9 August 2011 | JasonDanielBaker
Rich Playboy P.I.
A wealthy Texan named Matt Houston (Lee Horsley) who also happens to be from Houston lives in Los Angeles where he has a penthouse office, helicopter and fleet of cars. He keeps an eye on various divisions of his company and rather improbably works as private investigator too with the aid of his paid staff including his girl Friday C.J. Parsons, a Harvard educated lawyer. Houston also worked closely with his friend LAPD Lieutenant Vince Novelli (John Aprea).
Early on in the series Houston investigated the deaths of rich friends in whodunits with an ironic tone. By the second season, the show having jettisoned numerous supporting actors from the first season, took on a more serious edge and Houston began to distance himself from his business interests while investigating darker criminal cases with the grudging co-operation of grouchy police lieutenant Michael Hoyt (Lincoln Kilpatrick).
By the third season Houston and C.J. are living together in a smaller apartment and operating a private investigation business as Houston has turned his financial assets over to his Uncle Roy (Buddy Ebsen). The attempt to align the lifestyle of the main characters with other detectives on TV did not improve the ratings.
Matt Houston was an accidental success on the ABC network that copied other detective shows and stayed on the air defying most expectations because the competing networks (CBS and NBC) had long-running series (Archie Bunker's Place and CHiPS respectively) in the same time-slot with declining viewer-ship that they would end up shelving.
After ABC moved its time-slot opposite Falcon Crest on CBS on Friday Nights at 10 pm Matt Houston rode off into the sunset in Spring 1985 having lost the ratings shootout over the course of its remaining two season.
A lot of people remember it as a show they only watched during commercial breaks on the other networks or when the other shows on the other channels were showing reruns especially during the summer.