- 7 Seasons
Benson is an American situation comedy that ran from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s. The show was a spin-off of the sitcom Soap and featured the character named Benson DuBois, played by Robert Guillaume, as he made a major change in profession. Benson is hired as the head of household affairs for the governor's mansion of a state never named throughout the history of the series. He gets along with his boss, the sweet but somewhat dimwitted Governor Eugene Gatling (James Noble), his daughter Katie (Missy Gold), and Gatling's secretary Marcy Hill, played by Caroline McWilliams. Not everyone got along with Benson. From the very first day he was at odds with the mansion's chef Gretchen Kraus (Inga Swenson), chief of staff John Taylor (Lewis J. Stadlen), and his replacement Clayton Endicott (Rene Auberjonois). Gatling's chief of staff was not the only employee of the mansion to change over. When Marcy left at the end of season two, she was replaced by Denise (Didi Conn). She, in turn, married Gatling's press secretary Pete Downey (Ethan Phillips). Both characters were written out of the show after their marriage and the subsequent birth of their child. There were changes to Benson's position as well throughout the series. After being named the Governor's Budget Director and then Lieutenant Governor, Benson ran for Governor against Gatling in the last season. The series ended in a cliffhanger, with the winner of the gubernatorial contest left up in the air. Created by Paul Junger Witt, Tony Thomas, and Susan Harris, Benson was produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions in association with Columbia Pictures Television. The show aired on the United States' ABC network for seven seasons, from 1979 to 1986. The first two seasons are available on DVD. As of this writing there are no plans to release further seasons.