CBS is adding two famed attorneys to its roster.
Matlock, one of television’s most iconic crime dramas, is getting a new life at CBS. The Paramount Global-backed broadcast network has handed out a pilot order for a new take on the former defense attorney formerly played by Andy Griffith. Kathy Bates will take on the role of Madeline Matlock.
Additionally, The Good Wife/The Good Fight creators Robert and Michelle King are returning to CBS with the third series in the franchise, Elsbeth, with star Carrie Preston set to reprise her role in the drama that has also received a pilot order at the broadcast network. These are the first two drama pilot orders for CBS and are being eyed for the 2023-24 broadcast season.
Additionally, CBS is looking toward the 2024-25 broadcast season with dramas The Pact (which stems from its overall deal with the NAACP) and Sherlock Holmes entry Watson. Writers rooms for the pair are being opened as CBS eyes a potential script-to-series order for both as part of its increased focus on year-round development.
Matlock, a reboot of the former NBC and ABC procedural, hails from Jane the Virgin creator Jennie Snyder Urman via her overall deal with CBS Studios. Here’s the formal logline: “After achieving success in her younger years, the brilliant septuagenarian Madeline Matlock (Bates) rejoins the work force at a prestigious law firm where she uses her unassuming demeanor and wily tactics to win cases and expose corruption from within.” Inspired by classic television series of the same name. Urman, Joanna Klein and Eric Christian Olsen (NCIS: LA) exec produce alongside Bates.
The original Matlock was created by Dean Hargrove and starred Griffith and aired for nine seasons from 1986-1995, airing on NBC before moving to ABC for its final three. The drama, which remains popular in syndication, is owned by Viacom Productions. Rights to the series recently reverted to Paramount Global following the re-merger of CBS and Viacom. CBS, it’s worth noting, aired spinoff Jake and the Fatman for eight seasons from 1987-1992. Diagnosis: Murder was also a spinoff of Jake and the Fatman that aired for eight seasons on CBS from 1991-2002 (including five made-for-TV movies).
Elsbeth, meanwhile, revolves around astute but unconventional attorney Elsbeth Tascioni (Preston) who, after her successful career in Chicago, utilizes her singular point of view to make unique observations and corner brilliant criminals alongside the NYPD. Robert and Michelle King are writing the script. Robert King will direct the pilot, with Liz Glotzer also set to exec produce. The drama hails from CBS Studios, where the Kings have been based for years with an overall deal.
(Excerpt) Read more in: The Hollywood Reporter