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Charles in Charge is an American sitcom starring Scott Baio. It debuted in 1984 and aired for a total of 126 episodes over five seasons. The series was a production of Al Burton Productions and Scholastic Productions in association with Universal Television.

Charles in Charge
Charles in Charge.jpg
Created byMichael Jacobs
Barbara Weisberg
Starring
Theme music composer
Opening theme"Charles in Charge"
performed by Shandi Sinnamon
Composer(s)
  • David Kurtz (1987–88)
  • Timothy Thompson (1988–89)
  • Todd Hayen (1989–90)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes126 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Al Burton
  • Co-executive producers:
  • Jane Startz
  • Michael Jacobs (seasons 2–4)
Producer(s)
  • Michael Jacobs
  • (season 1)
  • Roseanne Leto (pilot)
  • Mitchell Bank
  • Todd E. Kessler (seasons 2–4)
Running time22 minutes
Production company(s)Al Burton Productions
Scholastic Productions
Universal Television
DistributorMCA TV
(1987-1990)
(seasons 2-5)
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
(current)
Release
Original networkCBS (1984–1985)
First-run syndication (1987–1990)
Original releaseOctober 3, 1984 (1984-10-03) –
November 10, 1990 (1990-11-10)

Baio starred as Charles, a college student attending the fictional Copeland College in New Brunswick, New Jersey,[1] who finds a unique living arrangement with a family in need of a caretaker for their young children.[2] The show also starred Willie Aames as Charles' best friend Buddy Lembeck.

The series premiered on CBS on October 3, 1984, and aired initially on Wednesday nights at 8 PM paired with another new sitcom, Dreams. Facing off against two hits in ABC's The Fall Guy and NBC's Highway to Heaven, neither show performed well and Charles in Charge was moved to Saturday nights after the cancellation of Dreams. CBS eventually decided to cancel the series after it made no improvement in the ratings after its move to Saturday, and Charles in Charge aired its final episode on April 3, 1985, in its original time slot.

At the time of CBS' decision to cancel Charles in Charge, a trend had emerged where network series, especially comedies, would find new life in first-run syndication after cancellation. Universal took advantage of this and relaunched Charles in Charge in syndication. The first new episode premiered on January 3, 1987, and four more seasons were produced before the show came to an end again on November 10, 1990.

PremiseEdit

When the series premiered, Charles had just taken a job with Stan and Jill Pembroke to help care for their three children, sons Jason and Douglas and daughter Lila. In exchange for his services, the Pembrokes provide Charles with room and board.

When the show returned in 1987, the Powell family was living in the home; the Pembrokes had moved to Seattle and had agreed to sublet the house, which included allowing Charles to continue living there. The family retained Charles' services as well, and he became caretaker for Ellen Powell's three children, son Adam and daughters Jamie and Sarah. In addition to them, Ellen's father-in-law Walter moved into the home to serve as his grandchildren's father figure; Ellen's husband was a Navy officer who was often on duty and thus rarely saw his family.

Charles' mother Lillian, who had not been seen in the initial series, became a more central figure in her son's life when the show moved to syndication as well.

CastEdit

Actor Character Seasons
1
(1984–85)
2–5
(1987–90)
Scott Baio Charles
Willie Aames Buddy Lembeck
Jennifer Runyon (1984–87) Gwendolyn Pierce
James Widdoes (1984–85) Stan Pembroke
Julie Cobb (1984–85) Jill Pembroke
April Lerman (1984–85) Lila Pembroke
Jonathan Ward (1984–85) Douglas Pembroke
Michael Pearlman (1984–87) Jason Pembroke
James T. Callahan (1987–90) Walter Powell
Sandra Kerns (1987–90) Ellen Powell
Nicole Eggert (1987–90) Jamie Powell
Josie Davis (1987–90) Sarah Powell
Alexander Polinsky (1987–90) Adam Powell
Ellen Travolta (1987–90) Lillian
Justin Whalin (1989) Anthony

Michael Pearlman and Jennifer Runyon are the only other actors, besides Baio and Aames, to reprise their roles on the show. Pearlman appeared in the second-season premiere, "Amityville". (Lisa Donovan played Jill Pembroke in that episode.) Runyon appeared in "Twice Upon a Time (Part 1)" and "Twice Upon a Time (Part 2)".

