Ripcord on DVD Big discounts on
stuff you want!

Peabody & Sherman cartoons on DVD Car Battery Charger Carol Burnett Show on DVD Book About Greensboro Mary Tyler Moore Show on DVD Flintstones on DVD
New TV


NIGHT HEAT late night TV show from canada

“NIGHT HEAT”: It Came from Canada!

by Cary O'Dell

Night Heat cast : Scott HylandBefore there was Colbert,... before there was Letterman,… in fact, before there was even “Pat Sajak” and his short-lived late-night talk show, CBS attempted to lure audiences away from the legendary Johnny Carson on his venerable NBC “Tonight Show” via a number of programming options.

For year before even Sajak, on CBS late night, the network aired a lot of repeats of various CBS primetime hits and a lot of more traditional “late show”-type Hollywood movies as well as some British series imports like “The New Avengers.” In the 1981-82, they even tried a late-night soap opera. It was titled “Behind the Screen” and featured, among others, Mel Ferrer and a very young Janine Turner.

After “Screen” ended, the net returned to the movies.

Night Heat cast : Allan RoyalFinally, from 1985 to late 1988, CBS tried augmenting the repeats by importing some programs from our neighbors to the north. From various Canadian providers and networks, CBS aired four detective- and crime-oriented programs: “Adderly,” “Diamonds,” “Hot Shots” and “Night Heat.”

Though “Adderly” would develop a cult following—and later be re-aired on basic cable—the most successful of this quartet of shows was the gritty and noir-ish “Night Heat.” It would be part of CBS’s late night line-up the longest and, in fact, was so popular at one time that the network even bumped it up, for a time, into its primetime schedule.

Though the series was produced in Canada and starred two Canadian-born actors, its creator was from the US. Actually, the creator, Sonny Grosso was a former New York City cop—his career had served as part of the inspiration for the film “The French Connection.”

After retiring from the force, Grosso moved into TV and film production. From 1979 to 2009, he produced well over two dozen films, made-for-TV movies and series. He passed away in January of 2020.

About in the middle of his producing career there was “Night Heat.”

Night Heat tv showIn many ways, the series was a pretty straight-forward cop drama. Shot in Toronto, the series was set in a generic North American city. (When shooting outside, the Toronto streets often had to be “dirtied” up by the show’s production crew members to make them look rougher and more menacing.) The show was centered on a slightly mismatched detective team--one, a slightly older, slightly grizzled veteran on the force, Detective Kevin “O.B.” O’Brien (played by Scott Hylands) and his younger, cocky partner, Detective Frank Giambone (played Jeff Wincott). The show also employed a narrator-type character, Tom J. Kirkwood (played by Allan Royal). Kirkwood was a local newspaperman whose column, titled “Night Heat,” detailed the work of the duo and was used as something of a framing device.


Night Heat tv showThough the basic set-up of the show might have been somewhat pedestrian, many aspects of the series were quite unique.

During its short sojourn into American primetime, “Night Heat” became only the second Canadian-produced series to be contemporaneously aired on Canadian and US network TV. (The first, for you trivia buffs, was a very short-lived--two months--anthology show titled “Encounter” that aired, live from Canada, over ABC in 1958. And, no, I had never heard of it either.)

Second, the show, to match its title and the give it its distinctive look, was almost always shot at night. Part of this was to craft a different looking series but part of it was also a matter of economics. It was far cheaper to shoot the show on real-life streets than build sets and it was much easier to find empty streets (or close off streets) after dark.

Shooting at night wasn’t the show’s only cost-cutting measure that assisted in its overall appearance. Unlike most TV programs that are shot on 35mm film, “Night Heat” was shot on 16mm. This saved a lot of dollars but also allowed the show to be shot with more hand-held devices/cameras which resulted in a lot of on-air close-ups and some pretty good action sequences.

All these cost-cutting measures made the show much easier to produce and certainly much more cost-effective. Each installment of “Night” could be made for about $500,000 (US), half of what an episode of “Miami Vice” was costing at that time.

