In The Heat of the Night was a Syndication network drama TV series based on the 1965 novel & 1967 film of the same title, starring Carroll O'Connor (who was also one of the executive producers on the show) and Howard Rollins.
The show also starred Alan Autry, Anne-Marie Johnson, David Hart, Hugh O'Connor, Lois Nettleton, Randall Franks, Christian LeBlanc, Crystal R. Fox, Denise Nicholas and Carl Weathers.
The series first aired on Syndication from March 6, 1988 to May 19, 1992 and then aired on the Syndication network from October 28, 1992 to May 16, 1995.
In total, "In the Heat of the Night" aired for 8 seasons and 142 episodes (including 4 TV movies).
In a continuation of the film of the same name, Virgil Tibbs returns home from Philadelphia to Sparta, Mississippi with his wife Althea for the funeral of his mother when he is offered the position of Chief of Detectives for the town's mostly Caucasian police force.
At first, there's tension between Virgil and Chief Bill Gillespie. Things between Virgil and Sgt. (and later Captain) Bubba Skinner are tense as well. There doesn't seem to be any animosity whatsoever between Sergeant Parker Williams or Lieutenant Lonnie Jamison, as with the rest of the department (with the exception of the officer that called Virgil "boy" in the first episode) although it would be safe to say that they are all somewhat leery of Tibbs and at a loss on how to take the newcomer. Dutifully, the entire staff have a fierce loyalty to Gillespie and frown upon Tibbs' efforts to take on a joint leadership role w Bill, when it has always been a one man show. However, not only do they learn to work together, but they all eventually become very close friends against the backdrop of the "New South".
- Carroll O'Connor as William O. "Bill" Gillespie
- Howard Rollins as Virgil Tibbs
- Alan Autry as Sergeant\Captain Bubba Skinner
- David Hart as Deputy\Sergeant Parker Williams
- Hugh O'Connor as Deputy\Lieutenant Lonnie Jamison
- Anne-Marie Johnson as Althea Tibbs [seasons 1 through 6]
- Lois Nettleton as Joann St. John [seasons 1-2]
- Joe Don Baker as Tom Dugan [season 2]
- Denise Nicholas as Harriet DeLong [seasons 2-7]
- Geoffrey Thorne as Deputy/Sergeant Willson Sweet [seasons 2-7]
- Randall Franks as Officer Randy Goode [seasons 2-6]
- Crystal R. Fox as Sergeant Luanne Corbin [seasons 3-7]
- Carl Weathers as Chief Hampton Forbes [season 7]