In the final two seasons, Sandra Kerns only made three more appearances (once in season 4 and twice in season 5). Baio and Aames are the only two cast members that appear in every single episode.

Theme songEdit

The theme song was composed by David Kurtz, Michael Jacobs, and Al Burton, and performed by Shandi Sinnamon. The theme music was mellower in the first season, and was remixed for the syndication run.

The song was performed by the a cappella group The Blanks in the medical sitcom, Scrubs, and was featured on their 2015 album, Riding the Wave.

Home mediaEdit

Universal Studios Home Entertainment released a 3-disc set of the first season of Charles in Charge on DVD in North America on February 14, 2006. Due to poor sales, no further seasons were released.

In September 2007, it was announced that Arts Alliance America (which subsequently changed its name to Virgil Films & Entertainment during the summer of 2007) had acquired the rights to the series.[3] They subsequently released seasons 2–5 on DVD. Seasons 4 and 5 were Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases, available exclusively through Amazon.com.[4][5]

DVD name Ep # Release date
The Complete First Season 22 February 14, 2006
The Complete Second Season 26 November 20, 2007
The Complete Third Season 26 May 20, 2008
The Complete Fourth Season 26 March 24, 2009
The Complete Fifth and Final Season 26 July 28, 2009

StreamingEdit

All five seasons of the series were made available for streaming through Amazon Video and season one only on Hulu Plus.[6]

In addition, the entire series can be streamed on the NBC.com app.

