List of In the Heat of the Night episodes

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The following are a list of episodes of the television series In the Heat of the Night, which aired from 1988 through 1995.

Series overview[edit]

Most of this series has been released on DVD by TGG Direct.[1]

Season Network Episodes Premiered: Ended: DVD set
release date:
1 NBC 8 1988.03.06 1988.05.03 2012.08.30
2 NBC 22 1988.12.04 1989.05.16 2014.03.11 1
3 NBC 22 1989.10.24 1990.05.08
4 NBC 22 1990.09.18 1991.04.30 2013.12.10 2
5 NBC 22 1991.10.01 1992.05.19 2013.12.10 3
6 CBS 22 1992.10.28 1993.05.12 2014.11.03 4
7 CBS 24 1993.09.16 1994.05.11 2014.11.03 5
TV-movies CBS 4 1994.10.21 1995.05.16 2013.04.16

1 Due to clearance issues, 16 episodes were not included in this DVD set.[1]

2 Due to clearance issues, 2 episodes were not included in this DVD set.[1]

3 Due to clearance issues, 3 episodes were not included in this DVD set.[1]

4 Due to clearance issues, 1 episode was not included in this DVD set.[1]

5 Due to clearance issues, 5 episodes were not included in this DVD set.[1]


Season 1: 1988[edit]

  • The first season's opening credits of In the Heat of the Night consisted of still drawings of the show's characters, with the sign reading "SPARTA, MISS" at the end.
  • The only season, in which Christian LeBlanc was the cast member.
  • This season consisted of 8 episodes.
# Title Director Writer Original airdate Production Code
1 "Pilot: Part 1" David Hemmings James Lee Barrett March 6, 1988 (1988-03-06) 7801A
Virgil Tibbs returns to Sparta and joins the police force as chief of detectives. His arrival is met with resistance from police chief Bill Gillespie – who, despite his good relationship with Tibbs, resents having an officer hired without his approval. Virgil has trouble adjusting to the small, antiquated police force. Tibbs' first case is a racially charged murder case that is soon complicated when the suspect is murdered in his cell. Doug Savant and Kevin McCarthy guest star.
2 "Pilot: Part 2" David Hemmings James Lee Barrett March 6, 1988 (1988-03-06) 7801B
The investigation into the brutal murders of a young girl and the suspect in her death, leads Tibbs and Gillespie to the son of one of Sparta's wealthiest and most influential citizens. As they come closer to the truth things become dangerous for Virgil. Savant and McCarthy guest star.
3 "Road Kill" Leo Penn Kathy McCormick March 15, 1988 (1988-03-15) 7802
The affair between the husband of a wealthy woman and her distant cousin leads to her murder. Virgil immediately suspects the pair, but he has a difficult time persuading Gillespie, who is a long time friend of the man and Bubba, who has been seeing the cousin. Bubba and Virgil clash again and Virgil is frustrated when the Chief rejects his theory about the crime.
4 "Fate" Anthony Wilkinson Richard Fielder March 22, 1988 (1988-03-22) 7804
Racial tensions run high when a married white woman has an affair with a black businessman from New York. Meanwhile Virgil is not happy when the Chief enlists his aid in tracking down Bubba's cousin, a suspected moonshiner.
5 "Blind Spot: Part 1" David Hemmings William Gray March 29, 1988 (1988-03-29) 7805
Virgil refuses to let go of a grudge against a wealthy former classmate who cheated him out of a scholarship. The man has promised city leaders that he will move his business to Sparta, but not all of his business interests are legal, the nephew of an old friend of Gillespie's finds his life in danger after he steals drugs stored in the businessman's mansion.
6 "Blind Spot: Part 2" David Hemmings William Gray April 5, 1988 (1988-04-05) 7806
An angry Gillespie seeks answers when an old friend is shot. And Virgil narrowly escapes death after trying to ascertain the real reason behind an old adversary's return to Sparta. Nan finds herself in danger after she finds out the truth about her new love.
7 "A Necessary Evil" Winrich Kolbe Josef Anderson April 12, 1988 (1988-04-12) 7803
In this humorous episode, Virgil and the Chief arrest a man for bigamy. It soon becomes a polygamy case after an endless parade of wives come to visit their husband.
8 "...And Then You Die" Anthony Wilkinson Kathy McCormick May 3, 1988 (1988-05-03) 7807
The Sparta police search for a killer and his girlfriend (Mariska Hargitay). But the case becomes personal when they take Althea and the grandson of one of the victims hostage.

Season 2: 1988–1989[edit]

