This week marks the final weekly airing of "America's Most Wanted" on the Fox network after 23 years and 1,153 fugitives nabbed.
"I don't think it's hit me yet," said John Walsh, the host and driving force of what he turned into a nationwide crime watch. "Saturday when I see the last show -- that's gonna be painful."
But that broadcast, which airs at 9 p.m. EDT, is billed as the season finale -- not the series conclusion -- on the "AMW" website.
Not surprisingly, this is the same attitude voiced by Walsh.
"I'm fighting hard to keep this franchise going," he said. "It's a television show that gets ratings AND saves lives, and we'll find somewhere to keep going. We're not done."
Speaking by phone Thursday morning, he had just arrived back in Washington from Brazil. There, he was hunting for a pedophile who has been hiding out in Rio de Janeiro for 14 years.
"He's a fake minister who molested tons of boys in Florida," Walsh said. "I was working with Brazilian police, and I think I'll get this guy."
The case will be spotlighted on Saturday's show, and, as he spoke, Walsh was headed to "AMW" headquarters to supervise editing the segment.
He said he will make some parting remarks at the end of the show, with the promise, "We're going to land somewhere else."
And after that?
"I'm so used to doing what I've done every day for 23 years that I'm still trying to sort it all out," he said. "But I have many, many offers, a long list I've got to wade through and see where we go from here."
One possibility, he said, is News Corp. sibling Fox News Channel, which that network confirms.
Walsh said he hopes to have a deal in place, probably with a cable network, within two weeks.
This, of course, is the man who mounted a crime-busting crusade in the aftermath of the abduction and murder of his 6-year-old son Adam in 1981. He became an outspoken advocate for tougher laws against sex offenders, more cooperation among law enforcement agencies, and citizen involvement in flushing out fugitives.
His TV show premiered in April 1988 on the fledgling Fox network and, little more than a year later, it was the first-ever Fox program to rank first in viewership in its time slot. It's been a fixture on the network ever since, and during the 2010-11 season, was seen by an audience averaging 5 million viewers.
So last month Walsh, 65, was "in shock," he said, on getting the news that "AMW" had been canceled. The show is too expensive to produce, Fox entertainment head Kevin Reilly explained. The network is planning to air weekly repeats of its prime-time entertainment series in the Saturday slot "AMW" has held for so long.
"AMW" isn't completely disappearing from the network. There will be four, two-hour specials aired next season, Reilly said in making the announcement in May.