Matt Houston is a wealthy Texan who moves to California to oversee his family's offshore drilling enterprises but spends most of his time dabbling in his private investigator hobby.

Creator:

Lawrence Gordon
Reviews
Popularity
2,864 ( 148)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



3   2   1  
1985   1984   1983   1982  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Hardcastle and McCormick (1983–1986)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A retired judge and his last defendant follow up on cases that were dismissed due to technicalities.

Stars: Brian Keith, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Joe Santos
The New Mike Hammer (1984–1989)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The cases of Mickey Spillane's classic private eye character.

Stars: Stacy Keach, Lindsay Bloom, Don Stroud
Barnaby Jones (1973–1980)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The exploits of milk-swilling, geriatric private eye Barnaby Jones.

Stars: Buddy Ebsen, Lee Meriwether, Mark Shera
Manimal (1983)
Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A man who can change himself into any animal fights crime.

Stars: Simon MacCorkindale, Melody Anderson, Reni Santoni
Vega$ (1978–1981)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Dan Tanna is a private investigator in the gambling town of Las Vegas, Nevada. Vegas can be seedy or glamorous, depending upon the point of view. This show is also notable for perhaps the ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Urich, Bart Braverman, Phyllis Davis
McMillan & Wife (1971–1977)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

San Francisco Police Commissioner Stewart "Mac" McMillan and his amateur detective wife keep their marriage unpredictable while solving the city's most baffling crimes.

Stars: Rock Hudson, John Schuck, Susan Saint James
T.J. Hooker (1982–1986)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The weekly adventures of tough-as-nails veteran police officer Sgt. T.J. Hooker, who rides the beat with his rookie partner Vince Romano.

Stars: William Shatner, Heather Locklear, Adrian Zmed
Cannon (1971–1976)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Frank Cannon is an overweight, balding ex-cop with a deep voice and expensive tastes in culinary pleasures; he becomes a high-priced private investigator.

Stars: William Conrad, Patrick Culliton, Tom Pittman
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A veteran cop with more than twenty years of experience is teamed with a young Inspector to solve crimes in San Francisco, California.

Stars: Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, Reuben Collins
Simon & Simon (1981–1989)
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two brothers of disparate tastes and manners run a private detective agency.

Stars: Jameson Parker, Gerald McRaney, Mary Carver
Soap (1977–1981)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The soap-operish antics of two families: the Campbells and the Tates.

Stars: Katherine Helmond, Rod Roddy, Richard Mulligan
Jake and the Fatman (1987–1992)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Veteran district attorney "Fatman" McCabe solves cases with the help of his easygoing private investigator partner Jake Styles.

Stars: William Conrad, Joe Penny, Alan Campbell
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Lee Horsley Lee Horsley ...  Matt Houston 67 episodes, 1982-1985
Pamela Hensley ...  C.J. Parsons 67 episodes, 1982-1985
Lincoln Kilpatrick ...  Lt. Michael Hoyt 44 episodes, 1983-1985
Cis Rundle ...  Secretary / ... 30 episodes, 1982-1985
Edit

Storyline

Each week Matt Houston, a successful private investigator, takes on a new case. The cases usually involve murder, and always involve beautiful women in skimpy outfits. Drawing on his years of experience and investigative skills, and with a little help from his assistant, C.J., Houston always manages to bring the bad guys (or girls) to justice. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 1982 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(65 episodes) | (2 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Buddy Ebsen appeared in just 22 episodes, joining the series as Matts uncle Roy for its third and final season. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Up Late with Alec Baldwin: Episode #1.4 (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Rich Playboy P.I.
9 August 2011 | by Jason Daniel BakerSee all my reviews

A wealthy Texan named Matt Houston (Lee Horsley) who also happens to be from Houston lives in Los Angeles where he has a penthouse office, helicopter and fleet of cars. He keeps an eye on various divisions of his company and rather improbably works as private investigator too with the aid of his paid staff including his girl Friday C.J. Parsons, a Harvard educated lawyer. Houston also worked closely with his friend LAPD Lieutenant Vince Novelli (John Aprea).

Early on in the series Houston investigated the deaths of rich friends in whodunits with an ironic tone. By the second season, the show having jettisoned numerous supporting actors from the first season, took on a more serious edge and Houston began to distance himself from his business interests while investigating darker criminal cases with the grudging co-operation of grouchy police lieutenant Michael Hoyt (Lincoln Kilpatrick).

By the third season Houston and C.J. are living together in a smaller apartment and operating a private investigation business as Houston has turned his financial assets over to his Uncle Roy (Buddy Ebsen). The attempt to align the lifestyle of the main characters with other detectives on TV did not improve the ratings.

Matt Houston was an accidental success on the ABC network that copied other detective shows and stayed on the air defying most expectations because the competing networks (CBS and NBC) had long-running series (Archie Bunker's Place and CHiPS respectively) in the same time-slot with declining viewer-ship that they would end up shelving.

After ABC moved its time-slot opposite Falcon Crest on CBS on Friday Nights at 10 pm Matt Houston rode off into the sunset in Spring 1985 having lost the ratings shootout over the course of its remaining two season.

A lot of people remember it as a show they only watched during commercial breaks on the other networks or when the other shows on the other channels were showing reruns especially during the summer.


8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 6 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed