Karen Mills-Francis '78
Judge Karen was a nationally-syndicated American television show that debuted on September 8, 2008 in 48 of the top 50 U.S. markets. As with other court shows, such as The People's Court and Judge Judy, a real-life judge presides over small claims court cases. On this show, the judge is Karen Mills-Francis, a "sassy" African-American woman twice elected Miami-Dade County Court judge, who claims that (as mentioned in the show's introduction) "justice isn't always black and white". She wore, not the traditional black robe, but a burgundy one to go well with her blonde hairstyle. The intro showed her presiding over cases, with the announcer saying how "She's tough, she's fair, and she cares". The show was produced and distributed by Sony Pictures Television.
To distinguish itself from other shows in the crowded field, Judge Karen permitted litigants to cross-examine witnesses, and there was a segment at the end in which Mills-Francis answered videotaped questions from viewers.