America's Most Wanted is returning on Fox in March, the network announced Thursday. The show will follow the now-familiar format set when John Walsh hosted, although Emmy-winning journalist Elizabeth Vargas will serve as the new host. Walsh gave his blessing for the new series, which will start eight years after the first America's Most Wanted series ended.
In the series, Vargas will introduce viewers to new cases each week with consultation from the FBI, the Secret Service, and U.S. Marshall's Office experts. Producers will use new technology, including augmented reality and 3-D life-size avatars, to show how suspects could look today. The new show will also take advantage of social media, so viewers can help authorities as the episodes air.
“America's Most Wanted empowered viewers to help America successfully capture some of its most dangerous fugitives,” Rob Wade, Fox Entertainment's president of entertainment and specials, said in a statement. “By bringing back this groundbreaking series with new and effective tech-based crime-fighting tools and acclaimed journalist Elizabeth Vargas, we hope to continue John Walsh’s long-standing mission to be a powerful voice for crime victims everywhere.”
“Capturing dangerous fugitives, bringing justice to victims, and finding missing children is my lifetime’s work,” Walsh added. “I am so excited to hear America's Most Wanted is coming back and I support its return. God bless.” During the show's original run, it led to the capture of 1,186 criminals, including 17 on the FBI's most-wanted list. Forty-three missing children were reunited with their parents due to tips from viewers.
The original America's Most Wanted debuted in 1988 and ran on Fox until 2011. The series switched to Lifetime, where it lasted until 2013. Fox retained the trademark for the name, notes Variety, so other shows Walsh hosted with similar themes had different titles. He hosted The Hunt with John Walsh for CNN from 2014 to 2017, then In Pursuit with John Walsh for Investigation Discovery in 2019. John Ferracane is the new America's Most Wanted showrunner and executive producer.
Vargas is best known for her tenure at ABC News. She served as the solo anchor of the World News Tonight Sunday broadcast and was a co-anchor for 20/20. She left ABC News in May 2018 and joined A&E the same year. In 2000, she won two Emmys for her work on ABC 2000: The Millennium. She also wrote a best-selling memoir, Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction, in which she opened up about her alcoholism and anxiety.