When CBS announced its Matlock reboot in February of 2023, the casting news generated almost as much excitement as the revelation that one of TV’s most beloved lawyers would be returning to the small screen.
One year later, Kathy Bates is still on board as the titular attorney, and Jason Ritter will portray her colleague Julian — but a well-known newcomer will be taking over the role of Ritter’s dad.
The network announced today that Beau Bridges will be joining the show as a powerful lawyer with the apt name of Senior.
According to a press release, Senior is “the managing partner of New York’s most prestigious law firm with an indomitable presence that immediately alters the temperature of any room.
“The man’s influence reaches far and wide, and although he loves his son, Julian (Jason Ritter), he might respect his daughter-in-law, Olympia (Skye P. Marshall), more,” the announcement continues.
Senior was played by Law & Order: Criminal Intent star Jamey Sheridan in the show’s pilot episode.
The reasons for the casting shakeup are unclear, but it’s not uncommon for producers to make such changes early in the production process.
Though perhaps not quite as famous as his older brother, Jeff, Beau is an Emmy and Golden Globe winner with nearly 65 years of industry experience.
He first appeared on screen in a recurring role on My Three Sons back in 1960, and he hasn’t stopped working since.
In more recent years, Bridges appeared on such acclaimed TV shows as Lessons in Chemistry, Homeland, Masters of Sex, Goliath, and Brothers and Sisters.
Ordered in spring 2023, Matlock was originally set for a fall 2024 premiere, but like so many other highly anticipated projects, it was delayed due to the writers’ strike.
A new premiere date has not been set, and it’s possible that no delayed network series is more highly anticipated.
The original Matlock, played by Andy Griffith, is high on the list of TV’s most beloved lawyers, and his name became synonymous with folksy wisdom during the series’ nine-year run.
The show served as a perfect bookend to Griffith’s career as a television lead, which began with the legendary sitcom The Andy Griffith Show (on which he played a similarly affable small-town sheriff).
The new Matlock was ordered to series in May of last year, a reflection of CBS’ confidence that interest in the iconic surname remains high, even though the Griffith version ended back in 1995.
“After achieving success in her younger years, the brilliant septuagenarian Madeline Matlock 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,” reads the show’s logline.
Though perhaps best known for her film work, thanks to such modern classics as Misery and Titanic, series lead Bates is no stranger to the world of television.
She previously played recurring roles on The Office, American Horror Story, and Two and a Half Men.
Bates will serve as executive producer on the new series, which also stars Skye P. Marshall as Olympia, David Del Rio as Billy, and Leah Lewis as Sarah.
She’ll have some big shoes to fill, stepping into one of the most iconic roles in television history.
But if anyone is capable of matching Griffith’s pitch-perfect blend of humor and gravitas and reinventing this no-nonsense attorney for the benefit of a new generation, it’s Kathy Bates.
We can’t wait to see her take on this character.
We’ll continue to keep you updated on this upcoming series as new information becomes available.
Hit the comments below to share your favorite Matlock memories!
Tyler Johnson is an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic and the other Mediavine O&O sites. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and, of course, watching TV. You can Follow him on X and email him here at TV Fanatic.
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