March 6, 1988 - May 11, 1994
NBC & CBS Police Drama - 142 Filmed Episodes


Chief/Sheriff Bill Gillespie:   Carroll O'Connor
Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs:   Howard E. Rollins, Jr.
Althea Tibbs:   Anne-Marie Johnson
Sergeant/Captain Bubba Skinner:   Alan Autry
Deputy/Sergeant Parker Williams:   David Hart
Deputy/Lieutenant Lonnie Jamison:   Hugh O'Connor
Deputy/Sergeant Willson Sweet:   Geoffrey Thorne
Sergeant LuAnn Corbin:   Crystal R. Fox
Harriet DeLong:   Denise Nicholas
Doctor Robb:   Dan Biggers
D.A. Gerald Darnelle:   Wilbur Fitzgerald
Sergeant Dee Sheppard:   Dee Shaw
Chief Hampton Forbes:   Carl Weathers
Officer Ken Covey:   Harvey E. Lee, Jr.
Officer Luke Everett:   Mark W. Johnson
Officer Peake:   C.C. Taylor
Ted Marcus:   Thom Gossom, Jr.
Mayor Findley:   Dennis Lipscomb
Officer Randy Goode:   Randall Franks
Joann St. John:   Lois Nettleton
Mr. Giles:   Jerry Leggio
Ron Dubois:   Michael Genevie
Aunt Etta:   Tonea Stewart
Dr. Winona Day:   Jen Harper
Deputy Christine Surillo:   Barbara Lee-Belmonte
Deputy Junior Abernathy:   Christian LeBlanc
Deputy Horace Goode:   Peter Gabb
Tom Dugan:   Joe Don Baker
Rick:   James Williamson

A white southern police chief and his new, black Chief
of Detectives, forced on him by a mayor seeking the black
vote, found they had more in common than they imagined in
this moody crime series. Chief Bill Gillespie was a gruff
old-timer who knew the streets and people of Sparta,
Mississippi, like the back of his weathered hand. Virgil
Tibbs, though he had been born in Sparta, had learned the
latest techniques in scientific criminology as a big-city
cop in Philadelphia. Now Virgil was back, and he found that
Sparta was still living in another era in terms of police
work and race relations. But his sleepy hometown was
evidently a hotbed of crime, so Virgil and the Chief
learned to work together and ignore the rednecks
in the town and on the force.

The series maintained a small-town feeling, and many of the
crimes seemed to involve relatives or acquaintances of the
regulars. Harriet DeLong was a sophisticated black city
councilwoman who often became involved in Gillespie's cases.
Despite their differences, the Chief found himself attracted to
Harriet, and by 1991-1992 they were having a discreet affair.

The affair blossomed in 1992 when the series moved to CBS.
Gillespie's enemies finally caught up with him. The city council
decided not to renew his contract and hired black former FBI
agent and Memphis police officer Hampton Forbes to replace
him. Gillespie became sheriff of Newman County and
continued to work with Sparta police on cases
that fell into their joint jurisdiction.
Gillespie married DeLong in 1994.

Photos courtesy of

Click HERE to download theme song.

In the Heat of the Night

Click HERE to purchase the 1967 movie on which the series is based!

Look for In the Heat of the Night on TNT.

Carroll O'Connor
By Gian Luca Franzosi

Carroll O'Connor
From The Museum of Broadcast Communications

Episode List

Hugh O'Connor Memorial Page
By Gian Luca Franzosi

In the Heat of the Night

In The Heat Of The Night Fan Page
By Unknown

These links were last tested July 2001.

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