Vanished was a short-lived American television drama series of hour-long episodes produced by Twentieth Century Fox. It premiered on August 21, 2006 on Fox and its last episode aired on November 10, 2006. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the series, in serial format, starts with the sudden disappearance of a Georgia senator's wife, which quickly appears to form part of a wider conspiracy. The family of the missing woman, a pair of FBI agents, a journalist and her lover/cameraman, are all drawn into an evolving mystery with political and religious undertones. The show's creator is C.S.I. writer Josh Berman, and its executive producers are Mimi Leder (John Doe, ER), who is also the show's director, and Paul Redford.
On October 26, 2006, USA Today reported that the planned 22-episode series was ordered to be wrapped up after the 13th episode. The story arc of finding Sara Collins was to be concluded, with the mystery of a larger conspiracy left dangling in the event the series was extended.
On December 8, 2006, the final episode of Vanished appeared online. Fans on message boards all agree that the ending, which includes no real conclusion and a huge cliff hanger, was not intended to be the final episode. The production team was told a few months before the show was taken off the air to at least reveal Sara's fate by the 13th episode, but none of the other plotlines were resolved.
According to E!Online's Kristin Veitch report on July 23, 2007, Vanished's mystery could be resolved in the next season of Bones. However, the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike shortened the number of episodes for about a half and the conclusion was not yet developed.
The investigation into her kidnapping starts to probe secrets from the main characters. While Senator Collins is clean and desperately wants his wife returned, even payment of the ransoms demanded will not get her back. He paid both $5,000,000 in cash (plus public humiliation), then voted to confirm a Supreme Court nominee he hated, because he knew the nominee seduced under-aged girls.
What he did not know was that one of them was his daughter, Marcy, who may (or may not) have been pregnant by him. Marcy's secret was that she had been having an affair with the judge. She cut it off after being caught by Sara, but was later raped by him. Marcy believes she was poisoned to induce a miscarriage at the end of the series. The justice in question is compromised later, overruling the conviction of a Dead Sea scholar sentenced to death for murdering his wife, thus leading to the translations the conspiracy wanted.
Senator Collins' son, Max, had gotten into trouble over underage drinking. Sara urged Jeffrey to put him in a rehab facility. There, Max expressed a hatred for his stepmother, which was used against her by the conspiracy (his counselor was Quinn, who was a conspiracy member). The facility was one Sara had been checked into by her parents, and she escaped from, preventing a brainwashing. It was suggested that Sara was the only person who ever escaped the facility without brainwashing, and it might have been a factor in her kidnapping.
Senator Collins' ex-wife had confronted Sara over the birth of her child, who was being raised by her parents as a sister, instead of a granddaughter. She worked her way back into Jeffrey Collins's life via her children. She was dead broke and took a bribe from Collins' chief of staff (to help her daughter bail her boyfriend out of jail), but despite her hatred of Sara, never revealed the truth.
Sara went through torture and manipulation when she was in captivity. She was fed certain information, and was played with good-cop/bad-cop. The conspiracy fed her half-truths and statements taken out of context to make her believe her Jeffrey Collins took her kidnapping as opportunity to advance his career. Circumstance and the lies led her to flee to the one place she felt anonymous - the same place she fled the rehab facility once before, a small seaside town in Massachusetts, Gloucester, where she met a man on a fishing boat, who fathered her child.
FBI Agent Graham Kelton solved many aspects of the kidnapping, and even managed to contact the mysterious person leaving St. Nathan prayer cards. He found out that the person wanted the conspiracy undone more than Sara's rescue. He eventually solved the real ransom demand of the conspiracy, but after stopping the vote with a bioterrorist attack simulation, was shot by the conspiracy before he can give any details.
FBI Agent Lucas takes over, and tracks down more leads, leading to a raid on a conspiracy site where dead sea scrolls were being photographed. However, while he gets very close to Sara a few times after she escapes, he is unable to unravel the false trail Sara left behind her as she escaped to her safe place with Peter Manning.
Ben Wilson, the boyfriend of Marcy Collins, was released on bond from Marcy, who believed his story. He still believed he was the father of Marcy's unborn child, and despite his innocence over prior events, was enraged by the rape of Marcy. He murdered her attacker in the end. If he got away with it is unresolved at the series end.
Peter Manning is a man searching for the love of his life, who one day vanished from Massachusetts, where he worked on a fishing boat. He sees her again as the wife of Jeffrey Collins. He still loves her, but his lead is classified as low priority. He embarks on a mission to find her. He finds his child, but can't find a way to make things right. He gives up in the end, and returns to his boat to find that Sara is there. It's the place she ran to before; where she could be anonymous and find love.
Judy Nash has faith in her story about Peter Manning fathering a child with Sara, but is cut off as she doesn't have the proof. While Peter got her proof that he was the father, there is no proof about the mother. Without Sara, there is no story.
