TV on DVD just got a great shot in the arm!

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, 154-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:

1) Change (Pilot)

2) Don't Quote Me

3) Kraus Affair

4) Trust Me

5) War Stories

6) Checkmate

7) President's Double

8) Ghost Story

9) Cold Storage

10) Benson in Love

11) Taylor's Bid

12) Old Man Gatling

13) Conflict of Interest

14) One Strike, You're Out

15) Power Play

16) The Layoff

17) Just Friends

18) Takin' It to the Streets

19) Snowbound

20) Chain of Command

21) The Army Wants You

22) Jessica

23) Bugging the Governor

24) Marcy's Vacation

DVD Features:

- Video Introduction with Robert Guillaume

- Benson Series Retrospective

- Photo Gallery

Technical Specs:

- Audio: English (Stereo)

- CC: Yes

- Aspect Ratio: Full Screen Presentations

- Digitally Remastered Audio and Video

Evan Jacobs