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Benson (1979–1986)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy, Family
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Jessica Tate's sharp-tongued former butler, Benson DuBois, moves up in the world, becoming first the governor's "director of household affairs," then the state's budget director, then lieutenant governor and candidate for the executive mansion.


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1986   1985   1984   1983   1982   1981   … See all »
Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Benson DuBois (159 episodes, 1979-1986)
 Governor Eugene Xavier Gatling / ... (159 episodes, 1979-1986)
 Miss Gretchen Wilomena Kraus / ... (159 episodes, 1979-1986)
Missy Gold ...
 Katherine 'Katie' Olivia Gatling / ... (158 episodes, 1979-1986)
 Clayton Runnymede Endicott III (135 episodes, 1980-1986)
 Peter 'Pete' John Downey / ... (97 episodes, 1980-1984)
 Denise Florence Stevens Downey (73 episodes, 1981-1984)


In this spinoff of "Soap", Benson DuBois is sent out West to serve as butler to widowed state governor Gene Gatling, an honest but bumbling servant of the people. Although he has his rivals in German maid Kraus and persnickety aides Clayton and Taylor, Benson, armed with an acerbic wit and plenty of smarts, becomes the Governor's close friend and helper, and eventually is elected Lieutenant Governor! Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@soltec.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family





Release Date:

13 September 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Poderoso Benson  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


The show marked the acting debut of a then-unknown young comedian, Jerry Seinfeld. See more »


In the episode "Fools Gold" the blueprints Benson was hiding in his robe weren't visible in early shots (long or close-up) of the scene, but can be clearly seen sticking out of his robe right before he takes them out to show the Governor. See more »


[Benson walks into the governor's office]
Governor Eugene Xavier Gatling: Benson, I must be psychic. I was just thinking of you and here you are.
Benson DuBois: Governor, you sent for me.
Governor Eugene Xavier Gatling: Oh. That's probably why I was thinking of you.
See more »


Referenced in TV in Black: The First Fifty Years (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Benson episodes on TV Land
7 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I have been watching re-runs of "Benson" on TV Land. I love this story of Benson going from butler to bureaucrat to lieutenant governor.

The final episode of the series was a stroke of genius. Governor Gatling finds out that through a loophole in the state constitution, he may run for a third term although everyone simply assumed he was term limited at two terms.

When Gatling announces to Benson and everyone that he's going to run for an unprecedented third term; the relationship between Gatling and Benson chills. Until a television debate where the governor suddenly realizes that what Benson has said is not personal.

The cliffhanger comes when the two meet in the kitchen of the Governor's Mansion and the two sit at the table to reminisce. They both agree that they could both be out of a job if the third candidate in the race wins.

Then Governor Gatling and Benson's attention is drawn to the small TV set where the announcer says "Cap-TV is now prepared to make a projection in the governor's race." Both wish each other good luck and shake hands. Fade to black. The classic of all cliffhangers.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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