“Night Heat” began in Canada, over its national CTV channel, in 1984 and started being imported into the US, over CBS, the following year. Up north, the show became a hit, soon becoming one of that country’s top ten programs. In 1986 and again in 1987, it won the Gemini Award (Canada’s Emmy) for Best Dramatic Program.

One year prior is when CBS and the US of A came calling.

Due to its quality, uniqueness and/or the presence of the young Wincott--who became something of a heartthrob--of the foursome of shows that CBS brought in for its late-nigh lineup, “Night Heat” broke out of the pack and started garnering the biggest viewing numbers of the four. Often it pulled in as much as 20% of the viewing audience at that hour and, in some major markets, even bested Johnny Carson’s numbers!

Not surprisingly then that CBS eventually decided--in May of 1987--to bump the show all the way up to their primetime line-up, a rare move not only for a foreign-made series but also for one that had its origins steeped in late-night.

Hence, for six weeks (May through August of ’87), CBS aired episodes of “Night” on Thursday nights in its 10 to 11pm timeslot. Night heat indeed!

Whether this time shift was meant to be permanent by the US network or was done to try to gain new viewers for “Night” to bring back to its normal late-night slot is not known. What is known is that after that primetime run, “Heat” went back to after hours on CBS and continued on for two more years.

As mentioned, “Night Heat” was pretty traditional and straightforward in its format and story-telling. That might have been some of its appeal to audiences on both sides of the border—there were no gimmicks here. Furthermore, though the partnership between “O.B.” and Giambone was (for TV) a somewhat traditional mentor-student relationship, the two were not seen as being bickering or always at loggerheads. That sort of relationship—odd at that time on TV in cop and detective shows (think “Moonlighting,” etc.—might, too, have been seen as refreshing by many viewers.

“Night Heat” was still going strong in Canada and would be on for another full season up there before it finally came to an end in 1990 after 96 completed episodes. But “Heat’s” final season was never seen in the US—at least not over CBS. In 1989, CBS was wanting to up its late night game and signed “Wheel of Fortune’s” beloved host Pat Sajak to challenge Carson in the late-night talk arena.

“The Pat Sajak” show ran five nights a week beginning in January 1989, hence leaving no room for “Heat” or any other late-night offering. “Sajak,” of course, was not a hit and signed off in 1990.


Crimetime after PrimetimeInterestingly, after “Sajak” closed up shop, CBS launched a new initiative to offer late-night watchers an alternative to Johnny Carson. They aired a line-up of (mostly) light-hearted crime dramas under the umbrella title of “Crimetime After Primetime.” The line-up for “Crimetime’ changed over time but did include such Canadian-produced series as “Sweating Bullets,” “Urban Angel” and “Fly By Night” (the last show featuring Shannon Tweed). “Crimetime,” which also saw the debut of the later USA program “Silk Stalkings,” aired until 1993 when David Letterman began his CBS chat show.

After the end of “Heat,” actor Hylands, whose career dated all the way back to 1969, continued to work in both the US and Canada, including reoccurring roles on “Fargo” and on the remake of “V.” He’s still acting today at age 76.

Wincott, now in his 60s, has also continued to act in both the US and Canada. A skilled martial artist, he found a very prolific niche for himself for many years in many direct-to-DVD action films during the 1980s and 1990s. He has also had roles on “JAG,” “Blue Bloods,” “24,” and in the Lifetime “Lizzie Borden” miniseries.

A generous allotment of “Night Heat” episodes can, today, be found on Youtube.



TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
It is what it is!



June Cleaver book
Buy this book!



