Walsh Struggles With His Faith

If you watch NBC Enterprises' syndicated John Walsh Show
or Walsh's Fox
series, America's Most Wanted, you know he sees life from an often grimmer side; it comes with his territory. His own son, Adam, was abducted and killed in 1981—all that was ever recovered was his skull—and since that time, he has met countless parents much like himself.

His world is inhabited by grieving parents and ghoulish murderers, and in a one-one-one interview series sponsored by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and BROADCASTING & CABLE, the question came up: After experiencing what he has, can he believe in God?

"I believe in a higher power; I absolutely do," said Walsh, who is a lapsed Catholic. "After Adam's murder, my cousin, who is a monsignor, tried to console us. One of my business partners, his brother was a rabbi. I heard from Protestant ministers. I heard it was God's plan, but I'll tell you there is no God who would ever have a 6-year-old child decapitated to motivate his mother and father to try to change things. I don't believe that God exists."

He said the coroner who did the autopsy on his son's head grappled with the same problem of faith. "I believe people have a free will to do whatever we want with it," he told Walsh. "You can become incredibly evil, or you can choose to live your life for good, to live your life with dignity." He encouraged Walsh, who said he was suicidal and nearly broke, to keep fighting for laws to protect kids. "You have skills and gifts other people don't," Walsh says the coroner told him. Obviously, Walsh took the advice.

We Want Rudy!

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is the man most television viewers would like to see with his own talk show, according to a poll conducted by cable network Trio and Harris Interactive Mark Research. To launch its Brilliant But Canceled December program lineup, Trio polled TV viewers on the process by which TV shows are judged and who and what they want to see.

Some of the results were telling. Fifty percent of those surveyed know what a Nielsen Family is; 12% believe them to be a comedy series from the 1950s. An overwhelming 67% are not interested in a Nielsen gig.

Finally, 57% of viewers feel that they could hate or love a show after two to five episodes while half of television viewers think their feedback should be the criterion by which shows should be kept or canceled.

Stringer Honored

Sir Howard Stringer, Sony Corp. of America chairman and CEO, received the International Emmy Founders' Award last Monday night at the 30th International Emmy Awards Gala held at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in Manhattan.

The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences says the award is given to individuals whose unique creative accomplishments contribute to the quality of global television production.

It wasn't quite a knighting, but it did give Sir Howard a chance to receive an award from Angela Lansbury, standing at left.