In Plain Sight

In Plain Sight Information

In Plain Sight is an American dramatic television series on USA Network. The series revolves around Mary Shannon (Mary McCormack), a Deputy United States Marshal attached to the Albuquerque, NM, office of the Federal Witness Security Program (WITSEC), more commonly known as the Federal Witness Protection Program. Shannon must find ways to balance her professional life of protecting witnesses, her professional relationship with her partner, Marshall Mann, and her problematic personal life. The show was filmed on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico. On May 4, 2012, In Plain Sight concluded its fifth and final season.

Development and production

In Plain Sight was originally scheduled to premiere on Thursday, April 24, 2008, but USA Network held the series back when the WGA strike delayed production of the summer series Burn Notice. It instead made its debut on Sunday, June 1, 2008. It was renewed on July 21, 2008, for a second season with a sixteen-episode run, which began April 19, 2009.

Then, following creative differences with Executive Producer David Maples, USA Network made the decision to use the season's fifteenth episode, the first part of a planned two-part season ender, as the show's season finale. Series creator David Maples and co-producer Paul Stupin subsequently stepped down as executive producers at the end of Season 2, although remaining as consulting producers, and were replaced by John McNamara. Todd Williams' and Lesley Ann Warren's roles were changed to guest stars, and a retooling of scriptwriting designed to place greater emphasis on Mary's cases and less on Mary's personal life while retaining its character-driven storytelling. According to USA executive Jeff Wachtel, the shift in producers also reflects the network's desire that the show remain upbeat rather than overly dark.

In Plain Sight was renewed for a third season of sixteen episodes on August 2, 2009. Although the previously planned sixteenth episode of Season 2 was set to be the opening episode of Season 3, the episode was shelved and replaced by a new opening episode, written by new showrunner, John McNamara. The season was later reduced to 13 episodes when McNamara took a leave of absence for medical reasons. In a statement released exclusively to The Futon Critic, the producer of Universal Cable Productions said, "John Romano assumed executive producer responsibilities for the remaining episodes. Given the unexpected change, we decided to end the season at a natural spot"?with the surprising cliffhanger of episode 13."

After the conclusion of season 3, USA Network ordered two more seasons of In Plain Sight

The fourth season of In Plain Sight premiered on May 1, 2011 in its original time slot. The fifth season began on March 16, 2012, and consisted of eight episodes. The series finale aired on May 4, 2012.

Jeff Beal composed the theme song for the series. W.G. Snuffy Walden composed the music for the first season, followed by Tree Adams for the second season. Evan Frankfort, Liz Phair, and Marc Dauer composed the music for the remainder of the series.


