When ABC "hiatused" their great chick-flick series, "Karen Sisco," (search) it proved once more that the network couldn't see a 700-watt light in a tunnel.

This was a great series - smart, clever, well acted and based on a movie, which was based on a book by the equally great Elmore Leonard (search).

But of course, instead of giving it a chance to grab an audience, they dumped the thing before it even aired the few episodes they had. (Why bother with good writing and acting when you can get yet another out-of- work bartender to make out with a desperate mortgage broker for free?)

But there is a bit of good news if you were/are a Karen Sisco fan. USA Network, which picked up the slack on the show and had been showing repeats of the old "Karen Sisco" episodes, will begin airing the remaining, unaired episodes Wednesday. 

It may not be that USA realized what a good thing was being scrapped. USA happens to be part of Universal, which fronted the series for Jersey Television, Danny DaVito's (search) outfit. So, even though USA is serving the same purpose as an overstock outlet store, at least it's kept the series somewhat alive.

Not that I'm complaining. Seeing something good is better than the alternative - yet another insufferable reality show. If I want reality, I'll turn off the TV and listen to my neighbors yell at their kids . . . constantly.

Anyway, if you didn't get a chance to catch the series the first time out, it involves a federal marshal in Florida - that would be Sisco (Carla Gugino) - who grew up in the biz, so to speak.

Sisco's dad, Marshall (get it? Marshall), played by Robert Forster, is a retired P.I. who sort of wishes his daughter wouldn't have followed him into the biz of running after bad guys for a living. He used to track 'em, while her job is bringing 'em back alive.

Her boss, Amos (Bill Duke), is the third wheel on this tricycle that rides very well.

What made this series terrific wasn't that it was loaded with pyrotechnics and karate, but was instead infused with offbeat characters, quirky acting and unusual situations.

For example, there was the time Karen fell madly in love with a bank robber. Not a great career move for anyone - particularly a U.S. marshal.

There are only a very few episodes that haven't yet been aired - three I believe. But maybe they'll inspire a ground swell and ABC or USA will see the error of their ways and bring her back alive.