TNT has cast the male lead for their new drama Scent of the Missing, one of the many new projects from CSI showrunner Carol Mendelsohn soon to hit the small screen. Model turned actor Eric Winter will star opposite Tricia Helfer, although both will have to battle two yet-to-be-cast four legged co-stars for their viewer’s affection.

The series is based on the Susannah Charleston true-life book about a devoted K-9 search and rescue volunteer and her canine companion. Tricia Helfer has already been cast as the lead, and sorry Susannah, but I think she’s going to rock the uniform a little better than you did. Her partner, a golden retriever named Puzzle is a dedicated rescue dog in the finest Lassie tradition who is of course also adorable and impish.

Eric Winter will play another member of the search and rescue team Deadline reported today, and of course he gets a four-legged sidekick too by the name of Shadow. Winter is fresh off a memorable stint on The Mentalist and is currently appearing in a recurring role on the ABC series Good Christian Belles. The ex-Tommy Hilfiger model will no doubt look just as good in his uniform. Those dogs had better be really cute.

Charleston’s book tells the tale of the training of a search and rescue dog and gives a glimpse into the often heart-breaking, sometimes triumphant world of the search and rescue teams who go into often hopeless situations in the hopes of bringing the lost out alive. Let’s hope that the series can stay true to the heart of the tale and TNT gives us a story-driven show that isn’t just pretty people and adorable dogs making it look easy.

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