The show's purpose is to assist law enforcement in the apprehension of fugitives wanted for various crimes including murder, white collar crime, terrorism, and many more.
America's Most Wanted is the longest-running TV series in the history of the FOX network, with its first episode airing in 1988. The show has helped capture over 1000 fugitives and recover over 50 missing persons.
One of the shows that is credited for bringing reality television to mainstream, the idea for it came from other reality crime shows in the 60s and 80s. The show was canceled for a month and a half in the fall of 1996 but returned after protests from the public and law enforcement.
The show often profiles criminals who are currently on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. The toll-free-hotline number to report any tips on any case featured on the show is 1-800-CRIME-TV (1-800-274-6388).