Watch Benson

  • TV-G
  • 1979
  • 7 Seasons
  • 7.1  (3,991)

Benson is an American sitcom that aired from 1979 to 1986 on Sony. The show starred Robert Guillaume as Benson Dubois, the witty and charming butler of the Governor Eugene X. Gatling, played by James Noble. Inga Swenson played the role of the Governor's wife, Gretchen, while Missy Gold played the role of their daughter, Katie. The show also featured René Auberjonois as Clayton Endicott III, the Governor's assistant.

The show follows the life of Benson, who began as a butler and worked his way up the ranks to become the Governor's personal aide. Through his quick wit and intelligence, Benson was able to provide important advice to the Governor while maintaining a lighthearted, humorous approach to his job. Throughout the series, the audience is taken on a journey of Benson's life and the relationships he develops with the Governor's family and his colleagues in the Governor's mansion.

The Governor's family plays a big part in the show, with Benson forming a close bond and paternal relationship with Katie. Benson becomes a father figure to her, and their interactions are endearing to watch. Katie's coming of age and growth throughout the series is an important aspect of the show. Additionally, the relationship between Benson and Gretchen is not without its challenges, with Benson regularly calling her out on her privileged lifestyle and lack of awareness of the struggles of the middle and lower class.

Endicott III is Benson's nemesis of sorts, with the two characters often clashing over their different personalities and professional aspirations. Endicott is the Governor's assistant, and the epitome of the privileged upper class. He often takes issue with Benson's commoner background and challenges his motives and intentions with the Governor. The witty banter between the two characters adds an element of humor to the show.

The show tackled important social issues of the time, including racism and gender equality. With Benson being an African American lead character, the show explored the challenges and prejudices that Benson faced working in a predominately white, upper class setting. Benson's character was written to be intelligent and capable, dispelling many of the stereotypes and suppositions that were commonly held about African Americans at the time. The show also featured female characters in positions of power, such as Gretchen and the Governor's chief of staff, Marcy, played by Caroline McWilliams.

The show was renowned for its ensemble cast, with each character bringing a different dynamic and energy to the show. The chemistry between the actors was palpable, and the dialogue and interactions felt natural and seamless. The humor was clever and witty, and the show often found humor in the mundane moments of day-to-day life in the Governor's mansion.

Benson was a groundbreaking show for its time, featuring a diverse cast of characters and addressing important social issues in a humorous and lighthearted way. The show was created by Susan Harris, who also created other popular sitcoms such as Soap and The Golden Girls. Benson received critical acclaim throughout its run, and Robert Guillaume won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Benson. The show has remained a beloved classic and is still re-watched by fans today.

Benson is a series that is currently running and has 7 seasons (159 episodes). The series first aired on September 13, 1979.

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And the Winner Is ...
22. And the Winner Is ...
April 19, 1986
As time is running out, Benson, the Governor, or the crooked senator will soon be out of a job. Which one? As the details come to a close we find that the winner of the election is......
Friends and Enemies
21. Friends and Enemies
April 12, 1986
With Governor Gatling's term about to close and Benson up to run for Governor, the Governor learns that he can run for yet one more term and decides to grab it. This leads to a final competition, hurt, and quarrels between the Governor and Benson. (Part 1 of 2)
Three on a Mismatch
20. Three on a Mismatch
March 29, 1986
The Governor answers an ad from a personal's column from a magazine.
The Hat and the Ring
19. The Hat and the Ring
March 22, 1986
A conservation expert may help Benson and the Governor pass an inportant bill, but when Kraus hears of the strategy, she leaks it out to a friend who turs out to be a columnist and a major gossip to people who can owe her a favor for information.
Hi, Society
18. Hi, Society
March 15, 1986
Benson persuades to pardon a man who was wrongfully imprisoned for 25 years.
Pardon Me
17. Pardon Me
March 1, 1986
Clayton has his sights on running the family fortune, until he meets his father's new, young, and pretty fiancee. Then he realizes that inheriting the fortune will be pretty challenging.
The Bucks Stop Here
16. The Bucks Stop Here
February 22, 1986
Benson, convinced that the question Senator Hartford has for him is "the" question, runs quickly to initiate a proposal.
Reel Murder
15. Reel Murder
February 15, 1986
With everyone's lives in danger and not much time left, they try to crack the case and survive.
Reel Murder
14. Reel Murder
February 8, 1986
Actor George Kennedy's plan to film a movie in the Goveror's mansion runs into deadly problems, and turns into a lethal murder mystery.
Parade Rest
13. Parade Rest
February 1, 1986
A veteran is hired to retile the bathroom, but happens to disappear. Benson now has to investigate what happened and where his wherabouts are.
The Last Man on Earth
12. The Last Man on Earth
January 25, 1986
Benson and the Governor seek advice from a conservationist in helping them pass some environmental legislation.
Summer of Discontent
11. Summer of Discontent
January 18, 1986
Clayton's nomination of the Governor's budget director has a problem after it is found out that Clayton lives with a Soviet defector.
Secret Love
10. Secret Love
January 3, 1986
After talk about Halley's comet, Karus dreams that she and Benson are the only ones left on earth.
Two Boys and Their Dog
9. Two Boys and Their Dog
December 13, 1985
Benson becomes involved in one of Clayton's wacky investment schemes. This one is investing in a weiner-dog to breed for puppies, but Benson grows too attached to the dog, as does also Clayton.
Flight of the Dodo
8. Flight of the Dodo
December 6, 1985
After crash landing the helicopter in the desert, Benson, the Governor, and Clayton all struggle to survive on account of them being stranded.
Flight of the Dodo
7. Flight of the Dodo
November 29, 1985
Despite warnings, on their way to fly a helicopter to play golf, Benson, the Governor, and Clayton run into disasterous problems with Clayton as their pilot.
$1 Million an Hour
6. $1 Million an Hour
November 15, 1985
Synopsis currently unknown
We Spy
5. We Spy
November 8, 1985
While Benson and Kraus go to East Germany on official business, the two are accused of being spies and get arrested.
The Stranger
4. The Stranger
October 25, 1985
A mysterious stranger lurks around the Governor's mansion on Haloween night.
Uncle Jack
3. Uncle Jack
October 18, 1985
Benson tries to bring the Governor and his brother Jack together after 25 years of not seeing each other.
Love and Politics
2. Love and Politics
October 11, 1985
When Benson revisits a relationship with Senator Hartford, the Senator changes her position on Clayton's commercial-development-of-state-parks bill. When Benson calls her on it, she flip-flops again and ultimately abstains.
Benson the Hero
1. Benson the Hero
October 4, 1985
While Governor Gatling is away, Benson and Clayton are depended upon to spend an 8 million dollar budget surplus before the next fiscal year, which is only a matter of several hours away. When the surplus was found out by someone, The Governor and Clayton go through political embarassment.
Where to Watch Benson
Benson is available for streaming on the Sony website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Benson on demand at Amazon Prime, Amazon, FuboTV, The Roku Channel Free, Google Play, Apple TV and Crackle.
  • Premiere Date
    September 13, 1979
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (3,991)