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.
Even though Virgil was referred to as "Mister Tibbs" or "Detective Tibbs" his official rank on the Sparta police force was captain.
The population of Sparta is 11,700.
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.
Bubba's first name was never revealed.
The building used as the Magnolia Café later became an insurance agency.
The 1989 season was played slightly out of order. The previous season ended with a cliffhanger. However, Carroll O'Connor, 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.
Carroll O'Connor 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.
There originally were plans for Bubba to get his own series. The episode Everyman's Family was meant as a pilot, but the network did not have any available slots at the time it was first broadcast and In the Heat of the Night was canceled later that season. The series would have been set in Atlanta.
The building used for exterior shots of the Sparta Police Department was actually the Newton County Library on Monticello Street in Covington, GA. Interior shots of the Sparta PD were shot on a set built on a soundstage in an industrial building a couple blocks over.
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 O'Connor was recovering from heart surgery, his absence was explained by having him attend a police convention.
Carroll O'Connor was replaced for some episodes by Joe Don Baker, playing Acting Chief Tom Dugan, while O'Connor recuperated from heart surgery.
The building which served as the McGuffy House was Michelangelo Italian Restaurant & Bar in Conyers, GA.
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.
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.
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