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]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankRating
First airedLast airedNetwork
18March 6, 1988 (1988-03-06)May 3, 1988 (1988-05-03)NBC1917.0
222December 4, 1988 (1988-12-04)May 16, 1989 (1989-05-16)1817.3
322October 24, 1989 (1989-10-24)May 8, 1990 (1990-05-08)1916.9
422September 18, 1990 (1990-09-18)April 30, 1991 (1991-04-30)2114.9
522October 1, 1991 (1991-10-01)May 19, 1992 (1992-05-19)3013.1
622October 28, 1992 (1992-10-28)May 12, 1993 (1993-05-12)CBSN/AN/A
724September 16, 1993 (1993-09-16)May 11, 1994 (1994-05-11)N/AN/A
TV films4October 21, 1994 (1994-10-21)May 16, 1995 (1995-05-16)N/AN/A


Season 1 (1988)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
11"Pilot: Part 1"David HemmingsJames Lee BarrettMarch 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.
22"Pilot: Part 2"David HemmingsJames Lee BarrettMarch 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.
33"Road Kill"Leo PennKathy McCormickMarch 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.
44"Fate"Anthony WilkinsonRichard FielderMarch 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.
55"Blind Spot: Part 1"David HemmingsWilliam GrayMarch 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.
66"Blind Spot: Part 2"David HemmingsWilliam GrayApril 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.
77"A Necessary Evil"Winrich KolbeJosef AndersonApril 12, 1988 (1988-04-12)7803
In this humorous episode, Virgil and the Chief arrest a bible salesman (Guest star Ted Lange) for bigamy. It soon becomes a polygamy case after an endless parade of wives come to visit their husband-who turns up murdered in his cell; which of his six wives killed him?
88"...And Then You Die"Anthony WilkinsonKathy McCormickMay 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 (1988–89)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
91"Don't Look Back: Part 1"Peter LevinJeri Taylor, David MoessingerDecember 4, 1988 (1988-12-04)8804A
A copycat recreates a shocking unsolved murder from 20 years in 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.
102"Don't Look Back: Part 2"Peter LevinJeri Taylor, David MoessingerDecember 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. Trivia: Sparta celebrates 150 year anniversary of its founding; Neither Tibbs nor Gillespie can find out who killed the original murder victim of 20 years before—whether it was her estranged husband or her current lover [both now dead]; Series location has changed from Hammond, Louisiana to Covington, Georgia
113"The Family Secret"Lee H. KatzinNancy BondDecember 6, 1988 (1988-12-06)8801
The murder of a well respected man turns up a shocking secret about his family.
124"The Hammer and the Glove"Harry HarrisJeri TaylorDecember 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.
135"Prisoners"Russ MayberryLee MadduxDecember 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 elementary school.
146"Hot Nights"Harry HarrisMark EdensDecember 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.
157"Gunshot"Lee H. KatzinDavid MoessingerJanuary 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.
168"Country Mouse, City Mouse"Vincent McEveetyLee MadduxJanuary 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.
179"Stranger in Town"Michael RhodesJordan BuddeJanuary 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.
1810"Tear Down the Walls"Vincent McEveetyTerry ErwinJanuary 31, 1989 (1989-01-31)8808
A minister who was integrating his church (by inviting Virgil and Althea to attend services) is murdered.
1911"A Trip Upstate"Jeffrey HaydenCarroll O'ConnorFebruary 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.
2012"A.K.A. Kelly Kay"Chuck BowmanLee MadduxFebruary 14, 1989 (1989-02-14)8813
The past comes back to haunt JoAnn in the form of an escaped convict.
2113"These Things Take Time"Michael RhodesNancy BondFebruary 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.
2214"Intruders"Chuck BowmanSteven BaumMarch 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.
2315"The Creek"Alexander SingerJo William PhilippMarch 14, 1989 (1989-03-14)8810
The investigation of a possible assault brings back nightmarish and confusing childhood memories for Virgil.
2416"Sister, Sister"Lee H. KatzinCarol SaracenoMarch 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.
2517"Walkout"Russ MayberrySteven AspisMarch 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.
