Dr. Mark Sloan is a doctor at Community General Hospital, and he is a consultant for the police department. His son Steve Sloan is a detective for the department. He and his father, along ... See full summary »
Dick Van Dyke,
Barry Van Dyke,
After a serial killer imitates the plots of his novels, successful mystery novelist Richard "Rick" Castle gets permission from the Mayor of New York City to tag along with an NYPD homicide investigation team for research purposes.
Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson runs the Priority Homicide Division of the LAPD with an unorthodox style. Her innate ability to read people and obtain confessions helps her and her team solve the city's toughest, most sensitive cases.
Father Frank Dowling, a fine Catholic parish priest in Chicago, drives housekeeper Marie to despair by his habit of being late for dinner as he and his assistant (streetwise nun Stephanie '... See full summary »
Sam McCloud is a rustic country sheriff from a rural part of the United States. He travels to the big city and joins the police force, using his country ways and laid-back approach to nab the bad guys.
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 wrote several scripts, under the pseudonym Matt Harris, for the show and two "In the Heat of the Night" movies. He worked under the pseudonym concerned that his scripts would not be received well by television critics. See more »
21 years after Rod Steiger won an Academy Award as gum chewing police chief Bill Gillespie of Sparta Mississippi and Sidney Poitier told the world that in his city, THEY CALL ME MISTER TIBBS, the film was adapted into a successful television series about the new American South.
If you remember in the film Rod Steiger has the murder of a rich northern industrialist on his hands and reluctantly uses the expertise of visiting homicide detective Sidney Poitier to solve the murder. Now years later, Virgil Tibbs formerly of the Philadelphia PD Homicide Squad and now played by Howard E. Rollins, Jr. has responded to an offer from Chief Gillespie. Gillespie is now Carroll O'Connor and has made a place for Tibbs on the Sparta, PD as a newly made detective. Rollins IS the Detective Division of the Sparta, PD.
Because this show clicked so well these characters were fully developed over the seven year run of the series. We got to know everybody in the small town of Sparta, Mississippi and even the most minute characters were three dimensional, the writing on this show was so good. O'Connor alluded to his racist past and we saw a man in Chief Gillespie who was a work in progress. In the end he fell in love with black city council member Denise Nicholas.
Rollins had to adjust too, things don't quite work the same way in Sparta, Mississippi as they do in Philadelphia. And I'm not speaking necessarily of racial attitudes. Alan Autry played Bubba Skinner and he was something of a protégé of O'Connor's and he thought he ought to have been the detective. He was not a stupid guy either by any means. He and Rollins gradually developed a working relationship over the course of the show.
Gunsmoke was the first show to put the main characters within the context of the town they lived in. Beyond James Arness and the other principal cast members, Dodge City had a nice group of recurring regular citizens. That was nothing though like Sparta, Mississippi. Watching In The Heat Of The Night was like taking residence in that town for an hour each week.
In The Heat Of The Night was television series at its best, sad that it came to an end because of the health and other problems of its two lead cast members. It could still be running today.
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