# Title Director Writer(s) Original airdate Production Code
1 "Don't Look Back: Part 1" Peter Levin Jeri Taylor, David Moessinger December 4, 1988 (1988-12-04) 8804A
A copycat recreates a shocking unsolved murder from the past. Gillespie feels threatened after Ted Marcus suggests that Virgil should become the Chief, the situation becomes more tense after Virgil criticizes Parker and Bubba's actions.
2 "Don't Look Back: Part 2" Peter Levin Jeri Taylor, David Moessinger December 4, 1988 (1988-12-04) 8804B
Tibbs, Gillespie and Bubba pursue different leads in a bizarre murder case and the Chief realizes that the killer has plans for him.
3 "The Family Secret" Lee H. Katzin Nancy Bond December 6, 1988 (1988-12-06) 8801
The murder of a well respected man turns up a shocking secret about his family.
4 "The Hammer and the Glove" Harry Harris Jeri Taylor December 13, 1988 (1988-12-13) 8806
Virgil is delighted when Matthew (Michael Warren) his former partner from Philadelphia comes to visit. But he soon learns his friend has another purpose for coming to Sparta. Althea is uncomfortable because she and Matthew were romantically involved before she met Virgil and she realizes that he is unwilling to accept the fact that she chose Virgil over him. Meanwhile the F.B.I. enlist Sparta P.D.'s aid in hiding a witness.
5 "Prisoners" Russ Mayberry Lee Maddux December 20, 1988 (1988-12-20) 8805
Sweet risks his life to prove that the Sheriff (Ed Ames) of a neighboring county is guilty of the racially motivated murder of a young man that Sweet was friends with in high school.
6 "Hot Nights" Harry Harris Mark Edens December 27, 1988 (1988-12-27) 8807
Bubba is seduced by an alluring writer who has more on her mind than romance. Bill and Virgil worry that he is in over his head. Bubba tries to protect her from her estranged husband, but things get complicated after she shoots someone.
7 "Gunshot" Lee H. Katzin David Moessinger January 3, 1989 (1989-01-03) 8811
Virgil is forced to shoot a suspect in an armed robbery. He has trouble dealing with the consequences of his actions, after he realizes the person he shot was a teenaged girl – and no one can locate the gun he believed she was pointing at him.
8 "Country Mouse, City Mouse" Vincent McEveety Lee Maddux January 10, 1989 (1989-01-10) 8812
Virgil's visiting niece and Bubba's nephew team up in an effort to escape the boredom of small town life.But they get more excitement than they bargained for when they cross paths with a dangerous parolee.
9 "Stranger in Town" Michael Rhodes Jordan Budde January 17, 1989 (1989-01-17) 8802
Gillespie suspects that JoAnn's new cook is connected to the murder of a young prostitute. But Virgil suspects the culprit maybe a local pimp who has been intimidating the women.
10 "Tear Down the Walls" Vincent McEveety Terry Erwin January 31, 1989 (1989-01-31) 8808
A minister who was integrating his church (by inviting Virgil and Althea to attend services) is poisoned.
11 "A Trip Upstate" Jeffrey Hayden Carroll O'Connor February 7, 1989 (1989-02-07) 8803
In this thought provoking episode, Gillespie is surprised when a man he arrested asks to see him on the eve of his execution. He must confront his feelings about the death penalty when the prisoner asks him to witness his death.
12 "A.K.A. Kelly Kay" Chuck Bowman Lee Maddux February 14, 1989 (1989-02-14) 8813
The past comes back to haunt JoAnn in the form of an escaped convict.
13 "These Things Take Time" Michael Rhodes Nancy Bond February 21, 1989 (1989-02-21) 8809
A teenage mother from an impoverished family is arrested for murder after her infant is found dead, but Virgil believes there is more to the case than meets the eye. Meanwhile Althea believes the situation could have been prevented if the school had offered sex education classes.
14 "Intruders" Chuck Bowman Steven Baum March 7, 1989 (1989-03-07) 8817
The police search for a burglar who preys on elderly women. And the prime suspect is the son of a city councilwoman.
15 "The Creek" Alexander Singer Jo William Philipp March 14, 1989 (1989-03-14) 8810
The investigation of a possible assault brings back nightmarish and confusing childhood memories for Virgil.
16 "Sister, Sister" Lee H. Katzin Carol Saraceno March 21, 1989 (1989-03-21) 8818
A vivacious socialites return to Sparta delights her ailing father and childhood friend Virgil, but her sister is less than thrilled at her homecoming. After their father is poisoned the jealous siblings become suspects in his murder.
17 "Walkout" Russ Mayberry Steven Aspis March 28, 1989 (1989-03-28) 8816
A bitter strike at a local factory leads to a murder investigation on a snowy day in Sparta. O.J. Simpson guest stars.
18 "Accused" Chuck Bowman James Novack April 4, 1989 (1989-04-04) 8820
Bubba tries to rescue a woman from a rapist, but she mistakes him for her attacker. Gillespie tangles with an ambitious district attorney who plans to use the case to further his career.
19 "Fifteen Forever" Vincent McEveety Nancy Bond April 25, 1989 (1989-04-25) 8814
Sparta grieves after a drunk driver causes a fatal crash with high school cheerleaders on their way home from a game. While the officers try to find other driver, Althea tries to help the victim's families deal with their loss, the accident brings back painful memories for retired officer Tom Dugan (Joe Don Baker). Meanwhile, district attorney Dutton accuses the department of being inadequate.
20 "Ladybug, Ladybug" Alexander Singer Terry Erwin May 2, 1989 (1989-05-02) 8815
With the Chief in Quantico Bubba and Virgil try to catch a serial arsonist. Things get complicated after a man dies in one of the fires. And Councilwoman White stirs things up by appointing Tom Dugan acting chief of police in Gillespie's absence.
21 "The Pig Woman of Sparta" David Moessinger Marc Taylor May 9, 1989 (1989-05-09) 8821
It seems that a serial killer has been burying his victims in a wooded area owned by a wealthy hermit that Virgil refers to as "Sparta's Howard Hughes". Suspicion immediately falls on an eccentric woman who lives in the woods with her pigs and chases away trespassers with a shotgun, the officers ask the landowner's disturbed son for help and Bubba is surprised to find that a woman he attended high school with is working as the man's "nurse". Also Parker and Sweet compete with one another to solve the case.
22 "Missing" Alexander Singer David Rupel May 16, 1989 (1989-05-16) 8819
Gillespie is kidnapped and Virgil believes that Tom Dugan is involved.

