- - Thursday, December 1, 2011

‘America’s Most Wanted’ premiering in new home

John Walsh is rallying America against the nation’s bad guys again.

“America’s Most Wanted,” a Fox Broadcasting mainstay for 23 years before that network canceled it in the spring, returns to weekly television at a new address: Lifetime, where it premieres at 9 p.m. Friday.

“It will be basically the same show,” said Mr. Walsh, whose criminal roundup has led to the capture of more than 1,100 fugitives in the U.S. and 30 countries, plus the rescue of 61 children and missing people — and counting.

Mr. Walsh told the Associated Press there will be no softening of the show’s gritty, tough-guy tone in its new home, despite Lifetime being chiefly a channel aimed at women.

“It will still be tough enough for people sitting in their living rooms to say, ‘My God, that happened to a real person, that’s not a scripted drama,’ ” he said, “and then get off their couch and go to their phone if they recognize the fugitive, and do the right thing.”

After “AMW” aired its last weekly episode on Fox in June, “People never stopped going to the website and calling the hot line, which amazed me,” Mr. Walsh said. “We caught five guys.

“I’ve told Lifetime, ‘Most of the people we profile are cowards that have hurt women or children.’ I think that’s why Lifetime got it so much, and picked up the show.”

“I don’t believe there’s ever been a show that combines entertainment with public service in the way this show does, and its mission is something we believe in very deeply,” said Rob Sharenow, Lifetime executive vice president of programming. “Public safety — keeping our streets safe, keeping our children safe — is probably the issue of most importance to our viewers.”

It was in 1981 that Mr. Walsh, now 65, launched his crime-busting crusade in the aftermath of the abduction and killing of his 6-year-old son, Adam. (Mr. Walsh noted that Adam would have turned 37 last month.)

The grieving father became an outspoken advocate for tougher laws against sex offenders, more cooperation among law enforcement agencies, and citizen involvement in flushing out fugitives.

Then his TV show premiered in April 1988 on the fledgling Fox network and, little more than a year later, was the first-ever Fox program to rank first in viewership in its time slot.

Clarkson of ‘Top Gear’ riles union with comment

A British trade union is denouncing a low blow from the host of the popular TV show “Top Gear.”

The Unison union on Thursday demanded the BBC fire Jeremy Clarkson after the opinionated TV host said striking public-sector workers should be shot.

Mr. Clarkson apologized Thursday afternoon, saying he had not meant anyone to take him seriously when he said strikers who had participated in Britain’s largest public sector walkout in 30 years Wednesday should be executed “in front of their families.”

“I’d have them all shot,” Mr. Clarkson said on BBC television’s “One Show” on Wednesday. “I mean, how dare they go on strike when they’ve got these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed while the rest of us have to work for a living?”

The BBC apologized for the remarks Thursday and said it had received around 4,700 complaints.

And Mr. Clarkson said he was sorry — sort of.

“I didn’t for a moment intend these remarks to be taken seriously — as I believe is clear if they’re seen in context,” he said. “If the BBC and I have caused any offense, I’m quite happy to apologize for it alongside them.”

Unison, which represents more than 1 million public sector workers, said Mr. Clarkson should be fired immediately. It said it was seeking legal advice and considering referring the comments to police.

CBS names new show ‘CBS This Morning’

CBS’ “Early Show” is ending early in the new year, and now its successor has a name.

CBS News announced Thursday that the replacement morning broadcast will be called “CBS This Morning.”

The program will be hosted by Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Erica Hill. It is being pitched as a serious-news alternative to the ratings leader, the “Today” show on NBC, and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the audience runner-up.

“CBS This Morning,” airing weekdays from 7 to 9 a.m., will premiere Jan. 9.

• Compiled from Web and wire service reports.

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