Matlock is an American television legal drama, starring Andy Griffith in the title role of criminal defense attorney Ben Matlock. The show, produced by The Fred Silverman Company, Dean Hargrove Productions, Viacom Productions and Paramount Television originally aired from September 23, 1986 to May 8, 1992 on NBC; and from November 5, 1992 until May 7, 1995 on ABC.The show's format is similar to that of CBS's Perry Mason, with Matlock identifying the perpetrators and then confronting them in dramatic courtroom scenes. One difference, however, was that whereas Mason usually exculpated his clients at a pretrial hearing, Matlock usually secured an acquittal at trial, from the jury.
Where to Watch Matlock
Where to stream every episode from all 9 seasons of Matlock. Filter these episodes by what's available to watch free or on your streaming services using the tabs above.
Season 1Rent or Buy
S01 E01Mar 4, 1986
Diary of a Perfect Murder (1) Mar 4, 1986 Atlanta lawyer Ben Matlock takes on the high profile case of a television reporter accused of murdering his former wife. The case is complicated when his daughter Charlene develops feelings for the accused killer.
S01 E02Mar 4, 1986
Diary of a Perfect Murder (2) Mar 4, 1986 Atlanta lawyer Ben Matlock takes on the high profile case of a television reporter accused of murdering his former wife. The case is complicated when his daughter Charlene develops feelings for the accused killer.
S01 E03Sep 24, 1986
The Judge Sep 24, 1986 Ben Matlock accepts the pro bono case of Kevin Meredith, a young man accused of murdering his lover, whom Ben soon realises had a much more powerful lover.
S01 E04Oct 1, 1986
The Stripper Oct 1, 1986 Years ago, Ben represented Jason Hardiman in his divorce proceedings, and upon his instructions, offered Carla a small fortune to relinquish custody of their son. She refused, and eventually won. Now Carla can only find work as a stripper. Jason goes to her work and again threatens to take their son Jimmy from her. When he is found at the edge of death, Carla is the immediate suspect. He is murdered while in the hospital, and Carla is the prime suspect. Ben's suspicions soon turn to a woman named Helen Shelly, but unfortunately, it's hard to find her. Doug Templitt seems to be the only one who knows where she is.
S01 E05Oct 8, 1986
The Affair Oct 8, 1986 Matlock represents the a maid accused of killing her employer, at the request of the man's widow. The request is a little odd, but it seems Christina Ward wants people to know exactly what kind of man her husband was. Matlock is more than a little uncomfortable when it seems Charlene is developing a tendre for the woman's son Clark, an old college chum of Charlene's.
S01 E06Oct 15, 1986
The Seduction Oct 15, 1986 Matlock is hired to defend Brad Bingham, an aging football star with a reputation as a womanizer who was about to be cut from the team. Charlene is resistant to Ben's choice, as she believes everything the tabloids have to say about Brad...not only that, but years earlier, he'd had a brief relationship with her friend Ellen Hawley, who had tried to kill herself after they broke up. As the case continues, Charlene realises that not everything that's printed in the papers is true and that maybe Ellen wasn't quite honest with her, even though a call girl (Caryn Nelson) hired to make Brad look guilty almost convinces her that he is.
S01 E07Oct 29, 1986
The Don (1) Oct 29, 1986 When Nicholas Baron, a well known mobster, is accused of murdering one of his rivals, he asks Ben Matlock to represent him. Ben initially refuses, but agrees to represent Baron despite threats on his own life. He soon meets the entire family, and realises that despite what Baron has always done for a living, at heart he's a worried father who wants to clear his name.
S02 E01Sep 23, 1987
The Billionaire (1) Sep 23, 1987 Matlock flies all the way the England to represent Eric Gordon, a man accused of murdering his wealthy businessman father. His sister Laura is convinced of his innocence, but brother Mitch isn't so sure.
S02 E02Sep 23, 1987
The Billionaire (2) Sep 23, 1987 Matlock flies all the way the England to represent Eric Gordon, a man accused of murdering his wealthy businessman father. His sister Laura is convinced of his innocence, but brother Mitch isn't so sure.