Season 3: 1989–1990[edit]

  • Starting with this season, the show's theme song was rerecorded by removing the saxophone, and the "Oh" part at the end.
  • Lois Nettleton was removed from the opening credits starting with this season.
  • This season consisted of 22 episodes.
  • Carroll O'Connor became the show's executive producer at the beginning of this season.
# Title Director Writer(s) Original airdate Production Code
1 "Rape" Paul Lynch Nancy Bond October 24, 1989 (1989-10-24) 9803
Virgil struggles to help Althea after she is raped by a fellow teacher. Darnell does not think they can get a conviction because the man's wife has given him an alibi. Virgil tries to control his anger – until the man returns to intimidate Althea. And Gillespie tries to convince the wife to tell the truth.
2 "Fairest of Them All" Mario Azzopardi Edward DeBlasio October 31, 1989 (1989-10-31) 9801
A beauty pageant is marred by blackmail and the ambitious mother of a contestant.
3 "Murder Most Ancient" Winrich Kolbe Edward DeBlasio November 7, 1989 (1989-11-07) 9807
An unhappy wife asks her lover to place a bomb in her abusive husband's Cadillac.
4 "First Girl" Gene Reynolds Carroll O'Connor November 14, 1989 (1989-11-14) 9802
Sparta P.D. gets its first black policewoman.
5 "Crackdown" E.W. Swackhamer Nancy Bond November 21, 1989 (1989-11-21) 9810
Someone is selling crack to teenagers and Sweet tries desperately to save a young addict.
6 "Anniversary" Harry Harris Mark Rodgers November 28, 1989 (1989-11-28) 9812
Follow up to "Missing". After being released by his captors, the chief discovers that his abduction is part of a plot to assassinate a visiting civil rights leader.
7 "Time of the Stranger" Ivan Dixon Mark Rodgers December 5, 1989 (1989-12-05) 9804
After a private investigator searching for a missing child is found dead, the evidence points to a local dance teacher – a neighbor that Parker has become very fond of.
8 "Vengeance" E.W. Swackhamer Mark Rodgers December 12, 1989 (1989-12-12) 9817
An outlaw family seeks revenge against Bubba after he is forced to shoot one of them during a holdup. The chief wants him to stay out of sight until they are arrested – a suggestion that does not set well with Bubba.
9 "My Name is Hank" Harry Harris Edward DeBlasio December 19, 1989 (1989-12-19) 9815
A young refugee claims to be the son of a Sparta cop who died in the Vietnam War. But he quickly becomes a suspect in a murder/robbery after he accepts a ride with the criminals who actually committed the crime. Gillespie looks into his story, while Virgil and the boys track down the shooter. Meanwhile, the young mans presence triggers a surprisingly bitter reaction from Parker, who views him as a painful reminder of the war.
10 "King's Ransom" Jeffrey Hayden Kim Friese, Carroll O'Connor January 2, 1990 (1990-01-02) 9814
The F.B.I. tries to talk an ex-boxer into testifying against a mobster he once worked for, but the fighter sees the situation as an opportunity for blackmail.
11 "Epitaph for a Lady" Vincent McEveety Steven Baum January 16, 1990 (1990-01-16) 9805
A long time friend of the Chief makes threats against a doctor he believes is responsible for his wife's death. When the doctor is killed he becomes the prime suspect, but Gillespie doubts his guilt – even after he confesses.
12 "Triangle" Chuck Bowman Rick Kelbaugh January 23, 1990 (1990-01-23) 9818
A man murders his wife and her lover after he catches them together, then flees to a remote cabin with his daughter who does not know what he has done. The chief and the boys hope to talk him into surrendering without resorting to violence.
13 "Hello in There" Vincent McEveety Cynthia Deming, William Royce January 30, 1990 (1990-01-30) 9821
Bubba refuses to believe that a former teammate embezzled funds from the bank where he worked. And sets out to prove that his friend was framed and murdered. Harriet hopes that art therapy can help the man's traumatized son, who becomes a target himself when the killer realizes he witnessed the crime.
14 "December Days" Vincent McEveety Kim Friese February 13, 1990 (1990-02-13) 9816
The Sparta police investigate a suspicious death in a nursing home. Ken Curtis guest stars.
15 "A Loss of Innocence" Paul Lynch Cynthia Deming, William Royce, Stephen Schneck February 20, 1990 (1990-02-20) 9823
Darnell plans on indicting a teenager for murder after her father is found in the basement and her mother turns up missing. But Gillespie and his men don't believe she is guilty.
16 "Bubba's Baby" Jeffrey Hayden Edward DeBlasio February 27, 1990 (1990-02-27) 9820
Someone abandons a baby at Bubba's door.
17 "Home is Where The Heart Is" Leo Penn Carroll O'Connor March 6, 1990 (1990-03-06) 9822
Maybelle the madam returns to Sparta with her "nieces". And sets up shop just out of Gillespie's jurisdiction, her return is not without controversy and soon one of her most vocal critics is found murdered.
18 "An Angry Woman" Winrich Kolbe Carroll O'Connor March 13, 1990 (1990-03-13) 9809
First the mother, then the father of two young children are murdered. Althea takes responsibility for the children, the killings appear to be related to a shady trucking firm.
19 "Indiscretions" Vince Edwards Nancy Bond March 20, 1990 (1990-03-20) 9811
Althea does not realize that an old friend from Philly is hiding a dark secret, nor does Sweet who has fallen in love with the woman.
20 "Night of the Killing" Chuck Bowman Mark Rodgers March 27, 1990 (1990-03-27) 9819
Racial tensions run high when a white cabbie is murdered in the bottoms.
21 "Citizen Trundel: Part 1" Leo Penn Carroll O'Connor May 1, 1990 (1990-05-01) 9813
Harriet's sister is murdered on the orders of the wealthy white man who fathered her child.
22 "Citizen Trundel: Part 2" Harry Harris Cynthia Deming, William Royce May 8, 1990 (1990-05-08) 9824
Harriet's efforts to bring V.J. Trundel to trial are fruitless, the Chief does not believe they will ever get enough evidence to get an indictment, so he tries another method to bring Trundel to justice.

