An update on the August announcement that MGM was developing a TV series based on its 1967 classic drama “In the Hear of the Night,” with none-other-than Tate Taylor (director of “The Help” and “Get on Up”) directing…
Announced today, the series has found a home on the Showtime network, which we can assume, means, it’ll something more adult and R-rated, than if it were picked up by a broadcast network like NBC or CBS.
The news comes after Showtime announced, earlier this week, that the network will be rebooting the cult classic “Twin Peaks” from David Lynch, for a 9-episode limited series in 2016. Showtime is also developing a TV series based on Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It.”
Keep in mind that there has already been a television series based on “In the Hear of the Night” and novel of the same name, which was broadcast on NBC from 1988 until 1992, and then on CBS until 1994, starring Carroll O’Connor as the white police chief William Gillespie, and Howard Rollins as the African American police detective Virgil Tibbs.
The Tate Taylor edition, which he will executive produce with Warren Littlefield, will of course be set in the present day, and will tackle similar issues of race, class, justice and inequality that the original film and subsequent TV series did.
The original 1967 film was directed by Norman Jewison, based on the 1965 John Ball novel of the same name which tells the story of Virgil Tibbs, a black police detective from Philadelphia, who becomes involved in a murder investigation in a racist small town in Mississippi. It starred Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, and won 5 Academy Awards, including the 1967 award for Best Picture.
The film was followed by two sequels, “They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!” in 1970, and “The Organization” in 1971.
So who would you cast as Virgil Tibbs?