Ben Matlock is a very expensive criminal defense attorney who charges $100,000 to take a case. Fortunately, he's worth every penny as he and his associates defend his clients by finding the real killer.
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>
The season 7 episode "Every Man's Family" was meant as the pilot for a proposed spinoff for the character of Bubba Skinner. The network did not have any available slots at the time it was first broadcast and In the Heat of the Night ended soon after, so the spinoff never materialized. It would have been set in Atlanta. See more »
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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