Matlock (TV series)

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Matlock is an American television legal drama, starring Andy Griffith in the title role of Ben Matlock.[1] The show originally aired from September 23, 1986 to May 8, 1992 on NBC, where it replaced The A-Team, then from November 5, 1992 until May 7, 1995 on ABC.

The format of the show was similar to that of CBS's Perry Mason, with Matlock identifying the murderer and then confronting him or her in a dramatic courtroom scene near the end. One difference, however, was that whereas Mason usually exculpated his clients at a pretrial hearing, Matlock usually secured an acquittal at trial, from the jury.

In the United States, the series can be seen on cable television networks Hallmark Movie Channel, and WGN America. It has also been on Hallmark Channel, but went on hiatus in May 2009; however, the network retains its rights to air the show.

Contents

Background

The show centers on widower Benjamin L. "Ben" Matlock (played by Andy Griffith). Matlock is a renowned, folksy, popular yet cantankerous defense attorney, (based on attorney "Big" Ben Baker, from Young Harris, Georgia). He has also solved and subsequently won at trial almost every case he has taken, especially murder cases where everyone else was sure his client was guilty. Usually, at the end of the episode, the person who is sitting on the stand being questioned by Matlock is the actual killer.

He studied law at Harvard, based his law practice in Atlanta, Georgia, and lived in a modest farmhouse in a neighboring suburb. He is known to visit the scene of the crime to discover clues otherwise overlooked and come up with viable, alternative theories of the crime in question (usually murder). Matlock also has conspicuously finicky fashion sense; he generally appeared in court wearing a trademark light gray suit and, over the nine seasons, was seen behind the wheel of three generations of the Ford Crown Victoria— always an all-gray model (Andy Griffith always drove Ford products in his 1960's show, The Andy Griffith Show, as with Matlock). Some Mayberry alumni had guest shots on the drama: Don Knotts, Aneta Corsaut, Betty Lynn and Arlene Golonka.

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