Home Television Comedy Charles In Charge

Charles In Charge

1 9 8 4 – 1 9 8 5 (USA)
1 9 8 7 – 1 9 9 0 (USA)
126 x 30 minute episodes

An archetypal 1980s sitcom starring teen heartthrob Scott Baio as 19-year-old Charles (no last name), an impoverished college student who gets a job as live-in ‘nanny’ for the Pembroke’s and their three kids.

Baio had made a name for himself playing Fonzie’s younger cousin in Happy Days and its spin-off Joanie Loves Chachi.

Following the demise of those series, American TV bosses still considered the actor a ‘hot’ item, and his ‘hunk’ status led to this purpose-built series.

The comedy arose from Charles’ attempts at raising the Pembroke’s three mischievous children, 14-year-old Lila (April Lerman), 12-year-old Douglas (Jonathan Ward) and 10-year-old Jason (Michael Perlman).

Charles had a girlfriend, fellow college student Gwendolyn (Jennifer Runyon), and a best buddy named, appropriately, Buddy (Willie Aames).

CBS dropped the show after just one season but new episodes, utilising a slightly different format, were made for first-run syndication.

In these, Charles returned from vacation to find that the Pembrokes had moved to Seattle and sub-let their house to the Powell family. Luckily, they too needed a houseboy and Charles moved back in, carrying on much as before.


John Travolta’s sister Ellen joined the new cast as Charles’ mother Lillian, an on-screen relationship they had previously explored in Joanie Loves Chachi.

In January 2018, sexual misconduct allegations were made by Nicole Eggert (who played Jamie Powell) against Baio. She claimed that inappropriate relations started when she was 14 and that when she was 17, she had intercourse with Baio.

Baio denied the allegations, contending that he had sexual relations with Eggert only once and that the encounter occurred after she had turned 18.

Several months later, Alexander Polinsky (who played Adam Powell) accused Baio of engaging in verbal abuse and of physically assaulting him on the set of Charles in Charge.

Scott Baio
Buddy Lembeck 

Willie Aames
Jill Pembroke 

Julie Cobb
Stan Pembroke 

James Widdoes
Douglas Pembroke 

Jonathan Ward
Lila Pembroke 

April Lerman
Jason Pembroke 

Michael Perlman
Gwendolyn Pierce 

Jennifer Runyon
Ellen Powell 

Sandra Kerns
Jamie Powell 

Nicole Eggert
Sara Powell 

Josie Davis
Adam Powell 

Alexander Polinsky
Walter Powell 

James Callahan

Ellen Travolta