Matlock Season 1: Everything We Know So Far


The original Matlock was a long-running network TV series in the 1980s and 1990s. It starred TV legend Andy Griffith as attorney Ben Matlock.

Debuting in 1986 on NBC, Matlock remained on that network until 1992, when it moved to ABC, where it remained until it wrapped up in 1995.

Matlock was a popular legal procedural created by Dean Hargrove, who was also behind the original Perry Mason.

Ben Matlock was a defense attorney who often proved his clients innocent, usually in dramatic courtroom moments.

Since early 2023, a reboot of Matlock has been in the works, not on the original show’s networks but on CBS.

The other big change is that the Matlock character in this version is a woman, played by Kathy Bates.

Related: The Courtroom Crusaders: TV Lawyers You’d Want in Your Corner

Over a year ago, Matlock was greenlit as a planned midseason replacement series, but the arrival of Matlock was delayed due to the Hollywood strikes. Matlock is finally set to debut on CBS in the fall.

What is Matlock about?

Much like the original series, the new Matlock is about a lawyer who is older than most attorneys on TV and who often triumphs in dramatic courtroom moments.

According to the official description on CBS’ website, the Bates version of the character is named Madeline Matlock.

The premise also appears similar to the older version of the show, with a few differences.

Matlock “rejoins the workforce at a prestigious law firm, where she uses her unassuming demeanor and wily tactics to win cases and expose corruption from within.

Inspired by the classic television series of the same name,” the CBS site says.

Who is on Matlock?

According to a Deadline report in February, Kathy Bates is joined in the cast of Matlock by Skye P. Marshall, who plays another lawyer in the firm. Jason Ritter plays Marshall’s character’s ex-husband.

Veteran actor Beau Bridges will also play the head of the law firm and the father of Ritter’s character.

A different actor, Jamey Sheridan, whose credits include Homeland, played Bridges’ part in the show’s pilot.

Related: 9 TV Lawyers We’d Hire If Our Lives Depended On It

David Del Rio and Leah Lewis are also part of the cast as younger attorneys in the firm.

Del Rio’s character is described as “charismatic,” while Lewis’ is called “uber ambitious” in CBS’ description.

Who is behind the scenes on Matlock?

Jennie Snyder Urman, whose credits include Jane The Virgin and Charmed, has developed the new Matlock series.

Executive producers include Urman, Bates, Joanna Klein, Eric Christian Olsen, and John Will. The series is set up at CBS Television.

Dean Hargrove, the original creator of Matlock, is still alive but is not involved in the new series.

What car will Matlock drive?

In the original series, Ben Matlcok always drove a Ford Crown Victoria, although the model changed throughout its run.

It has not been announced what car, if any, Bates’ version of Matlock will drive on the new show.

Related: The Age of Nostalgia: Why Young Audiences Are Seeking Out Old TV

When will Matlock premiere?

The series does not yet have a premiere date, but it does have a time slot.

Per the May announcement of CBS’ fall schedule, Matlock will air on Thursdays at 9/8c.

How many episodes will Matlock have?

CBS has not announced how many episodes it has picked up Matlock for.

Is there a trailer for Matlock?

Yes. A three-minute trailer for Matlock surfaced in the summer of 2023, more than a year before the series will ultimately debut.

The trailer begins with Bates’s Matlock arriving at a business office and lamenting that when women reach a certain age, they “become damn near invisible.”

“It’s useful,” she adds, “because nobody sees us coming.”

The trailer also shows Matlock appearing in a crowded meeting of law firm personnel and interjecting to tell the lawyers that a recent settlement offer could have been larger.

Later in the trailer, it’s clear that she was right.

Related: When Going Off the Rails Makes Excellent TV

The clip establishes that Bates will speak in a folksy voice similar to Andy Griffith’s version of the character.

She also refers to “Matlock, like the old TV show,” indicating that it’s not set in the same universe as the older show.

And the trailer establishes that the character hadn’t practiced law since 1991.

A shorter, 90-second version of the trailer also arrived in 2023:

What other shows are in the CBS fall lineup?

Matlock is one of several new shows set to debut on CBS this fall. Others include Georgie & Mandy’s First Marriage, NCIS: Origins, Poppa’s House, The Summit, and Watson.

While Young Sheldon has ended its long network run, several established CBS shows will return in the fall.

These include 48 Hours, 60 Minutes, Blue Bloods, The Equalizer, FBI, FBI: International, FBI: Most Wanted, Fire Country, Ghosts, NCIS, The Neighborhood, Survivor, and S.W.A.T.

The Equalizer, like Matlock, is a reboot of a popular series from the 1980s.

Will the new Matlock be a hit?

Nobody, of course, knows until the series arrives.

However, the Matlock name means a great deal to viewers of a certain age, while CBS is known for attempting to cater its programming to older viewers.

Related: CBS Towers Over the Competition in Billions of Minutes Watched

Kathy Bates is also a respected actress with a strong reputation.

CBS viewers will likely remember her memorable guest appearance as the “ghost” of Charlie Sheen’s character on Two and a Half Men.

Will you be tuning into this new version of the classic series?

Have your say in the comments below!

Stephen Silver is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow more of his work on his Substack The SS Ben Hecht, by Stephen Silver.You can follow him on X.

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