Benson | 1979
A spin-off from "Soap" featuring Benson DuBois, the Tate family butler, who agrees to help Jessica's widowed cousin, James Gatling, the well-meaning but naive governor of an unidentified Eastern state, organize his household and help keep the state afloat. Benson also helped raise Katie, the Governor's little daughter, but was constantly at odds with Gretchen, the sharp-tongued German housekeeper.
Benson assisted the meek Governor in deciding what to do, both politically and personally. He usually offered better counsel to his boss than the Governor's political aides: John Taylor and Clayton Endicott, both of whom resented Benson's considerable influence on the Governor. Other members of the Governor's staff included Mercy Hill, his secretary, and Pete Downey, the bumbling press assistant.
In 1981, Benson was appointed state budget director, giving him added responsibilities, as well as his own secretary, Denise, who later married Pete. Benson's remarkable rise continued in 1984 when he was elected Lieutenant Governor. In 1986, during the series' final episodes, he ran against his mentor, Governor Gatling for the governorship itself. Helping him was fiancee, Senator Diane Hartford, who served as his campaign manager. The bitter campaign strained the two men's friendship, but, in the end, they reconciled. The outcome of the election was never revealed.