Benson cast

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Benson on DVD:

Benson - The Complete First Season

Buy Benson - The Complete First Season on DVD
Benson - The Complete Second Season

Buy Benson - The Complete Second Season on DVD
Benson - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek)

Buy Benson - The Complete First Season (Mill Creek) on DVD
Benson - The Complete Second Season (Mill Creek)

Buy Benson - The Complete Second Season (Mill Creek) on DVD
Benson - Seasons 1 & 2 (Mill Creek)

Buy Benson - Seasons 1 & 2 (Mill Creek) on DVD


Emmy® Winner Robert Guillaume
Gives New Meaning to the Phrase “The Butler Did It”


DVD Debuts July 24 Featuring 24 Episodes on Three-Discs and Exclusive Bonus Features

Culver City, CA (May 14, 2007) – Created by television powerhouse Susan Harris (TV’s “The Golden Girls”) and starring five-time Emmy nominee Robert Guillaume, Benson: The Complete First Season makes its DVD debut on July 24 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The collection features all 24 politically-flavored episodes from the long-running comedy series’ first season in a three-disc set. The exclusive bonus materials include a video introduction by Guillaume, a Benson series retrospective, and a photo gallery. The DVD will be available for $29.95 SRP.

Robert Guillaume played one of the most popular supporting characters on Soap, as the insolent butler to wacky Jessica Tate (the brilliant Katherine Helmond, who makes a guest appearance this season). His scene-stealing portrayal of the acerbic character resulted in his winning a Best Supporting Actor Emmy (he would be nominated five more times as Best Actor, winning another statuette in 1985). ABC spun the character off into the title role in Benson, debuting on September 13, 1979. The premise entailed Jessica sending Benson off to help her inept cousin, Governor James Gatling (James Noble), run the Governor’s mansion. Other characters included Katie Gatling (Missy Gold), the governor's adorable daughter; Benson’s nemesis Gretchen Kraus (Inga Swenson), the stern German housekeeper; Marcy Hill (Caroline McWilliams), the governor's secretary; and John Taylor (Lewis J. Stadlen), the governor’s political aide.

Over the course of its 7-season, 158-episode run, Benson was nominated for a total of 17 Emmy Awards, winning three, as well as four Golden Globe nominations (including three Best Actor nods for Guillaume).

Benson: The Complete First Season episodes include:

Change (Pilot)
Trust Me
President's Double
Benson in Love
Conflict of Interest
The Layoff
Don't Quote Me
War Stories
Ghost Story
Taylor's Bid
One Strike, You're Out
Just Friends
Chain of Command
Bugging the Governor
Kraus Affair
Cold Storage
Old Man Gatling
Power Play
Takin' It to the Streets
The Army Wants You
Marcy's Vacation

DVD Special Features Include:
• Digitally Remastered Audio and Video
• Full Screen Presentations
• Video Introduction with Robert Guillaume
• Benson Series Retrospective
• Photo Gallery
• Audio: English (Stereo)
• Bonus Previews
• Closed Captioned

BROADCAST YEAR: 1979 - 1980

Benson: The Complete First Season has a run time of approximately 597 minutes and is not rated.

Buy Benson - The Complete First Season on DVD / Buy Benson - The Complete Second Season on DVD

Read our review of Benson - The Complete First Season on DVD / The Complete Second Season

Buy Benson Memorabilia and Photos:

Benson News:

Benson Logo

New James Noble Interview Online

The brand new episode of pop culture podcast "Just My Show" is now available for listening. The show features an interview with the governor himself, James Noble. He talks all about getting the part, who he really thinks won the election between he and Benson, and lots more. (The show also features in interview with Robert Pine from "CHiPs.")

Here's the direct link to this page:

The main page of the site is simply

If you're a TV fan, you may like some other things going on at the site as well, including all the previous shows that are still available for listening in the "reruns" section.

All shows are completely free and can be listened to right on the site or downloaded as an MP3. (You do not need an iPod to listen)

Hope you enjoy it! Thanks!

Message Board:

Have a question about Benson, comment, trivia question, update on the cast members, etc.? Then post your message on the:

Benson Message Board

Photo Gallery:

Benson Photo Gallery

Broadcast History:

First Telecast: September 13, 1979
Last Telecast: August 30, 1986

Sep 1979-Jul 1980, ABC Thu 8:30-9:00
Aug 1980-Mar 1983, ABC Fri 8:00-8:30
Mar 1983-Apr 1983, ABC Thu 8:00-8:30
May 1983-Mar 1985, ABC Fri 8:00-8:30
Mar 1985-Sep 1985, ABC Fri 9:00-9:30
Oct 1985-Jan 1986, ABC Fri 9:30-10:00