2618"Accused"Chuck BowmanJames NovackApril 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.
2719"Fifteen Forever"Vincent McEveetyNancy BondApril 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.
2820"Ladybug, Ladybug"Alexander SingerTerry ErwinMay 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.
2921"The Pig Woman of Sparta"David MoessingerMarc TaylorMay 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 {guest star Shirley Stoler} 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.
3022"Missing"Alexander SingerDavid RupelMay 16, 1989 (1989-05-16)8819
Gillespie is kidnapped and Virgil believes that Tom Dugan is involved.

Season 3 (1989–90)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
311"Rape"Paul LynchNancy BondOctober 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.
322"Fairest of Them All"Mario AzzopardiEdward DeBlasioOctober 31, 1989 (1989-10-31)9801
A beauty pageant is marred by blackmail and the ambitious mother of a contestant.
333"Murder Most Ancient"Winrich KolbeEdward DeBlasioNovember 7, 1989 (1989-11-07)9807
An unhappy wife asks her lover to place a bomb in her abusive husband's Cadillac.
344"First Girl"Gene ReynoldsCarroll O'ConnorNovember 14, 1989 (1989-11-14)9802
Sparta P.D. gets its first black policewoman, while Chief Gillespie tracks down her killer.
355"Crackdown"E.W. SwackhamerNancy BondNovember 21, 1989 (1989-11-21)9810
Someone is selling crack to teenagers and Sweet tries desperately to save a young addict.
366"Anniversary"Harry HarrisMark RodgersNovember 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.
377"Time of the Stranger"Ivan DixonMark RodgersDecember 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.
388"Vengeance"E.W. SwackhamerMark RodgersDecember 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.
399"My Name is Hank"Harry HarrisEdward DeBlasioDecember 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.
4010"King's Ransom"Jeffrey HaydenKim Friese, Carroll O'ConnorJanuary 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.
4111"Epitaph for a Lady"Vincent McEveetySteven BaumJanuary 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.
4212"Triangle"Chuck BowmanRick KelbaughJanuary 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.
4313"Hello in There"Vincent McEveetyCynthia Deming, William RoyceJanuary 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.
4414"December Days"Vincent McEveetyKim FrieseFebruary 6, 1990 (1990-02-06)9816
The Sparta police investigate a suspicious death in a nursing home. Ken Curtis guest stars.
4515"A Loss of Innocence"Paul LynchCynthia Deming, William Royce, Stephen SchneckFebruary 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.
4616"Bubba's Baby"Jeffrey HaydenEdward DeBlasioFebruary 27, 1990 (1990-02-27)9820
Someone abandons a baby at Bubba's door.
4717"Home is Where The Heart Is"Leo PennCarroll O'ConnorMarch 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.
4818"An Angry Woman"Winrich KolbeCarroll O'ConnorMarch 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.
4919"Indiscretions"Vince EdwardsNancy BondMarch 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.
5020"Night of the Killing"Chuck BowmanMark RodgersMarch 27, 1990 (1990-03-27)9819
Racial tensions run high when a white cabbie is murdered in the bottoms.
5121"Citizen Trundel: Part 1"Leo PennCarroll O'ConnorMay 1, 1990 (1990-05-01)9813
Harriet's sister is murdered on the orders of the wealthy white man who fathered her child.
5222"Citizen Trundel: Part 2"Harry HarrisCynthia Deming, William RoyceMay 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 (1990–91)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
531"Brotherly Love: Part 1"Harry HarrisWilliam RoyceSeptember 18, 1990 (1990-09-18)3805A
Virgil goes to Philadelphia to investigate a friend's death. And Bubba (reluctantly) fills in as Althea's Lamaze coach.
542"Brotherly Love: Part 2"Harry HarrisCynthia DemingSeptember 18, 1990 (1990-09-18)3805B
Virgil is framed for murder and Gillespie travels to Philly to help him clear his name.
553"Lessons Learned"Mario AzzopardiCynthia DemingSeptember 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 father's reaction. Parker is dismayed when he recognizes one of the ladies.
