Benson is an American sitcom that aired on ABC from September 13, 1979, to April 19, 1986. The series is a spin-off of the soap opera parody Soap in which the character Benson, portrayed by Robert Guillaume, had first appeared as the wise-cracking yet level-headed African-American butler for the highly dysfunctional Tate family. However, Benson eschewed the soap opera format of its parent show for a more conventional sitcom structure. The series was created by Susan Harris, and produced by Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions. In 1985, Guillaume won an Emmy award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in the show.