|Created by||Lawrence Gordon|
Lincoln Kilpatrick (1983-85)
Buddy Ebsen (1984–1985)
|Theme music composer||Dominic Frontiere|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||69|
|Executive producers||Aaron Spelling|
Douglas S. Cramer
|Running time||45–48 minutes|
|Production companies||Aaron Spelling Productions|
Matt Houston Company
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
CBS Television Distribution
|Original release||September 26, 1982 –|
July 19, 1985
Matt Houston is an American crime drama television series starring Lee Horsley as the title character, a wealthy oilman who decides to hold a side job as a private investigator. Created by Lawrence Gordon and produced by Aaron Spelling, it originally aired on ABC for three seasons from 1982 to 1985.
Matt Houston starred Lee Horsley as a wealthy mustachioed Texas oilman named Matlock "Matt" Houston who works as a private investigator in Los Angeles in his abundant free time. The show also starred Pamela Hensley as his lawyer sidekick, C.J., and George Wyner as his continuously frustrated business manager, Murray. During the show's third and final season (1984–85), Buddy Ebsen played Houston's uncle, Roy Houston.
Most episodes typically involve one of Houston's close friends being murdered or involved in some criminal enterprise, requiring his assistance. C.J. had access to an Apple III computer named "Baby" containing a database on virtually all living and deceased persons, allowing her to provide all necessary information. Murray frequently complained that Matt's private investigation business failed to make money, while Matt treated it more as an expensive hobby rather than a profit-making venture.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|"X-22"||Richard Lang||T : Richard Christian Danus|
S/T : Ken Trevey
|September 26, 1982|
Series pilot: Matt Houston, an oil tycoon's son from Texas, comes to California to manage off-shore drilling. With plenty of cars, a helicopter, and many millionaire toys to choose from, Matt Houston finds plenty of time for his PI hobby.Guest stars: Barbara Carrera, Jill St. John, Art Metrano. Special Guest Star: Cliff Robertson.
|3||3||"Stop the Presses"||Don Chaffey||James L. Conway||October 3, 1982|
A disreputable tabloid's publisher is nearly killed after telling his four worst enemies he plans to run a front-page story on them.Guest Stars: Bradford Dillman, Herb Edelman, Murray Hamilton, Heather Locklear, Stuart Whitman
|4||4||"Deadly Fashion"||Richard Lang||S : Erica Byrne & F. Michael Johnson|
T : Stephen Lord
|October 17, 1982|
A famous fashion designer has been murdered and Matt's former girlfriend is under suspicion.Guest stars: Britt Ekland, Cristina Ferrare, Carol Lawrence, Mr. Blackwell, Vic Tayback.
|5||5||"Killing Isn't Everything"||Don Chaffey||Robert Bielak||October 24, 1982|
A football player is being blackmailed by someone who says they have proof he killed the coach.Guest stars: John Beck, Scott Brady, Dick Butkus, Phyllis Davis, Rockne Tarkington, Forrest Tucker.
|6||6||"Who Would Kill Ramona?"||Richard Lang||Michael Fisher||October 31, 1982|
When an actor dies after drinking from a tainted glass, the star who it belonged to becomes a suspect.Guest stars: Janet Leigh, Kiel Martin, Cesar Romero, William Smith, Jill Whelan.
|7||7||"Recipe for Murder"||Hy Averback||Skip Webster||November 7, 1982|
A severed head in gelatin shocks a food critic who recognizes it as belonging to his partner.Guest stars: Sid Caesar, James Coco, David Hedison, Hope Lange, Misty Rowe.
|8||8||"Shark Bait"||Corey Allen||Skip Webster||November 21, 1982|
Sharks have been attacking beachgoers, and Matt wonders if something sinister might be going on.Guest stars: Lloyd Bochner, Gary Frank, Don Gordon, Dorothy Malone, Michelle Phillips.
|9||9||"The Kidnapping"||Barbara Peeters||S : Tim Maschler|
T : Michael Fisher
|November 28, 1982|
A critically ill Arab prince has been abducted.Guest stars: Cesare Danova, Tina Louise, Hugh O'Brian, Richard Romanus.
|10||10||"Joey's Here"||Jerome Courtland||S : Robert Dennis|
T : Janis Hendler
|December 5, 1982|
Matt tries to discover why a robot would murder the brother of its genius creator.Guest stars: David Cassidy, Troy Donahue, Norman Fell, Monte Markham, Jessica Walter.
|11||11||"The Good Doctor"||Don Weis||S : Brad Radnitz|
S/T : James L. Conway
|December 12, 1982|
During a party at Matt's, a research scientist is murdered.Guest stars: Beverly Garland, Gayle Hunnicutt, Gary Lockwood, Cameron Mitchell, Jeanette Nolan, Susan Tolsky, William Windom.