564"Perversions of Justice"Harry HarrisRobert BielakOctober 2, 1990 (1990-10-02)3810
A furious father brings his young son to the police station, claiming the boy's mild-mannered science teacher has molested him. When the stunned teacher denies the charges, the force must find the truth amid a dirty reporter's sensationalist stories, a frustrated school board, and an angry mob ready to deliver their own brand of justice.
575"And Justice For Some"Harry HarrisWilliam Royce, Michael ThurmanOctober 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.
586"Heart of Gold"Russ MayberryMitchell SchneiderOctober 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.
597"Quick Fix"Winrich KolbeJulie FriedgenNovember 6, 1990 (1990-11-06)3809
The investigation into the death of an abandoned infant leads to a mentally handicapped teenager.
608"Homecoming"Russ MayberryRobert BielakNovember 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.
619"A Problem Too Personal"Winrich KolbeCarroll O'ConnorNovember 20, 1990 (1990-11-20)3819
Harriet and Eugene are devastated after Gene's father is arrested for murder.
6210"A Final Arrangement"Leo PennDavid Hamilton, Peter TelepNovember 27, 1990 (1990-11-27)3814
Sweet is heartbroken when an elderly woman who befriended him is murdered in her bookstore.
6311"Family Matters"Vincent McEveetyMitchell SchneiderDecember 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.
6412"Bounty Hunter"Russ MayberryCynthia Deming, William RoyceDecember 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.
6513"Blessings"David SoulWalton DornischDecember 18, 1990 (1990-12-18)3826
In this Christmas episode the officers share memories with a reporter from the Sparta Herald.
6614"Shine on Sparta Moon"Leo PennRobert BielakJanuary 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.
6715"An Execution of Trust"Leo PennMitchell SchneiderJanuary 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.
6816"Child of Promise"Vincent McEveetyCynthia DemingFebruary 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.
6917"Paper Castles"Vincent McEveetyArthur Bernard LewisFebruary 12, 1991 (1991-02-12)3801
Virgil soon regrets telling an old friend that his new business partners are being investigated by the police.
7018"Laid to Waste"Vincent McEveetyCynthia Deming, William RoyceFebruary 19, 1991 (1991-02-19)3824
Parker protects a blind woman who heard her neighbors murder.
7119"First Deadly Sin"Peter SalimJulie FriedgenFebruary 26, 1991 (1991-02-26)3821
A serial rapist stalks Sparta.
7220"Just a Country Boy"Carroll O'ConnorCarroll O'ConnorMarch 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.
7321"No Other Road"Paul ChavezCarroll O'ConnorMarch 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.
7422"A Turning"Paul ChavezJoe Gannon, Carroll O'ConnorApril 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 (1991–92)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
751"A Woman Much Admired"Harry HarrisCarroll O'ConnorOctober 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.
762"Baby for Sale"Harry HarrisMitchell SchneiderOctober 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.
773"Obsession"Russ MayberryMitchell SchneiderOctober 22, 1991 (1991-10-22)4814
A flirtatious schoolteacher is stalked by a madman.
784"Liar's Poker"Harry HarrisMitchell SchneiderOctober 29, 1991 (1991-10-29)4801
A game of high-stakes poker ends in murder.
795"Ruda's Awakening"Russ MayberryCarroll O'Connor, Bill TaubNovember 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.
806"Unfinished Business"Leo PennJoe GannonNovember 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.
817"The More Things Change"Russ MayberryCynthia Deming, William J. RoyceNovember 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.
828"Sweet, Sweet Blues"Vincent McEveetyWilliam J. RoyceNovember 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.
839"Sparta Gold"Winrich KolbeCynthia Deming, Joe Gannon, William J. Royce, Bill TaubDecember 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.
8410"An Eye for an Eye"Leo PennCynthia DemingDecember 10, 1991 (1991-12-10)4813
The father of a man Gerard prosecuted kidnaps the DA's daughter.
8511"The Littlest Victim"Paul ChavezGail Liberti-KennedyDecember 17, 1991 (1991-12-17)4817
Lonnie makes a heartbreaking discovery about a woman he dated in high school.