S02 E03Sep 30, 1987
Blind Justice Sep 30, 1987 Michelle agrees to defend college chum Andrea Morrow after she is accused of murdering her abusive lover, Clay Graham. Matlock soon becomes convinced that the murderer was Clay's blind 'friend', Arthur Hampton, but will have a devil of a time proving how a blind man managed to carry off a near-perfect murder.
S02 E04Oct 21, 1987
The Annihilator Oct 21, 1987 When Matlock agrees to defend Cassie's friend Judy, he is shocked to learn that Judy's husband had another wife. As the case continues, Matlock learns that there was also a third Mrs. Benson, and that Kevin Benson managed to successfully maintain three separate wives in three separate households.
S02 E05Oct 28, 1987
The Husband Oct 28, 1987 Matlock reluctantly takes the case when Melinda Stuart's source is murdered. The biggest problem is that she's more interested in listening to what FBI Agent Paul Davies has to say than she is in listening to him.
S02 E06Nov 4, 1987
The Power Brokers (1) Nov 4, 1987 After Agent Davies offers Melinda an exclusive, she changes her plea to guilty. Matlock tries to talk to her, especially after it's revealed that the person Melinda was talking to was an imposter.
S02 E07Oct 14, 1987
The Power Brokers (2) Oct 14, 1987 Matlock reluctantly agrees to represent a famous wrestler when he's accused of killing a long-time rival, but only when Cassie begs him to. The key witness in the case is a young girl who was a die-hard fan of the dead wrestler, but whose story might not be completely accurate.
S03 E01Nov 30, 1988
The Lemon Nov 30, 1988 When Matlock's new neighbor, Les 'Ace' Calhoun, is charged with murdering the used car salesman who sold him a lemon, Matlock takes the case to prove that more than one person had a motive, and that Les is not the guilty party.
S03 E02Dec 7, 1988
The Ambassador (1) Dec 7, 1988 Anthony Stewart is charged with murdering Michael Russell, the husband of the woman he was sleeping with. Although Stewart, a visiting British ambassador, has diplomatic immunity, he refuses to use it, and wants to clean his name. Matlcok agrees to defend the young ambassador, but his case is almost over when Stewart is nearly killed in a hit and run.
S03 E03Dec 14, 1988
The Ambassador (2) Dec 14, 1988 After Anthony Stewart is nearly killed in a hit and run, Matlock realises that the only way to clear him is to find Shelby Russell, the supposed witness whose claim put Stewart in the hot seat in the first place. He tracks her down via her mother, and tells her that if she doesn't take the stand, her lover will go down for Michael Russell's murder.
S03 E04Dec 21, 1988
The Mistress Dec 21, 1988 Matlock agrees to defend Laura McCord after she's charged with murdering her husband David in a jealous rage. He and Julie soon realise that David's lover is the key in all this, but she seems to have disappeared! Ben and Julie head to the mountains to find her, and realise that the young woman is connected to organized crime.
S03 E05Jan 4, 1989
The D.J. Jan 4, 1989 When radio disk jockey Arthur Saxon is accused of murdering rival D.J. Robby Moore, Michelle asks Ben to defend him. Ben agrees because Michelle swears he's the kindest, most gentlest man she's ever known, but Ben soon realises that Michelle's new boyfriend is anything but.
S03 E06Jan 11, 1989
The Captain Jan 11, 1989 Captain Edward Hanna was once a fine, fine cop. Unfortunately, his actions over the years have netted him with the nickname 'The Mad Hatter'. When police officer Jim Shanley is found dead after spouting off about Hanna, sergeant Jerry Reese is charged with the crime. Everyone thinks he's guilty, especially Shanley's partner, Donna Dawson. In defending Reese, Matlock begins to realise that his old friend Hanna isn't the cop he used to be.
S03 E07Jan 18, 1989
The Vendetta Jan 18, 1989 Michelle is taken hostage by Ned Billings, who blames Matlock for his brother (James Billings, The Professor) committing suicide after being convicted of murder, thanks to Ben. Tyler and Julie also show up and end up as Ned's hostages, and they try to use the tactics they've seen Matlock use in courtrooms and interrogations to stay alive and convince Ned not to kill Ben.
