In the Heat of the Night (1988–1995)
8.7/10
47

Pilot: Part 1 

Chief Gillespie reluctantly accepts visiting Sparta native Virgil Tibbs as his new Chief of Detectives in the midst of a high-profile murder investigation.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Chief William O. 'Bill' Gillespie
... Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs (as Howard Rollins)
... Officer V.L. 'Bubba' Skinner
... Althea Tibbs
David Hart ... Officer Parker Williams
... Officer Junior Abernathy (as Christian Le Blanc)
... Mayor Jim Findlay
... Scott LaPierre
... Dr. Bridgers
... Willie Jones
... Barbara Giles
... Gillespie's Girlfriend (as Maggie Blye)
... Harold LaPierre
... Anne Strictland
Peter Gabb ... Horace Goode
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Storyline

Philadelphia police lieutenant Virgil Tibbs and his wife Althea have returned to Sparta to attend the funeral of Virgil's mother. While in town and unknown to Chief Bill Gillespie, Virgil is offered the position of Chief of Detectives. At the same time, a white girl is found murdered in the Bottoms, which allows Virgil the opportunity to begin work. The police force is rife with racism and devoid of proper police procedures. An African-American man, Willie Jones, is brought in on flimsy evidence. Before Virgil can investigate, Jones is found hanged in his cell. Gillespie and Tibbs are at complete loggerheads over how to proceed with the investigation and institute measures to clean up the department. Written by richardann

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Certificate:

TV-PG
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Details

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Release Date:

6 March 1988 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Margaret Blye plays the girlfriend of Carroll O'Connor. 21 years earlier in Waterhole #3 (1967), she played his daughter, which was fitting due to the her being 18 years younger than O'Connor. See more »

Quotes

Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs: I want to like you people; and I want you people to like me. But there can be no liking without respect, and until there is that respect you will call me *Mister* Tibbs!
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Soundtracks

Take My Hand Precious Lord
Words and Music by Thomas A. Dorsey (uncredited)
Portion performed by church soloist at funeral
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