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“Vanished” is an intense drama that combines the action of “24” with the urgency of “Prison Break,” says Fox Entertainment President Peter Liquori. “This groundbreaking series follows the shocking disappearance of a Georgia senator’s wife. But as the case unfolds, a bigger mystery unravels. It’s basically a century-old conspiracy that’s uncovered, but can threaten the course of history.”

When Sara Collins (Joanne Kelly), the beautiful wife of the U.S. Senator from Georgia (John Allen Nelson) mysteriously disappears from a formal dinner affair honoring her charity work, there is a lock-down at the swank Biltmore Hotel. FBI Agent in charge of the investigation, Graham Kelton (the amazing Gale Harold), and his partner, Agent Len Mei, (“ER”’s Ming-Na) arrive, seeking clues to Sara’s whereabouts. Her husband, in the meanwhile, although obviously bereft, still becomes the main suspect.

During the pilot’s first tight, tense hour, the FBI begins to discover troubling clues; the Senators ex-wife may have had lunch with his wife after she went missing; the supposed hotel concierge who escorted her to the lobby is found dead in the trunk of his car; and Sara had disappeared twice before using different names. Instead of solving the crime, Kelton and Mei are baffled.

Very much in the mix is Judy Nash (Rebecca Gayheart), an ambitious reporter with TV station WCN (World Cable Network or World Cable News). When she finds out about the kidnapping, she jumps off her cameraman boyfriend, and onto the case in no time. Explains Gayheart, “I think Judy’s just a really ambitious reporter, and her passion is getting to the bottom of this story. So I don’t see her as being nasty, and I don’t think the audience will either. The challenge for me is to keep her human and to make her very realistic as a reporter, so that’s what I’m doing.”

Still, Nash rubs everybody the wrong way, but whether it’s because of her ambition, her ruthless pursuit of the story, her blunt manner, or all of the above, it’s hard to say. Gayheart continues, “I think Judy is considered a reporter to be reckoned with, and so—reporters are never treated kindly—but I think they respect her enough not to offend her. Her relationship with Kelton is strained, but I think they find each other’s information useful. So, they have mutual respect for each other in the sense that they need each other.

According to the producers and the cast, the “Vanished” pilot only reveals the tip of the iceberg. Says Executive Producer Paul Redford, “The show will move forward in time, but also move backward in time. So the episode you saw (the pilot) is sort of the central one, but we’re going to go in a lot of different directions. In other words, everybody in the show obviously is hiding a secret. And in order to find those secrets, we’re going to go backward as well as forward. So that will be one of the shapes of the show.”

Continues Producer Josh Berman, “Her disappearance affects all of our characters’ lives, and we really begin to know her through flashbacks, in the first six episodes, through different characters’ points of view. So it’s not like you meet her and she’s gone. You begin to meet her and you fall in love with her, as we also are following the investigation and how it impacts this family.”

Joanne Kelly adds, “You know, it’s a great role, and it’s a full role and the flashbacks that we have her in are very fleshed out, and she has a past, like everybody. I’m very excited to see how people react to where she goes.”

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www.Dishmag.com / Issue 58 - August 2014
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