"There won't be much of David Hedison in the 1979-80 Fall television schedule I'm afraid - except for the first Benson and whatever reruns the networks decide to throw in. But remember, there is always next year, and I'm looking forward very much to the Chapter Two tour. It's been ten years since I've been on the boards and I think it's about time."

David Hedison - August 24, 1979

Pilot Episode (1979)
Director: Jay Sandrich
Writer: Susan Harris
Original Air Date: 13 September 1979 (1:01)  
Robert Guillaume - Benson DuBois
James Noble - Governor Gatling
Missy Gold - Katie Gatling
Inga Swenson - Miss Kraus
Caroline McWilliams - Marcy Hill
David Hedison - John Taylor

When Eugene Gatling, much to his surprise, is elected Governor, he finds the mansion in disarray and himself overwhelmed. His cousin Jessica Tate sends Benson to help her widowed cousin and Benson brings his own version of sanity to politics as usual.

"Before I left for Europe [to film ffolkes] I did a television pilot for a new TV series called Benson, starring Robert Guillaume. I was never particularly excited about it, unfortunately, as I didn't think I'd enjoy the role I had week after week. At any rate, the pilot sold and will be on the Fall ABC Schedule following Laverne and Shirley - but I will not be in it!"

David Hedison - August 24, 1979

David was offered the lead in a national touring company of Chapter Two and would start rehearsals the same summer that he would have been taping the first season of Benson. As it turned out, the tour lasted through the filming schedule of two seasons of Benson.

Lewis Stadlen took over the role of political advisor John Taylor. The character never really developed and by second season had been replaced with a new foil for Benson - Clayton Endicott III  (Rene Auberjonois).