MR. BELVEDERE AS THE BRITISH BUTLER
Mr. Belvedere is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the ABC network from March 15, 1985 until July 8, 1990.
The premise of the program was that a middle-class family in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, takes in an English butler after he immigrates to the United States.
The posh butler, Lynn Belvedere, struggled to adapt to the Owens household. The breadwinner, George, was a sportswriter. His wife Marsha was attending law school, and helped raise their three kids in her spare time. At the time the show started, Kevin attended high school, Heather was in junior high, and Wesley was in elementary school.
Many episodes revolve around Belvedere's relationship with Wesley. In one of many very special episodes, one of Wesley's classmates contracted HIV via a blood transfusion, not unlike what happened to the real-life teenager Ryan White. When all of Wesley's classmates shunned him for still associating with his friend, Belvedere was there for him and the child, and he helped the other students befriend the boy. Mr. Belvedere served as a mentor to Wesley any time he had trouble, and also helped the other children whenever they needed help.
Each episode ended with Mr. Belvedere writing in his diary about the day in the Owens home. The show's theme song was perfomed by Leon Redbone.
The character of Mr. Belvedere was created by Gwen Davenport in her novel Belvedere, and was originally portrayed by Clifton Webb in a series of theatrical films in the late 1940s and early 1950s. There was also a television pilot in 1965 starring Victor Buono in the title role.
Mr. Belvedere had an average-sized ratings base, but it was never a phenomenally popular show; the show did not rate in the Top 30 shows in any of its six seasons. In fact, the show was canceled in 1987, only to be renewed after much fan protest.
In late 1989, in the middle of its sixth season, Mr. Belvedere was shelved and no episodes aired for the rest of the season. Speculation emerged that the show had been abruptly canceled, so ABC aired the final few episodes (including the two-parter series finale, in which Mr. Belvedere marries and moves to Africa) in the summer. The show has since been seen sporadically in syndication.