Showtime Nabs Tate Taylor’s ‘In the Heat of the Night’ TV Series


After bidding by multiple outlets, the new TV series rendition of “In the Heat of the Night” from Tate Taylor, Warren Littlefield and MGM TV has landed at Showtime.

The pay cabler has commissioned multiple scripts with an eye toward a straight-to-series order if the scripts are well-received. The project based on the 1967 Sidney Poitier-Rod Steiger pic is described as an exploration of character and race set in modern-day Mississippi. Taylor is a native son of the Magnolia state, and he’s known for his touch with material set in the South as the filmmaker behind “The Help” and this year’s James Brown biopic “Get On Up.”

Taylor is writing at least two scripts for Showtime and will direct should the project go before the cameras. Taylor and Littlefield are exec producing with John Norris. Littlefield Co.’s Ann Johnson is on board as a producer.

Project keeps Littlefield in business with the Lion, on the heels of bringing “Fargo” to FX as a miniseries this year, with a second installment due next year.

“Heat of the Night” development pact further’s MGM’s goal of mining its vault for IP with brand-name appeal. Broadcast and cable nets are awash in vintage film and TV reboots this development cycle. But “Heat of the Night” stands a little taller than most as the original pic, helmed by Norman Jewison, was a landmark film of the civil rights era.

Poitier played a police detective sent to investigate a murder in a small Southern town in the face of hostility from the local sheriff, played by Steiger. It nabbed five Oscars, including best picture and best actor for Steiger. There’s no word yet on exactly how Taylor will interpret the story for the present day, but there’s no doubt that the subject matter remains relevant. (Exhibit A: Ferguson, Mo. this summer)

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 pic that starred Carroll O’Connor and Howard E. Rollins Jr. That version of “Heat of the Night” ran four seasons on NBC starting in 1988 and another four on CBS.

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  1. Mia says:

    I’ve been looking for any mew info on this show but can’t find any thing at all… about the possible casting or even when it might start to air.

  2. Tom says:

    One of the Greatest Shows to hit TV.

  3. squck says:

    Seriously? I loved the TV show, one of the better and, rankly, underrated TV shows of the ’80s. It lasted six years, so clearly it wasn’t as bad as you claim it was,if you even bothered to watch it.

    • sugarplum917 says:

      I love – the TV series– I rather watch this any day,than some shows on TV these days! Trashy…
      There are just some shows NOT to be —changed out and back on TV—At least ,shows then had class and NOT trashy talk….

  4. J.E. Vizzusi says:

    The Carol O’ Conner version is on my list as the worst ever adapted from the Screen TV Series. WGN (Chicago) lives on this show and occasionally I watch it for a politically uncool laugh. The original Film is unsurpassed so I hope this new series follows those creative lines.. “They Call me Mr. Tibbs!

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