Meaty mystery good for grown-ups.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main FBI characters are good guys, though not always friendly. Other characters are devious, self-serving, overly ambitious, and sometimes criminal. Decent racial diversity.


Guns; car chases; explosions (one killing a child); dead, bloody bodies.


Underwear-clad characters grope and kiss. Discussion of affairs, pregnancy.


Some minor cursing -- "hell" and "damn."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this dark, well-made thriller/drama follows a possible abduction. Viewers see dead, bloody bodies and at least one instance of a child being blown up with explosives attached to his chest. Scenes include nearly nude characters kissing, groping, and gyrating sexually. Some characters are highly antagonistic, while others are sneaky and underhanded. Very little is as it seems, and everyone has an agenda.

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What's the story?

In the glossy dramatic thriller VANISHED, the FBI searches for Sara Collins (Joanne Kelly), a Georgia senator's wife who's gone missing. As the investigation unfolds, law enforcement officials and the press discover that Sara has a secret past -- and that her disappearance may be linked to a greater conspiracy with national implications. The strong, diverse cast includes FBI agent Graham Kelton (Gale Harold), who's haunted by mistakes in his past; his determined associate Len Mei (Ming-Na); obsessed reporter Judy Nash (Rebecca Gayheart); and Detective Danny Lucas (Eddie Cibrian).

Is it any good?


With lots of characters and many possible angles for the narrative to pursue, Vanished -- like Lost and 24 -- is designed to hook viewers quickly. Just a few of the many puzzle pieces: The senator's teenaged son is hiding his relationship with his mother from his father. The senator's daughter has a shady boyfriend who may be involved in her stepmother's disappearance. A positive pregnancy test turns up in Sara Collins' bedroom. And a man from Sara's secret past returns. It's all very titillating, and with high quality acting and production, it's worth following.

Vanished's creator, Josh Berman, was formerly an executive producer of CSI, which explains some of the visual similarities between the two shows. Also like CSI, Vanished's content is adult, with highly sexual scenes and dead, bloody bodies. Some older teens may be able to handle it, but parents will probably want to preview it first.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about secrets. What kinds of things do people keep from others? How honest are family members with friends, acquaintances, and each other? Is it ever OK to keep a secret from your parents? How can revealing secrets hurt others and how can it help others -- or yourself?

TV details

Cast:Eddie Cibrian, John Allen Nelson, Ming-Na, Rebecca Gayheart
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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    A tense thriller for adults and mature teens.

What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008


Well this show is AWESOME it's got all you want in a show. It also has twists and turns. You think you know the answer but something happens and it turns around something new happens in every episode. The creaters did and awesome job and FOX should get a great amount of viewers. This may be the next big hit! But when 24 comes back in January, it may be hard to beat.


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