|12||12||"The Rock and the Hard Place"||Kim Manners||Larry Alexander||January 2, 1983|
A champion boxer's physical ailments and his wife's addictions come into light after a murder.Guest stars: Dennis Cole, Dorian Harewood, Richard Jaeckel, Diane McBain, Stan Shaw, George Takei, Berlinda Tolbert.
|13||13||"The Purrfect Crime"||Mike Vejar||Calvin Clements Jr.||January 9, 1983|
When a cat food mogul is found mauled to death by a domesticated tiger, his four ex-wives retain Matt's services so they can receive proceeds from the will.Guest stars: Barbi Benton, Sonny Bono, Pat Crowley, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Gary Grimes, Werner Klemperer, Janis Paige.
|14||14||"The Yacht Club Murders"||Cliff Bole||Ned Wynn||January 16, 1983|
A yacht club is the target of a killer, concerning someone with ties to Matt.Guest stars: Jimmy Baio, Shelley Berman, Alan Hale, Mary Ann Mobley, Dick Sargent.
|15||15||"Whose Party Is It Anyway?"||Cliff Bole||Larry Forrester||January 23, 1983|
Five famous folks are summoned to Matt's place through a murderous ruse.Guest stars: Kevin Brophy, Brett Halsey, Edward Mulhare, Barbara Rush, Stella Stevens.
|16||16||"Get Houston"||Kim Manners||Calvin Clements Jr.||February 20, 1983|
Psychopath Castanos (Chuck Connors) orchestrates attacks on Houston from his padded confinement. Don Stroud appears as Dirk Bronson.Guest stars: Chuck Connors, Dennis Fimple, Ed Nelson, Raymond St. Jacques, Don Stroud
|17||17||"The Visitors"||Barbara Peeters||Calvin Clements Jr.||February 27, 1983|
A famous scientist suffers a fatal heart attack while witnessing an alleged extraterrestrial visit by an Unidentified Flying Object.Guest stars: Robert Alda, Dane Clark, Shelley Fabares, David Groh, Alex Henteloff, Dawn Wells
|18||18||"Here's Another Fine Mess"||Cliff Bole||Robert Brennan||March 6, 1983|
Someone is targeting C.J. and her sorority sisters.Guest stars: Ernest Borgnine, Larry Harmon, Rebecca Holden, Anne Jeffreys, Chuck McCann, John Moschitta Jr., Andrew Robinson, Ann Turkel
|19||19||"The Beverly Woods Social Club"||Don Chaffey||Skip Webster||March 13, 1983|
A gossip columnist is murdered after threatening to expose a high-class prostitution house. Bo Hopkins as Rev. Noah Sunday, Jayne Meadows as Holly HarkensGuest stars: Jayne Meadows Allen, Michael Constantine, Don DeFore, Bo Hopkins, Ben Murphy, Ron Palillo, Natalie Schafer.
|20||20||"The Showgirl Murders"||Don Chaffey||James L. Conway||March 20, 1983|
Matt's friend, who suffers from alcoholic binges and blackouts, is accused of murder.Guest stars: George Chakiris, Robert Goulet, Fred Grandy, James Luisi, John Moschitta, Jr., Renee Taylor.
|21||21||"Fear for Tomorrow"||Kim Manners||Michael Fisher||April 3, 1983|
When a special code predicts deaths, Matt hunts for clues to prevent them and expose the code's reality.Guest stars: Bruce M. Fischer, Ed Grover, Michael Halsey, Lenore Kasdorf, Lynne Marta, Tim O'Connor, Victoria Spelling.
|22||22||"A Deadly Parlay"||Charlie Picerni||S : E. Nick Alexander|
S/T : Skip Webster
|April 10, 1983|
Matt is charged with murdering a jockey whose body he happened upon.Guest stars: Ron Ely, Ed Grover, Peter Isacksen, Lynn Holly Johnson, Gerald S. O'Loughlin.
|23||23||"A Novel Way to Die"||Corey Allen||Skip Webster||April 17, 1983|
A mystery is revealed when a murder-mystery writer is found dead at a convention.Guest stars: Norman Alden, Richard Anderson, Joseph Campanella, Denny Miller, Terry Moore, John Moschitta, Jr., Markie Post.
