Today in Canine Acting News…

I was away from the blog on Friday, and I’m afraid I have to apologize for a couple oversights. First of all, the series premiere of AMC’s “Hell on Wheels” was excluded from the Weekend Preview. Those responsible have been sacked. Another unforgivable exclusion from the news: late last week, TNT cast the canine leads for “Scent of the Missing,” the dog-cop show that will star Tricia Helfer. Needless to say, this should have been the lead story.

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… 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 [above left] and German Shepherd San [right] 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.

I’m dead serious when I say that this is going to be my absolute favorite show on television, and I can’t wait to see a dog out-act Summer Glau. But I haven’t even gotten to the best part of the article, though. Deadline is kind enough to share the press release that summarizes the dogs’ acting careers:

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.

Wouldn’t we all like to be partnered with Tricia Helfer. Lucky dog.

Hot off the set of Disney’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua 3Bolt, 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.

Man, the characters for those dogs are REALLY fleshed out. If “Charlie’s Angels” had worked half as hard on characterization it might still be on the air.