Post-Modern Sitcoms / Actors That Wrote Books / 1987 Gilbert Gottfried Pilot Written By Larry David / Tarantino, DiCaprio & Pitt on Once Upon A Time In Hollywood / Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci Talk Goodfellas / Coming to America - The Awful Sitcom? / Robert Wagner Interview / Helen Mirren on 1923 / Lucky 19-Year Old Birthday Boy on The Price is Right / 1990-1999 TV Commercials / James Hong on the First & Only Asian Talent Agent in Hollywood / More Than Myagi: The Pat Morita Story / Chevy Chase 2021 Interview / Ally McBeal and that Darn Dancing Baby / Ed Begley Jr. Interview / Peter Boyle's Heart Attack on the Set of Everybody Loves Raymond / Patrick Swayze Refused To Do 'Ghost' Without Whoopie Goldberg / Clark Furlong on Stephen King's Mini-Series Lisey's Story / 14-Year Old Brody Bett Steals the Show at a David Foster Concert / Worst Big Budget Superhero Movie of All Time / Jerry Springer's Toxic TV Legacy / Three Generations of Talent / One Season Too Many / Dick Wolf on the Writer's Strike / Angela Lansbury Tribute / Houston Knights / Uncle Buck Sitcom / My Brush With King Charles / Bonnie Bartlett Daniels Interview / Frank Zappa Talk Show? / Remembering Marvel & Buffy Scribe Pierce Askegren / Piper Laurie Tribute / 1993 Route 66 Reboot / David Hyde Pierce on the Last Days of ‘Frazier’ / Angela Lansbury Interview / The Shadow Movies of the 1930s & 40s / Remembering Hal Holbrook / Remembering Angela Lansbury / Greensboro Movie Theaters : Star Theatre / Police Squad Shot-By-Shot Remake of M Squad! / A Painting Saved Bill Murray's Life / Why Jim Carrey Fought to Cast Jeff Daniels in 'Dumb and Dumber' / Meredith Baxter Talks Breast Cancer / Sopranos Creator David Chase Had to Fight to Make Tony Soprano the Mobster He Was / Joan Collins on Working With Drunk Actors / Snowmaggedon 1969 / Joe Pesci HATES Practical Jokes / Books About Showbiz / Making It in Showbiz / Dark Justice / My Fave Book About Showbiz / Remembering Billy Packer / More Celebrity Biographies / Peter Falk : Inside The Actor's Studio / Jason Alexander on Duckman / Robert Ebert on Robert Mitchum / Watch Dave Chappelle's New Netflix Special for Free / Margaret (Wicked Witch of the West) Hamilton Was Almost Scarred For Life Filming Wizard of Oz / Restaurant Chains We Might Lose In 2020 / Night Heat / Short History of TV Advertising / Is Ellen A Monster? / To Binge Or Not To Binge? / 1986-87 TV SEASON / Celebrity Bios 4 / 1988-89 TV SEASON / 1990-91 TV SEASON / Can Comic Book City Survive? / When TV Plays Politics for Laughs / The Worst Thing I Ever Saw (Part 2) / Greensboro's Beef (Biff) Burger Has Closed! / Sally Field Looks Back on Smokey and the Bandit / Actors Writing Memoirs 2 / Gene Wilder's Sexual Chemistry with Richard Pryor / WORST Pizzas Served On Kitchen Nightmares / Ricky Gervais' Cruelly Funny 2020 Golden Globe Monologue / What It's Like To Win A New Car on The Price Is Right / Night Train! 3 - Las Vegas Comic Pat Cooper / Night Train! 4 - Resurrection and Death of Louis Prima / Denis Shepard of Paradise Lost / Space Force Logo is a Ripoff from Star Trek! / Batman Movie from 1939? What?!? / Michael Richards (Kramer) Really Hated It When his Seinfeld Co-Stars Messed Up / Melissa McCarthy Almost Quit Acting Days Before Landing Gilmore Girls / Bar Rescue's Wildest Customers! / How The Golden Girls and Elvis Got Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs Made / Charlie Brown Voice Actor Released From Prison / New Year's Eve on TV / Sir Laurence Olivier on the 'Genius' of Marlon Brando / 1967 Futurists Predict The 21st Century / Remembering