Chiefs (1983)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Three generations of police chiefs for a southern town go about their jobs while a serial murderer operates.

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Title: Chiefs (1983– )

Chiefs (1983– ) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
 Hugh Holmes (3 episodes, 1983)
 Foxy Funderburke (3 episodes, 1983)
 Billy Lee (3 episodes, 1983)
 Sonny Butts (3 episodes, 1983)
 Carrie Lee (3 episodes, 1983)
 Will Henry Lee (3 episodes, 1983)
 Sheriff Skeeter Willis (3 episodes, 1983)
 Trish Lee (3 episodes, 1983)
 Tyler Watts (aka Joshua Cole) (3 episodes, 1983)
Lane Smith ...
 Hoss Spence (3 episodes, 1983)
 Emmett Spence (2 episodes, 1983)
Kaiulani Lee ...
 Mrs. Butts (2 episodes, 1983)
 Nellie Cole (2 episodes, 1983)
 Dr. Tom Manton (2 episodes, 1983)
James Brown Henderson ...
 Pieback Johnson (2 episodes, 1983)
 Tommy Allen (2 episodes, 1983)


This series tells the story of a southern town's police chiefs and the serial murderer who confounds them. Will Henry Lee is the first chief, an easygoing man who works to establish the position while the murderer begins his havoc. The second is a violent racist who stumbles about his job as the murderer continues his. Tyler Watts is the final chief in the story, an African-American cop who must deal with the virulent racism of his community while he puts together the pieces to finally bring the murderer to justice. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An epic adventure seeming with power, love and hatred.


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Release Date:

13 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chefia  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(video) | (3 parts)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The book indicates that the story took place in Georgia. The book also indicates that Delano is a fictitious town. See more »


Tyler Watts: If this thing is as big as I think it is, they won't need an election... they'll carry Billy to the governor's mansion on their shoulders!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Stuart Woods's best book and film!
17 February 2004 | by (Willoughby, OH, USA) – See all my reviews

This film was made at a time when the big networks, in this case CBS, took pride in making tv movies and mini-series. Excellent attention to detail in just about every aspect of this 3 part movies. As the film movies from the 1920's to the 1940's and eventually the 1960's the viewer gets to see the town of Delano Georgia grow and change. It almost seems as though Delano is a real town. The costumes, settings and props for each time setting are well done.

This mini-series stick very close to the original story written by Stuart Woods. During a 40 year time frame 3 different police chiefs try to solve the various and ongoing murders that are taking place in the vicinity of Delano. Young male transients are being kidnapped and sexually assaulted before they are murdered. Racial tensions run high in Delano and add to the difficulty in solving the murders. Good acting by all who participated. Charlton Heston, Paul Sorvino, Brad Davis and Billy Dee Williams were at the top of their acting game in this mini-Series.

I was able to tape the original 3 part mini-series when it was first aired and despite some drop in quality due to age this mini-series is a favorite of mine and viewed at least once a year. For those who enjoyed the film they may want to read and or watch the story and film GRASS ROOTS. This story continues to follow the Lee family as one of their members attempts to become a U.S. Senator. During the race another racially motivated murder in Delano complicates matters.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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