Beautiful women and dogs - what could possibly go wrong? Tricia Helfer, best know for her series-spanning role on Syfy's Battlestar Galactica, will be the lead in TNT's latest pilot. The show centers on a K-9 search and rescue volunteer and her canine partner.
Scent of the Missing (here's hoping that's just a working title) is based on a nonfiction novel of the same name written by Susannah Charleson, about her own experiences as a search and rescue volunteer. She and her golden retriever Puzzle have been on the job for the last four years rescuing lost hikers and others in need. The book chronicles her experiences from Puzzle's adoption as a puppy to his first rescue eighteen months later.
The show is being written and produced by CSI veterans Carol Mendelsohn, Melissa R. Byer and Treena Hancock. Helfer has signed on to play a fictional version of Charleson for the TNT project, while Gerald McRaney of Jericho and Deadwood will play her father. Puzzle hasn't been cast yet, but considering that the real dog has an important job, he's probably got scheduling conflicts.
The real Susannah Charleson and her partner Puzzle
Former model Helfer got her big break on Syfy's Battlestar Gallacta playing the lead Cylon Number Six. Since the series ended in 2009 she's been a hot commodity in the pilot world, and is currently set for a recurring role in NBC's reboot of the John Grisham legal thriller The Firm. Helfer had a leading role in BSG producer Ronald D. Moore's 17th Precinct along with former co-stars James Callis and Jamie Bamber, but the project wasn't picked up by NBC.
TNT has an impressive track record of dramas with strong female leads. The Closer leads their current crop of original programming with star and producer Kyra Sedgwick at the helm. That show ends next year and will continue into its spin-off Major Crimes, starring yet another Battlestar veteran, Mary McDonnell. Rizolli & Isles, now in its second season and renewed for a third, keeps up the tradition with a female detective and medical examiner.
Scent of the Missing is in the pilot stage at TNT.
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