Diahann Carroll / 50 Funniest Niles Crane Insults / TV HITS - By the Numbers / How Tom Hanks Played Mr. Rogers / Colin Farrell as The Penguin? / Alex Baldwin On His TV and Film Roles / Ray Charles' BIG Problem With TV / Malcolm Gladwell on TV Crime Dramas / Why Dolly Parton Would Not Let Elvis Record 'I Will Always Love You' / Top Ten Sitcoms of the 1970s / Danny McBride Rebooting Hogan's Heroes? / Fashion on TV / Alive & Well / James Cameron Made No Money for Titanic / Whatever Happened To Miss Cleo? / Lucy Blows Off Burt Reynolds / Dave Navarro Meets His Mother's Killer / The Real Mindhunters Killers / John Goodman Breaks Down His Iconic Roles / Growing Up In The Playboy Mansion / Ed McMahon Drunk on the Air! / Lucy Interviewed by Barbara Walters / Valerie Harper Cancer / Jeff Bridges Breaks Down His Iconic Roles / Dog Fight! The KCNC Scandal / Buckley vs Hefner / Laurence Olivier vs Marilyn Monroe / Dallas vs Eight is Enough / 1974 MAD Magazine TV Special - Never Aired! / Iconic M*A*S*H Restaurant Coming To Kroger? / Matt Damon, Bill Murray, and Graham Norton - Big Laughs! / When Lucy Got Fired / Partridge Family and Brady Bunch at Kings Island theme park 1972-73 / Awkward Talk Show Moments / Allan Blye Interview / Jack Benny's Last Tonight Show 1974 / Patricia Heaton's Audition for Everybody Loves Raymond / Luke Perry's Last Role / Johnny Cash's Last Interview / Judy Garland's Last Film / Who Was Bob Gordon? / Richard Dreyfuss vs Bill Murray / Jeff Ross vs Everybody / Tennessee Williams 1972 Interview / Ed Asner Interview / Norm Macdonald vs OJ Simpson / Tony Kornheiser Interview / Freddy's Nightmares TV Series / Awful 1990s TV Shows / The Funniest Comebacks in Talk Show History / Was Sonny Bono Murdered? / Robin Williams' Mrs. Doubtfire Screen Tests / Robert Downey Jr Asks for Forgiveness for Mel Gibson / Russell Brand / Hank Williams: The Show He Never Gave / Judy Garland vs Liz Taylor / Emmy Award Multiple Winners / Nathaniel Taylor aka Rollo Lawson / Anthony Zuiker: Mr. CSI / Jimmy & Cher / Diana Muldaur: A Viewer's History / Uncle Andy's Funhouse / Bea Arthur vs Betty White / Skidoo: Worst All-Star Comedy Ever? / Every Marvel Cartoon Opening Theme From 1966 - Present / When Stars Play Themselves / My Pen Pal is in the Pen, Pal / Small Roles Big Performances / Barbara Hall / Stars Before They Were Famous / Stars Before They Were Famous 2 / Stars Before They Were Famous 3 / A Better Classic TV Network / Bill Paxton / Who Was the Black Daliah? / How Frasier Was Created / Music Videos / Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Behind the Scenes / Shirley Jones Interview / What We Lost When We Lost VHS / When Hit TV Shows Return / Commercials Starring Sopranos Cast Members / Shows Nobody Remembers But Me 4 / Shows Nobody Remembers But Me 1 / Bryan Cranston Interview / FREE streaming movie service you didn’t know you have / The Great Cable TV Migration / Sportscaster Woody Durham / Movie Posters and the documentary 24x36 /Chris Robinson /Dallas Reboot /David Letterman /Auditioning For Game Shows in the 80s /Ghosts of Cable TV past / Honey Boo Boo - WTF?!? / Steven Bochco Tribute / Ian Abercrombie / Joe Franklin / John Nettles / Gotham / Family Fued: Gilligan's Island vs Lost In Space / Jon Cryer / Jon Stewart / Lana Wood / David Letterman / Matt Bomer / Molly Ringwald / Morgan Brittany / Music Rights for TV Shows / Neilsen Ratings / Norman Lloyd / Not Your Dad's TV / TV Series Reunions / Rich Little / Special Bulletin with George Clooney / Howard Stern VS Jamie Foxx / Top Ten Action Movies / 2013 Emmy Awards / 2010 Celebrity Deaths

