- 1 Season
Matlock is an American legal procedural about a widowed criminal defense attorney in Atlanta. The series aired on two U.S. networks from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s. The series' protagonist is lawyer Ben Matlock, played by TV veteran Andy Griffith. A Harvard Law School graduate, the crusty Matlock lives in a renovated farmhouse in the suburbs of Atlanta, but spends most of his time in his office within the city. A criminal defense attorney, Matlock's responsibility is to have his clients acquitted of the crimes they are accused of. Most episodes of this 60-minutes drama showed Matlock's hands-on approach to defending his clients. This included visiting the scene of the crime to get a handle of the environment and enlisting the services of a number of private investigators employed by his firm. The second half of each episode took place in the courtroom, where the actual perpetrator of the crime would be tripped up by Matlock while they were on the witness stand. Matlock had a rotating group of lawyers and private investigators who assisted him during the show's run. In the first season, Matlock worked with his prosecuting attorney daughter Charlene (Linda Purl). When she left at the end of the first season, Matlock replaced her with lawyer Michelle Thomas (Nancy Stafford). In later seasons she was joined by Matlock's other daughter Leanne, a prosecuting attorney from Philadelphia. Private investigators assisting Matlock in his cases included Tyler Hudson (Kene Holliday), who remained with the show for the first three seasons, and former sheriff Conrad McMasters (Clarence Gilyard, Jr.), who was Hudson's replacement. In later seasons, McMasters was joined by Cliff Lewis (Daniel Roebuck) as a second investigator. He eventually became the prime investigator when McMasters left the series. Created by Dean Hargrove, Matlock premiered on the American television network NBC in September of 1986. In 1992, the series moved to ABC, where it completed its run in May of 1995 after 195 episodes.