In the Heat of the Night

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In the Heat of the Night
In the Heat of the Night-Cast.jpg
Premiere March 6, 1988
Finale May 16, 1995
Airs Weekdays at 12 PM on MeTV
Based on the characters from the novel by
John Ball
Developed by James Lee Barrett
Network NBC (seasons 1-6)
CBS(seasons 7-8)
Style 60-minute crime drama
Company Fred Silverman Productions,
JADDA Productions,
MGM Television
Seasons 8
Episodes 146
Origin USA

In the Heat of the Night is a crime drama that aired on NBC for six seasons and CBS for two seasons.

In the premiere episode, Virgil Tibbs, a Philadelphia detective, has returned home to the fictional Sparta, Mississippi for his mother's funeral. By virtue of his relationship with town police chief William Gillespie from a previous murder investigation in which he assisted, Tibbs is persuaded to remain in Sparta as Chief of Detectives, in an effort to help overcome the local squad's reputation of being racist and underskilled. Although the team experiences friction over Tibbs' dissatisfaction with the department's limited resources and racial attitudes while Gillespie is annoyed at Tibbs' condescending suspicion of his hometown, they prove highly effective in enforcing the law.

Eventually becoming a lawyer, Tibbs resigned to practice in Jackson, Mississippi with occasional cases in Sparta while Gillespie was dismissed as Police Chief by the Sparta city council and replaced by Hampton Forbes, the town's first African-American in that position. Fortunately, Gillespie finds a new post of equivalent authority as County Sheriff, and the two senior police officers find they get along in excellent fashion both in the professional and personal spheres.

Contents

Cast

Actor Character Duration
Main Cast 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Carroll O'Connor Chief/Sheriff William O. "Bill" Gillespie * * * * * * * *
Howard Rollins Det. Virgil Tibbs * * * * * * o
Alan Autry Sgt./Capt. V.L. "Bubba" Skinner * * * * * * * *
Anne-Marie Johnson Althea Tibbs * * * * * *
David Hart Dep./Sgt. Parker Williams * * * * * * * *
Christian LeBlanc Patrolman Junior Abernathy *
Lois Nettleton Joanne St. John *
Geoffrey Thorne Sgt. Willson Sweet * * * * * *
Hugh O'Connor Dep./Lt. Lonnie Jamison o * * * * * * *
Carl Weathers Chief Hampton Forbes * *
Crystal Fox Sgt. Luanne Corbin o o o o * *
Denise Nicholas Harriet DeLong * * * * * *
Orange/Red/o indicates a recurring or guest role during that season.
Dark Green indicates top billing during that season.
Supporting/Recurring Cast 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Dan Biggers Dr. Frank Robb * * * * * * *
Randall Franks Off. Randy Goode * * * * *
Joe Don Baker Tom Dugan *
Dee Shaw Cpl. Dee Shepard * * * * * *
Tonea Stewart Etta Kibbey * * *

Seasons

Season  Premiere Finale #
NBC
Season One March 6, 1988 May 3, 1988 8
Season Two December 4, 1988 May 16, 1989 22
Season Three November 28, 1989 May 8, 1990 22
Season Four September 18, 1990 April 30, 1991 22
Season Five October 1, 1991 May 19, 1992 22
Season Six October 28, 1992 May 12, 1993 22
CBS
Season Seven September 16, 1993 May 11, 1994 24
Season Eight October 21, 1994 May 16, 1995 4

In-Depth

DVD Releases

Title Release Discs
Season Sets  (Region 1)
Season 1 August 30, 2012 purchase 1
Seasons 2 & 3 March 11, 2014 purchase 7
Season 4 December 10, 2013 purchase 5
Season 5 December 10, 2013 purchase 5
Season 6 March 11, 2014 purchase 5
Season 7 March 11, 2014 purchase 5
Season 8 June 11, 2013 purchase 4
Episode Collections  (Region 1)
Television Marathon October 23, 2012 purchase 8

External Links