HBO’s new drama series, Perry Mason will premiere June 21st, the network announced. The characters in the new drama series are based on author Erle Stanley Gardner’s detective novels from the early to mid 20th century. Gardner’s novels also spawned a series of 1930’s films, radio dramas and most famously a television series, Perry Mason that ran nine seasons and starred Raymond Burr

HBO’s incarnation of the series takes place in 1931’s Los Angeles and stars Emmy-winning actor Matthew Rhys (The Americans) as Perry Mason. “While the rest of the country struggles through the Great Depression, this city is booming! Oil! Olympic Games! Talking Pictures! Evangelical Fervor! And a child kidnapping gone very, very wrong.” When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason’s relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself.

The series boasts an all-star cast including John Lithgow, Juliet Rylance, Tatiana Maslany, Chris Chalk, Shea Wigham and Stephen Root and more. Fun fact, one of the producers on the series includes Robert Downey, Jr. In addition to HBO, the series will also be available to stream on HBO GO, HBO NOW, and on HBO via HBO Max and other partners’ platforms.

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I’m really looking forward to HBO’s Perry Mason. I remember fondly sitting on the floor next to my grandmother’s recliner and watching reruns of the incomparable Raymond Burr’s Perry Mason with her. Matthew Rhys is such a versatile, clever actor, I can’t wait to see his take on the character. Check out the show and episode details, and the trailer below.  

PERRY MASON stars Matthew Rhys as Perry Mason, a low-rent private investigator who is living check-to-check and is haunted by his wartime experiences in France and suffering the effects of a broken marriage; John Lithgow as Elias Birchard “E.B.” Jonathan, a struggling attorney and a semi-regular employer of Mason; Juliet Rylance as Della Street, E.B. Jonathan’s creative and driven legal secretary; Tatiana Maslany as Sister Alice McKeegan, the leader of the Radiant Assembly of God, preaching to a hungry congregation and a radio audience across the country; Chris Chalk as Paul Drake, a beat cop with a knack for detective work; and Shea Whigham as Pete Strickland, who is hired by Mason as an extra set of eyes on his various investigations.
 
The series also stars Gayle Rankin, Nate Corddry, Veronica Falcón, Jefferson Mays, Lili Taylor, Andrew Howard, Eric Lange, and Robert Patrick. A full list of character descriptions is available HERE.
 
Episodes include:
 
Episode 1: “Chapter One”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JUNE 21 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)

Los Angeles, 1931. On the heels of an unsavory investigation involving a famous comedian, Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) – a PI struggling to make ends meet – and his right-hand man Pete Strickland (Shea Whigham) are hired by attorney E.B. Jonathan (John Lithgow), Perry’s mentor, to solve a perplexing case: the brutal kidnapping of one-year-old Charlie Dodson, whose parents Matthew (Nate Corddry) and Emily (Gayle Rankin) were targeted for a $100,000 ransom. After meeting with Herman Baggerly (Robert Patrick), a millionaire elder at the Dodsons’ church, Perry, E.B., and E.B.’s legal secretary Della Street (Juliet Rylance) ponder why a family of unmistakably modest means would be extorted for such a steep price.
Written by Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald; directed by Tim Van Patten.
 
Episode 2: “Chapter Two”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JUNE 28 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)

Following one of her trademark barn-burning sermons, Evangelical preacher Sister Alice (Tatiana Maslany) offers the Dodsons the church’s full moral and financial support – much to her mother Birdy’s (Lili Taylor) dismay. During a routine domestic intervention, beat cop Paul Drake (Chris Chalk) is rerouted to a gruesome crime scene, where he follows a confounding trail of evidence. Mason (Matthew Rhys) is left incensed by a jaw-dropping admission from Baggerly (Robert Patrick) and, after pressing Emily (Gayle Rankin) on her husband’s alibi, finds himself confronted by an outraged Della (Juliet Rylance). Detectives Holcomb (Eric Lange) and Ennis (Andrew Howard) use Drake’s (Chris Chalk) findings to their own advantage.
Written by Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald; directed by Tim Van Patten.
 
Episode 3: “Chapter Three”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 5 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)

In order to gain an advantage over E.B. and team, wily district attorney Maynard Barnes (Stephen Root) goes public with a shocking new development. Mason (Matthew Rhys) and Strickland (Shea Whigham) get unauthorized access to physical evidence with help from Virgil (Jefferson Mays), Mason’s connect at the city morgue. Later, Mason attempts to extract information from a withholding Drake (Chris Chalk), who’s weary of Holcomb (Eric Lange) and Ennis’ (Andrew Howard) watchful eyes. Della (Juliet Rylance) notices a change in E.B. (John Lithgow), who seems uncharacteristically out of sorts.
Written by Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald; directed by Tim Van Patten.
 
Episode 4: “Chapter Four”
Debut date: SUNDAY, JULY 12 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)

Mason (Matthew Rhys) and Strickland (Shea Whigham) lean on Virgil (Jefferson Mays), again, for extra-legal assistance. Following Sister Alice’s (Tatiana Maslany) recovery from a frightening episode, Birdy (Lili Taylor) urges her daughter to renounce her claims about baby Charlie. E.B. (John Lithgow) faces the reality of his financial situation and takes his frustrations out on Della (Juliet Rylance).
Written by Steven Hanna & Sarah Kelly Kaplan; directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven.
 
Executive producers (in alphabetical order), Amanda Burrell, Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, Ron Fitzgerald, Joe Horacek, Rolin Jones, and Timothy Van Patten (who also directs); co-executive producer: Aida Rodgers; producer: Matthew Rhys; created by Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald; based on the characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner.

 

 

 

Audrey Kearns