The Sinner

The Sinner Information

The Sinner is an American crime drama mystery television series, based on the novel of the same name by Petra Hammesfahr. The series was ordered on January 17, 2017, and the eight episodes were broadcast on USA Network between August 2 and September 20, 2017. In March 2018, the series was renewed for a second season.

The Sinner received two nominations at the 75th Golden Globe Awards: Best Miniseries or Television Film and Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film for Jessica Biel.


The series follows Cora, a young mother, who lives a quiet life with her husband, Mason. Their lives are torn apart after the events of a beach outing, where she brutally kills a man in public and at first seems to have no idea why she did so. Assigned to the case, Detective Harry Ambrose delves into Cora's past to find shocking secrets and emotional trauma.



  • Jessica Biel as Cora Tannetti
  • Christopher Abbott as Mason Tannetti
  • Dohn Norwood as Detective Dan Leroy
  • Abby Miller as Caitlin Sullivan
  • Bill Pullman as Detective Harry Ambrose


  • Danielle Burgess as Maddie
  • Patti D'Arbanville as Lorna Tannetti, Mason's mother
  • Kathryn Erbe as Fay Ambrose, Harry's wife
  • Enid Graham as Elizabeth Lacey, Cora's mother
  • Jacob Pitts as J.D.
  • Nadia Alexander as Phoebe
  • Rebecca Wisocky as Margaret Lacey, Cora's aunt
  • Eric Todd as Frankie Belmont
  • Robert Funaro as Ron Tannetti, Mason's father


|Viewers         = 1.63
|ShortSummary    = Cora Tannetti, raised by religious zealots, is now married to Mason and mother of a toddler, Laine. The marriage is strained by Mason's attachment to his mother, who lives on the same property and watches her grandson while Cora and Mason work at the family business. At the lake with her husband and son, Cora almost drowns herself, but changes her mind. Back on the beach while cutting up a pear, she sees an amorous couple kissing and playing music. She uses a paring knife to repeatedly stab the man, Frankie Belmont, killing him. Detectives Harry Ambrose and Dan Leroy are assigned the case. With Cora's confession, Dan views the case as closed, while Harry wishes to learn why she committed a random murder. He must hurry, as she is soon to be arraigned in court.
|LineColor       = C0B7A3

|Viewers         = 1.41
|ShortSummary    = Cora pleads guilty to second-degree murder to avoid a trial, but the judge orders a competency evaluation. After learning that Frankie seemed to recognize Cora as she stabbed him and that they possibly had a destructive relationship, Harry questions her. She admits that, in 2012, she had sex with Frankie after meeting him in a bar, only he called himself "J.D.". Frankie's parents claim that he was in California in 2012. Harry confronts Cora, forcing her to listen to the music that caused her to stab Frankie, and she attacks Harry in a similar manner.
|LineColor       = C0B7A3

|Viewers         = 1.64
|ShortSummary    = Cora dreams of Laine and asks Mason to bring him to visit. Harry visits Cora's parents, William and Elizabeth Lacey, and learns about Cora's now deceased sister, Phoebe, and learns that Cora disappeared a month before Phoebe died in 2012. Cora has dreams of a foot collapsing a sternum and wakes up screaming. While attempting to sedate Cora, the prison staff expose scars on her arm. When Harry visits Cora, he asks if she had a heroin addiction. Cora asks Harry not to tell Mason, but Harry says he can't promise that. Harry learns Cora's aunt Margaret came to see her and goes to see Margaret. Cora lived with Margaret after she reappeared in 2012. Margaret tells Harry that Cora would wake up at 3am every morning with nightmares. Mason goes to visit Cora without Laine and asks if it was J.D. that got Cora hooked on drugs. Harry visits the detox center Cora was taken to after she reappeared, then tests Cora to see if she actually knows how to shoot up. Mason"?s friend points out J.D. at a bar.
|LineColor       = C0B7A3