The series ends with Jeffrey Collins in a family dinner with his ex-wife and his two children. Sara Collins, meanwhile, appears in the final scene aboard Peter Manning's boat. She says "I didn't know where else to go", and begins to explain about why she disappeared twelve years ago, and how she never wanted to go. Peter interrupts her, and says, "none of that matters now. You're home", and they embrace. The news shows no hope for the Dead Sea scholar, who the justice who Collins confirmed as part of the ransom being scheduled for execution (Collins compromised another justice). The Dead Sea scrolls will not be interpreted (the main motivation of the conspiracy, who was after his release; they had kidnapped his wife as well). The FBI is left with no leads.
In April 2006, Vanished became one of two shows to get the early pickup by Fox. The network picked the show up for 12 additional episodes. It was then announced that the show would premiere following Prison Break, in the time slot 24 occupies from January to May.
Shortly thereafter, it was announced that John Allen Nelson would star opposite Harold. On June 19, 2006, it was learned that Penelope Ann Miller would guest star in six episodes and have the option of becoming a regular. It was then announced that Josh Hopkins would guest on several episodes and that Eddie Cibrian would also join the cast.
Gale Harold departed the series after the eighth episode after his character was killed off by the show's producers. Eddie Cibrian was named the lead actor of the series beginning with the ninth episode.
On November 15, 2006 Fox announced they were pulling the show for the rest of sweeps but that it would return on December 1, 2006. On November 16, 2006, Fox said that the show would not return to television and the remaining four episodes would be available online only, with one new show added every Friday and the series finale added December 8. Online viewing is available only to U.S. viewers.
|Gale Harold||Graham Kelton (Episodes 1-7)|
|Eddie Cibrian||Daniel Lucas (Episodes 7-13)|
|John Allen Nelson||Senator Jeffrey Collins|
|Joanne Kelly||Sara Collins|
|Rebecca Gayheart||Judy Nash|
|Margarita Levieva||Marcy Collins|
|John Patrick Amedori||Max Collins|
|Chris Egan||Ben Wilson|
|Robert Hoffman||Adam Putnam|
|Country||TV Network(s)||Series Premiere||Weekly Schedule|
|United States||Fox Broadcasting Company||August 21, 2006|| |
|Argentina||Canal Fox||January 4, 2007||Thursday 10:00pm|
|Brazil||Canal Fox||January 4, 2007||Wednesday 10:00pm|
|Chile||Canal Fox||January 4, 2007||Thursday 10:00pm|
|Canada||Global Television||August 21, 2006|
|Australia|| Channel Seven (first run)|
| December 4, 2006|
June 26, 2007
|Mexico||Canal Fox||January 4, 2007||Thursday 10:00pm|
|United Kingdom||Five||June 3, 2007||Sunday 10:00pm|
|Malaysia||8TV||June 2007||Thursday 9.30pm|
|Finland||MTV3||February 27, 2007||Tuesday 9:00pm|
|Philippines||Studio 23||February 27, 2007||Tuesday 9:30pm|
|Thailand||True Series||March 20, 2007||Tuesday 10:00pm|
|Spain||La Sexta||Saturday 9:55pm|
|Belgium|| PRIME (pay channel)|
| January - March 2007|
August - September 2007
|Croatia||RTL Televizija||September 30, 2007||Sunday and Monday 8:55pm|
|Czech Republic||Prima||November 12, 2007||Monday at 9:20pm|
|France||M6||January 24, 2008||Thursday at 9:40pm|
|Ireland||TG4||April 21, 2008||Monday at 9:30pm|
|Italy||Italia 1||June 11, 2008||Wednesday at 9:10pm; Friday at 23:30 (last 4 episodes)|
|Hong Kong||Cable TV Channel 12|
However, in later weeks the ratings started to show a continued decline due to the strong performance of NBC's new series, Heroes, and returning shows featured in CBS's Monday-night comedy lineup. Although FOX continued to air the series in the U.S., the Global Television network in Canada cancelled the series after airing only five episodes.
Following a three-week hiatus due to the Major League Baseball playoffs, FOX moved Vanished to the Friday Night Death Slot, where only two further episodes were broadcast. The first of these nominally starred Gale Harold, who had been dramatically killed off on episode 7, following weeks of rumors and a storm of viewer protest on various websites. Though Harold appeared as a corpse for a few seconds, this was actually the first episode to feature the show's new leading man Eddie Cibrian. The ratings had plummeted, slicing viewership in half and dropping Vanished to last place in its time slot. The following week the show did even worse, earning only 0.9% of the most desirable 18-to-49-year-old demographic.
On November 15, 2006 Fox announced it was pulling the show for the rest of the November sweeps. The next day, FOX had not yet officially cancelled the series, but announced that the final four unaired episodes would be made available in the U.S. only on the show's official MySpace, according to FOX's website.
In Australia, Vanished is currently airing in the non-ratings period. The first two episodes aired back to back and rated 1.1 million mainland capital city viewers, making it the winner of its time-slot and the eighth most watched program for the night. The third episode's ratings dropped slightly to 998,000 viewers, but retained eighth position for the night. By the fourth episode, ratings dropped again to 809,000 viewers and dropped to fifteenth position for the night. The final episode of Vanished, which screened on 5 March 2007, got 278,000 viewers.