See List of In Plain Sight characters for more information

Main characters

  • Mary Shannon (Mary McCormack): Mary is a capable officer, a nonconformist and uninterested in typical feminine wiles. To her witnesses, she is known as Mary Shepard. Mary has trust and abandonment issues that lead her to have difficulties with relationships due to a difficult childhood resulting from her father's gambling and mother's alcoholism. Mary became engaged to her boyfriend Raphael in the season two episode "Jailbait"; however, she often seems unhappy with the relationship and the engagement, and it is her feelings of uncertainty and unpreparedness about marriage that cause her fiancé, Raphael, to call off the engagement in the season three episode "Coma Chameleon". In the season two finale, "Don't Cry for Me, Albuquerque", Mary is shot defending a witness living in a bad neighborhood and is in a coma at the end of season two. In season three she has recovered and is back at work. At the end of season three she begins a relationship with FBI Agent Michael Faber, whom she soon convinces to return to his ex-wife and children. After her relationship with Faber ends, she has a short fling with her ex-husband, and becomes pregnant.
  • Marshall Mann (Fred Weller): A fifth-generation Deputy U.S. Marshal. Marshall is Mary's partner, as well as her best friend, though recently has appeared to desire more than her friendship. In the season three finale Marshall begins to tell Mary that she needs someone who challenges her, calls her on her B.S., gets in her face and makes her think, and is seemingly about to profess his love when they are interrupted by Stan, leading Marshall to walk away discouraged and heartbroken. He seems to know a little about everything: what Mary calls "useless information", and is rarely ever speechless. The only time this has ever happened was in the season three episode "Whistle Stop", when he discovered that Raphael and Mary had broken up, leading her to declare him "verbally impotent". There is friction between Marshall and Mary at times, often due to Marshall's cerebral approach and Mary's gut instinct, though both are extremely protective of witnesses and each other. Though Mary and Marshall have occasionally disagreed about the proper course of action regarding policies, Marshall has typically backed down after taking time to get a perspective and will adopt Mary's position if her cause is right"?even when her attitude is not. Marshall has recently begun a relationship with a female detective with the Albuquerque police force.
  • Stan McQueen (Paul Ben-Victor): As chief inspector for WITSEC's Southwest region, Stan is Marshall and Mary's boss. Stan is a flexible boss and stand-up guy, quickly backing up both Marshall and Mary when they hit trouble. Stan likes to stick to official WITSEC doctrine as often as possible and is reluctant to bend the rules without authorization. Stan has made an effort to recreate the professional distance in his office, presumably as a way to shield his team from FBI fallout. He and Eleanor had an intimate encounter.
  • Jinx Shannon (Lesley Ann Warren): Mary's alcoholic mother, who was abandoned by her bank-robbing husband to raise her two daughters alone. Although she adores her daughters, she has never been a traditional, supportive, job-holding maternal figure. She recognizes that Mary is the stable member of their family, and this has inspired her to live up to her daughter's example. Even so, she harbors a great deal of resentment against her strong-willed daughter, though this only comes to the surface when she is under great emotional duress. Firmly on the path to recovery, Jinx is slowly growing into her own woman, apart from the conniving lifestyle she once enjoyed while being an alcoholic. Now on the path to sobriety she still follows Mary's lead, but is slowly becoming more reliable now having a job and a house of her own.
  • Brandi Shannon (Nichole Hiltz): Mary's younger sister is very much her mother's daughter and the baby of the family. She lives in the moment and was involved with a shadowy man named Chuck. Despite this she looks up to Mary and, at times, sees her as an example. She also tends to be the more mature figure in her relationship with her mother. Brandi is loyal to a fault, but is slowly developing a conscience independent of others' approval. Moved by seeing a young infant in the hands of a meth addict and a drug-dealing boyfriend, Brandi backed out of a drug deal initiated by Chuck so that child services would protect the baby. Later, once Mary has been rescued from her abduction (which was fallout from this decision), Brandi later admits privately that if she had known how the events would play out, she would have killed Chuck herself rather than let her sister come into harm's way from her actions. She is dating a man she met in Alcoholics Anonymous, who later turned out to be very rich (Mary stated he "owns half of Albuquerque"). Brandi takes this information differently, believing that she is just "one of his girls" and tries to act selfishly to have him break up with her. After he stays with her (even offering hang-over remedies), he states he hopes they can continue to date, to which she agrees. Mary's nickname for Brandi is "Squish". At the end of the third season, Brandi moves in with Peter and in the beginning of the fourth season Brandi informs Mary that she is engaged.
  • Detective Abigail Chaffee (Rachel Boston): Albuquerque Police Department detective and Marshall's girlfriend.

