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, ...
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This series took place in an apartment building, numbered 227. The cast would frequently be found sitting outside on a large set of stone stairs, in some discussion that would unfold into the weekly plot line.
Deacon Frye, head of the First Community Church of Philadelphia, is trying to keep everything in his church firmly under control. His new assistant, Rev. Reuben Gregory, however, has some ... See full summary »
Anna Maria Horsford
A greasy-spoon diner in Phoenix, Arizona is the setting for this long-running series. The title character, Alice Hyatt, is an aspiring singer who arrives in Phoenix with her teenaged son, ... See full summary »
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
The Cosby Show, with it's affluent black family, redefining the African American sitcom and how blacks were perceived on TV, and becoming a national phenomenon, helped bring an end to Gimme A Break. After the Cosby show premiered and became a big hit, NBC executives were no longer satisfied with the Nell Carter sitcom about a sassy black maid in a white family. It seemed old hat, and vaguely stereotypical now. NBC warned Gimme A Break it needed to make drastic changes in the fifth season or they would cancel it. This is when the girls (Samantha, Julie and Katie) were fired, the location was changed to upscale Manhattan, and Nell became an assistant at a publishing house; a more acceptable, yuppy position for a black character in the post-Cosby world. This is also when the show jumped the shark. The original chemistry Nell had with the girls and the Chief was gone, the charm of the original house in Fresno was gone, the charm of the original family which had drawn viewers in was gone. The show quality continued to deteriorate at this point and the show was canceled in 1987. See more »
In Season 1 Nell's mother's name is Emma Harper in later seasons her mother's name is Maybelle Harper. See more »
What's a cliché?
A black woman serving pancakes to a white kid.
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Gimme A Stroke! Only Kidding! This show made Nell famous!
Nell Carter will always be known as Nell from Gimme a Break than her Broadway background which included singing and dancing. Sadly, she died in her fifties. She plays a beloved housekeeper in a Caucasian American home led by the wonderful Dolph Sweet who passed away during the show's run. The cast also included three teenage daughters. The show had an extended family of regular cast members like Telma Hopkins who played Nell's best friend. Sweet's character was a police chief of Glenlawn, California. Over the years during it's run, Nell welcomed Joey and Matthew Laurence and other cast members. The show dealt with sensitive topics like depression, suicide, teenage angst, death, loss, racism, etc., without being preachy or dumb. It was never a critical favorite but you felt at home with Nell and the gang.
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