Syndicated stationsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Charles in Charge – The Complete First Season DVD Review". Sitcoms Online. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  2. ^ "Charles in Charge (TV Series) Overview". Allmovie. Retrieved March 25, 2009.
  3. ^ "Charles in Charge DVD news: Announcement for Charles In Charge - The Complete 2nd Season - TVShowsOnDVD.com". Archived from the original on 2012-04-19.
  4. ^ Where Does the 4th Season of the Scott Baio Series Currently Stand? Archived 2009-02-08 at the Wayback Machine TVShowsOnDVD.com. January 28, 2009.
  5. ^ Charles in Charge – The 5th and Final Season is Available on DVD in July! Archived 2009-06-07 at the Wayback Machine TVShowsOnDVD.com. June 5, 2009
  6. ^ Amazon Video: Charles in Charge Retrieved January 23, 2013
  7. ^ "Scott Baio Willie Aames 1988 Ad- Charles In Charge MCA TV". Collectors.com.
  8. ^ WGNX 46 (Atlanta) Commercial Breaks (1990/1991)-Part 1 of 2 on YouTube
  9. ^ "Retro: DC/Baltimore/Delmarva Tues, Sept 8, 1987". Radio Discussions. September 7, 2011.
  10. ^ "Retro: Maine Sat, June 6, 1987". Radio Discussions. June 2, 2011.
  11. ^ "Retro:Charleston-Huntington, West Virginia, Saturday 1/10/87 (Excluding PBS)". Radio Discussions. June 1, 2007.
  12. ^ 1989 WGN Charles in Charge promos on YouTube
  13. ^ 1988 charles in charge commercial on YouTube
  14. ^ 1989 WGN Comedy commercial on YouTube
  15. ^ 19XIX Charles In Charge Bump - 1989/1990 on YouTube
  16. ^ 33 minutes of TV commercials from 1986 and 1987 (WUPW WUAB 80s) on YouTube
  17. ^ 90's Commercials Vol. 213 on YouTube
  18. ^ "Retro: Columbus, OH Metropolitan, Monday, Mar. 7th, 1988". Radio Discussions. September 29, 2012.
  19. ^ "Retro: Montana Sun, Aug 27, 1989". Radio Discussions. August 29, 2013.
  20. ^ "Northern Indiana - Sunday, February 26, 1989". Radio Discussions. October 13, 2006.
  21. ^ "Retro: Oklahoma City - Week of April 22, 1990". Radio Discussions. January 19, 2019.
  22. ^ "Retro: Eastern North Carolina Sat, Oct 6, 1990". Radio Discussions. October 6, 2010.
  23. ^ 80's Commercials Vol. 517 on YouTube
  24. ^ "Retro: Houston Saturday, February 28-Sunday, March 1, 1987". Radio Discussions. March 6, 2010.
  25. ^ Charles In Charge - Promo - 1987 - WZDX 54 - Huntsville Alabama on YouTube
  26. ^ Charles In Charge - Promo - 1990 - Fox 54 Huntsville Alabama on YouTube
  27. ^ Charles In Charge -Bumper - 1987 - WZDX - Huntsville Alabama on YouTube
  28. ^ WZDX Fox 54 - Bumper - 1991 - The Brady Bunch & Charles in Charge Three's Company Mama's Family on YouTube
  29. ^ Weekday Afternoon Commercials (KZKC 62) - September 1989 on YouTube
  30. ^ "Retro: Harlan, KY, Saturday, September 26, 1987". Radio Discussions. December 19, 2017.
  31. ^ "Retro: Owosso, MI, Sunday, November 15, 1987". Radio Discussions. November 23, 2017.
  32. ^ KTLA Movie Ending / KTLA Charles In Charge Promo 2/2/87 on YouTube
  33. ^ WON The Plus 5.2's Back In Time-KTLA-TV News,Sports & Movies Intros, Promos & Bumpers (1970s-2000s) on YouTube
  34. ^ "WBFS Miami Weekday Schedules (first 20 years, 1984-2003)". Radio Discussions. August 26, 2014.
  35. ^ "Retro: Milwaukee, WI, Monday October 2, 1989 2 Independents". Radio Discussions. March 27, 2015.
  36. ^ WPIX commercials (April 1990) on YouTube
  37. ^ Charles in Charge (1990 Promo) on YouTube
  38. ^ WPIX 1992 Charles In Charge Commercial on YouTube
  39. ^ 1987 Feb 10 WPIX Commercials on YouTube
  40. ^ An Hour Of "Charles In Charge" On WPIX on YouTube
  41. ^ "Retro: Nebraska/Central-East South Dakota/Sioux City Sat, July 4, 1987". Radio Discussions. July 12, 2010.
  42. ^ "Retro: Daytona Beach, FL broadcast, March 4th, 1991". Radio Discussions. July 17, 2011.
  43. ^ "Retro: Gulf Coast Sat, Sept 12, 1987". Radio Discussions. September 21, 2009.
  44. ^ "SYNDICATED PROGRAMS THAT HAVE JUMPED FROM STATION TO STATION". Radio Discussions. February 12, 2006.
  45. ^ The Best Of WGBS Philly 57, 1986-1988 on YouTube
  46. ^ "Retro: Pittsburgh, Thursday, May 3, 1990". Radio Discussions. May 22, 2019.
  47. ^ Bianco, Robert (August 25, 1987). "2 versions of 'Family Ties,' first-run sitcoms in WPGH lineup". The Pittsburgh Press.
  48. ^ "Retro: Fresno Sat/Sun 2/21-22/87 (pt 2)". Radio Discussions. August 16, 2005.
  49. ^ "Retro: Montana Mon, Aug 28, 1989". Radio Discussions. September 2, 2013.
  50. ^ KABB-TV 29 Show Promos and ID 1987 on YouTube
  51. ^ KSTW Charles in Charge promo, 1989 on YouTube
  52. ^ November 5, 1989 commercials (Vol. 2) on YouTube
  53. ^ 1988 Commercial Block - Volume Thirteen - HD on YouTube
  54. ^ KDNL ST. Louis commercials 1990 on YouTube
  55. ^ Charles in Charge topical promo on YouTube
  56. ^ "Retro: Reading/Philadelphia, Saturday, July 25, 1987". Radio Discussions. November 22, 2017.

External linksEdit