Kathy Bates Is Leading a New ‘Matlock’ Series for CBS Coming Fall 2024

Brooke Palmer/CBS ©2023 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Kathy Bates as Madeline 'Matty' Matlock in CBS' upcoming legal drama Matlock, inspired by the beloved 1986-95 Andy Griffith series.

Get to Matlock! Matlock!

Okay, okay, Grampa Simpson, settle down! I’m getting to Matlock!

CBS recently announced its 2024-25 primetime lineup and among the slated new and returning titles is Matlock, a new legal drama starring Emmy and Oscar winner Kathy Bates as Madeline “Matty” Matlock, a brilliant septuagenarian who achieved success in her younger years and decides to rejoin the workforce at a prestigious law firm, where she uses her unassuming demeanor and wily tactics to win cases.

A shot from CBS' upcoming legal drama series <i>Matlock</i>, which is inspired by the 1986-95 Andy Griffith-led series of the same name. The shot is in a large office at a law firm. On the far left of the photo, seated behind a desk, is Skye P. Marshall as senior attorney Olympia Lawrence. She is a Black woman wearing a white business suit, and she is looking across the desk at two people standing to the far right side of the photo. The leftmost one of these two people (as seen by one looking at the photo) is Kathy Bates as Madeline "Matty" Matlock, wearing a dark business jacket over a beige dress shirt. To her immediate right is Jason Ritter as Julian Monroe, another lawyer at the firm. He is wearing a dark business suit, white dress shirt and maroon business tie.

 CBS Broadcasting

(L-R): Skye P. Marshall as Olympia Lawrence, Kathy Bates as Madeline ‘Matty’ Matlock and Jason Ritter as Julian Monroe in CBS’ upcoming Matlock series.


The network says the new Matlock is “inspired by the classic television series of the same name.” They are, of course, referring to Matlock, the beloved legal drama from back in the day that starred Andy Griffith as the title character, Atlanta country lawyer Ben Matlock, who was famed for his folksiness and Southern drawl, and rather Perry Mason-like when it came to his percentage of cases won as a defense attorney.

The Griffith-led series aired from 1986-92 on NBC, and 1992-95 on ABC. During that time, a sort of a running joke developed that Matlock was an “old people” show, hence the frequent mentions of it on The Simpsons  by Abe Simpson and others in his retirement home.

The upcoming Bates-led Matlock appears to have no direct connection story-wise to the original series (which actually is name-dropped in the show’s trailer), mostly just in its name and similar premise.

Here is more about that premise from CBS:

“Matty [Bates’ character] is assigned to Olympia (Skye P. Marshall), a senior attorney and key rainmaker with a thirst for justice. Olympia’s ex-husband, Julian (Jason Ritter), the son of the head of the firm, is intrigued by Matty and her clever skills. As Matty endeavors to establish herself in her new high-stakes world, she works alongside the firm’s younger associates — the charismatic Billy (David Del Rio) and the uber ambitious Sarah (Leah Lewis).”

A shot from the upcoming CBS legal drama <i>Matlock</i>, inspired by the Andy Griffith series. Seated in a law firm office from left to right are Nicole de Boer as Carlin, Kathy Bates as Madeline 'Matty' Matlock, David Del Rio as Billy Martinez and Leah Lewis as Sarah Yang. The red-haired De Boer is seated in a chair on the left side of the photo, wearing a green sweater, dark pants and blocky heeled shoes. reaching out and putting one hand over hers in a comforting manner is Matlock, who is seated to the far left (as a viewer sees it) of a couch with a coffee table in front of it and between the couch and Carlin's chair. Matlock is offering a concerned and caring look. Matock is wearing a grey-ish coat with a pink and white scarf. Seated to Matlock's immediate left on the couch is Martinez, a young man with dark hair wearing a dark overcoat, opened a bit to reveal a white dress shirt and dark tie with light brown lines on it. Right next to him is Yang, wearing a more informal but still fashionable springtime sort of jacket, unzipped to reveal a white dress shirt.

Brooke Palmer/CBS

(L-R): Nicole de Boer as Carlin, Kathy Bates as Matlock, David Del Rio as Billy Martinez and Leah Lewis as Sarah Yang.


The network also dropped the fun-looking trailer for the series. There is a meta reference at one point when we see Matty introducing herself as a lawyer to members of the firm, laughingly adding when she recognizes what they — and viewers — are probably thinking: “Yeah, Matlock, like the old TV show.” So Bates’ Matlock seems to exist in a universe where Griffith’s Matlock was a fictional series.

The trailer also demonstrates that Madeline Matlock has some of the “aw-shucks” attitude, and the ability to cunningly use that as well as society’s tendency to underestimate senior citizens, to achieve results in cases where younger folk may not, as Ben Matlock did.

And Matty brings up an additional hurdle that Ben Matlock did not have to contend with, when she mentions how it is especially women who become nearly invisible as they age.

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

Matlock is slated to debut in Fall 2024 on CBS it will air on Thursdays at 9pm ET/PT, following the latest CBS hit Ghosts.

So, what do you think, Matlock and/or legal drama fans? Will you be tuning in?

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