Diary of a Perfect Murder
Andy Griffith's portrayal of Ben Matlock, a genial but wily good-old-boy, Harvard-bred lawyer from Georgia, was embraced by critics and enthusiastic audiences (based on high ratings for this film on its premiere) and convinced him to return to series television with the character beginning in the fall of 1986. In the pilot, he had his associate, daughter Charlene Matlock (played in the film by Lori Lethin and in the subsequent series by Linda Purl) defend a top TV journalist accused of bumping off his ex-wife, an Atlanta television anchorwoman. Kene Holliday is Matlock's private investigator here and in the series that followed.
Hailed as one of the best TV lawyer shows this side of Perry Mason, it probably is not coincidental that the executive producers of the well-received Perry Mason reunion movies of the '80s, Fred Silverman and Dean Hargrove, have similar roles in this productions. Although the pilot film was shot primarily on location in Atlanta, the subsequent series called "Matlock" (the initial title for this movie) was to be done entirely in Los Angeles.