Recurring characters

  • Raphael "Raph" Ramirez (Cristián de la Fuente): Mary's former fiancé. Commonly known as Raph, he played minor league baseball for the Albuquerque Isotopes until injuries forced his retirement. His relationship with Mary was complicated for a time when he becomes close to her sister Brandi. After Mary was kidnapped by drug dealers, Raph disposed of a suitcase full of drugs Brandi brought to Albuquerque, which Mary eventually discovers. When they become engaged, Mary tells Raph what she does, which proves difficult for Raph to understand. Raph is aware of Mary's doubts about marriage, which finally leads to his decision to call off their engagement.
  • Peter Alpert (Joshua Malina): Brandi's new boyfriend and a wealthy businessman. Brandi meets him at an AA meeting where she pretends to be Jinx in order for her mother to pass a required AA meeting set by the courts. Despite initially disapproving of Brandi's actions, Peter begins dating Brandi after she makes a determined effort to apologize to him.
  • Scott Griffin (Aaron Ashmore): Mary's half-brother. Along with his sister, Scott is Mary's father's child from a later marriage Mary knew nothing about. Brandi goes in search of him and brings him to Albuquerque.
  • Detective Robert Dershowitz (Todd Williams): A homicide detective, known as Bobby D, who is occasionally assigned to cases involving Mary's witnesses. He has deduced that Mary is a U.S. Marshal working for WITSEC and does not hide his disgust for the branch of law enforcement that puts known criminals back on the street. This attitude has softened as Dershowitz becomes involved in cases associated with the Marshal Service's witnesses. While his rapport with Mary had been antagonistic at times, he appreciates the friction. After her disappearance, he and Marshall bonded during the subsequent investigation, resulting in a respect for the two marshals, even though he occasionally disagrees with the less savory part of their jobs. Currently, he is in a task force in Chicago.
  • Eleanor Prince (Holly Maples): The recently widowed WITSEC office manager. Both Eleanor and her deceased husband worked for the FBI. Eleanor's calm efficiency clashes with Mary's abrasive work style, but earns the affection of Stan and the admiration of Marshall. In times of emergency Eleanor will utilize her connections in the FBI to assist with Mary and Marshall's cases, particularly ones that have dealt with Agent O'Conner's relentless pursuit of Mary and her family. Eleanor eventually leaves WITSEC to take a position as an analyst with the FBI.
  • Special Agent Robert O'Connor (Will McCormack): A New Jersey"based FBI agent now working in Albuquerque. He is in charge of investigating the murders related to the drug dealing in which Brandi was involved and has relentlessly focused his investigation on Brandi. He has also become interested in the whereabouts of Mary and Brandi's father.
  • Special Agent Michael Faber (Steven Weber): An FBI agent with whom Mary has a short relationship after they work on a case together. He tells Mary about his relationship with his father, something Faber tries hard not to be towards his own son.


Main article: List of In Plain Sight episodes



The pilot episode of In Plain Sight attracted 5.25 million viewers, making it USA Network's highest-rated series premiere since Psych in 2006. It also outperformed the previous summer's debut of Burn Notice by 32% and the network premiere of Law & Order: Criminal Intent by 40%.

Season Time slot(ET) Episodes Premiered Ended TV Season Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere
(in millions)
Date Finale
(in millions)
Sunday 10:00 pm
June 1, 2008
August 17, 2008
3.78 2008 TBA
2 15
April 19, 2009
August 9, 2009
4.44 2009 4.98
Wednesday 10:00 pm
March 31, 2010
June 30, 2010
3.85 2010 4.93
Sunday 10:00 pm
May 1, 2011
August 7, 2011
4.09 2011 5.00
Friday 10:00 pm
March 16, 2012
May 4, 2012
3.20 2012 TBA

Awards and nominations

Year Group Award Result For
2009 NAMIC Vision Awards Vision Award - Drama
Prism Awards Drama Series - Mental Health Episode "High-Priced Spread"
Prism Awards Performance in a Drama Episode Mary McCormack
2011 WICT Awards Scripted Drama/Comedy Series or Special

DVD releases

On March 31, 2009, Universal Studios Home Entertainment released season one of In Plain Sight on DVD in Region 1. Season two was released on DVD on March 9, 2010.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Season One 12 March 31, 2009
Season Two 15 March 9, 2010
Season Three 13 March 29, 2011
Season Four 13 June 5, 2012
Season Five 8 August 28, 2012
^ The wide release for the season 4 DVD occurred on June 5, 2012. An early promotional release at Target stores occurred on March 13, 2012.

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "In_Plain_Sight" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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