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Why we can't wait to see ''Without a Trace''

DEBUTS SEPT. 25, 10 P.M. (CBS)

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Eric Close, Anthony LaPaglia, ...
Without a Trace: Robert Voets/CBS

Why we can’t wait to see ”Without a Trace”

THE DEAL Sparks flew between senior FBI agent Jack Malone (Anthony LaPaglia) and subordinate Samantha Spade (Poppy Montgomery) last season, but no longer: Malone is attempting to reconcile with his wife (Talia Balsam), and Spade is warming up to coworker Martin Fitzgerald (Eric Close, above right, with LaPaglia).

FUN FACT In the second-season premiere, the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced show pulls a David Copperfield by making a school bus disappear.

WHY WE CAN’T WAIT We’ve gotten hooked on the reruns this summer. The show has walloped the usually unstoppable “ER” in the ratings, and for good reason.

WHY WE’RE HOOKED “Trace” follows the cool, no-nonsense focus of its Thursday night lead-in, ”CSI” (also produced by Bruckheimer): Even with Malone and Spade making googly eyes at each other, it’s still the case that counts most.