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  • Typical 80s cheesy detective series with tons of action, lots of eye candy, but most of all fantastic chemistry between the leads. Their interactions made sometimes lame plots more interesting to watch. Sometimes stories unbelievably made Matt into some sort of superhero who could withstand almost injury. C.J. was a unique female figure in a male-dominated era: professional, sexy, intelligent, role-model type who could handle her risk-taking, charming, ladies-man BFF just fine. If producers had capitalized on their unique relationship some more, and not changed direction so often, it might have garnered more ratings in its day. Worth to watch selective episodes!
  • TNN (The Nashville Network) recently began airing reruns of this show at 7:00 EST. I never watched it in it's initial run, but I've quickly learned to appreciate it as a campy hoot filled with goofy situations, some fun stuntwork and most importantly of all....a potpourri of cheesy, "Murder She Wrote"-style guest stars. No lover of has been, quasi-stars can afford to miss an episode of this show. I don't know if the entire run of the series kept it up, but the ones I've watched so far had fun combinations like David Cassidy, Troy Donahue, Monte Markham and Jessica Walter in one show and Hugh O'Brian, Cesare Danova and Tina Louise in another and then Britt Ekland, Carol Lawrence and Christina Ferrare in another!! An added bonus is the occasional glimpse of Lee Horsley in a speedo or other skimpy attire. Check it out!
  • 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.
  • This show followed up the great classic 70's detective show's: Barnaby Jones, Cannon, Banecek, McMillan and Wife, Mcloud, Starsky and Hutch, Ironside, Longstreet, and Columbo, and was equal on par in terms of quality. I used to watch this show every Sunday night with my family. CJ was hot, Murray was cool, and the Lts where always willing to help solve the crime. What better premise can you have than A millionaire Texan that has nothing better to do than solve crimes. I even remember the running "baddie" in a couple of episodes who was Houston's arch nemesis played bu Chuck Connors. And when Buddy Ebson joined the cast as uncle Floyd it added some credibility to the show.
  • I used to catch this show when I was a kid in the 80s and remembered it to be an entertaining crime drama - a story about the wealthy Matt Houston (Lee Horsley), who oversees his family's drilling enterprises while getting into action as a private investigator. He pairs up with C.J. Parsons (Pamela Hensley) in his adventures.

    Classic 80s nostalgia with decent acting, past-paced stories, and appealing plots. For the longest time, I couldn't remember the name of the TV show after it went off the air, thinking it might be Hart to Hart or Hunter. But, I was adamant that the lead male character had a mustache. Thanks to a little research on the internet, I've finally found the show's title, plot outline, and photos.

    Grade A
  • hackraytex14 August 2020
    This was one of the shows in the 80's that I really enjoyed watching. I do have two questions that I hope someone can answer.

    This was another show that was doing well and they had to "retool" it by making basic changes. They had him putting his money in a trust and became a full time investigator. I think he left his ranch when caused Paul Brinnegar to be dropped. I have not seem too many show that were retooled that did any better. Why was that done?

    The other question is does anyone know why Pamela Hemsley quit acting after this show? She was one of the actresses that I enjoyed watching in various parts.
  • This was the best show there ever was. I wish this was brought back or at least provide access to the videos. Lee Horsley is the best actor there is.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Kinda like Trump but more like Batman! Kinda like Donald Trump in that Matt Houston decide let other run his business and uses his resources else where. Both and Bruce Wayne own office towers, and helicopters ; But unlike Donald does run the White House, but solve murder mysteries. Matt Houston is cool, charming mixed with intelligence and wit. Matt can fly, drive, fight etc with all that money Matt can train like Batman, but with out the mask. There is a murder, frame up etc and Matt is in the wrong place at the wrong time. Matt is a copy of Remington Steel but with a Texas style with some smooth moves to solve the mystery. Love it when Matt says let fly one more time around my office tower. Another murder mystery show with a 3 year run.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    When TV GUIDE first announced "Matt Houston" it referred to it as a "comedy." Really. And in its first season "Matt Houston" was a lighthearted romp through tired detective stories.

