Without A Trace

2002, TV Show



In his quest to shepherd a full 90 percent of all prime-time television programming, prolific producer Jerry Bruckheimer (The Amazing Race, E-Ring, Close to Home, Without a Trace, the CSIs) is teaming with Seabiscuit writer-director Gary Ross on a medical drama for NBC, Variety reports. The series, about a rogue researcher tracking a mysterious illness, is titled Invisible. No, not Inconceivable. Shame on you! Invisible. Write it down. read more

You never give any Without a ...

Question: You never give any Without a Trace scoops.

Answer: As reported in the new issue of TV Guide magazine, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio is joining the cast for three episodes beginning Nov. 24  — apparently as a love interest for Jack (Anthony LaPaglia). Now who you accusing of never giving any Trace scoops?

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First, I love your column; ...

Without a Trace

Question: First, I love your column; you always give really insightful answers. Second, after two strong episodes of Without a Trace, I wonder what CBS is doing to my favorite show! They make a point of setting up tension between Danny and Jack, adding to the awkwardness between the two from the shooting in the premiere, but by the third episode, they've dropped the whole thing. It's very frustrating. What's more frustrating is that they've added a new cast member, Elena (Roselyn Sanchez), to a cast that doesn't need adding to. In my opinion, they have the strongest cast of the crime shows, so why mess with that chemistry? She didn't add anything in the last episode. Did you like the first two episodes? And what do you think of the new agent? Answer: There's a lot of this "Why fix what isn't broken?" grumbling going on about the hot procedural crime dramas this season. Pretty much across the board, CBS had its crime dramas shake up the casts — losing or gaining cast or recurring cast ... read more

After some stellar episodes ...

Question: After some stellar episodes last season — the final two in particular — Cold Case has become my only must-see "procedural." (SVU would be on that list, too, but I go to bed early.) Oct. 9's episode was a little weak, but Oct. 2's frat-house fire episode was incredible. How emotional — repulsive yet poignant. The actress who played the victim (I think she may have been the same one who played the female wrestler who died on Boston Public back in the day) really captured the essence of a character that is usually limited. I know there is no chance for any recognition for her, but she deserves it. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that Cold Case is a Top 10 show; I didn't realize it was doing so well. Your thoughts? Answer: At the moment, I would probably put Without a Trace and Cold Case atop my list of fave procedurals — and I can't wait for football season to be over so the overruns won't get in the way of my enjoyment of Cold Case. (I'm watching so much on Sundays that I ... read more

No Laughing Matter So far, new comedies are faring better than their older siblings

My Name Is Earl

The state of returning comedies has not been pretty in the new TV season. Consider the year-to-year decline in these shows:  — ABC's According to Jim, which moved from 9 pm to 8 pm on Tuesdays, is off 26 percent compared to the first three weeks of last year. Its 8:30 companion, Rodney, has dropped 22 percent. — CBS' Two and a Half Men has had an uphill battle trying to the big shoes of Everybody Loves Raymond. The network is down 20 percent in the time period from a year ago. — As for NBC's much-maligned Joey? Ugh. It's off 46 percent compared to last year and has taken the Must-See TV network to new lows on Thursday nights. But before this turns into another "Is the sitcom dead?" column, let's look at the bright side: Last week N read more


History was made Thursday night when CBS' Without a Trace beat NBC's ER in the adults 18-to-49 demo for the first time... Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are teaming with National Geographic to produce a 10-part miniseries for HBO about explorers Lewis and Clark, per Variety. read more

You've often said that you ...

Question: You've often said that you have many shows you watch every week and others that you just tune in to occasionally. So what shows are on your "must-see" list every week? And more interestingly (or painfully), if you were away for a week, in what order would you watch your regular shows upon your return? Answer: This isn't so much a question as it is a game. But I'm game, so here goes. First off, any sitcoms and reality shows on my "must-see" list tend to fall off when I go away for a week's vacation (as I often do midwinter, even if it means skipping a week of February sweeps). The comedy exceptions: Arrested Development, which you can't afford to miss a single episode of; maybe Scrubs and hot HBO comedies like Curb Your Enthusiasm. No "must-see" reality show makes the cut, not even The Amazing Race, Survivor or American Idol. Once an episode has aired, I figure I'll be reading about it anyway if I can't watch it live. So that leaves, as you'd expect, a long list of dramas. ... read more

Do you have any Without a ...

Question: Do you have any Without a Trace scoop? I'm dying to know what will happen to Danny and Martin!

Answer: From what I hear, Danny and Martin aren't the ones you should be worrying about.

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Does CBS' Criminal Minds have ...

Question: Does CBS' Criminal Minds have a real shot at conquering all? CBS owns every night with procedural dramas. So will Criminal Minds continue with this success or will it not be able to reach CBS' standards? From what I have seen on the promos, the lack of sex appeal (present in every CBS procedural drama) and the graphic beauty more evident on CSI and Without a Trace means Minds won't deliver as expected. Also, I have noticed that critics are not that excited by this new show. So is Criminal Minds the beginning of the end for CBS crime shows, or will it become another hit? I love crime shows, but I don't feel good about this one. Answer: I would caution you from making up your mind before seeing it, but I will tell you I was underwhelmed by the pilot and turned off by its graphic violence and dull, clichéd characters. It's impossible to know when the tipping point will occur and the audience will have finally had its fill of formulaic procedurals, but Criminal Minds feels lik ... read more

I've heard that Sunday has ...

Question: I've heard that Sunday has the largest TV audience, but that Thursday is the second-most important night for advertisers, especially movie studios. There are a large number of movies released during the summer, but original cable programming seems to be missing on Thursdays. Is that because cable networks don't get the movie ads, or is there some other reason? On Sunday, we have The Dead Zone and The 4400. On Monday, we have The Closer. On Tuesday, we have Rescue Me, on Wednesday we have Over There and on Friday we have Sci Fi Friday. FX recently put two comedies on Thursday, but why is that not a bigger night for summer series? Answer: That's an interesting question, and I wish I had a good answer. My guess is that because CBS in particular has such a powerful lineup on Thursdays, with shows that tend to repeat very well in the off-season (CSI and Without a Trace), cable networks generally prefer to stay away from launching new shows on the night. (Still, Bravo did OK with read more

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Premiered: September 26, 2002, on CBS
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (515 ratings)
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Premise: An FBI Missing Persons Unit in Manhattan races the clock to crack cases by learning as much as possible about people who may have been kidnapped or killed, taken their own lives or simply wanted to disappear. A photo of an actual missing individual is shown at the end of each episode with instructions for viewers to contact a local FBI office with information on the person's whereabouts. Solidly written and performed, the series successfully challenged the Thursday-night dominance of 'ER.'


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