|Viewers         = 1.76
|ShortSummary    = Both Mason and J.D. are arrested and questioned. Mason tells Dan that J.D. is a drug dealer. J.D. tells Harry he's never met Cora, even though Harry says Cora remembers meeting him in a bar on the third of July. J.D.'s lawyer, Mr. Harding, ends the interview. Dan knows Harding and says he is like "bringing a cannon" to a knife fight. Dan and Harry wonder why J.D. has such a high-powered lawyer. Mason's friend, Caitlin, admits to Harry that she told Mason Cora mentioned J.D. Harry questions Cora and realizes she doesn't remember anything between July 3, 2012, and waking up in an alley in Poughkeepsie two months later. Harry convinces Dr. Chang, one of Cora"?s competency evaluators, to try memory recovery work with Cora. Harry looks for J.D.'s ex-girlfriend, Madeline Beecham, and Mason tries to get J.D. arrested for drug-dealing. Harry goes for a hike with his wife, Faye, to survey the woods he believes Cora was remembering.
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|Viewers         = 1.84
|ShortSummary    = 
|LineColor       = C0B7A3

|Viewers         = 1.84
|ShortSummary    = 
|LineColor       = C0B7A3

|Viewers         = 1.84
|ShortSummary    = 
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|Viewers         = 2.44
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The series, described as a "close-ended series" by the network, was adapted from the novel of the same name by Petra Hammesfahr; however, the book's darker outlook was toned down and the location shifted from Germany to Upstate New York in the United States. It was the first time that Biel had executive-produced a series, a role she said was "gold". Biel stated that she moved into production so that she could develop projects with challenging and interesting roles rather than wait for them to happen.

The series was ordered on January 17, 2017, and the eight episodes were broadcast on USA Network between August 2 and September 20, 2017. Originally, the series was created as a miniseries; however, in March 2018, it was announced that The Sinner would return for a second season.


Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an approval rating of 94% based on 33 reviews, with an average rating of 6.9/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Smartly unpredictable and led by powerful performances from a talented cast, the darkly compelling The Sinner sinks its hooks in fast and doesn't let go." Metacritic, which assigns a rating to reviews, gave the film an average weighted score of 71 out of 100, based on 23 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". In August 2017, it was announced as the number one new cable series of 2017, according to Nielsen delayed viewing data.



| title2 = Part II | date2 = August 9, 2017 | rs2 = 0.4 | viewers2 = 1.41 | dvr2 = 0.9 | dvrv2 = 2.52 | total2 = 1.3 | totalv2 = 3.93

| title3 = Part III | date3 = August 16, 2017 | rs3 = 0.5 | viewers3 = 1.64 | dvr3 = 0.8 | dvrv3 = 2.37 | total3 = 1.3 | totalv3 = 4.02

| title4 = Part IV | date4 = August 23, 2017 | rs4 = 0.5 | viewers4 = 1.76 | dvr4 = 0.9 | dvrv4 = 2.58 | total4 = 1.4 | totalv4 = 4.34

| title5 = Part V | date5 = August 30, 2017 | rs5 = 0.5 | viewers5 = 1.84 | dvr5 = 1.0 | dvrv5 = 2.78 | total5 = 1.5 | totalv5 = 4.62

| title6 = Part VI | date6 = September 6, 2017 | rs6 = 0.6 | viewers6 = 1.84 | dvr6 = n/a | dvrv6 = n/a | total6 = n/a | totalv6 = n/a

| title7 = Part VII | date7 = September 13, 2017 | rs7 = 0.5 | viewers7 = 1.84 | dvr7 = 0.8 | dvrv7 = 2.55 | total7 = 1.3 | totalv7 = 4.39

| title8 = Part VIII | date8 = September 20, 2017 | rs8 = 0.8 | viewers8 = 2.44 | dvr8 = n/a | dvrv8 = n/a | total8 = n/a | totalv8 = n/a }}

Awards and nominations

Year Ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result
2018 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Bill Pullman
Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries Jessica Biel
Golden Globe Awards Best Actress - Miniseries or Television Film Jessica Biel
Best Miniseries or Television Film The Sinner

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