Show Type: Detective Drama
First Telecast: September 26, 1982
Last Telecast: July 19, 1985
Matlock (Matt) Houston..... Lee Horsely
C.J. Parsons..... Pamela Hensley
Murray Chase..... George Wyner
Lieutenant Vince Novelli (1982-1983)..... John Aprea
Mama Novelli (1982-1983)..... Penny Santon
Bo (1982-1983)..... Dennis Fimple
Lamar Pettybone (1982-1983)..... Paul Brinegar
Chris (1982-1984)..... Cis Rundle
Detective Lieutenant Michael Hoyt (1983-1985)..... Lincoln Kilpatrick
Roy Houston (1984-1985)..... Buddy Ebsen
Bill Houston..... David Wayne
ABC described Matt Houston as a "stylish, glamorous action/adventure series packed with beautiful women, stunning sets and freewheeling adventure"... In other words, your standard TV adventure show of the time.
In this case, the handsome private eye was a millionaire's son who had managed his father's oil business in Texas, then moved to California to handle the family's off-shore drilling operations. They didn't seem to require much attention, so Matt spent his time on his favorite hobby - detective work.
Murray, his business partner, complained that Matt's sleuthing didn't make enough money to cover the $500 license fee, but super-rich Matt didn't care. Constantly surrounded by beautiful women, including his gorgeous Harvard-trained lawyer, C.J. Parsons, piloting his own private helicopter to and from his opulent penthouse, or racing around in sexy cars like his cream-colored Excalibur (later a more sedate Mercedes 380SL convertible), Matt evidently found other rewards in the work!
A slightly more down-to-earth flavor was added during the first season by friendly Lt. Novelli and his Mom, who never failed to invite Matt in to sample her Italian home-cooking, as well as Bo and Lamar, two quarreling cowboys who came along from Matt's Texas ranch to help him out. Even Matt's father, Bill showed up a couple of times. However, hominess was out in the second season as Matt turned over his fabulously successful business enterprises to Murray and devoted himself full time to detective work, this time with Lt. Hoyt as his much less cooperative police adversary.
Matt's cases usually involved the rich and famous, sometimes with a bizarre twist such as the murdered gourmet found encased in a mold of orange gelatin, or the killer robot, or the beautiful female lifeguards being killed off by a shark.
In the fall of 1984, Matt's uncle Roy, a successful detective in his day, came out of retirement to work with his nephew, C.J. and "Baby" - the nickname for the high-tech computer C.J. accessed to locate information needed in their cases.
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