28 years ago, the late great Andy Griffith hung up his signature gray suit with the end of Matlock. Over the course of nine seasons as the brilliant, unassuming, and cantankerous old criminal defense attorney Ben Matlock, he resolved case after case with remarkable consistency making him one of the most popular crime solvers on television and a favorite of Abe Simpson. Now, the series is coming back to CBS, and it’s time for another star, Oscar-winning Misery actress Kathy Bates, to step in and prove her skills in the courtroom. A new trailer for the reboot series shows Bates charming her way into a job as she uses her age to her advantage.
The new Matlock features Bates as Madeline “Matty” Matlock, a decorated attorney who comes out of retirement to join a prestigious law firm despite being in her 70s. Using her wit and her own unassuming demeanor, she becomes a star all over again, solving cases and bringing corruption to light. She gets to show off her talents in the trailer, using Matlock’s status as a “damn near invisible” old woman to inch closer to potential suspects or even to simply get her foot in the door. Once she proves to the firm that she can be useful by stealthily gaining information on what one of their clients is willing to pay, she goes to work on a case, garnering sympathy from a criminal by pretending to be an old friend of their mother.
Bates‘s Matlock may be a bit different from her folksy down-home super sleuth predecessor, but the new series still takes plenty of inspiration from the Griffith-led show. The trailer even acknowledges the existence of Ben Matlock as a famous television detective, firmly setting these two in separate worlds but with an undeniable connection. Bates already seems capable of capturing that same charm, cracking jokes and playing to her strengths in a way that quickly endears her to her colleagues on-screen.
Matlock Headlines a New Slate of Television for CBS
Matlock will slide into the Sunday 8 p.m. time slot on CBS in the Fall as part of the updated slate the network recently put out. It’s one of three new shows slated to premiere on the network, joining The Good Wife spinoff Elsbeth and Poppa’s House from Damon Wayans Sr. and Damon Wayans Jr. The network initially faced a bit of upheaval with its upcoming schedule after canceling one of its most popular, albeit expensive, shows in S.W.A.T., but cooler heads prevailed, and CBS was able to hash out a deal with Sony for one final season.
In addition to Bates, Matlock will star Jason Ritter, who also recently joined his wife Melanie Lynskey in Yellowjackets Season 2, as well as Skye P. Marshall, David Del Rio, and Leah Lewis. Kat Coiro directed the pilot from a script by Jennie Snyder Urman who also serves as an executive producer with Bates, Joanna Klein, Eric Christian Olsen, and John Will.
There’s no exact premiere date yet for Matlock. Check out the trailer below.