S04 E01Sep 20, 1989
The Hunting Party (1) Sep 20, 1989 Spencer Hamilton came to Manteo, North Carolina, as soon as he could to locate the man who killed his brother, Frank, in a supposed duck-hunting accident. When Ryan Bartell (the shooter) is found dead, Matlock heads to North Carolina to defend Hamilton, and finds an unlikely ally in local deputy Conrad McMasters.
S04 E02Sep 20, 1989
The Hunting Party (2) Sep 20, 1989 Spencer Hamilton came to Manteo, North Carolina, as soon as he could to locate the man who killed his brother, Frank, in a supposed duck-hunting accident. When Ryan Bartell (the shooter) is found dead, Matlock heads to North Carolina to defend Hamilton, and finds an unlikely ally in local deputy Conrad McMasters.
S04 E03Sep 27, 1989
The Good Boy Sep 27, 1989 After her husband's death she never thought she'd love again, but it Bonnie soon found her future with Cal Ritter. The only problem is that her son, Tony Morgen, hates Cal. When Tony kills Cal and frames his mother for her murder, Matlock takes the case to prove that Bonnie is innocent, but to prove her innocence, he will have to destroy her son.
S04 E04Oct 11, 1989
The Best Seller Oct 11, 1989 When Elizabeth, a friend of famous novelist Cynthia Slayton, is found dead after taking Cynthia's prescribed allergy medication, suspicion falls on Cynthia's long-suffering husband Philip, a friend of Julie's. While trying to clear his name, Julie realises that not everything is as it seems in the Slayton house.
S04 E05Oct 18, 1989
The Ex Oct 18, 1989 Julie heads to Baltimore to defend a man accused of killing the newspaper editor who dragged his name through the mud. Matlock comes to town to help her because Conrad is busy on another case, and helps Julie out when the prosecutor, who just happens to be her ex-husband, does whatever he can to trip Julie up.
S04 E06Oct 25, 1989
The Clown Oct 25, 1989 Matlock agrees to defend aging clown Homer Fleming after he's charged with the murder of his long-time partner, Simon. After asking Conrad to go undercover as a roustabout at the circus, Matlock starts to realise that everyone had a very good reason to hate Simon Le Simple.
S04 E07Nov 1, 1989
The Star Nov 1, 1989 Catherine McKay is an aging prima donna who only had one hit movie in her career. When she's found dead, stabbed in the chest with the knife that made her famous, suspicion lands on Noel Bishop, the horror film director that wanted her off his picture.
S05 E01Sep 19, 1990
The Mother Sep 19, 1990 Phyllis Todd confesses to the murder of her boss to protect her daughter. Matlock soon sees through his client's ruse.
S05 E02Sep 26, 1990
Nowhere to Turn (1) Sep 26, 1990 Matlock has to defend himself against a charge of murder when a judge who issued a contempt citation against him is found dead.
S05 E03Sep 26, 1990
Nowhere to Turn (2) Sep 26, 1990 Matlock has to defend himself against a charge of murder when a judge who issued a contempt citation against him is found dead.
S05 E04Oct 3, 1990
The Madam Oct 3, 1990 A call girl blackmails her employer to stay on the payroll, and when one of them winds up dead, it's Matlock to the rescue.
S05 E05Oct 10, 1990
The Personal Trainer Oct 10, 1990 When personal trainer Harry Slade is murdered, Matlock agrees to defend his roofer, George Wilton, on the condition that George finish Matlock's roof like he promised. The case is complicated when it turns out that not only was Harry sleeping with beautiful blonde DeeDee, but also Bridget Laird, and Harry's wife and step-daughter!
S05 E06Oct 24, 1990
The Narc Oct 24, 1990 When Ed Tobias is found murdered after exposing his dirty co-workers to the top brass (they sold the drugs they didn't turn in), Lt. Brooks asks Matlock to defend his accused killer, Johnny Bauer, the only one in the unit who wasn't on the take. In between playing catch with Conrad, Matlock agrees to defend Bauer, even though he feels Bauer is just as dirty as his friends were because he knew what they were up to and he kept quiet.
