Based on the critically acclaimed novel and film of the same name, this series provides a hopeful, yet honest look at life in the new South. Set in the fictional Sparta, Mississippi, the show is a blend of heartfelt drama and folksy humor, portraying both the professional and personal pursuits of Sparta P.D's officers. Series star Carroll O'Connor, in a role far removed from Archie Bunker, served as executive producer. Using the pen name Matt Harris, O'Connor was also the story editor and wrote many of the episodes.
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.
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.
A Rabbi 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.
Forbes is delighted when his fiancee Angela comes to see him,but is disappointed when he realizes that they have very different plans for the future.
Virgil fears for his Aunt Ruda's safety after several killings occur in the hospital where she is being treated.
Harriet tries to stop an arrogant developer from destroying an important archeological site.
A political prisoner who entered the country illegally,seeks sanctuary in a monastary.Gillespie and Tibbs find themselves at odds with Sheriff McComb when they try to help the man.
A swindlers homecoming upsets his wife and the families of his victims - especially Etta.
Maybelle's new phone sex business is a great success - until one her girls decides to moonlight as a prostitute.
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.
The daughter of a close friend of Forbes is murdered and the officers must prove that the deranged grandson of a retired judge is guilty.
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.
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.
A night of revelry at a local pond turns deadly.
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.
Gillespie,Tibbs and Father DiMarco must stand trial for harbouring a fugitive and obstructing justice.
A secretary takes drastic measures to protect herself from sexual harassment.
Parker's stepfather Roy threatens his former employer after an altercation.When the boss is murdered Roy is arrested.
A neglected baby stirs maternal feelings in Luann.
Parker protects a blind woman who heard her neighbors murder.
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.
A bottle of spiked moonshine leads to an accident that claims the life of one teen and blinds another.
Virgil soon regrets telling an old friend that his new business partners are being investigated by the police.
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.
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.