Season 4: 1990–1991[edit]

  • This season consisted of 22 episodes.
# Title Director Writer(s) Original airdate Production Code
1 "Brotherly Love: Part 1" Harry Harris William Royce September 18, 1990 (1990-09-18) 3805A
Virgil goes to Philadelphia to investigate a friends death. And Bubba (reluctantly) fills in as Althea's Lamaze coach.
2 "Brotherly Love: Part 2" Harry Harris Cynthia Deming September 18, 1990 (1990-09-18) 3805B
Virgil is framed for murder and Gillespie travels to Philly to help him clear his name.
3 "Lessons Learned" Mario Azzopardi Cynthia Deming September 25, 1990 (1990-09-25) 3802
Gillespie sends Parker to confirm suspicions that a local truck stop is really a front for a prostitution business. When a young prostitute is found dead Gillespie is shocked at her fathers reaction. Parker is dismayed when he recognizes one of the ladies.
4 "Perversions of Justice" Harry Harris Robert Bielak October 2, 1990 (1990-10-02) 3810
A mild mannered school teacher is accused of child molestation.
5 "And Justice For Some" Harry Harris William Royce, Michael Thurman October 23, 1990 (1990-10-23) 3803
Gillespie and his officers are outraged when a drug courier (William Shockley) who ran down the son of Virgil's next door neighbor makes a deal with the F.B.I. to avoid prosecution.
6 "Heart of Gold" Russ Mayberry Mitchell Schneider October 30, 1990 (1990-10-30) 3815
Bubba is reunited with his high school sweetheart, but his happiness is short lived after she resorts to murder to silence an attorney who was threatening to stop her from inheriting her late husband's estate.
7 "Quick Fix" Winrich Kolbe Julie Friedgen November 6, 1990 (1990-11-06) 3809
The investigation into the death of an abandoned infant leads to a mentally handicapped teenager.
8 "Homecoming" Russ Mayberry Robert Bielak November 13, 1990 (1990-11-13) 3817
A lawyer has personal reasons for trying to gain early release for a man who was sent to prison after an accident he caused while drinking and driving.
9 "A Problem Too Personal" Winrich Kolbe Carroll O'Connor November 20, 1990 (1990-11-20) 3819
Harriet and Eugene are devastated after Gene's father is arrested for murder.
10 "A Final Arrangement" Leo Penn David Hamilton, Peter Telep November 27, 1990 (1990-11-27) 3814
Sweet is heartbroken when an elderly woman who befriended him is murdered in her bookstore.
11 "Family Matters" Vincent McEveety Mitchell Schneider December 4, 1990 (1990-12-04) 3812
Virgil's dream of a better relationship with his Aunt Ruda and her son is shattered when his cousin takes part in a string of burglaries that result in murder.
12 "Bounty Hunter" Russ Mayberry Cynthia Deming, William Royce December 11, 1990 (1990-12-11) 3818
Gillespie receives word that a former Spartan is wanted for the murder of a socialite in Houston. But a ruthless bounty hunter, sent by the victim's jealous husband is already in Sparta and sees the man's sister as a means to locate his quarry.
13 "Blessings" David Soul Walton Dornisch December 18, 1990 (1990-12-18) 3826
In this Christmas episode the officers share memories with a reporter from the Sparta Herald.
14 "Shine on Sparta Moon" Leo Penn Robert Bielak January 8, 1991 (1991-01-08) 3822
A bottle of spiked moonshine leads to an accident that claims the life of one teen and blinds another.
15 "An Execution of Trust" Leo Penn Mitchell Schneider January 15, 1991 (1991-01-15) 3823
A psychiatrist tells Gillespie that one of her patients has confessed to a crime that another man is about to be executed for, but she refuses to divulge his identity.
16 "Child of Promise" Vincent McEveety Cynthia Deming February 5, 1991 (1991-02-05) 3820
A story of two brothers as they struggle to influence a younger sibling. The first is an honor student that Althea has great plans for, the other a dangerous drug dealer.
17 "Paper Castles" Vincent McEveety Arthur Bernard Lewis February 12, 1991 (1991-02-12) 3801
Virgil soon regrets telling an old friend that his new business partners are being investigated by the police.
18 "Laid to Waste" Vincent McEveety Cynthia Deming, William Royce February 19, 1991 (1991-02-19) 3824
Parker protects a blind woman who heard her neighbors murder.
19 "First Deadly Sin" Peter Salim Julie Friedgen February 26, 1991 (1991-02-26) 3821
A serial rapist stalks Sparta.
20 "Just a Country Boy" Carroll O'Connor Carroll O'Connor March 19, 1991 (1991-03-19) 3811
Bubba travels to Los Angeles to arrest an arsonist. When the man is murdered to keep him from talking Bubba teams up with a pretty insurance investigator to solve the crime.
21 "No Other Road" Paul Chavez Carroll O'Connor March 26, 1991 (1991-03-26) 3824
Harriet tries to keep Eugene from giving up when his father faces the death penalty. And the police search for three suspects in connection to a robbery/murder.
22 "A Turning" Paul Chavez Joe Gannon, Carroll O'Connor April 30, 1991 (1991-04-30) 3827
Althea thinks Virgil needs a new line of work after seeing the aftermath of a deadly shooting at a roadhouse. Virgil finds himself in danger when they arrest the man who committed the crime.

