'Most Wanted': Fox revives fugitive-hunting series

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Michelle Rose / TV Media
Elizabeth Vargas hosts reboot of "America's Most Wanted"

Elizabeth Vargas hosts reboot of "America's Most Wanted"

Fox's 'Most Wanted': It was Fox's longest-running series before "The Simpsons" surpassed it and, while the network pulled the plug on "America's Most Wanted" in 2011, it seems the time is right for a revival.

"America's Most Wanted" — or rather, a new incarnation of it — is set to return to the Fox prime-time lineup this March.

The format will remain the same but former ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas is stepping in as host. Her predecessor, John Walsh, was the face of the fugitive-hunting series during its 25 seasons on Fox (and a brief run on Lifetime until 2012). As the host of Investigation Discovery's "In Pursuit With John Walsh," he isn't involved with this revival but he still gave the show his blessing (literally) in a statement: "I am so excited to hear 'America's Most Wanted' is coming back and I support its return. God bless."

Each week, "America's Most Wanted" will feature interviews and re-enactments of cases involving dangerous fugitives who are still on the run. But since this is 2021, the show will integrate modern technologies and social media in its appeals to viewers to help find them track down these suspects.

"'America's Most Wanted' empowered viewers to help America successfully capture some of its most dangerous fugitives," said Rob Wade, president of alternative entertainment and specials at Fox. "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."

The news may seem unexpected but this is something that's been in the works for some time. In an interview with Deadline in January 2020, Wade discussed the possibility of reviving the series but also expressed a desire to extend the search for fugitives beyond America's borders. "It is 'America's Most Wanted,' but with the help of our producer and Interpol, we are now able to work outside of the U.S. because a lot of the fugitives these days travel," said Wade. "You need to be able to have a global reach to find fugitives."

With Fox officially greenlighting the series, and in this era of streaming services that extend the networks' reach, "America's Most Wanted" may now be in a position to reach its largest audience ever.


Meet the first ladies: Some big names have been added to the cast and crew of Showtime's upcoming anthology series, "The First Lady."

The series comes from author Aaron Cooley ("Four Seats: A Thriller of the Supreme Court") and it will offer a glimpse of the political and very personal lives of the first spouses who helped shape their husbands' administrations — specifically, First Ladies Michelle Obama, Betty Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Obama will be played by "How to Get Away With Murder" actress Viola Davis, who has been attached to the project since 2019 (she also serves as executive producer). The most recent cast addition is Michelle Pfeiffer ("Ant-Man and the Wasp," 2018), who will play the wife of President Gerald Ford.

This will be Pfeiffer's first series regular role since the early 1980s, and it should be an interesting one for the Oscar and Emmy nominee. As first lady from 1974 until 1977, Ford was one of the most outspoken and politically active presidential spouses. She took an interest in social policy and raised awareness of addiction by making her own struggles public, later founding the well-known treatment center that still bears her name.

The series appears to be in good hands, especially since Emmy-winning director Susanne Bier ("The Night Manager") has also signed on to direct every episode.

"Michelle Pfeiffer and Susanne Bier have joined the brilliant and incomparable Viola Davis to bring the remarkable stories of these women into urgent, engrossing and long overdue focus," said Amy Israel, executive vice-president of scripted programming, Showtime. "Michelle brings authenticity, vulnerability and complexity to all her roles, and Susanne is a visionary director who commands the screen with fierce honesty and a singular visual style. With these formidable artists in front of and behind the camera, we couldn't be more thrilled — especially at this unique moment in time for our nation — about the powerful promise of 'The First Lady.'"


AMC's 'Beast': Ready for a new thriller? AMC is — and it's hoping you will be too. The network recently landed the U.S. rights to the British limited series, "The Beast Must Die," which is based on a novel by Nicholas Blake (the pen name of British Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis).

The six-part thriller tells the story of a grieving mother who sets out to infiltrate the life of the man who she believes killed her son. It stars Cush Jumbo ("The Good Fight") and SAG Award winner Jared Harris ("Chernobyl"), who is no stranger to AMC given his memorable turn as Lane Pryce in "Mad Men."

"This series will be something special for AMC and our AMC subscribers. It continues a legacy of very successful relationships with the brilliant Jared Harris and our friends at Scott Free [Ridley Scott's production company], and forges new producing partnerships with BritBox and New Regency Television," said Dan McDermott, president of original programming at AMC Networks. "'The Beast Must Die' honors the novel upon which it is based with a fantastic piece of television that cuts to the heart of grief, hate, revenge and allows us to ask questions about our own humanity in a remarkably engaging and suspenseful way."

"The Beast Must Die" wrapped filming in November amid strict COVID-19 protocols and is slated to premiere on both AMC and AMC later this year. If you're a fan of its lead actor, Harris also stars in the much-anticipated sci-fi series "Foundation," coming soon to Apple TV .