Gillespie and Tibbs learn to get used to each other's working habits and bond as workers and friends to solve the murder.


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Episode credited cast:
Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs (as Howard Rollins)
David Hart ...
Officer Junior Abernathy (as Christian LeBlanc)
Willie Jones
Jill Carroll ...
Gillespie's Girlfriend (as Maggie Blye)
Harold LaPierre
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Adams ...
Mary Elizabeth Blackmon ...
Nan Woodall


Continuation of Episode #1.1. "Pilot: Part 1" Nan Woodall, the murder victim in the previous episode, is buried and the community is devastated. While investigating Nan's and Willie Jones' murders, Virgil is badly beaten by redneck thugs. Surprisingly, Chief Gillespie is sympathetic and cooperative, and he dresses down every police officer who is reluctant to work with Virgil Tibbs. The case leads into the seamy side of life in Sparta, including orgies and pornographic videotapes. Working together, Tibbs begins to carve out a place in the department, and Gillespie turns out to be a superb, insightful investigator. Written by richardann

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Crime | Mystery





Release Date:

6 March 1988 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode, and the previous one, In the Heat of the Night: Pilot: Part 1 (1988), originally aired as a TV movie. The producers of the series later edited the film into episodes of the show. See more »


When Red Jack's truck starts to pass Detective Tibbs' squad car, the driver's door of the car is undamaged. Moments later, the door is badly dented, before there is any contact between the two vehicles. See more »


Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs: I guess you know everything about everybody here in this town, huh.
Chief William O. 'Bill' Gillespie: Virgil, if I was to sell all I know to one of them little newspapers at the checkout stand at the supermarket I'd have my fortune made. At the same time there be a whole lot of murders mayhem massacres and suicides.
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Amazing Grace
Written by John Newton
Sung at funeral
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