|24||24||"The Hunted"||Kim Manners||Calvin Clements Jr.||April 24, 1983|
A notorious crime leader kidnaps C.J. in order to force a trade for his son who is being held in connection with a terrorism plot.Guest stars: Martin Landau, Mark Shera.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|"Heritage"||Don Chaffey||Calvin Clements Jr.||September 9, 1983|
|While investigating a land scam, Matt finds out a few unnerving things about his family and his past.|
|27||3||"The Woman in White"||Kim Manners||T : Skip Webster|
S/T : Larry Alexander
|September 16, 1983|
|A former peace officer is jailed and under arrest for murder, but he might not have committed the crime.|
|28||4||"Love You to Death"||Kim Manners||Robert Bielak||September 23, 1983|
|Matt is the victim of a stalker one-night-stand.|
|29||5||"The Centerfold Murders"||Kim Manners||Skip Webster||September 30, 1983|
|Three stunning women have been murdered, their connection: they are all top centerfolds.|
|30||6||"Needle in a Haystack"||Don Chaffey||Daniel Pyne & Scott Shepherd||October 7, 1983|
|After witnessing a brutal crime, a diabetic is deported to Mexico, and his mother is concerned about his condition.|
|31||7||"Marilyn"||Barbara Peeters||Robert Brennan||October 14, 1983|
|As he lay dying from a fatal gunshot, an associate asks Matt to protect Marilyn. Only one problem: Matt has no idea who she is.|
|32||8||"The Ghost of Carter Gault"||James L. Conway||S : Steven Thornley|
T : Jud Scott
|October 28, 1983|
|A man trying to expose dirty union tactics is murdered right after asking Matt to take the case.|
|33||9||"China Doll"||Charlie Picerni||James L. Conway||November 4, 1983|
|Did Chinese drug smugglers murder C.J.'s former roommate?|
|34||10||"Butterfly"||James L. Conway||Skip Webster||November 18, 1983|
|In the attempt to protect her little sister from a child prostitute ring, a teenage call girl is murdered.|
|35||11||"The Crying Clown"||Charlie Picerni||Daniel Pyne & Scott Shepherd||November 25, 1983|
|A talented art forger is found murdered, and the clues may rest one of his paintings, which is now missing.|
|36||12||"The Outsider"||Mike Vejar||Calvin Clements Jr.||December 2, 1983|
|A self-proclaimed "Psychic" who is involved in a kidnapping scheme targets Matt.|
|37||13||"Target: Miss World"||Cliff Bole||Robert Brennan||December 23, 1983|
|A sniper assassin kills an innocent girl to maximize his targeting location.|
|38||14||"The Monster"||James L. Conway||S : Michael Fisher|
T : Daniel Pyne & Scott Shepherd
|January 6, 1984|
|C.J. is left to deal with defending a man who has confessed to killing four teens.|
|39||15||"Waltz of Death"||Don Chaffey||S : Robert Bielak|
S/T : Daniel Pyne & Scott Shepherd
|January 13, 1984|
|Someone thinks a renowned concert pianist is a mad strangler.|
|40||16||"Houston Is Dead"||Charlie Picerni||Michael Fisher||January 20, 1984|
|While investigating the death of a nursing home nurse, Matt is shot.|
|41||17||"Criss-Cross"||Don Chaffey||Stephen Lord||January 27, 1984|
|A retired Lieutenant Vincent Novelli is charged with stealing cocaine from a police evidence vault upon his return from vacation in Hawaii.|
|42||18||"The Bikini Murders"||Charlie Picerni||Skip Webster||February 3, 1984|
|A secretary is murdered after uncovering a plot to blackmail her boss.|
|43||19||"Death Match"||Don Chaffey||Robert Brennan||February 24, 1984|
|A serial killer who killed Matt's fiancee in the past reveals that he has struck again.|
|44||20||"Blood Ties"||William Crain||Daniel Pyne & Scott Shepherd||March 2, 1984|
|A hospital angel of death targets Matt's father.|
|45||21||"The Secret Admirer"||Don Chaffey||Calvin Clements Jr.||March 9, 1984|
|C.J. is stalked by an obsessed admirer who murders her beau.|
|46||22||"Cash and Carry"||James L. Conway||James L. Conway||March 23, 1984|
|A thief has second thoughts after stealing a cool $3 million from the mob.|
|47||23||"On the Run: Part 1"||Cliff Bole||Michael Fisher||March 30, 1984|
|An amnesiac Matt wakes in his penthouse to discover a month is past and he is accused of murder.|
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|48||1||"Wanted Man: Part 2"||James L. Conway||Michael Fisher||September 21, 1984|
|Buddy Ebsen stars as Roy Houston, Matt's uncle who investigates the accusations against his nephew and uncovers a mind control plot.|
|49||2||"Vanished"||Don Chaffey||Michael Fisher||September 28, 1984|
|Hoyt's young daughter is kidnapped by a child molester.|
