During the Christmas season, a flirtatious newspaper reporter prints an unflattering story about the Sparta Police Department.





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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Chief William O. 'Bill' Gillespie
... Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs (as Howard Rollins)
... Lt. V.L. 'Bubba' Skinner
... Althea Tibbs
David Hart ... Officer Parker Williams
... Cpl. Wilson Sweet
Hugh O'Connor ... Sgt. Lonnie Jamison
Judith Robinson ... Reporter Millie Turnby
... Harriet DeLong
... Officer Luann Corbin (as Crystal Fox)
... Aunt Etta Kibbey
Johnny Popwell ... Mel Levin
Deborah Atkinson ... Michelle Carpenter (archive footage)
... George Brownlow (archive footage)
Peter Gabb ... Horace Goode (archive footage)


In this Christmas episode, members of the Sparta Police Department are interviewed for an article in the Sparta Herald. Reporter Millie Turnby has a preconceived notion regarding the article and spins the information to suit her agenda. Flashbacks show the SPD's growing pains after Virgil Tibbs joins the force, especially in his relationships with Chief Bill Gillespie and Sergeant Bubba Skinner. As the officers read the article at a Christmas party, Gillespie puts it and the newspaper into proper perspective. Written by richardann

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Release Date:

18 December 1990 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Previous episodes referred to in this episode were: "Pilot Pt.1 and Pt.2." (eps.1.1 and 1.2), "Don't Look Back, Pt.1" (ep.2.1), "Gunshots" (ep.2.7), "A Trip Upstate" (ep.2.11), "Rape" (ep.3.1), "First Girl" (ep.3.4) and "Brotherly Love Pt.1" (ep.4.1). See more »


Away in a Manger
Music by James Murray (as James R. Murray) (1887)
Portion played as part of the score
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