- Network: ABC
- Series Premiere Date: Sep 23, 1986
- Starring: Clarence Gilyard Jr., Daniel Roebuck, Nancy Stafford
Although Matlock is no longer producing episodes, it still airs in many locations as re-runs. Although it's best to check your television guide for times and channels, some of the following networks carry the program, the show is current carried on CMT Canada, ABC (WXYZ Detroit), TNT, WGN,Although Matlock is no longer producing episodes, it still airs in many locations as re-runs. Although it's best to check your television guide for times and channels, some of the following networks carry the program, the show is current carried on CMT Canada, ABC (WXYZ Detroit), TNT, WGN, Hallmark, and KDOC. Some networks may only be available in certain areas, so check your local listings.
Andy Griffith is back, playing as Benjamin Leighton Matlock, a widower, yet popular, folksy, turned annoying lawyer who is worth every dollar of his $100,000 fee. He in turn also has the knack of solving and winning almost every case he has taken, especially to others whom they felt the client is guilty, when the murderer is actually found guilty at the end of each episode (similiar to that of Perry Mason). He wears his signature light gray suit, and drives three generations of his Ford Crown Victoria automobile. He basically owned his law firm, where he shared his client's cases with his partners --- his associates, Charlene Matlock, his younger daughter, and Tyler Hudson, a black market whiz whom Matlock lured away from his work. At the beginning of its second season, Charlene left her father's work, where she was being replaced by Michelle Thomas, a young, attractive legal partner who tried her hand in baseball after she majored in Physical Education, but was against it or might've done better. She met Matlock on his business trip in England, and immediately hired her on the spot, after a cocky law student graduate, Cassie Phillips also applied for the same job, but he obviously turned her down, because Charlene was already working with her father at the time. Since he wasn't offering any associates, the only job he could give her was a file clerk, the next year, she disappeared. Often at times, no prosecutor would compete with Ben, except Julie March, a redheaded, feisty district attorney, and good friend of Ben's, who left Nebraska to work for the D.A.'s office. After Tyler left, during the fourth season, Matlock went on a business trip to North Carolina, where he met Conrad McMasters, a young, handsome former deputy who actually has a lot in common with his boss, from playing music to a fond in camping, as he gave him the job as a private investigator. He also drives the same brand of automobile that his boss drives, as well. Known to be a serious detective and one of Matlock's loyal partners, Conrad also falls in love with a number of girlfriends, who in turn, also had the passion of riding horses, when he used to work as a cowboy.
During the first series finale on NBC (which is actually the sixth season finale on Matlock), Michelle gave the job away to Matlock's older daughter, Leanne MacIntyre, an older divorced daughter who wanted to give her father a chance to work, after years of working at her sister's law firm in Philadelphia. At the beginning of the seventh season on ABC, law school graduate, Cliff Lewis, approaches Matlock in pursuit of working for him, complements of his dad, Billy Lewis, who is Ben's nemesis. After Conrad left, Lewis not only became a partner but also a private investigator to Matlock, while he hired his last private investigator Jerri Stone to help out in each of the cases, duting its ninth and final season. Unlike her boss's ex-employee, Conrad, they both have at least something in common, from driving Ford automobiles to singing classic songs, esp. lullabies.
September 1986 - May 1992: Tuesday on NBC
November 1992 - May 1995: Thursday on ABC… Expand
- Genre(s): Drama
Mr. Griffith effortlessly makes the most of the country sophisticate, and Dick Van Dyke is splendidly devious as the judge. Matlock makes easy viewing, so easy that you are liable to forget it's there.
There is a plot twist along the way, but what finally ensnares the judge in a courtroom confrontation is another development of Matlock's devising that seems completely implausible. [23 Sept 1986, p.C10]
The problem with Matlock is that Griffith isn't nearly as cute as either he, or NBC, think he is. Or maybe it's that he's playing it too cute. When Peter Falk played cat and mouse with his prey in that eccentric, unassuming manner, it was charming. When Griffith does it, he just seems phony, manipulative and obnoxious. He's more creepy than he is endearing. [23 Sept 1986, p.C6]
One of the worst courtroom shows in the history of the genre. Andy Griffith trundles out of the shadows to play crusty, rich Atlanta lawyer Ben Matlock in this abysmally implausible one-hour drama. [23 Sept 1986, p.B1]