    Possibly inspired by James Garner, who did "Maverick" (a spoof western with serious overtones) and a "The Rockford Files" (a serious detective show with comedic overtones), in the pilot and first season "Matt Houston" star Lee Horsley seems to be channeling James Garner.

    Houston was a private eye with a difference. He was funny. He was also a rich Texan transplanted to California, commuting by helicopter from his ranch (populated with characters like Paul Brinegar, the cook from "Rawhide") to swank offices in Los Angeles filled with beautiful secretaries, a beautiful woman looking after his cars, and a beautiful legal advisor who was his equal in everything (Pamela Hensley, who also provided early episodes with enjoyable, tongue-in-cheek narration). Oh, and while Houston played detective on wild-goose-chases, his business affairs were handled by bald, comedic, constantly put-upon Murray (George Wyner, who had co-starred with Horsley previously in the short-lived "Nero Wolfe" series).

    Most interestingly, Houston had a computer called "Baby" that, while predating the Internet by a decade, could call up almost anything at will. So much for Al Gore. Matt Houston invented the Internet.

    The pilot episode enforced the show's comedic elements by having two theme songs for Matt: one, a typically loud, exciting QM piece; the other an amusing song that might have been written for the great silent comics (the funny theme was background music and is sometimes played over early closing credits).

    "Matt Houston" also originally fell into the 1980's "all-star" theme, a la "The Love Boat" or "Murder She Wrote." The first season is packed with big names. Some, like James Coco and Misty Rowe (from "Hee Haw") in "Recipe for Murder" played up the comedy. Others, like one big name in "The Good Doctor", appeared just long enough to spout a few lines before getting killed off. In one early episode ("Stop the Presses") you didn't know, going in, who was the murderer or who the victim (Bradford Dillman? Stuart Whitman? Murray Hamilton? Heather Locklear? Herb Edelman? Malcolm Jamal-Warner?)

    The funny music, Hensley's enjoyable narration, guest stars who ranged from familiar television faces to washed up movie queens and Horsley's lighter-than-Garner performance highlight's the show's original comedy emphasis.

    But along the way something happened to "Matt Houston." The funny music and Hensley's fun narration gradually fell away. Even during the first season storylines became more serious and comedy was relegated to peripheral characters like George Wyner's Murray and the ranch's Brinegar.

    By the second season changes were implemented. Houston's pal in the police force (John Aprea) and his mother, who ran an Italian restaurant, were replaced by Lincoln Kilpatrick, playing a policeman with a love/hate relationship with Houston. The folksy ranch hands were left at the ranch and never seen again. Horsley's and Hensley's performances grew more serious.

    By the third season, where television stalwart Buddy Ebsen was hauled in as Houston's never-before-mentioned CIA connected Uncle Roy, the stories were growing bitter. "Vanished" has Houston chasing a creep who murders children. "Caged" has C.J. (Hensley) cooped up in a detention center by a redneck sheriff who uses his inmates for prostitution. The big-name guest stars disappear, replaced by up-and-coming actors who never upped or came (though the old spirit might have returned, but didn't, in an episode where Ebsen is reunited with former "Beverly Hillbillies" costar Max Baer, Jr.)

    I'm not sure why the "Matt Houston", starting as a lighter-than-"Rockford" detective show packed with guest stars, gradually descended to grimmer-than-"Mannix" routine cop show; but the changes did not serve the show, nor Horsley and Hensley, well. Especially as they the kept the computer "Baby" which, in 1982, was the show's most unbelievable element. "Baby" belonged to the more freewheeling Matt who preferred detecting on the side.

    The network that originally announced "Matt Houston" as a comedy let the show limp on through its third season's unsavory morass and then mercifully gave it the axe. Still, "Matt Houston", in playing Houston an C.J. as comrades in its original tongue-in-cheek style, paved the way for later 80's romantic-comedy/detective hits like "Moonlighting", "Remington Steele" and "Scarecrow and Mrs. King."
  • hljakes21 July 2019
    Warning: Spoilers
    I thought mad Houston was so hot and his sidekick from buck Rogers I'd like to or better on this she actually could fight and she wasn't running around and pretty outfits she was like down to earth the only mistake I think they made was the third season Avenue in buddy Apt son but that's just my opinion it's unfortunate I only lasted three seasons