S05 E07Oct 31, 1990
The Secret (1) Oct 31, 1990 When a gambler is accused of killing his bookie, Matlock agrees to take the case, believing that someone from the bookie's past is the guilty party.
S06 E01Oct 19, 1991
The Witness Killings (1) Oct 19, 1991 Matlock goes back to his hometown for a family reunion, but things turn sticky when a good friend of his nephew's son dies, and his rival is charged with murder. Not only that, but the whole town seems to hate Matlock, as many of them believe he thinks he's better than them because he's a big city lawyer.
S06 E02Oct 19, 1991
The Witness Killings (2) Oct 19, 1991 After a second young man dies under mysterious circumstances, Matlock continues to do his best to defend Russ Gifford, and tries to keep his animosity with the town at a minimum while Julie makes friends with the local women, and Conrad investigates the tattoo that ties the whole case together.
S06 E03Oct 26, 1991
The Strangler Oct 26, 1991 Serial killer Jeffrey Speidel strangles his victims. When Matlock gets inovlved in the case, Speidel makes a point of turning Matlock into his next target...his goal is to ruin Matlock publicly before killing him.
S06 E04Nov 2, 1991
The Nightmare Nov 2, 1991 After a bump on the head, Matlock has a nightmare where he is trapped in the Old West, and needs to save Conrad from an angry lynch mob when he is accused of murder. His is frequently distracted by Michelle, a beautiful saloon girl, and Julie, the vengeance-seeking sister of the dead man.
S06 E05Nov 9, 1991
The Marriage Counselor Nov 9, 1991 When a marriage counselor is murdered, the suspects include not only his fellow co-workers, but also the couples he was treating...apparently part of his treatment involved seducing the female half of the couples.
S06 E06Nov 16, 1991
The Dame Nov 16, 1991 While dining with Julie, a chance meeting with a woman causes Ben to relate the story of his investigation, many years earlier, of a widow that Ben's father (played by Andy Griffith) believes may have been involved with the death of his friend - her husband.
S06 E07Nov 30, 1991
The Suspect (1) Nov 30, 1991 Matlock defends a wealthy widow charged with the murder of her husband, while Michelle helps to defend a father accused of murdering the drug dealer who got his child hooked...a dealer who just happened to be a cop.
S07 E01Nov 6, 1992
The Vacation Nov 6, 1992 Matlock and Leanne head to the beach where Leanne reunites with three good friends from college, and Matlock reunites with someone from his past who just happens to be the brother of the woman whose heart Matlock 'broke' years earlier.
S07 E02Nov 6, 1992
The Vacation (2) Nov 6, 1992
S07 E03Nov 20, 1992
The Legacy (1) Nov 20, 1992 After Brian Martell is arrested and charged with the murder of Arthur Kendall, Matlock decides to get involved because, years earlier, his father Charlie had been a suspect in the murder of Arthur's father Jake -- a murder Brian's father Lee was convicted of. Brian is convinced that Matlock is doing it to make up for Lee spending years in prison for a crime that Charlie Matlock convicted, but Matlock swears neither man committed the crime. While investigating the murder of the playwright, their trail soon leads to the woman he was having an affair with, and her very angry son young son.
S07 E04Nov 20, 1992
The Legacy (2) Nov 20, 1992 Although Josh Winfield confessed to the murder of Arthur Kendall, it doesn't take long for the police to blow holes in his story. Matlock then has Conrad take a closer look at Yolanda Bergstrom, the woman Kendall had been with not long before he died, and Conrad then finds there is another connection between Yolanda and Kendall -- her sister Sabrina. Leanne remains convinced that Charlie Matlock had nothing to do with Jake Kendall's murder, and she, Brian and Matlock all investigate the thirty year old case. Matlock continues to date Elaine, trying desperately to be the healthy, fit man he thinks she wants.
S07 E05Jan 15, 1993
The Ghost Jan 15, 1993 Mike Wilson begs Matlock to help his wife Janice out when she is accused of a crime. Matlock approaches Janice's lawyer, who thinks Matlock is pulling his leg when he says that Mike talked to him, because Janice is on trial for killing Mike. Matlock finally accepts that he is seeing a ghost and, after doing a little investigating on his own, convinces Mike's wife to allow him to defend her. Unfortunately, Matlock has more than just a ghost to deal with. It seems almost everyone who knew Mike Wilson had some reason to kill him.