8612"The Landlord"Larry HagmanCarroll O'ConnorJanuary 7, 1992 (1992-01-07)4818
A drug dealing slumlord is murdered by his accomplices.
8713"Fool For Love"Vincent McEveetyCynthia Deming, William J. RoyceJanuary 14, 1992 (1992-01-14)4805
A doctor plots to eliminate his wife – and his mistress.
8814"Love, Honor and Obey"Reza BadiyiCynthia Deming, William J. RoyceFebruary 4, 1992 (1992-02-04)4823
Parkers investigation into a purse snatching reveals an abused woman.
8915"Odessa"Vincent McEveetyDenise NicholasFebruary 11, 1992 (1992-02-11)4822
Racists target a ceremony honoring a civil rights pioneer.
9016"A Time to Trust"Winrich KolbePatt SheaFebruary 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.
9117"By Means Most Foul"Russ MayberryJoe GannonFebruary 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.
9218"Trundel's Will Be Done"Harry HarrisCynthia Deming, William J. RoyceMarch 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.
9319"Moseley's Lot"Winrich KolbeJoe GannonMarch 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.
9420"Family Reunion"Harry HarrisWilliam J. RoyceApril 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.
9521"Sanctuary"Mario AzzopardiMitchell SchneiderMay 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.
9622"The Law on Trial"Russ MayberryMitchell SchneiderMay 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 (1992–93)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
971"A Small War: Part 1"Harry HarrisJoe GannonOctober 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.
982"A Small War: Part 2"Harry HarrisJoe GannonNovember 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.
993"Brother's Keeper"Winrich KolbeWilliam J. RoyceNovember 11, 1992 (1992-11-11)5809
Luann's ne'er-do-well brother (Meshach Taylor) returns home after being paroled.
1004"A Frenzied Affair"Winrich KolbeMitchell SchneiderNovember 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.
1015"Discovery"Paul ChavezCarroll O'Connor, Mitchell SchneiderNovember 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.
1026"Random's Child"Leo PennCarroll O'ConnorNovember 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.
1037"An Occupational Hazard"Vincent McEveetyCynthia DemingDecember 2, 1992 (1992-12-02)5806
A secretary takes drastic measures to protect herself from sexual harassment.
1048"Last Rights"Vincent McEveetyMitchell SchneiderDecember 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.
1059"When the Music Stopped"Russ MayberryCarroll O'ConnorDecember 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.
10610"Flowers from a Lady"Russ MayberryDenise NicholasJanuary 6, 1993 (1993-01-06)5810
A city councilwoman becomes dangerously obsessed with Bubba.
10711"Private Sessions"Russ MayberryCynthia DemingJanuary 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.
10812"Judgment Day"Larry HagmanTBAJanuary 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.
10913"Falsely Accused"Reza BadiyiJoe GannonFebruary 3, 1993 (1993-02-03)5820
Sweet is the target of false accusations by two corrupt and racist car salesmen.
11014"A Step Removed"Paul ChavezMitchell SchneiderFebruary 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.
11115"A Deadly Affection"Vincent McEveetyJoe GannonFebruary 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.
11216"The Leftover Man: Part 1"Larry HagmanCarroll O'ConnorMarch 3, 1993 (1993-03-03)5804
A white supremacist politician plans to have his wife's lover murdered and blame it on black radicals.
11317"The Leftover Man: Part 2"Larry HagmanCarroll O'ConnorMarch 3, 1993 (1993-03-03)5805
A white supremacist politician plans to have his wife's lover murdered and blame it on black radicals.
11418"A Dish Best Served Cold"Reza BadiyiCynthia Deming, William J. RoyceMarch 17, 1993 (1993-03-17)5823
A swindlers homecoming upsets his wife and the families of his victims - especially Etta.
11519"Legacy"Paul ChavezDenise NicholasMarch 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.
11620"Even Nice People"Carroll O'ConnorCarroll O'ConnorApril 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.
11721"Lake Winahatchie"Harry HarrisCynthia DemingMay 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.
11822"A Correct Settling"Harry HarrisCarroll O'ConnorMay 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 (1993–94)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
1191"Child's Play"Harry HarrisMitchell SchneiderSeptember 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.