|50||3||"Eyewitness"||Charlie Picerni||Ann Lewis Hamilton||October 12, 1984|
|A TV newsman covers a kidnapping that he might be involved in to boost ratings.|
|51||4||"Apostle of Death"||Kim Manners||Skip Webster||October 19, 1984|
|Whether it's a religious cult or a commune, Matt must rescue Peggy Allyson (Wendy Smith Howard) who is being bilked out of a $3 million inheritance by evangelist leader Jesse Mercer (Richard Lynch) who plans to murder her after he has gained control of the cash.|
|52||5||"Caged"||Cliff Bole||William T. Conway||October 26, 1984|
|After getting amnesia after a car accident, C.J. finds herself in prison and uncovers a prostitution ring. Guest starring Cynthia Cypert as Cynthia.|
|53||6||"Return to Nam: Part 1"||James L. Conway||Daniel Pyne & Scott Shepherd||November 2, 1984|
|Matt discovers that his cousin, who was once believed dead in Cambodia, is still a POW.|
|54||7||"Escape from Nam: Part 2"||James L. Conway||Daniel Pyne & Scott Shepherd||November 9, 1984|
|The Cambodian warlord who has imprisoned Matt's cousin might be getting a little help from someone close to Matt.|
|55||8||"The High Fashion Murders"||Cliff Bole||James L. Conway||November 16, 1984|
|Two models have been murdered, and Matt can't accept the alibi of the most likely suspect.|
|56||9||"Death Stalk"||Mike Vejar||Robert Brennan||November 23, 1984|
|An international assassin has a grudge against Matt.|
|57||10||"Blood Money"||Don Chaffey||Stephen Lord||November 30, 1984|
|Matt is dragged into a case involving international gem smuggling from a war-torn Vietnam. Guest-starring Scott Marlowe.|
|58||11||"Deadly Games"||Charlie Picerni||S : David Florimbi|
T : Daniel Pyne & Scott Shepherd
|December 7, 1984|
|The most dangerous game is revisited when a sporting goods mogul hunts athletes.|
|59||12||"Stolen"||Cliff Bole||Margie Gordon||December 21, 1984|
|An actress, whose infant son had been kidnapped a year earlier, asks Matt to investigate a woman she saw in a park with a child who resembled her lost baby.|
|60||13||"The Nightmare Man"||Kim Manners||S : Michael Fisher|
T : Daniel Pyne
|January 4, 1985|
|Matt believes that the man who abducted him as a boy is kidnapping again.|
|61||14||"Breakpoint"||Peter Crane||Robert Brennan||January 11, 1985|
|Matt rushes to the aid of his cousin who is threatening suicide.|
|62||15||"Death Trap"||Kim Manners||Richard Fisher||January 11, 1985|
|A once-prosperous oil town is now home to corruption and embezzlement.|
|63||16||"The Honeymoon Murders"||Charlie Picerni||Steven Whitney||January 25, 1985|
|Someone is targeting brides-to-be.|
|64||17||"The Beach Club Murders"||Cliff Bole||William T. Conway||February 1, 1985|
|Matt investigates blackmail murders with the assistance of one of the victim's sisters.|
|65||18||"New Orleans Nightmare"||Mike Robe||Mike Robe||February 8, 1985|
|A stewardess accidentally happens upon and photographs a murder and asks Matt to protect her.|
|66||19||"Company Secrets"||Charlie Picerni||S : Thomas G. Edwards|
T : Scott Shepherd
|February 15, 1985|
|Roy fakes his death to uncover a plot to murder his CIA squad members.|
|67||20||"Killing Time"||Mike Vejar||Daniel Pyne||February 22, 1985|
|Matt's new flame has a family secret; her brother is funding Irish terrorists.|
|68||21||"Death Watch"||William Crain||Robert Earll||March 15, 1985|
|Matt and company investigate a drug ring.|
|69||22||"Final Vows"||James L. Conway||Skip Webster||March 29, 1985|
|Elizabeth, the object of Matt's affections, returns.|
On March 9, 2010, CBS DVD (Distributed by Paramount) released season 1 of Matt Houston on DVD in Region 1 for the first time. Season 2 was released June 16, 2017 and Season 3 was released on July 21, 2017.
On May 4, 2015, it was announced that all three seasons of Matt Houston would be released the summer of 2015 by VEI, Inc. The release was pushed back and was later released on July 15, 2016.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Region 1|
|The Complete First Season||24||March 9, 2010|
|The Complete Second Season||23||June 16, 2017|
|The Complete Third Season||22||July 21, 2017|
|The Complete Series||69||July 15, 2016|
|1983||Emmy Award||Nominated||Outstanding Film Editing for a Series||Bob Bring (For episode "The Showgirl Murders")|
|Edgar Award||Best Television Episode||Richard Christian Danus and Ken Trevey (For episode "Matt Houston")|
|1985||Young Artist Award||Best Young Actor – Guest in a Television Series||Bumper Robinson|