Gimme a Break! (1981–1987)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy
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Carl Kanisky is chief of police in Glenlawn, California. After the death of his wife, Margaret, he asks her friend, Nell Harper, to come in to keep house and take care of his children, ... See full summary »

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Title: Gimme a Break! (1981–1987)

Gimme a Break! (1981–1987) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Season:

6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | 1

Year:

1987 | 1986 | 1985 | 1984 | 1983 | 1982 | 1981
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Nellie Ruth 'Nell' Harper (137 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Samantha 'Sam' Kanisky / ... (119 episodes, 1981-1987)
...
 Julie Kanisky / ... (114 episodes, 1981-1986)
Kari Michaelsen ...
 Katie Kanisky (111 episodes, 1981-1986)
Dolph Sweet ...
 Chief Carl Kanisky / ... (88 episodes, 1981-1985)
...
 Grandpa Stanley Kanisky (78 episodes, 1982-1987)
...
 Joey Donovan (77 episodes, 1983-1987)
...
 Addy Wilson (68 episodes, 1983-1987)
Howard Morton ...
 Officer Ralph Simpson / ... (50 episodes, 1981-1986)
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Storyline

Carl Kanisky is chief of police in Glenlawn, California. After the death of his wife, Margaret, he asks her friend, Nell Harper, to come in to keep house and take care of his children, Katie, Julie, and Samantha, in short, be like a mother to them. Later, Carl's father, Stanley, moves in. Around the same time, Nell takes in young Joey Donovan as her foster son. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

29 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gimme a Break!  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(137 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the third season, several changes were made including a new theme song, new producers and writers (only co-creator Mort Lachman was left of the original production staff), and drastic character changes: the death of Grandma Kanisky, the dropping of Uncle Ed from the cast (having been married in a season 2 episode, there was no mention of him or his wife again), and the additions of Addy Wilson, Nell's longtime friend, and Joey Donovan, an abandoned 7-year-old. See more »

Goofs

The front door of the set has a brass mail slot, but exterior shots are of a door with no slot. See more »

Quotes

Chief: Joey, this is your brother Matt.
Nell: He said that he always wanted a dog.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Night of 100 Stars II (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Gimme a Break
Music by Bob Christianson
Lyrics by Bob Garrett and Marley Sims
Performed by Nell Carter
(First theme song)
See more »

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User Reviews

A Stunning tribune to Nell Carter
28 January 2003 | by (Chapel Hill,North Carolina) – See all my reviews

"Gimme A Break" was one of those shows that always had something going for itself and for one this was out of a pick of standard 80's family shows that hit a home run and so much more with the prime essential element of actress Nell Carter,who was also a accomplish Broadway singer/dancer who won a Tony award for her work in "Ain't Misbehavin" in 1978. The show "Gimme A Break" was based on a cop who moved his family from New York to California after his wife Margaret passed away and also became the chief of police in a small fictional California town who in turn had this housekeeper named Nell who was no only in charge of the household,but also was in charge of his three daughters too in which Nell was not only the mother to them,but she had some tough love around that too. For the six seasons that in ran on NBC-TV(1981-1987) in the eighties,this was one of those shows that was constantly in the top ten ratings during its run on the Peacock network. Though the sitcom was hardly groundbreaking for its time,the series earned Nell Carter two Emmy nominations for her work and in turn gave her an opportunity to sing and dance in some of the episodes occasionally.

The show itself was a launching pad for three young performers who would go on to be stars: Joey Lawrence,Matthew Lawrence(both of whom landed key roles on other TV sitcom series and also have recording careers),along with actress Telma Hopkins(of Tony Orlando and Dawn,and later on with Family Matters,and Half and Half),and in its final season Rosie O'Donnell(before she would break out in daytime television). The series was produced by Alan Landsburg(who was also crank out other sitcoms like Kate & Allie,and In Search Of with Leonard Nimoy). However,when the show went off the air in 1987,she returned to do several other series and also was a spokeswoman for Liberty Medical Insurance Company(who in turn spoke out about the effects of diabetes since she was a diabetic herself). However,Nell Carter is no longer with us(she passed away on January 23,2002 at the age of 54)but her presence with that series will always remained in our hearts since she was a entertainment legend. She will be truly missed.


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