Season 5: 1991–1992[edit]

  • This is the last season on NBC before CBS picked up the show.
  • This season consisted of 22 episodes.
# Title Director Writer(s) Original airdate Production Code
1 "A Woman Much Admired" Harry Harris Carroll O'Connor October 1, 1991 (1991-10-01) 4803
Gillespie's old flame returns to Sparta to settle some business matters and see Bill. When she is murdered he travels to Gulfport and meets his daughter Lana for the first time.
2 "Baby for Sale" Harry Harris Mitchell Schneider October 8, 1991 (1991-10-08) 4809
After Bubba's cousin adopts a baby her husband is blackmailed by the child's real parents – they want him to help them steal the payroll where he works.
3 "Obsession" Russ Mayberry Mitchell Schneider October 22, 1991 (1991-10-22) 4814
A flirtatious schoolteacher is stalked by a madman.
4 "Liar's Poker" Harry Harris Mitchell Schneider October 29, 1991 (1991-10-29) 4801
A game of high-stakes poker ends in murder.
5 "Ruda's Awakening" Russ Mayberry Carroll O'Connor, Bill Taub November 5, 1991 (1991-11-05) 4807
Virgil's Aunt Ruda is the only witness to a struggle between Bubba and a young robbery suspect that ends in the young man's death. But her prejudice against the police – and Virgil clouds her memory of the incident.
6 "Unfinished Business" Leo Penn Joe Gannon November 12, 1991 (1991-11-12) 4802
Follow up to "Just a Country Boy". Bubba returns to Los Angeles to testify at a murder trial and is reunited with Pat Day as they try to protect Mike from killers sent to prevent him from testifying.
7 "The More Things Change" Russ Mayberry Cynthia Deming, William J. Royce November 19, 1991 (1991-11-19) 4816
A man murders his business partner and frames the man's illegitimate daughter for the crime in an attempt to gain the man's business and his wife.
8 "Sweet, Sweet Blues" Vincent McEveety William J. Royce November 26, 1991 (1991-11-26) 4821
The lyrics to a blues song recall a murder that happened 50 years earlier. The victim – Sweet's grandfather. And the only people left with the answers are the bluesman who wrote the song and a retired sheriff.
9 "Sparta Gold" Winrich Kolbe Cynthia Deming, Joe Gannon, William J. Royce, Bill Taub December 3, 1991 (1991-12-03) 4819
A deputy provides protection for a cotton grower who is running a pot growing operation. But the deputy makes a big mistake when he wounds Bubba's girlfriend.
10 "An Eye for an Eye" Leo Penn Cynthia Deming December 10, 1991 (1991-12-10) 4813
The father of a man Gerard prosecuted kidnaps the DA's daughter.
11 "The Littlest Victim" Paul Chavez Gail Liberti-Kennedy December 17, 1991 (1991-12-17) 4817
Lonnie makes a heartbreaking discovery about a woman he dated in high school.
12 "The Landlord" Larry Hagman Carroll O'Connor January 7, 1992 (1992-01-07) 4818
A drug dealing slumlord is murdered by his accomplices.
13 "Fool For Love" Vincent McEveety Cynthia Deming, William J. Royce January 14, 1992 (1992-01-14) 4805
A doctor plots to eliminate his wife – and his mistress.
14 "Love, Honor and Obey" Reza Badiyi Cynthia Deming, William J. Royce February 4, 1992 (1992-02-04) 4823
Parkers investigation into a purse snatching reveals an abused woman.
15 "Odessa" Vincent McEveety Denise Nicholas February 11, 1992 (1992-02-11) 4822
Racists target a ceremony honoring a civil rights pioneer.
16 "A Time to Trust" Winrich Kolbe Patt Shea February 18, 1992 (1992-02-18) 4808
Althea fears for one of her students after her mother's boyfriend is linked to a criminal operation that has resulted in the deaths of several truckers.
17 "By Means Most Foul" Russ Mayberry Joe Gannon February 25, 1992 (1992-02-25) 4825
A restaurateur and her mechanic boyfriend plot to eliminate her husband, but their scheme backfires. Gillespie takes heat over a string of mailbox bashings. And Virgil soon regrets ignoring Parker's theory regarding where the vandals would strike next.
18 "Trundel's Will Be Done" Harry Harris Cynthia Deming, William J. Royce March 3, 1992 (1992-03-03) 4826
V.J. Trundel's widow takes Harriet to court to gain custody of Eric, but Harriet is determined that her nephew will not be raised in the home of the man who ordered the murder of her sister.
19 "Moseley's Lot" Winrich Kolbe Joe Gannon March 31, 1992 (1992-03-31) 4815
Gillespie learns that the son of an old friend is a compulsive gambler. The young man wants his father to pay off his losses.But when two gangsters show up from New Orleans to collect, his jealous sibling sees the perfect opportunity to get rid of his troubled brother.
20 "Family Reunion" Harry Harris William J. Royce April 7, 1992 (1992-04-07) 4812
An ex-convict attempts to retrieve his loot from his wife and her new husband in this tongue-in-cheek episode.
21 "Sanctuary" Mario Azzopardi Mitchell Schneider May 12, 1992 (1992-05-12) 4820
A political prisoner who entered the country illegally, seeks sanctuary in a monastery. Gillespie and Tibbs find themselves at odds with Sheriff McComb when they try to help the man.
22 "The Law on Trial" Russ Mayberry Mitchell Schneider May 19, 1992 (1992-05-19) 4824
Follow up to "Sanctuary". Gillespie, Tibbs and Father DiMarco must stand trial for harboring a fugitive and obstructing justice. Althea fears Virgil's career could suffer if he is found guilty. Meanwhile the other officers monitor the situation with Lawyer Epp and his mafia associates.


