Bill Gillespie is a police chief in a small town in the American South, and later becomes sheriff of the county. As Bill tries to solve crimes and catch criminals, aided by his capable investigator Virgil Tibbs and police lieutenant Bubba Skinner, he must navigate tricky small-town politics. Racial tensions often run high in the South and this theme is frequently explored. Bill's personal life is often portrayed in this TV drama, as well. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Carroll O'Connor was replaced for some episodes by Joe Don Baker, playing Acting Chief Tom Dugan, while O'Connor recuperated from open heart surgery. Carroll wanted his surgery to be written into the show, but NBC would not honor his request. See more »
Yeah, the last time I caught you using my phone in here, the emergency was about some woman who was driving your car dressed in black lace underwear.
I wish there was some things you'd forget Chief.
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This show will always be one of my favorites. It takes a look at the so-called New South and shows the many ways it has gotten better and how in some ways it is still the same. In fact, I still prefer the television series over the movie any time. The late Howard Rollins was superb as Virgil Tibbs and the late Caroll O'Connor made the perfect Bill Gillespie. However, the real standout was Alan Autry as Seargent (and later Captain) Bubba Skinner. He is the perfect example of the tough guy with the heart of gold and he was what made the show special.
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