been leading the fight against crime and it’s an honor to partner with him on bringing back this important show.”

Walsh is set to receive the Governors Award at the Creative Arts Emmys this month.

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