Season 6: 1992–1993[edit]

# Title Director Writer(s) Original airdate Production Code
1 "A Small War: Part 1" Harry Harris Joe Gannon October 28, 1992 (1992-10-28) 5802
Big city crack dealers invade Sparta. Eugene witnesses the drive-by shooting of a friend and his offer to help the police identify the shooters leaves Harriet frightened and angry at Bill.
2 "A Small War: Part 2" Harry Harris Joe Gannon November 4, 1992 (1992-11-04) 5803
The police wage war against the big city drug dealers who have moved into Sparta. Eugene identifies the men who murdered his friend. And Bubba is teamed with and intrigued by a lady police lieutenant from Jackson.
3 "Brother's Keeper" Winrich Kolbe William J. Royce November 11, 1992 (1992-11-11) 5809
Luann's ne'er-do-well brother (Meshach Taylor) returns home after being paroled.
4 "A Frenzied Affair" Winrich Kolbe Mitchell Schneider November 18, 1992 (1992-11-18) 5814
Althea places herself in harms way trying to help one of her students, a disturbed and violent young man; after he is implicated in a murder case.
5 "Discovery" Paul Chavez Carroll O'Connor, Mitchell Schneider November 18, 1992 (1992-11-18) 5817
Follow up to "A Frenzied Affair". Althea has trouble dealing with the violent death of a student. Young Megan Fowler quickly finds herself yet another dangerous boyfriend and they are soon wanted by the police.
6 "Random's Child" Leo Penn Carroll O'Connor November 25, 1992 (1992-11-25) 5812
Lana Gillespie comes to Sparta to claim her inheritance, but is stalked by a mobster who dated her mother. Meanwhile Harriet encourages Bill to talk to his daughter, but Lana doesn't seem to be interested. Officer Randy Goode helps keep the bad guys at bay by playing them a little tune on the guitar.
7 "An Occupational Hazard" Vincent McEveety Cynthia Deming December 2, 1992 (1992-12-02) 5806
A secretary takes drastic measures to protect herself from sexual harassment.
8 "Last Rights" Vincent McEveety Mitchell Schneider December 9, 1992 (1992-12-09) 5801
Virgil fears for his Aunt Ruda's safety after several killings occur in the hospital where she is being treated.
9 "When the Music Stopped" Russ Mayberry Carroll O'Connor December 16, 1992 (1992-12-16) 5808
Singer Eddie Larran (Robert Goulet) returns to Sparta for a concert, but not everyone is a fan. An angry man (Gary Crosby) insists that Eddie owes him money. And their dispute soon ends in violence.
10 "Flowers from a Lady" Russ Mayberry Denise Nicholas January 6, 1993 (1993-01-06) 5810
A city councilwoman becomes dangerously obsessed with Bubba.
11 "Private Sessions" Russ Mayberry Cynthia Deming January 13, 1993 (1993-01-13) 5813
One of Virgil's classmates from law school is arrested following the death of his former girlfriend, but the man insists that her death was the result of her relationship with her psychiatrist.
12 "Judgment Day" Larry Hagman TBA January 20, 1993 (1993-01-20) 5818
A judge schemes to get rid of his wife after she tries to blackmail him into giving her a divorce and a generous settlement by revealing a secret from his past.
13 "Falsely Accused" Reza Badiyi Joe Gannon February 3, 1993 (1993-02-03) 5820
Sweet is the target of false accusations by two corrupt and racist car salesmen.
14 "A Step Removed" Paul Chavez Mitchell Schneider February 10, 1993 (1993-02-10) 5824
Parker's stepfather Roy (Pat Hingle) threatens his former employer after an altercation. When the boss is murdered Roy is arrested.
15 "A Deadly Affection" Vincent McEveety Joe Gannon February 17, 1993 (1993-02-17) 5825
A woman asks Harriet to help her get an eviction order rescinded. The chief gives Parker a new radar gun - and soon comes to regret it. Sheriff McComb requests that Gillespie and Bubba help investigate a murder. Meanwhile Lonnie and Luann search for the boy who reported the murder.
16 "The Leftover Man: Part 1" Larry Hagman Carroll O'Connor March 3, 1993 (1993-03-03) 5804
A white supremacist politician plans to have his wife's lover murdered and blame it on black radicals.
17 "The Leftover Man: Part 2" Larry Hagman Carroll O'Connor March 3, 1993 (1993-03-03) 5805
A white supremacist politician plans to have his wife's lover murdered and blame it on black radicals.
18 "A Dish Best Served Cold" Reza Badiyi Cynthia Deming, William J. Royce March 17, 1993 (1993-03-17) 5823
A swindlers homecoming upsets his wife and the families of his victims - especially Etta.
19 "Legacy" Paul Chavez Denise Nicholas March 24, 1993 (1993-03-24) 5821
A wealthy man plans to grant a promise made to a black sharecropper many years ago by giving land to the man's descendant. But his greedy son disapproves.
20 "Even Nice People" Carroll O'Connor Carroll O'Connor April 28, 1993 (1993-04-28) 5822
Corrupt developers set their sights on Lana's farm. When she refuses to sell they enlist the services of an arsonist to force her out.
21 "Lake Winahatchie" Harry Harris Cynthia Deming May 5, 1993 (1993-05-05) 5819
Follow up to "Even Nice People". Bill discovers the motivation behind a crime syndicates attempt to muscle in on Sparta and the reason they are determined to get Lana's land.
22 "A Correct Settling" Harry Harris Carroll O'Connor May 12, 1993 (1993-05-12) 5826
Eugene hopes a well known minister can save his father from Death Row. But someone runs the Reverend off the road on his way into town and the Sparta police try to protect him and track down his assailant. Meanwhile Harriet struggles with what her part in her ex-husbands appeal should be and is even more unsettled when Eugene demands that she break up with Bill.

