Like with women over 50, lead TV series roles for dogs are few and far between. That’s why competition among canine actors was fierce for the starring roles in TNT’s drama pilot Scent Of The Missing. After an extensive auditioning process, golden retriever Jackson landed the lead dog role of Puzzle. Executive produced by co-writers Carol Mendelsohn, Melissa R. Byer & Treena Hancock and Barry Josephson, Scent Of The Missing centers on Susannah (Tricia Helfer), a tenacious, strong-willed K-9 Search and Rescue volunteer who works with an equally determined partner — her mischievous golden retriever. Saint Bernard/Australian Shepherd mix Bolt and German Shepherd San nabbed the key supporting roles of Shadow and Chaos, the canine partners of K-9 Search and Rescue team members Jake (Eric Winter) and Sedona (Summer Glau), respectively. Is it too late to pitch my master impersonator long haired German Shepherd for a role? (That’s him in character pictured on the left. I haven’t broken the news to him yet that The Playboy Club has been canceled.) Here is the official “press release” announcing the casting the four-legged stars complete with their representation information:

Jackson, a golden retriever, started his acting career as a puppy in Disney’s Treasure Buddies. He’s thrilled to be making his small screen debut as Puzzle, a rambunctious, water loving, search and rescue dog. Like Puzzle, Jackson loves to work and has his nose to the grindstone, learning search and rescue techniques and training to do his own stunts. Jackson is especially looking forward to be being partnered with Tricia Helfer.

Hot off the set of Disney’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3, Bolt, a Saint Bernard/Australian Shepherd mix, joins the Scent of the Missing canine cast as Shadow, a rubber ball obsessed, uber energetic search and rescue dog.  Being half Saint Bernard, Bolt is anxious to showcase his breed’s great affinity for saving human lives. He is excited about being partnered with Eric Winter, who plays Jake, a firefighter, and thinks they’ll make a great team.

Rounding out the canine cast is Sam, a German Shepherd, who plays Chaos, the newest member of the search and rescue team.  Chaos may not be the most experienced, but his fierce drive and heroism make him an invaluable asset to the team.  A Hollywood veteran, Sam appeared in Disney’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua 1&2 as Delgado. A huge sci-fi fan, he can’t believe his luck in being partnered with Summer Glau, who plays Sedona, and is especially grateful that his love of salmon jerky was written into the script. Jackson, Bolt and Sam are all represented by Birds and Animals Unlimited.