Benson is an American sitcom that originally aired on ABC from September 13, 1979, to April 19, 1986. The series was a spin-off of the soap opera parody Soap in which the character Benson, portrayed by Robert Guillaume, had first appeared as the wise-cracking yet level-headed African-American butler for the highly dysfunctional Tate family. However, Benson eschewed the soap opera format of its parent series for a more conventional sitcom structure, and the lead character eventually moved from his service position to a role as lieutenant governor. The series was created by Susan Harris, and produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions. In 1985, Guillaume won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in the series.

Plot Edit

The main character was Benson DuBois (Robert Guillaume), who was hired to be the head of household affairs for scatterbrained and widowed Governor Eugene X. Gatling (James Noble) and his daughter Katie (Missy Gold). Governor Gatling was a cousin of sisters Jessica Tate (Katherine Helmond) and Mary Campbell (Cathryn Damon) from Soap. Although the state of which Gatling was governor remained unidentified throughout the series, Soap was situated in Connecticut, and the seal of the state of New York is visible when Benson wins the Lieutenant Governorship.

Cast Edit

  • Robert Guillaume
  • James Noble
  • Inga Swenson
  • Missy Gold
  • René Auberjonois (1980–1986)
  • Ethan Phillips (1980–1985)
  • Caroline McWilliams (1979–1981)
  • Didi Conn (1981–1985)
  • Lewis J. Stadlen (1979–1980)
  • Billie Bird (1984–1986)
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