S07 E06Jan 22, 1993
The Class Jan 22, 1993 Matlock talks to a law class about his career, and the subject of 'the perfect murder' comes up. When student Eddie Price disappears after getting into it with Mark Randall, the university believes that Matlock's speech may have incited one of the students to murder. To clear his name, Matlock and Leanne decide to engage the students into an investigation into Eddie's disappearance, and soon learn that Eddie had more than they thought in common with not only Mark, but also Bobby Simpson as well -- they had all shared the same girlfriend.
S07 E07Jan 29, 1993
The Singer Jan 29, 1993 Matlock defends a producer accused of killing a singer, and treis to prove that one of the other men at the recording studio was guilty.
S08 E01Sep 24, 1993
The Play Sep 24, 1993 After an actress in The Last Cry of the Hounds is murdered, Matlock agrees to represent the director of a local community play...on the condition that the director not cut him from the play.
S08 E02Oct 1, 1993
The Fatal Seduction (1) Oct 1, 1993 Matlock, Leanne and Cliff go to North Carolina to attend Billy's sister's funeral. While there, they end up getting involved in a pair of murders connected to two young women. As a way to catch them, Leanne sets up a trap using Cliff as bait.
S08 E03Oct 8, 1993
The Fatal Seduction (2) Oct 8, 1993
S08 E04Oct 15, 1993
The Diner Oct 15, 1993 Matlock takes Leanne to meet Martha Jordan, the wife of his very first client back in 1962. Stan Shaw was the cook at the local diner when he was accused of killing the local sheriff after a disagreement in the diner. Charlie Matlock pushed Ben, who had recently quit his job as a district attorney to take the case, but not everyone in town was happy with the Matlocks siding with the black cook accused of killing the white sheriff. Despite Cyrus Jordan's attempts to get the Matlocks to drop his case for their own safety, father and son were determined to prove that Cyrus never killed anyone.
S08 E05Oct 29, 1993
The View Oct 29, 1993 Matlock realizes he has become a witness in a murder case involving two theater actors and an unhappy husband.
S08 E06Nov 5, 1993
The Last Laugh Nov 5, 1993 A comedian becomes accused of murdering another comic who had insulted him on stage.
S08 E07Nov 12, 1993
The Capital Offense Nov 12, 1993 Matlock continues his five-year struggle to save a con artist from the electric chair.
S09 E01Oct 14, 1994
The Accused (1) Oct 14, 1994 Matlock defends a journalist who killed an underworld figure in self-defense after meeting with him for an interview.
S09 E02Oct 14, 1994
The Accused (2) Oct 14, 1994
S09 E03Oct 21, 1994
The Scandal Oct 21, 1994 When Matlock defends an attorney accused of murdering her boss, he also uncovers a history of sexual harrassment involving the law firm.
S09 E04Oct 28, 1994
The Dare Oct 28, 1994 An eccentric millionare tells Matlock that he couldn't solve the perfect murder if it were handed to him on a silver platter. To prove his point, he kills Matlock's friend, detective Bob Brooks, and successfully frames another man for the crime.
S09 E05Nov 4, 1994
The Tabloid Nov 4, 1994 Michael defends U.S. senatorial candidate Carol Davis when she's accused of murdering tabloid editor Ross Buckley. Jerri goes undercover at the paper to prove that someone there may have had an even bigger motive than Carol.
S09 E06Nov 11, 1994
The Coach Nov 11, 1994 A basketball coach is accused of murdering an influential booster.
S09 E07Nov 18, 1994
The Dating Game Nov 18, 1994 When Cliff's friend Fred is accused of murdering Melissa, a woman he met through the dating service Perfect Harmony, he and Matlock take the case, and Jerri goes undercover to investigate. She sets herself up as one of the datees, much to the frustration of a loca police officer. Unfortunately, she has better luck than she hoped, as one of her dates is a killer in disguise.