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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6   5   4   3   2   1  
1987   1986   1985   1984   1983   1982   … See all »
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 12 nominations. See more awards »


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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 / ... (82 episodes, 1982-1987)
 Joey Donovan (77 episodes, 1983-1987)
 Addy Wilson (68 episodes, 1983-1987)
Howard Morton ...
 Officer Ralph Simpson / ... (49 episodes, 1981-1986)


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







Release Date:

29 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Allo Nelly Bobo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(137 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The original unaired pilot had the same plot as _"Gimme a Break! (1981) {Katie the Crook (#1.1)}"_, but it had a different set for the house, and the third Kanisky child was a redheaded boy named Matthew. The 1981 TV Guide Fall Preview used this pilot as the basis for their description of the show. See more »


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


Samantha: What's a cliché?
Nell: [serving breakfast] A black woman serving pancakes to a white kid.
See more »


Referenced in Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Mr. T (1984) See more »


Gimme a Break
Music by Jay Graydon
Lyrics by Richard Page
Performed by Nell Carter
(Second theme song)
See more »

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User Reviews

Gimme a Break-The Game is Survival!
20 February 2006 | by (GREENPOINT'S FINEST) – See all my reviews

I am so happy that this show has finally made it to the era of DVD. I still remember watching this show on Saturday nights back in the '80's over at my grandparents house.I believe it was on NBC-at 830pm right after Diff'rent Strokes (another classic sitcom that also has finally made it to DVD).It was an amazing show-It had the premise of a maid taking care of her employer-a police chief and his 3 teenage daughters.After 25 years since its premiere, several cast members have went to that great casting couch in the sky- Dolph Sweet (Chief Kanisky), Nell Carter (Nell Harper) and Howard Morton (Officer Ralph Simpson: They will live on forever via DVD.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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