Private Benjamin
Based onPrivate Benjamin
Developed byDon Reo
Directed byWilliam Asher
Charles Beaumont
Gabrielle Beaumont
Alan Bergmann
Bruce Bilson
Alan Cooke
William P. D'Angelo
Marc Daniels
Herbert Kenwith
Leslie H. Martinson
Tony Mordente
Howard Morris
Alan Myerson
Bob Sweeney
StarringLorna Patterson
Eileen Brennan
Wendie Jo Sperber
Hal Williams
Theme music composerBob Carroll, Jr.
Madelyn Davis
Opening theme"Judy's Theme"
ComposersBarry De Vorzon
Dennis McCarthy
George Tipton
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes39 (list of episodes)
Executive producersNick Arnold
Bob Carroll, Jr.
Madelyn Davis
Leonard B. Kaufman
Don Reo
ProducersJudith D. Allison
Hank Bradford
Bob Illes
Arnold Kane
Linda Morris
Vic Rauseo
Elliot Schick
James R. Stein
Running time22–24 minutes
Production companyWarner Bros. Television
Original release
ReleaseApril 6, 1981 (1981-04-06) –
January 10, 1983 (1983-01-10)
Private Benjamin

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 Primetime Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award for her work on the series.


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 captain.

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 characters


Main article: List of Private Benjamin episodes

Season Episodes Original broadcast Nielsen ratings
Premiered: Ended:
1 4 April 6, 1981 (1981-04-06) April 27, 1981 (1981-04-27) N/A
2 22 October 12, 1981 (1981-10-12) April 26, 1982 (1982-04-26) 37[1]
3 13 September 27, 1982 (1982-09-27) January 10, 1983 (1983-01-10) 45[2]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
1982 Golden Globe Awards Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy Nominated [3]
Best Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy Eileen Brennan Won
1983 Nominated
1982 People's Choice Awards Favorite New TV Comedy Program Won [4]
1981 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series Eileen Brennan Won [5]
1982 Nominated
1983 Nominated


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Private Benjamin (TV) – Golden Globes". HFPA. Retrieved July 5, 2021.
  4. ^ "1982 – NOMINEES & WINNERS". Archived from the original on June 17, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  5. ^ "Private Benjamin". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved July 13, 2021.