Trivia / Matlock

  • Career Resurrection: In addition to bringing Andy Griffith back into the spotlight, the show also restored executive producer Fred Silverman's professional reputation following a disastrous 3 year spell as president and CEO of NBC from 1978-1981, which saw him green light one too many programming failures on NBC's prime time lineup as well as almost bankrupt the network after spending a ton of money to produce a whopping 150 hours of coverage for the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, only to end up cancelling said programming after Jimmy Carter pulled the U.S. team out of the event in protest of the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan.
  • Channel Hop: The show ran on NBC from 1986 until 1992. It then moved to ABC where it ran from 1992 until 1995.
  • The Danza: Julie Sommars as Julie March.
  • Name's the Same: The episode "The Abduction" gives us two mobsters with famous names. One named Robert Drake (who is also the real name of Iceman, one of the founding members of the superhero team, the X-Men) and one name Jay Cutler (the current Quarterback of the Chicago Bears).
  • Referenced by...: For younger audiences, the first contact with Matlock probably came from the The Simpsons, where Matlock is particularly loved by senior residents. In a recursive reference, this elderly appeal also carries over to Better Call Saul. It also got a sly mention in Ed, Edd n Eddy, where Eddy mentioned that his dad turns surly if he doesn't get to watch Matlock.
  • Role Association:
    • Andy Taylor in an alternate universe never remarried, instead going on to be a lawyer, with some old familiar faces from his hometown stopping in from time to time, such as Barney Fife.
    • Drew is a beleaguered private in the Army.
    • Winchester lost his British accent, and has gone blind- he also murdered somebody because of it.
    • B.J. Hunnicut is involved in an affair with Beverly Crusher.
    • Trivette used to work for Matlock.
    • J.D. Pickett is now a police chief chewing out his juniors for a drug bust scandal.
    • That scamp Q is a plastic surgeon and the Victim of the Week.
    • Heisenberg and Hal Wilkerson exist independently from one another as two separate characters. Hal finally grew fed up with Lois and took on another wife who turned out to be even worse of a shrew and got killed for it, while Heisenberg miraculously survived his gunshot wounds and got away, deciding to pursue a career in marriage counseling, only to ironically screw around with the wives and get killed anyway by three vindictive women. Or maybe it's Hal who got killed and Heisenberg who survived. But given that one is obviously good-natured and the other good turned bad, it's an easy distinction to assume the first combination is right.
  • Shoot the Money: Many episodes, especially after the Channel Hop to ABC would be shot in part in North Carolina; particularly in Manteo (where Andy Griffith lived for much of his later years).
  • You Look Familiar: Daniel Roebuck plays a one-off character in an early season before coming back as a regular cast member, Cliff Lewis. However, he lost a ton of weight between appearances over the several years that went by and it effectively allowed him to become a brand new character. Lampshaded when Ben seems to briefly notice his resemblance to the chubby man from earlier on.
    • Leo Penn, who also directed on the show, played multiple separate characters, a priest who was seemingly a Victim of the Week in an interesting subversion where his character was Driven to Suicide but the truth was too scandalous to publicize (Catholics see suicide as an unforgivable sin), and a nosy neighbor. He was also Russ Lewis, "Russ the Rhino", an irritating freeloader with a bunch of petty issues who Ben struggled to get licked from his residence.
    • Andy Griffith portrayed Matlock's father in a Whole Episode Flashback, who also lost his wife (so it seems; the pilot dropped the ball on that one by saying she was still alive, so it could actually be a divorce and Ben is choosing to remember things differently or his mind is going spotty with age) when Ben was a boy and was the start of Ben's love for hot dogs.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/Matlock