In the Heat of the Night

NBC (ended 1995)
Rate Show
212 votes
  • Episode Guide
  • S 8 : Ep 4

    Grow Old Along with Me

    Aired 5/16/95

  • S 8 : Ep 3

    By Duty Bound

    Aired 2/17/95

  • S 8 : Ep 2

    Who Was Geli Bendl ?

    Aired 12/9/94

  • S 8 : Ep 1

    A Matter of Justice

    Aired 10/21/94

  • S 7 : Ep 24

    Give Me Your Life (2)

    Aired 5/11/94

  • Cast & Crew
  • Carroll O'Connor

    Chief Bill Gillespie

  • Howard Rollins

    Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs

  • Alan Autry

    Captain Bubba Skinner

  • Lois Nettleton

    JoAnn St. John

  • Anne-Marie Johnson

    Althea Tibbs

  • Photos (2)
  • show Description
  • Based on the critically acclaimed novel of the same name, this series provided a hopeful, yet honest look at life in the new South. Set in the fictional Sparta, Mississippi, the show was a marvelous blend of heartfelt drama and folksy humor. It portrayed both the professional and personal pursuits of Sparta P.D's officers. Series star Carroll O'Connor, in a role far removed from Archie Bunker, served as executive producer. Using the pen name Matt Harris, Mr. O'Connor was also the story editor and wrote many of the episodes.moreless

  • Top Contributor
  • mrdivot

    User Score: 857


  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (9)

    • "I wanna like you people, and I want you people to like me, but there can't be liking without respect and until there is that respect you will call me Mr. Tibbs!" (Virgil Tibbs, addressing Chief Gillespie and two officers)

    • Tibbs: Chief, I hate to pull rank.
      Gillespie: I'd hate to see you try.

    • "The kind and the cruel kill in equal quantities" (Chief speaking to Althea)

    • Virgil: (referring to Bubba) "You oughta make him leave town." Gillespie: "Don't you tell me what I oughta do. That's what you do what you oughta. I do what I feel."

    • Luann:"Elliot Gardner called to remind you about the hospital fundraiser today" Gillespie: "Now why did I agree to that in the first place?" Luann: "Because at the time you think you're escaping." Gillespie: "Now isn't that ridiculous?" Luann: "Yeah cause you put it off your mind and I still have to put it on the calendar."

    • (Gillespie drives by Doc Robb's house and stops to chat with him) Doc Robb is dressed in a blue suit. Gillespie: "I know you aren't going to work dressed like a playboy." Doc Robb: "To the country club for brunch if you must know."

    • Virgil: "Someone is stealing trophies" Gillespie: "Why? Are criminals beginning to give each other prizes?" Parker: "Chief that is not funny Mr. Morton is a very nice man." Gillespie: "Sorry Parker, I am known to be callous."

    • Forbes: "Bill do you think Harriet is just being tough on me because I replaced you?" Gillespie: "No, she's tough....she's just tough -- but fascinating."

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    Notes (123)

    • The tag line for this episode was: "A Mississippi police chief and a black Philadelphia cop. Can they forget who they are long enough to find out who the killer is?" Explosive 2 Hour Movie Premire!

    • The pilot was originally broadcast as a two hour movie,but is usually shown as a two part episode in syndication.

    • The first eight episodes were shot in Hammond, Louisiana.

    • This was the first one hour episode.

    • Guest star Gail O'Grady is best known for her role on N.Y.P.D. Blue.

    • Guest star Lane Smith is best known for his role as Perry White on the Lois and Clark.

    • Guest star Nana Visitor is best known for her role on Star Trek:Deep Space Nine

    • Guest Star Jennifer Bassey is best known for her role on All My Children.

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    Trivia (12)

    • When everyone is congratulating Sweet on his first bust. Watch when Lonnie and Bubba go into the evidence room. No lights are ever seen going on as they are shutting the door.

    • This was Carroll O'Connor's favorite episode of the entire series.

    • This episode marked a shift in the relationship between Virgil and Bubba. In many of the earlier episodes the two pretty much had an antagonistic relationship. However, following this episode the two become close friends.

    • In the beginning of this episode, Bubba is unable to stop the boys from driving with open containers.  This is because Mississippi law did not (and still does not) have a ban on open containers in vehicles.  This permits all occupants, including the driver, to drink while driving so long as the driver's blood acohol level does not exceed .08.

    • Watch when Bubba walks past the truck on the left side. He bumps into the side-view mirror

    • We learn that Virgil's birthday is May 10th.

    • Although she is not seen in the episode (only her voice is heard during the fake travel agency phone call), Crystal Fox is still credited in the closing credits as Luann.

    • William J Royce was inspired to write this story based on the Medgar Evers story. This episode was written three years before the case was re-opened and Beckwith was finally tried for this murder, and five years before Rob Reiner's "Ghosts of the Mississippi."

    Show More Trivia

    Allusions (2)

    • The tag line for this episode was "Mississippi's Burning" a reference to the 1988 movie of the same name.

    • Virgil: Sparta's own Howard Hughes
      A reference to the eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes.

  • Fan Reviews (8)
  • One of the best yet!!

    By nahga1, Feb 05, 2013

  • Classic cop show with a social edge

    By kaospilotX, Jan 25, 2012


    By DramaStorm, Nov 16, 2006

  • I loved everything about this show,from the cast to the story plots to the writing.This show had it all,what more could you ask for.I wish this show never had ended.

    By Nikki855, Mar 30, 2009

  • a group of great cops.

    By seaqueastdsv, Aug 10, 2007

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