Season 7: 1993–1994[edit]

  • Starting with this season, the opening credits read "Carroll O'Connor as Bill Gillespie In the Heat of the Night".
  • Carl Weathers joins the cast in this season.
  • Howard Rollins is no longer a series regular, he is also removed from the opening credits starting with this season.
  • The final season's opening credits consisted of moving images of the show's characters, rather than still drawings of the show's characters in the first six seasons.
  • This season consisted of 24 episodes.
# Title Director Writer(s) Original airdate Production Code
1 "Child's Play" Harry Harris Mitchell Schneider September 16, 1993 (1993-09-16) 2806
Chief Gillespie is fired by the city council and Sparta's new police chief Hampton Forbes arrives in town. Bill's last case with Sparta P.D. is a murder investigation in which a young boy has been implicated.
2 "Hatton's Turn: Part 1" Carroll O'Connor Carroll O'Connor September 18, 1993 (1993-09-18) 2809
Hampton Forbes assumes the office of Chief of Police and Bill becomes the Sheriff of Newman County. Former Spartan Wade Hatton returns to Sparta hoping to make sense of his life and rekindle his relationship with Sarah Hallisey. Bubba and Covey take the new chief on a tour of Sparta and Bill takes Wade to visit some distant cousins. Meanwhile two young criminals involve a mentally handicapped young man in a terrible crime.
3 "Hatton's Turn: Part 2" Carroll O'Connor Carroll O'Connor September 18, 1993 (1993-09-18) 2810
Wade and Sarah try to keep young Henry (Wayne Brady) from being punished for a crime he did not commit and Forbes and his officers search for the two men who are really responsible.
4 "A Depraved Heart" Harry Harris Cynthia Deming, William J. Royce September 23, 1993 (1993-09-23) 2805
The daughter of an old friend asks Bubba to arrest the man who knowingly gave her AIDS.
5 "Incident at Brewer's Pond" Russ Mayberry Terry Kay September 30, 1993 (1993-09-30) 2801
A night of revelry at a local pond turns deadly.
6 "A Love Lost" Larry Hagman Joe Gannon October 14, 1993 (1993-10-14) 2807
Lana's ex- boyfriend comes to see her and brings a load of stolen rifles with him.
7 "Singin' the Blues" Gail Liberti-Kennedy Cynthia Deming October 28, 1993 (1993-10-28) 2813
Luann moonlights as a singer at a nightclub and finds romance with the clubs owner. Her happiness is short-lived when she realizes that the bartender is dealing drugs.
8 "Virgil Tibbs: Attorney at Law" Charles Mills Mitchell Schneider November 4, 1993 (1993-11-04) 2812
Attorney Virgil Tibbs returns to Sparta and is soon assigned his first case as a defense attorney.
9 "Every Man's Family" Harry Harris Cynthia Deming, William J. Royce November 10, 1993 (1993-11-10) 2815
Bubba travels to Atlanta to help his nephew after the boy overdoses on drugs. He soon teams up with a street wise cop to take down the drug ring. Based on Hugh O'Connor's real-life struggle with drug addiction.
10 "A Baby Called Rocket" Paul Chavez Gina Barnett October 25, 1993 (1993-10-25) 2814
A neglected baby stirs maternal feelings in Luann.
11 "Little Girl Lost" Larry Hagman Denise Nicholas December 9, 1993 (1993-12-09) 2819
Tragic story of an alcoholic teen who accidentally kills a little girl while she is drinking and driving.
12 "Your Own Kind" Dick Martin Denise Nicholas December 16, 1993 (1993-12-16) 2808
Gillespie and Forbes investigate the attempted shooting of an interracial high school couple. Meanwhile, Harriet holds a fundraiser to raise money for pregnant teens at her art studio.
13 "Good Cop, Bad Cop" Winrich Kolbe Cynthia Deming January 6, 1994 (1994-01-06) 2823
Virgil defends Parker after he is falsely accused of police brutality by a drug dealer. The prosecution's main witness - the man's girlfriend, who was once engaged to Parker.
14 "Maybelle Returns" Russ Mayberry Joe Gannon January 12, 1994 (1994-01-12) 2811
Maybelle's new phone sex business is a great success - until one of her girls decides to moonlight as a prostitute.
15 "The Last Round" Reza Badiyi Mitchell Schneider January 19, 1994 (1994-01-19) 2817
Forbes is delighted when his fiancée Angela comes to see him, but is disappointed when he realizes that they have very different plans for the future.
