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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Episodes

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6   5   4   3   2   1  
1987   1986   1985   1984   … See all »
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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

29 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Allo Nelly Bobo  »

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

In Season 1 Nell's mother's name is Emma Harper in later seasons her mother's name is Maybelle Harper. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Our Idiot Brother (2011) 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

reasonably funny
16 June 2006 | by (Richardson, TX) – See all my reviews

This was a reasonably funny comedy starring Nell Carter. A very young Joey Lawrence also appeared in it as a young street-hustler-turned-foster-kid-for-the-family. It was basic fare for a sitcom, featuring the cute kids, family values, and little lessons learned at the end of each episode. In the show, the chief of police's wife has just died, and he asks Nell (Nell Carter) to come in and work for him, helping him raise his three daughters in the process. Nell becomes sort of a mother figure for the girls, and everyone tries to learn from each other. There were some memorable episodes (such as when Samantha puts Joey in black face to get back at Nell, or when Nell undergoes hypnotherapy to remember where she had put something only to become helpless whenever someone knocked three times, or when the chief was on a stakeout with another officer and told him a horrible gay joke, only to learn that the other officer was gay), but the show was fairly standard. Nonetheless, I thought it was funny, and it managed to stand out due to its good cast and themes in its episodes and type of humor. It was sad when the actor who played the chief died. Jonathan Silverman was a good addition after that. I also love the grandfather character. He was funny, and changed as the show went on, from the senile old goat to a wise old man.

Unfortunately, the show went downhill after Nell and Addy moved to New York, and they changed the premise of the show. I didn't think it was as good after that, and I hardly watched it anymore.

Overall, anyone into '80s TV show might like this one. I used to enjoy watching it when I was younger. **1/2 out of ****


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