Total number of episodes: 158


Robert Guillaume as Benson DuBois
James Noble
as Governor Eugene Gatling
Missy Gold
as Katie Gatling (Katherine Olivia Gatling)
Inga Swenson
as Gretchen Kraus
Caroline McWilliams
as Marcy Hill (1979-1981)
Lewis J. Stadlen
as John Taylor (1979-1980)
Rene' Auberjonois
as Clayton Endicott III (1980-1986)
Ethan Phillips
as Pete Downey (1980-1985)
Jerry Seinfeld
as Frankie (1980-1981)
Didi Conn
as Denise Stevens Downey (1981-1985)
Billie Bird
as Mrs. Rose Cassidy (1984-1986)
Donna LaBrie
as Sen. Diane Hartford (1985-1986)
Bob Fraser
as Sen. Leonard Tyler (1983-1986)

Theme Song:

Download the Benson theme song in WAV format
Download the Benson theme song in MP3 format

Television's Greatest Hits, Vol. 6 CD

Television's Greatest Hits, Vol. 6 CD

Includes the Benson theme song - 65 total tv themes

For more information and to purchase from

Series Summary:

Benson cast

In this spin-off from Soap, Benson the black butler--the only sane member of the Tate household--was sent by Jessica Tate to help her widowed cousin, Gov. James Gatling. Benson found himself from one loony bin to another.

Gov. Gatling was a sweet, well-meaning man, but terribly naive; Katie, his precocious daughter; Gretchen, the formidable German housekeeper; and Marcy, his secretary (married in a February 1981 episode). Benson, though theoretically only in charge of the governor's household, kept order around the executive mansion, did constant battle with Gretchen, helped raise little Katie, and generally assisted the meek governor in deciding what to do, both politically and personally. Of less help to the chief executive were his political aide Taylor (replaced by Clayton), bumbling press assistant Pete, and messengerboy Frankie.

In 1981 Benson was appointed state budget director, giving him added responsibilities as well as his own secretary, Denise (who later married Pete). The promotion came just in time for Benson to help the governor in his campaign for a second term, which fortunately for the series he won, as an Independent--after his party dumped him. Benson's former employee, Jessica Tate, showed up in ghostly form in 1983 to remind him how far he had progressed. Benson's remarkable rise continued. In 1984 he was elected Lieutenant Governor, and in 1986--in the series' final original episodes--he ran against his mentor Gov. Gatling for the governorship itself, with his new fiancee Diane serving as his campaign manager. The bitter campaign strained the two men's friendship, but in the end they reconciled, reminisced, and settle in to watch the election results together. In true TV cliffhanger tradition, the outcome was not revealed, so viewers never did find out who won. However one thing was clear--Benson the insolent butler had come a long way.

ABC aired reruns of Benson on weekday mornings from September 1983-June 1984.

Series summary from The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present

The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present

The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows: 1946-Present by Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh

“This is the Guinness Book of World Records . . . The Encyclopedia Britannica of television!” –TV Guide



This is the must-have book for TV viewers in the new millennium–the entire history of prime-time programs in one convenient volume. It’s a guide you’ll turn to again and again for information on every series ever telecast. There are entries for all the great shows, from evergreens like I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, and Happy Days, to modern classics like Will & Grace, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Friends; all the gripping sci-fi series, from Captain Video and The X-Files to all versions of Star Trek; the popular serials, from Peyton Place to Dallas to Dawson’s Creek; and the runaway hits on cable, including CNN, The Real World, The Osbournes, and Sponge Bob Square Pants. This comprehensive guide lists every program alphabetically and includes a complete broadcast history, cast, and engaging plot summary– along with exciting behind-the-scenes stories about the shows and the stars.

MORE THAN 500 ALL-NEW LISTINGS, from Survivor and The Bachelor to C.S.I. and The West Wing.
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BRAND-NEW IN THIS EDITION–an exclusive “Ph.D. Trivia Quiz” of two hundred questions to challenge even the most ardent TV fan; plus a streamlined guide to TV-related Web sites for all those who want to be constantly up-to-date.

• Annual program schedules at a glance for the past fifty-seven years • Top-rated shows of each season • Emmy Award winners • Longest running series • Spin-off series • Theme songs • A fascinating history of TV

For more information and to purchase, click below:

Did You Know?

The series was on the air seven years, longer than the show from which it was spun-off, Soap (1977), which lasted four years.

The series ended with a cliffhanger that was never resolved. It the series, Benson worked for the governor of a southern state. In the final episode, Benson ran against his boss for the job and the show ended before the election results were announced.

Did You Know? Facts from The Internet Movie Database

Message Board:

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Benson Message Board


Benson (TV Land)

Benson episode guide (in English)

Benson episode guide (

Benson episode guide (in German)

Benson Online (the original)

Benson info on Missy and Tracey Gold page

Benson page (Tim's TV Showcase)

Internet Movie Database entry for Benson

Wikipedia entry for Benson

Soap Central - series Benson spun-off from

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