Private Benjamin (TV series)
Private Benjamin is an American sitcom television series based on and set during the events of the 1980 movie of the same name that aired on CBS from April 6, 1981, to January 10, 1983. Eileen Brennan, who reprised her role from the film, won an Emmy and Golden Globe Award for her work on the series.
|Based on||Private Benjamin|
|Developed by||Don Reo|
|Directed by||William Asher|
William P. D'Angelo
Leslie H. Martinson
Wendie Jo Sperber
|Theme music composer||Bob Carroll, Jr.|
|Opening theme||"Judy's Theme"|
|Composers||Barry De Vorzon|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||39 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Nick Arnold|
Bob Carroll, Jr.
Leonard B. Kaufman
|Producers||Judith D. Allison|
James R. Stein
|Running time||22–24 minutes|
|Production company||Warner Bros. Television|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original release||April 6, 1981 –|
January 10, 1983
|Related shows||Private Benjamin|
Like the movie, the series is about a spoiled young socialite named Judy Benjamin adjusting to life in the army. She's popular among her fellow enlisted personnel (with the exception of Pvt. Carol Winter), but not with her superiors. Most of the humor in the series is derived from Benjamin and her friends' attempts to evade the watchful eye of their sergeant.
Although some of the actors from the film play the same characters on the TV show, (notably Eileen Brennan and Hal Williams, in their roles of Captain Doreen Lewis and Sgt. L.C. Ross respectively) the title role is acted by Lorna Patterson instead of Goldie Hawn.
While the series was initially shot on film and featured many outdoor scenes, later episodes were more like a standard sitcom, shot on video on soundstages and complete with a laugh track.
In the fall of 1982, Robert Mandan joined the cast as Colonel Lawrence Fielding, the pompous, well-meaning, but ineffectual, head of the camp. In late 1982, Eileen Brennan was struck by a car and Polly Holliday was brought in as Captain Amanda Allen, intended as a temporary replacement for Brennan's Captain Lewis character, but the show was cancelled shortly thereafter.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Lorna Patterson as Pvt. Judith "Judy" Benjamin
- Eileen Brennan as Cpt. Doreen Lewis
- Joyce Little as Pvt. Rayleen White
- Robert Mandan as Col. Lawrence Fielding
- Ann Ryerson as Pvt. Carol Winter
- Wendie Jo Sperber as Pvt. Stacy Kouchalakas
- Lucy Webb as Pvt. Luanne Hubble
- Hal Williams as Sgt. Ted Ross
- Lisa Raggio as Pvt. Maria Gianelli
- Damita Jo Freeman as Pvt. Jackie Sims
- Polly Holliday as Cpt. Amanda Allen
|Season||Episodes||Original broadcast||Nielsen ratings|
|1||4||April 6, 1981||April 27, 1981||N/A|
|2||22||October 12, 1981||April 26, 1982||37|
|3||13||September 27, 1982||January 10, 1983||45|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|1981||Emmy Award||Won||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series||Eileen Brennan|
|1982||Nominated||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series||Eileen Brennan|
|1983||Nominated||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series||Eileen Brennan|
|1982||Golden Globe Award||Nominated||Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy|
|Won||Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Eileen Brennan|
|1983||Nominated||Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy||Eileen Brennan|
|1982||People's Choice Awards||Won||Favorite New TV Comedy Program|
- Lina. "The TV Ratings Guide: 1981-82 Ratings History -- Primetime is Awash in a Bubble Bath as Nighttime Soaps Become the Rage". Retrieved 1 April 2018.
- Lina. "The TV Ratings Guide: 1982-83 Ratings History -- Soap Bubbles Rise, Several Veterans Part and NBC Renews Poorly Rated Masterpieces". Retrieved 1 April 2018.