MGM TV Prepping ‘In The Heat of the Night’ Series with Tate Taylor, Warren Littlefield (EXCLUSIVE)

In the Heat of the Night

MGM TV is in the early stages of developing a drama series based on the 1967 pic “In the Heat of the Night,” with Tate Taylor and Warren Littlefield as exec producers.

Taylor, writer and director of “The Help,” and director of the James Brown biopic “Get On Up,” is set to adapt and direct the new incarnation of “Heat.” Set in the present day, the series aims to examine issues of race, justice and inequality through the eyes of characters in Mississippi, where Taylor is from. Project is expected to be shopped to cable buyers in the coming weeks.

“The Help’s” John Norris is also on board as an exec producer with Taylor and Littlefield, who just won an Emmy for shepherding the MGM TV adaptation of “Fargo” for FX.

The 1967 pic (pictured), helmed by Norman Jewison, was a landmark film in the civil rights era as it starred Sidney Poitier as a police detective sent to investigate a murder in a small Southern town in the face of hostility from the local sheriff, played by Rod Steiger. It nabbed five Oscars, including best picture and best actor for Steiger.

Littlefield has history with “Heat of the Night.” During his long run as an NBC programming exec, he developed an earlier series rendition of the property that starred Carroll O’Connor and Howard E. Rollins Jr. That version of “Heat of the Night” ran four seasons on NBC and another four on CBS.

Reps for MGM declined to comment.

Cynthia Littleton contributed to this report.

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  1. Judlyne Lilly Gibson says:

    I think it’s interesting that in all the copy I’ve read about this, no one has mentioned the O’Connor/Rollins show from the 1980’s. Why?

  2. Carole G says:

    It’s been done and is still in repeats daily on television. How about something completely different and not another rehash.

  3. Lori says:

    Loved the episodes with Carroll O’Conner!

  4. I hope so. Enjoyed it with Carroll O’Connor. Never saw the movies.

  5. Bobby Dobbs says:

    Would it be possible to stop trotting out the same shows over and over?

  6. Would it be possible to bring back ALAN AUTRY-loved him as” Bubba’

    • Lori says:

      Bubba played by Alan Autry was great. Parker was funny.. Also liked Lonnie Jameson played by Hugh O’Conner. So sad that he is no longer with us. Same with Howard Rollins.

  7. Bill says:

    The same show over and over, literally – really?

    Is there no creativity left?

    • I was about to say the same thing. The Carroll O’Connor version was good, so why do another series? It just seems redundant.

      • JoeMcG says:

        Why do another? I’m inclined to agree… but the fact remains that racism is still very much alive and well in the USA (see yesterday’s Daily Show with Jon Stewart), so until we can put that kind of hatred behind us we need to be reminded with shows like this to call it out for what it is… Misguided and wrong. And not just between blacks and whites, but for all racial and ethnic tensions.

      • I hope that they’ll do something that won’t leave the audience saying, “Didn’t we see this before??” That kind of thing drives me up a wall when I’m watching a movie based on a TV series, or vice versa.

      • jhs39 says:

        The Carroll O’Connor version didn’t capture the flavor of the movie and was basically no different from any other crime procedural of the period. If this is a cable series they are probably looking to do something more realistic and adult–maybe like the Fargo series.

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