Thesp would play lead in ABC drama

Ashley Judd is close to signing a deal that would cast her as the lead in ABC’s “Missing.”

Drama, from writer Greg Poirier and ABC Studios, has a 10-episode order and will start shooting this summer in Europe as it preps for a fall or midseason launch. Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo are exec producing with director Steve Shill.

“Missing” centers on a suburban mother who, after her son disappears in Italy while studying abroad, rushes to Europe to track him down. It soon becomes clear she is no ordinary soccer mom but a former CIA agent who will stop at nothing to bring her son home alive.

This is Judd’s first series since she co-starred in NBC’s “Sisters” from 1991-94. Her next bigscreen role will be in Warner Bros.’ “Dolphin Tale,” due in September.

Most of Poirier’s work has been for films as well. He wrote the 2007 pic “National Treasure: Book of Secrets.”

Judd is repped by WME.

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