John Walsh

Host


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In his one-hour Archive interview, John Walsh discusses his start in the hotel business and speaks openly about the kidnapping of his son, Adam. Walsh shares how he was approached by producers Linda Otto and Alan Landsburg to be involved with a television movie, Adam, based on Adam's kidnapping and murder. The overwhelming, positive response to the movie led to a sequel, Adam: His Song Continues, and to Walsh and his wife becoming active in getting legislation passed to aid in the recovery of missing children. Walsh discusses his initial reluctance to hosting America's Most Wanted, on the fledgling FOX network, but soon saw the huge potential of the show to assist in the capture of fugitives. He also briefly hosted a daytime talk show, The John Walsh Show, and continues to fight for the creation of a national DNA Database. Walsh was the recipient of the prestigious Governors Award at the 2011 Creative Arts Emmys. Melody Chen conducted the interview on October 28, 2008 in North Hollywood, CA.

"The first show aired February, 1988, and I think it was four days later, overwhelming amount of tips, this sociopathic convicted rapist and murderer was running a shelter for the homeless in Staten Island. His picture had been in the Daily News three months before when then Mayor Koch had brought an award to that homeless shelter. A sociopath hiding in plain sight. Tons of tips. In handcuffs because of this reality television show. I thought this is incredible. This is mind boggling." 

Highlights
John Walsh on what convinced him to host America's Most Wanted
01:58
John Walsh on the kidnapping of his son, Adam, and how that changed his perception of the media
00:51
John Walsh on the end credits of Adam - a roll call of missing children and a hotline people can call
02:54
John Walsh on not offering rewards on America's Most Wanted
01:01
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On his childhood and early influences; on college at the University of Buffalo; on getting into the hotel business; on the kidnapping of his son, Adam, and how that changed his perception of the media; on the television movie Adam, based on his son's kidnapping
On he national reaction to Adam; on the sequel to Adam, Adam: His Song Continues; on getting legislation passed to help find missing children; on his comfort level in front of the camera
On being approached to host America's Most Wanted; on how successful the show has been in catching fugitives; on support from law enforcement
On how the hotline works; on format changes to America's Most Wanted; on "Street Smarts" and "Fighting Back" segments; on Missing Child Alerts; on a typical work week and the producers of America's Most Wanted; on the show's re-enactments
On the international reach of the show; on not letting the show give fugitives 15 minutes of fame; on the expanded format of America's Most Wanted; on the success of catching fugitives; on the Dirty Dozen List; on not being exploitative
On returning to unsolved cases; on Straight Shooter Productions; on The John Walsh Show; on being the only crew allowed at Ground Zero; on how the media treats crime stories; on his public image; on commendations he's received; on then-current projects 
On the evolution of America's Most Wanted; on the power of television; on his trademark leather jacket
Shows

Adam

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John Walsh on the television movie Adam, based on his son's kidnapping
10:21

Adam: His Song Continues

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John Walsh on the sequel to Adam, Adam: His Song Continues
02:10

America's Most Wanted

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John Walsh on hosting America's Most Wanted
27:03
John Walsh on the evolution of America's Most Wanted
02:25

John Walsh Show, The

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John Walsh on The John Walsh Show
02:01
Topics

9/11

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John Walsh on being the only crew allowed at Ground Zero 
02:01

Bill Clinton

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John Walsh on his public image and the negative side of celebrity
02:15

Ronald Reagan

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John Walsh on getting legislation passed to help find missing children
02:50
Professions

Hosts

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John Walsh on being approached to host America's Most Wanted on the new FOX network
06:06
Genres

Reality TV

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John Walsh on being approached to host America's Most Wanted on the new FOX network
06:06
People

Steven Bochco

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John Walsh on Steven Bochco being impressed by the style of America's Most Wanted
00:47

Barry Diller

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John Walsh on America's Most Wanted  expanded format from 30 to 60 minutes
00:30

Alan Landsburg

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John Walsh on Alan Landsburg and wife Linda Otto getting Adam on primetime
10:21

Rupert Murdoch

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John Walsh on being approached to host America's Most Wanted on the new FOX network
06:06

Ronald Reagan

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John Walsh on getting legislation passed to help find missing children 
02:50

Grant Tinker

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John Walsh on meeting Grant Tinker and his response to the proposed end credits of Adam - a roll call of missing children and a hotline people can call
02:46

Daniel J. Travanti

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John Walsh on actor Daniel J. Travanti playing him in Adam  
10:21

JoBeth Williams

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John Walsh on the actors in Adam and what he thought of the television movie
04:27

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