Night Heat (1985-1989)
Created by Sonny Grosso and Larry Jacobson
Night Heat was a 1980s late-night police television drama series created by former baseball player turned New York Police Officer, Sonny Grosso, whose 20+ year policing career included one of the largest heroin seizures in history. Grosso also consulted for The Godfather and served as a story editor for The Rockford Files and Baretta.
Night Heat was the first Canadian television series to air on an American television network. It would win two Gemini awards for Best Canadian Drama Series, a 1987 TV Guide award decided by mail-in ballots from readers, and a silver medal at the New York International TV and Film Festival
Filming on the Lakeshore Grounds
The exterior of the Mid-South Precinct Police Station shown in Night Heat was the Victoria Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, but the interior - where much of the series was filmed - was located inside of what is today Humber College's I Building, located along the south side of the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital campus. Production offices were located right next door in J Building.
During the filming of Night Heat, the city backdrop is never identified as Toronto. The intention was for it to remain a generic city that could have been located anywhere in the United States. To pull off the mystique, the crew often disguised their shots - most obvious, avoiding the CN Tower in skyline shots. But they also transformed the streets by adding garage to the too-clean streets. In 1987, a Toronto Magazine article recounted that the crew returned from a break one night only to find out that overly proficient Toronto street cleaners had picked up every part of their carefully distributed garbage!