16 "Ches and the Grand Lady" Vincent McEveety Carroll O'Connor January 26, 1994 (1994-01-26) 2818
Follow up to "Sweet, Sweet Blues". Lonnie must protect his Aunt Cordelia when her cherished friendship with Ches Collins angers one of his cousins.
17 "Conspiracy of One" Joe Gannon Joe Gannon February 2, 1994 (1994-02-02) 2820
Virgil accepts a position at a prominent law firm. But as a former police officer he feels conflicting emotions when he realizes that one of their clients is guilty of murder.
18 "The Rabbi" Winrich Kolbe David O'Connor, Elyse O'Connor February 9, 1994 (1994-02-09) 2816
A Rabbi (Jerry Stiller) returns to Sparta after many years. Racists vandalize his synagogue and soon after their Torah is stolen. Forbes investigates but the Rabbi refuses to trust Bill because of his inaction while investigating a hate crime many years ago.
19 "Hard Choices" Russ Mayberry Gina Barnett March 9, 1994 (1994-03-09) 2802
Eugene tries to protect a friend who was an unwilling accomplice to a robbery and in doing so endangers his probation – and his life.
20 "Time's Long Shadow" Paul Chavez David O'Connor, Elyse O'Connor March 16, 1994 (1994-03-16) 2803
Harriet tries to stop an arrogant developer from destroying an important archeological site.
21 "Poor Relations" Reza Badiyi Denise Nicholas, Carroll O'Connor March 30, 1994 (1994-03-30) 2822
Follow up to "A Step Removed". Comedic episode in which Parker's ne'er-do-well stepfather (Hingle) returns to Sparta with a new wife, a stolen painting and two inept art thieves who are determined to steal the painting back.
22 "Dangerous Engagement" Vincent McEveety Mitchell Schneider May 4, 1994 (1994-05-04) 2821
Bill and Harriet's wedding plans are interrupted by a sniper who mistakes Bill for Sheriff McComb.
23 "Give Me Your Life: Part 1" Russ Mayberry John Ball, Cynthia Deming, Carroll O'Connor, William J. Royce May 11, 1994 (1994-05-11) 2824A
Part 1 of a two-part series finale. Bill and Harriet travel to New Orleans for their honeymoon. Forbes learns that a cult which has rented an old school building may be involved in child abuse and other illegal activities. While inspecting the premises Bubba and Dee rescue a frightened young girl. Bubba finds a foster home for the girl but the girl's mother tries to regain custody in court - with Sarah Hallisey as their attorney.
24 "Give Me Your Life: Part 2" Russ Mayberry John Ball, Cynthia Deming, Carroll O'Connor, William J. Royce May 11, 1994 (1994-05-11) 2824B
Part 2 of a two-part series finale. Bill and Harriet return home, the cult kidnaps the girl from her foster home. And Forbes and his men arrest a man who has been supplying drugs used to keep the cult members under control. Soon a standoff develops and the officers realize that they have no intention of surrendering. Sarah is taken hostage, as they attempt to rescue the women and children Lonnie and Parker find themselves defusing a bomb and Bubba risks his life to rescue a small child from the building.

Made-for-television films (Season 8): 1994–1995[edit]

  • The opening credits remains the same as Season 7.
  • Four made-for-television films were made.
# Title Director Writer(s) Original airdate Production Code
1 "A Matter of Justice" Reza Badiyi Mitchell Schneider, October 21, 1994 (1994-10-21) TBA
The daughter of a close friend of Forbes is murdered and the officers must prove that the deranged grandson (Josh Lucas) of a retired judge (George C. Scott) is guilty.
2 "Who Was Geli Bendl?" Larry Hagman Carroll O'Connor December 9, 1994 (1994-12-09) TBA
A famous Italian actress returns to Sparta to take care of some unfinished business and rescue her younger sister from a life of drugs and poverty.
3 "By Duty Bound" Harry Harris Joe Gannon February 17, 1995 (1995-02-17) TBA
Acting Sheriff Gillespie must decide whether he should run for sheriff or retire from law enforcement. It soon becomes apparent that the other candidate is corrupt and dangerous.
4 "Grow Old Along With Me" Winrich Kolbe Cynthia Deming May 16, 1995 (1995-05-16) TBA
Ex-cop Tom Harwood's happiness with his new bride is threatened by an old flame who sees an opportunity for blackmail.