Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
At first glance the globe-hopping series “Missing,” which stars Ashley Judd as a former CIA operative in search of her missing son, looks like it would have a sky-high budget. Each of the episodes was shot on location in a different European city. But after today’s TCA panel on the show, executive producer Gina Matthews and writer/executive producer Grant Scharbo told Deadline the show’s budget is “in the middle-range” of the budgets of all the network’s hour dramas. In fact Scharbo said the show could be shot more cheaply abroad than in Los Angeles. And because of the international locations, the show has already been sold in various international markets. Foreign characters will speak in their native tongues, with subtitles.
ABC ordered the 10 completed episodes without a pilot. Matthews said that kept the producers from burning through too much of the overall budget on the pilot. “You will get the same production value in Episode 7 as in Episode 1.” She added that midseason placement also would allow the series to “rock it out” for 10 episodes without a break (producers confirmed that subsequent seasons will contain no more than 13 episodes). Matthews also said that while the search for Becca Winstone’s (Judd) son will continue in all episodes, each episode will have its own ”open-and-close” story. And creator/executive producer Gregory Poirier reassured listeners that there would be a logical closure to each season. “I am as annoyed as anybody by mystery shows that say to find out what happens, tune in next season,” Poirier said. “I will tell you this story will close by the end of the season, and you will have a strong idea where we’re going next season. I’m not going to say specifically, but we set out not to give you one of those disappointments.” Poirier did explain one mystery: Why the series kills off Judd’s co-star Sean Bean so quickly. He said the character remains alive in flashbacks.