Type
Scripted
Premiered
Mar. 06, 1988
Status
Canceled/Ended
Runtime
60 min.
Country
USA
Network
CBS TV Network
Genre

Top Contributors

In the Heat of the Night tv show photo

In the Heat of the Night

In The Heat Of The Night was set in the fictional town of Sparta, Mississippi, and followed the professional and personal lives of it's police officers. The series starred Carroll O'Connor who was also the Exec.Producer and writer of many episodes. The series dealt with a variety of issues in long run including: racism, drug abuse, rape, murder, incest, government corruption and drunk driving.

Trivia Facts | Top Quotes | Goofs/Mistakes
  • During the period when Howard E. Rollins Jr. was in rehab, Virgil was said to be in New Orleans working with the F.B.I.. Also, when 'Carroll OConnor was recovering from heart surgery, his absence was explained by having him attend a police convention.
  • The 1989 season was played slightly out of order. The previous season ended with a cliffhanger. However, 'Carroll OConnor, who also served as executive producer, wanted to begin the next season with the episode in which Althea Tibbs is raped because he felt that that particular episode had a strong message and that it should be the season opener. The continuation to the cliffhanger was shown a few episodes into that season with Gillespie recapping the events of what happened when he was kidnapped and the events surrounding that period.
  • The season after Howard E. Rollins Jr. left the cast, he did return for several guest appearances. However, Anne-Marie Johnson, who played Althea, didn't. Her absence was explained by having Althea leave Virgil because of her having emotional problems stemming not only from her rape, but the stress of her being married to a policeman.
  • Bubba's first name was never revealed, although in print, he was sometimes referred to as V. L. "Bubba" Skinner. In fact, in the episode "A Small War", when he was asked if he had a first name, his response was "Yes mam, i do. But "Bubba" will do just fine".
  • The season 7 episode "Every Man's Family" was meant as the pilot for a proposed spinoff for the character of Bubba Skinner. The network did not have any available slots at the time it was first broadcast and In the Heat of the Night ended later that season, so the spinoff never materialized. It would have been set in Atlanta.
  • Even though Virgil was referred to as "Mister Tibbs" or "Detective Tibbs" his official rank on the Sparta police force was captain.
  • 'Carroll OConnor wrote several scripts, under the pseudonym Matt Harris, for the show and two "In the Heat of the Night" movies. He worked under the pseudonym concerned that his scripts would not be received well by television critics.
  • The first season was filmed in Hammond, Louisiana, before moving to Conyers and Covington, Georgia for the rest of the series. That would explain why the 'look' of Sparta changed after season one.
  • The population of Sparta is 11,700.
  • 'Carroll OConnor was replaced for some episodes by Joe Don Baker, playing Acting Chief Tom Dugan, while O'Connor recuperated from heart surgery.
  • During the series there is a photo behind the chief's desk, the photo is a of Rod Steiger in costume as the chief from the movie.
  • The building used for exterior shots of the Sparta Police Department was actually the Newton County Library (later re-named the Porter Memorial Library) on Monticello Street in Covington, GA. Since the show ended, it has been home to various medical equipment supply companies. Interior shots of the Sparta PD were shot on a set built on a soundstage in an industrial building a couple blocks over.
  • The building used as the Magnolia Café was, and still is, Gary Massey Agency on Monticello Street in Covington, GA.
  • After the series ended, the house which served as Virgil Tibbs' home became a real estate agency. It has now sat abandoned and for sale for years.
  • The beautiful, white house Bill Gillespie bought at the start of season 7 was an actual residence in Covington, GA. After the series ended, it sat empty and neglected for years, with one fan reportedly describing it as "falling to pieces". It has since been purchased again and has been beautifully remodeled.
  • The building which served as the McGuffy House was Michelangelo Italian Restaurant & Bar in Conyers, GA and was the favorite restaurant of 'Dan Bigger's, who played Dr. Frank Robb on the show.
  • Dan Biggers, who played Dr. Frank Robb on the show, had a great grandfather who was once sheriff of Newton County, GA, the actual county where In The Heat Of The Night was filmed.
  • This episode, and the next one, "In the Heat of the Night" (1988) {Pilot: Part 2 (#1.2)}, originally aired as a TV movie. The producers of the series later edited the film into episodes of the show.
  • Margaret Blye plays the girlfriend of 'Carroll OConnor. 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.
  • This episode, and the previous one, "In the Heat of the Night" (1988) {Pilot: Part 1 (#1.1)}, originally aired as a TV movie. The producers of the series later edited the film into episodes of the show.
  • Det. Tibbs' unmarked police car is a 1975 or 1976 Ford LTD, while the marked patrol cars are much newer mid-80's model Crown Victorias.
  • This was the only television appearance of Juanita Brooks, Zita Mack, and Alozia St. Julien.
  • This episode, and the next one, "In the Heat of the Night" (1988) {Don't Look Back: Part 2 (#2.2)}, originally aired as a TV film called "In the Heat of the Night: The Case of the Voodoo Murders". The producers (and syndicators) of the series later edited the film into episodes of the show.
  • This episode, and the previous one, "In the Heat of the Night" (1988) {Don't Look Back: Part 1 (#2.1)}, originally aired as a TV film called "In the Heat of the Night: The Case of the Voodoo Murders". The producers of the series later edited the film into episodes of the show.
  • This was Joe Don Baker's final appearance as Capt. Tom Duggan.
  • Contrary to belief, this was not Lois Nettleton's final appearance on the series. She appeared in the season 3 episode "In the Heat of the Night" (1988) {Anniversary (#3.6)} in a brief scene from her hospital bed.
  • This marked the debuts of Denise Nicholas and Crystal R. Fox in the roles of Councilwoman Harriet DeLong and policewoman Luann Corbin respectively.
  • Bubba, Lonnie and Sweet all get promoted in this episode. Bubba is promoted to lieutenant, Lonnie to sergeant and Sweet to corporal.
  • It is mentioned for the first time that Virgil's official rank with the Sparta police is captain.
  • Originally this was intended to be the first episode of season three and was to have been a direct continuation of the season-two cliffhanger. However, because 'Carroll OConnor, who was also the series executive producer, felt that the episode "In the Heat of the Night" (1988) {Rape (#3.1)} was a much stronger episode and had a very important social commentary attached to it this was pushed back to air as the sixth episode of season three.

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