Lost Kid Shows / Movie Stars on TV / Saturday Morning Shows / Video Vault / TV Goodbyes / Fabulous Fifties / Unseen Scenes / Game Shows / Requested Forgotten TV Shows / The Super Sixties / More Modern TV Shows / The New * * Shows / 1980's Wrestling / TV Blog

TVparty is Classic TV on the internet!
Classic TV on the Internet!

TV's Embarrassing Moments / Action Shows of the Sixties / TVparty Mysteries and Scandals / Variety Shows of the 1970s / The Eighties / The Laugh Track / 1970's Hit Shows / Response to TVparty / Search the Site / Add Your Comments


New TV

Classic TV Commercials / 1950's TV / 1960's TV / 1970's TV / Groucho vs William F Buckley / / TV Games / Honey Boo Boo / Lucy Shows / 2012 Emmy Awards / Classic Cars / John Wayne / Gene Roddenberry / Rockford Files / Sea Hunt / 1970s Commercial Jingles / Superman on DVD / Toy Gun Ads / Flip Wilson Show / Big Blue Marble / Monty Hall / Carrascolendas / Mr. Dressup / Major Mudd / Chief Halftown / What's In Oprah's Purse? / Baby Daphne / Sheriff John / Winchell & Mahoney / Fireball X-L5 / Mr. Wizard / Captain Noah / Thanksgiving Day Specials / Disney's First Christmas Special / Saturday Morning Cartoons / Amahl & the Night Visitors / Holiday Toy Commercials / Lucy & Desi's Last Christmas Show / Joey Heatherton / Sammy Davis, Jr / Steve & Eydie/ Fat Albert / The Virginian / Bewitched / Death of John Wayne / 1974 Saturday Mornings / Chuck McCann / Rudolph Collectables / Shrimpenstein / Local Popeye Shows / New Treasure Hunt / 1966 ABC TV Shows / 1967 TV Shows / 1968 TV Shows / Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes & Baby Doll / Fridays / TV Moms / Red Skelton / Bette Midler in the 1970s / Bonus 1970's Stuff: Biff Burger / Star Wars / KISS / Lancelot Link / Saturday Morning Cartoons / Wonder Woman / Classic Comic Books / Andy Griffith / Cher / TV Shows on DVD / Outtakes & Bloopers / 1967 TV Shows / Romper Room / ABC Movie of the Week / The Goldbergs / Daws Butler Commercials / Saturday Morning Commercials / Captain Kangaroo / Chicago Local Kiddie Shows / Boston Local TV / Philly Local TV / NYC Local Kid Shows / Amos 'n' Andy / Electric Company / Bette Davis / Judy Garland / Christmas Specials / Redd Foxx / Good Times / Sitcom Houses / What's Happening! / Winky Dink & You /  Sonny & Cher / Smothers Brothers / Commercial Icons of the 1960s / Soupy Sales / The Carpenters / Route 66 / Bozo / The Carpenters Christmas Specials / Local Kid Shows / Death of TV's Superman / Wonderama / Sesame Street / Bob Hope Specials / Little Rascals / 1980's Retro Gay T-Shirts / 1980's TV Wrestling / Fess Parker / Howdy Doody / TV Blog / Lost In Space / Pinky Lee / 1980's LA Punk Rock / Alex Toth Book / TV Terrorists / Irwin Allen / The Untouchables / Carol Burnett Show / Batman TV Show / Green Hornet / Today Show History / Our Gang / Doris Day Show / 1970's Commercials For Women / Bill Cosby in the 1970s / The Golddiggers / Lola Falana / 1970s TV Shows / David Bowie on TV / Hudson Brothers / Jackie Gleason / Hollywood Squares / Match Game / Bob Keeshan / Gumby / The Flip Wilson Show / Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour / The Bobby Darin Show / The Richard Pryor big brotherShow / George Burns / Lucy's Lost Christmas Special / Classic Christmas Toy Commercials / Cricket On The Hearth / 1950's Holiday Shows / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Christmas Carol on TV / The Yule Log / Celebrity Commercials / Rudolph / Movie Posters & More! 

Classic Commercials on DVD “Amazing Mr Peabody on DVD Dick Van Dyke Show on  DVDs The TAMI Show “The inspector gadget DVD
Looking for classic TV DVDs? See below:
TV Commercials on DVD Wrestling DVDs Classic TV Books
Jim Longworth Christmas Specials TV Shows on BLU-RAY