A gender-swapped reboot of Matlock is headed to CBS, with Oscar winner Kathy Bates taking on the role Andy Griffith made iconic. Dean Hargrove’s classic tv show was headlined by the one and only Griffith as Ben Matlock. He was a witty and wily attorney known for being frugal. The series concluded in 1995. However, it’s still celebrated today due to reruns broadcasted on MeTV, Pluto TV, and Hallmark Channel networks.
Bates will play Madeline Matlock in the reboot. Madeline is driving to re-enter a highly esteemed law firm after years away from the workforce. Her subtle disposition and crafty strategies have allowed her to win cases and expose corruption, as CBS reveals in its official logline. The new show draws inspiration from the original Matlock. However, it remains to be seen if there will be any links between Bates’ character and Griffith’s.
NBC’s Matlock ran for an impressive nine seasons from 1986-1992 before ABC took over and aired the last three. Following the successful CBS and Viacom re-merger, Paramount Global now possesses all rights to the series since it is owned by Viacom Productions, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
‘Matlock’ spun off two other hit series
In another example of classic tv having a shared universe before Marvel made it popular, Matlock spun off 2 other shows. The Matlock Shared Universe goes as follows. CBS was also home to Jake and the Fatman (1987-1992). This series featured James L. McShane as William Conrad and Joe Penny as Paul Baron – two characters first made famous in Matlock. CBS also aired Dick Van Dyke’s Diagnosis: Murder (1993-2002), a spin-off of Jake and the Fatman.
This isn’t the first time Bates has been the lead in a tv law series. Back in 2011, she played misfit lawyer Harriet Korn in Harry’s Law. The show only lasted two seasons. However, Bates was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at the Emmy Awards in both years.
In the 1970s, Kathy Bates embarked on her iconic career. She achieved a milestone when she won an Oscar for her spine-tingling performance in Misery, based on Stephen King’s bestseller. Along with her extensive resume, she has starred in the illustrious films Fried Green Tomatoes, Titanic, The Waterboy, About Schmidt, Richard Jewell, and The Blind Side. More recently, she has expanded her acting career to television. She had roles in American Horror Story and several recurring guest spots on popular shows such as The Office and The Big Bang Theory.
Meanwhile, Matlock isn’t the only familiar intellectual property CBS has ordered. CBS is bringing Robert and Michelle King back to their network with the third installment of The Good Wife/The Good Fight franchise, Elsbeth. Star Carrie Preston is set to reprise her Good Wife character in the series.