Karen Sisco
Carla Gugino as Karen Sisco
GenreCrime drama
Based onOut of Sight
by Elmore Leonard
Developed byJason Smilovic
ComposerJon Ehrlich
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10
Executive producers
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time60 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseOctober 1 (2003-10-01) –
December 3, 2003 (2003-12-03)

Karen Sisco is an American crime drama television series starring Carla Gugino in the title role. The series was created by novelist Elmore Leonard, based on a character who had appeared in several of his written works, as well as one film adaptation, 1998's Out of Sight. The series debuted on October 1, 2003 on ABC, and was canceled after ten episodes, with Gugino later reprising her role from the series in a 2012 third season episode of Justified.

As a U.S. Deputy Marshal, based on Miami, Florida's Gold Coast, Karen must deal with the underbelly of South Beach nightlife and Palm Beach high life while tracking down fugitives. She also struggles to win the respect of her fellow officers. Karen occasionally gets advice from her father, a retired Miami police officer turned private investigator, who is Karen’s confidant, counselor, and confessor. The show faced stiff competition from NBC's Law & Order.[citation needed]

TV Guide included the series in their 2013 list of 60 shows that were "Canceled Too Soon".[1]

Character history

Prior to the events of the series, the character appeared in two stories:




Jason Smilovic and Peter Lefcourt were co-executive producers and writers, with Smilovic having developed the series. Scott Frank, nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Out of Sight, served as an executive consultant.


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date Viewers
1"Blown Away"Michael DinnerStory by : Elmore Leonard
Teleplay by : Bob Brush
October 1, 2003 (2003-10-01)9.13[2]
2"Dumb Bunnies"Jeremy KaganJohn MankiewiczOctober 8, 2003 (2003-10-08)8.03[3]
3"The One That Got Away"Michael DinnerJason SmilovicOctober 15, 2003 (2003-10-15)7.86[4]
4"Justice"John David ColesStory by : Charles H. Eglee
Teleplay by : Robert Palm
October 22, 2003 (2003-10-22)7.06[5]
5"Nostalgia"Steve MinerJason SmilovicOctober 29, 2003 (2003-10-29)7.68[6]
6"Dear Derwood"Charles HaidStory by : Bob Brush
Teleplay by : Peter Lefcourt & Jason Smilovic
November 5, 2003 (2003-11-05)6.62[7]
7"Nobody's Perfect"Michael KatlemanPeter LefcourtNovember 12, 2003 (2003-11-12)6.70[8]
8"Dog Day Sisco"Rick WallaceSebastian GutierrezNovember 19, 2003 (2003-11-19)N/A
9"No One's Girl"David CarsonJohn LandgrafNovember 26, 2003 (2003-11-26)N/A
10"He Was a Friend of Mine"Kathryn BigelowPeter LefcourtDecember 3, 2003 (2003-12-03)N/A

International broadcasting

This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (September 2020) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Connections to other media

Gugino appeared as "Karen Goodall" in the second episode of the third season of Justified, which is also based on a work by Leonard.[9] There, the character had been promoted to Assistant Director in the Marshals Service, and had married and divorced, taking and keeping the last name Goodall. This name change was necessary as FX did not own the rights to the Karen Sisco character, or her stories.[10]


  1. ^ Roush, Matt (June 3, 2013). "Canceled Too Soon". TV Guide. pp. 20 and 21
  2. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (Sep. 29–Oct. 5)". The Los Angeles Times. October 8, 2003. Retrieved August 28, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.Free access icon
  3. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (Oct. 6-12)". The Los Angeles Times. October 15, 2003. Retrieved August 28, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.Free access icon
  4. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (Oct. 13-19)". The Los Angeles Times. October 22, 2003. Retrieved August 28, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.Free access icon
  5. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (Oct. 20-26)". The Los Angeles Times. October 29, 2003. Retrieved August 28, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.Free access icon
  6. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (Oct. 27-Nov. 2)". The Los Angeles Times. November 5, 2003. Retrieved August 28, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.Free access icon
  7. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (Nov. 3-9)". The Los Angeles Times. November 12, 2003. Retrieved August 28, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.Free access icon
  8. ^ "National Nielsen Viewership (Nov. 10-16)". The Los Angeles Times. November 19, 2003. Retrieved August 28, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.Free access icon
  9. ^ "Justified Recap: The Karen Sisco That Dare Not Speak Its Name". 25 January 2012.
  10. ^ "'Justified' recap: Carla Gugino, an Elmore Leonard favorite, brings some sizzle". 24 January 2012.