1202"Hatton's Turn: Part 1"Carroll O'ConnorCarroll O'ConnorSeptember 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.
1213"Hatton's Turn: Part 2"Carroll O'ConnorCarroll O'ConnorSeptember 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.
1224"A Depraved Heart"Harry HarrisCynthia Deming, William J. RoyceSeptember 23, 1993 (1993-09-23)2805
The daughter of an old friend asks Bubba to arrest the man who knowingly gave her AIDS.
1235"Incident at Brewer's Pond"Russ MayberryTerry KaySeptember 30, 1993 (1993-09-30)2801
A night of revelry at a local pond turns deadly.
1246"A Love Lost"Larry HagmanJoe GannonOctober 14, 1993 (1993-10-14)2807
Lana's ex- boyfriend comes to see her and brings a load of stolen rifles with him.
1257"Singin' the Blues"Gail Liberti-KennedyCynthia DemingOctober 28, 1993 (1993-10-28)2813
Luann moonlights as a singer at a nightclub and finds romance with the club's owner. Her happiness is short-lived when she realizes that the bartender is dealing drugs.
1268"Virgil Tibbs: Attorney at Law"Charles MillsMitchell SchneiderNovember 4, 1993 (1993-11-04)2812
Attorney Virgil Tibbs returns to Sparta and is soon assigned his first case as a defense attorney.
1279"Every Man's Family"Harry HarrisCynthia Deming, William J. RoyceNovember 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.
12810"A Baby Called Rocket"Paul ChavezGina BarnettNovember 25, 1993 (1993-11-25)2814
A neglected baby stirs maternal feelings in Luann.
12911"Little Girl Lost"Larry HagmanDenise NicholasDecember 9, 1993 (1993-12-09)2819
Tragic story of an alcoholic teen who accidentally kills a little girl while she is drinking and driving.
13012"Your Own Kind"Dick MartinDenise NicholasDecember 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.
13113"Good Cop, Bad Cop"Winrich KolbeCynthia DemingJanuary 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 (Victoria Jackson), who was once engaged to Parker.
13214"Maybelle Returns"Russ MayberryJoe GannonJanuary 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.
13315"The Last Round"Reza BadiyiMitchell SchneiderJanuary 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.
13416"Ches and the Grand Lady"Vincent McEveetyCarroll O'ConnorJanuary 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.
13517"Conspiracy of One"Joe GannonJoe GannonFebruary 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.
13618"The Rabbi"Winrich KolbeDavid O'Connor, Elyse O'ConnorFebruary 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.
13719"Hard Choices"Russ MayberryGina BarnettMarch 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.
13820"Time's Long Shadow"Paul ChavezDavid O'Connor, Elyse O'ConnorMarch 16, 1994 (1994-03-16)2803
Harriet tries to stop an arrogant developer from destroying an important archeological site.
13921"Poor Relations"Reza BadiyiDenise Nicholas, Carroll O'ConnorMarch 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.
14022"Dangerous Engagement"Vincent McEveetyMitchell SchneiderMay 4, 1994 (1994-05-04)2821
Bill and Harriet's wedding plans are interrupted by a sniper who mistakes Bill for Sheriff McComb.
14123"Give Me Your Life: Part 1"Russ MayberryJohn Ball, Cynthia Deming, Carroll O'Connor, William J. RoyceMay 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.
14224"Give Me Your Life: Part 2"Russ MayberryJohn Ball, Cynthia Deming, Carroll O'Connor, William J. RoyceMay 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.

TV films (1994–95)[edit]

TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
A Matter of JusticeReza BadiyiMitchell Schneider,October 21, 1994 (1994-10-21)
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.
Who Was Geli Bendl?Larry HagmanCarroll O'ConnorDecember 9, 1994 (1994-12-09)
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.
By Duty BoundHarry HarrisJoe GannonFebruary 17, 1995 (1995-02-17)
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.
Grow Old Along With MeWinrich KolbeCynthia DemingMay 16, 1995 (1995-05-16)
Ex-cop Tom Harwood's happiness with his new bride is threatened by an old flame who sees an opportunity for blackmail.