Where in the U.S.A. Is Carmen Sandiego? is an American half-hour children's television game show loosely based on the computer game of the same name created by Broderbund Software. Just like its predecessors, the show was produced by WGBH Boston and WQED Pittsburgh. The show succeeded Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?, and was taped at the Disney-MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida. The show's special effects were produced by Starbound FX of Sarasota, Florida with project coordinator Hai Wei Lu. The series ran for three seasons from September 5, 2002 to August 11, 2004.
The show was hosted by Godfrey Danchimah with "The Clue Crew" as informants. For it's first season, Lynne Thigpen was "The Chief of ACME U.S.A. Net". When Thigpen died on March 12, 2003, she was replaced briefly by Robert Loggia as the General Chief, the Chief's supervisor, before a new Chief was chosen in Marc Summers.
The Clue Crew
The Clue Crew consisted of:
- George Trenholm
- Billy Guilfoyle
- Jose Rubalcaba
- Nkechi Mbarga (now a reporter for WWJ-TV)
- Liam Harwood
- Denzel Sharlande
- Elaine Qizilbash
- Edward Ni (Season 1) (better known as the second voice of Darren in Mole Miner)
- Claude Tagawa (Seasons 2-3)
- Marvin Drossel (understudy/fill-in)
With the exception of RoboCrook, Carmine and the Ick brothers, all of the V.I.L.E. villains used in the show were original characters who didn't appear in the games. They were performed by the Clue Crew members as well as Nathan Geddes (who was also a voice-over artist and post-production video editor for the show), Clue Crew understudy/fill-in Marvin Drossel, and regular Orlando theme park performers Joseph Petrusewicz, Alanna Maldonado, and Jessica Morgan Hawks. Carmine the cat was separately performed by a voice actress and a body performer.
- Carmen Sandiego (played by Alanna Maldonado) - V.I.L.E.'s mastermind, portrayed as a straight villain.
- RoboCrook (played by Joseph Petrusewicz) - A cyborg spoof of RoboCop. When assaulting the ACME RV, he would physically sabotage the vehicle at an open maintenance panel.
- Aster Lloyd (played by Liam Harwood) - A wannabe astronomer from the Space Coast who wears nerd glasses. When assaulting the ACME RV, he would physically sabotage the vehicle at an open maintenance panel. His name is a play on "asteroid".
- Johnny Ragger (played by Edward Ni in Season 1 and Claude Tagawa in Seasons 2-3) - A greaser from 1950's Chicago who's eyes were obscured by his sunglasses. When assaulting the ACME RV, he was shown kicking in a maintenance panel and pulling out cables. His surname is a play on the Swedish Raggare subculture, closely related to the greaser subculture.
- Madelaine Donna (played by Elaine Qizilbash) - A rebellious teenager who wears clothing typical of the early 2000s. Her getaway animation showed her blowing a massive bubblegum bubble that she would fly away in. In season 1, she assaulted the ACME RV by throwing an orb of electricity; whereas in seasons 2 and 3 she would blow a bubblegum bubble into an open maintenance panel. Her name is a play on "Madonna".
- Stan Dardes and Patrick Cess (played by Joseph Petrusewicz and Billy Guilfoyle) - Two network censors (arguably similar to the Right to Censor stable in the World Wrestling Federation) who try to censor the show. On one occasion, they questioned the concept of a Latina villain and deemed it to be offensive, and as a result Carmen was forced to have Carmine get captured instead. In season 1, they assaulted the ACME RV by simply breaking into the driver's seat and turning off the ignition; whereas in seasons 2 and 3 they would simply press a kill switch in a open hatch. Their names are a play on "Standards & Practices".
- Roger Dodger (played by Liam Harwood) - A 1930s football player who speaks with the mannerisms and slang of the time. When assaulting the ACME RV, he would headbutt the back of the vehicle. His getaway animation showed him running off for a touchdown.
- Rick and Nick Ick (played by Nathan Geddes and Liam Harwood) - A duo of incompetent V.I.L.E. janitors. When assaulting the ACME RV, they were shown dumping excess dirty water into the fuel tank (in season 1) or an open maintenance panel (in seasons 2 and 3).
- Carmine (voiced by Elaine Qizilbash and performed by Jessica Morgan Hawks) - Carmen's pet cat, portrayed as an anthropomorphic being. In season one, she assaulted the ACME RV by scratching the tires; and in the second and third, she was shown ripping cables from a maintenance panel. The Carmine costume was built by VEE Costumes & Creatures.