A few episodes are based on real-life disappearances.

During each episode, a 15-second presentation appears, asking the public for help in finding real-life missing persons. The FBI provides a picture and descriptive information about the missing person to be displayed with a voice-over message recorded by one of the series stars.

Poppy Montgomery's character, Samantha Spade, is a play on the name of another famous fiction detective: Sam Spade. Sam Spade was created by famed novelist Dashiell Hammett in his book 'The Maltese Falcon' (and has been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart and Ricardo Cortez).

The original title of the show was "Vanished", but when CBS opted to pick it up the title was changed to "Without a Trace".