Ben Matlock is a very expensive criminal defense attorney, who charges one hundred thousand dollars to take a case. Fortunately, he's worth every penny, as he and his associates defend his clients by finding the real killer.


Dean Hargrove
745 ( 5)




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1995   1994   1993   1992   1991   1990   … See all »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Andy Griffith ...  Ben Matlock / ... 181 episodes, 1986-1995
Nancy Stafford ...  Michelle Thomas / ... 109 episodes, 1986-1993
Julie Sommars ...  Julie March 95 episodes, 1987-1994
Clarence Gilyard Jr. ...  Conrad McMasters 85 episodes, 1989-1993


In this legal drama, Andy Griffith plays Ben Matlock, a criminal-defense lawyer based in Atlanta. Matlock typically identifies and confronts the perpetrator in a dramatic courtroom scene. His goal, most often, is to prove reasonable doubt of his client's guilt. Rumor suggests that the character is based on lawyer Bobby Lee Cook, Georgia's colorful "dean of criminal-defense attorneys." Written by writermaia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Did You Know?


In Matlock: The Billionaire (1987), Trader Joe's (his favorite catalogue store) had a sale on his favorite shoes, so he bought a pair. However, for some reason, he discovered they were incredibly tight and painful and reasoned that breaking them in was the only problem, until the shoes remained unpleasantly uncomfortable. Cassie later supplied him with a new set of shoes that came in from Trader Joe's along with an apology. Turns out they sent him the wrong size. Matlock puts on his new shoes and finds himself overjoyed with the immediate difference in how comfortable they are. See more »


Prison and jail cells are frequently shown without toilets in them. In the United States of America, the vast majority of jail cells and all prison cells have toilets in them. See more »


Ben Matlock: [Ben is escaping from his insurance agent into another room, and is praying to God] Oh God, please cut out his tongue!
See more »


Featured in Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media (1992) See more »

User Reviews

Watched WAY more shows than I care to admit
11 March 2006 | by KUAlum26See all my reviews

For the first six seasons,I watched this show on Tuesday nights. I went through all of high school and even into freshman year in college watching these shows. I mention this because while it's tempting for me to tee of on this show for a litany of "crimes"(i.e.junk,t.v.lawyering,plot coincidences,formulaic writing,etc.),I have to say that this show was at least entertaining enough to keep it week-to-week watchable.

Andy Griffith exudes WAY too much charm and slyness as the eponymous Ben MAtlock,a crafty souther lawyer in Atlanta who always is able to get his clients to beat murder raps because they are(surprise!)innocent,and the real killer has invariably framed him/her. This,along with "Jake and the FAtman" were sort of the twin terrors of Fred Silverman and Dean HArgrove produced, safe,legalese t.v. shows of the late eighties that appealed to a mostly older demographic. While I wouldn't recommend this show overall,I will say that it's a decent time-waster if you're around the house,want the TV on and have no taste for soap operas,talk-shows,game shows(like there are many of THOSE around 'nymore)or any of the various forms of current mid-day filler,then find TBS,TNT or Hallmark and look this show up.

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Release Date:

3 March 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Matlock See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(195 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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