The cases and adventures of the police forces in and around Sparta, Mississippi.
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Nominated for 7 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Chief William O. 'Bill' Gillespie / ... (146 episodes, 1988-1995)
...
 Capt. V.L. 'Bubba' Skinner / ... (146 episodes, 1988-1995)
David Hart ...
 Officer Parker Williams / ... (146 episodes, 1988-1995)
Hugh O'Connor ...
 Lt. Lonnie Jamison / ... (146 episodes, 1988-1995)
...
 Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs / ... (121 episodes, 1988-1994)
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 Althea Tibbs (119 episodes, 1988-1993)
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 Sgt. Wilson Sweet / ... (110 episodes, 1988-1993)
...
 Officer Luann Corbin / ... (102 episodes, 1989-1995)
C.C. Taylor ...
 Officer Charlie Peake / ... (86 episodes, 1989-1995)
Dee Shaw ...
 Cpl. Dee Shepard / ... (85 episodes, 1989-1995)
...
 Officer Randy Goode (81 episodes, 1989-1993)
...
 Harriet DeLong / ... (69 episodes, 1989-1995)
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Storyline

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>

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Action | Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

6 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In der Hitze der Nacht  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(150 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The season after Howard E. Rollins Jr. left the cast, he did return for several guest appearances. However, Anne-Marie Johnson (who played Althea) chose to join the cast of "In Living Color. Her absence was explained by having Althea & Virgil separate because of her having emotional problems stemming not only from her rape, but the stress of her being married to a policeman. See more »

Quotes

Bill Gillespie: 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.
Bubba Skinner: I wish there was some things you'd forget Chief.
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Connections

Referenced in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 8 July 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Heat of the Night
Music by Quincy Jones
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Arranged by Christopher Page (as Chris Page)
Performed by Bill Champlin
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

From an excellent film to an excellent series
13 August 2002 | by (Chapel Hill,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

This was without a doubt one of the best TV shows to ever depict the South the way it needed to be shown during the latter part of late 80's and continue into the mid-90's. This was in fact a worthy successor to the 1967 Oscar winning film of the same title. Its extremely rare these days to find a film-to-TV spin off that actually works on its own formula(the last show to accomplished such a feat and excel was MASH),and it does just that. It has an originality of its own--and it is sometimes quirky(since this set in the fictional Southern town of Sparta,and sometimes it can be downright eccentric)in the way that ordinary people act under circumstances in extraordinary situations. But in point,it taught us about the racial prejudices and as well as real life situations courtesy of its teacher and executive producer of the series....CARROLL O'CONNOR. It shows how racial problems can be solved,and also shows us that for one how drugs and drinking as well as abuse can tear a family apart and how to deal with those issues(several episodes consisted of the subject dealt with this brilliantly,including one scene where suicide was a major factor). It shows how a police force was very concerned with the community and what made it so good was that they were were not so caring but they knew what the community and its people were going through in a time of crisis. In other words,the police cared what was going on regardless of came about. Also,to make this statement....Carroll O'Connor is the ONLY actor in Hollywood who spoke out about the abuse of drugs in the community(he stepped out of character in one episode to speak about that which brought me to tears),and his show dealt with that exceptionally well. As the show made the switched from NBC to CBS in 1993,the show stayed focus on issues,but it also was the first to show an interracial marriage between characters. At its best it showed the all out emotions of the human condition,but its still is a beautifully produced show. Kudos to the late Howard Rollins,and Carroll O'Connor. R.I.P.


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