Chiefs (1983)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 1,142 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 1 critic

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?


Andy Griffith was announced to part of the cast, but he became ill and was replaced by Keith Carradine. See more »


Tyler Watts: Don't worry about Old Dabble, Billy, I'll take good care of him... and that's a promise just between you and me.
Billy Lee: Give him a carrot every day... He likes carrots.
Tyler Watts: I will, even if I have to steal one.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Excellent adaptation.
28 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

I still place Stuart Woods's "Chiefs" among the best police dramas ever written. Since I learned that a TV adaptation of the book was made, I've always wanted to see it, and, a few months ago, I finally bought the DVD release of the series. I actually did not expect much, but what I received surprised me - and it was a positive surprise. The series is an excellent adaptation of the novel and manages to do it justice, which is a rarity... as is the fact that very little of the book's plot is omitted. Certainly, some of the details - such as Will Henry's growing obsession with the mysterious murders, and the technical sides of his investigation - have to be treated superficially, but every important subplot and aspect of the book is present in the film; consequently, the series manages to be just as thrilling and involving as the novel. Amusingly enough, the credits on the box of the DVD misled me slightly - I assumed Charlton Heston, Keith Carradine and Billy Dee Williams would be playing the three chiefs, chronologically; of course, this is not the case.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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