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.
Charles in Charge is an American sitcom starring Scott Baio. It 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.
Baio starred as Charles, a college student attending the fictional Copeland College in New Brunswick, New Jersey, who finds a unique living arrangement with a family in need of a caretaker for their young children. 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.