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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1987   1986   1985   1984   1983   1982   … 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 / ... (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)
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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

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Comedy

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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

During the last year of Gimme A Break Joey Lawrence's Blossom co- star Mayim Bialik was filming Beaches where she'd play a young mini me version of Bette Middler. 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

Katie: Dad, it's hard for Nell to stick to her diet when you're stuffing your face like that.
Chief: I'm not stuffing.
Nell: Right. He's eating for two in case he gets pregnant.
Chief: See what happens? You take away their trough and they get vicious?
Nell: It's no problem. I'm eating clean, lean, and healthy. After all, you are what you eat. Another helping of jackass, Chief?
See more »

Connections

Featured in I Love the 80's 3-D: 1981 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Sing A Song
Performed by Nell Carter
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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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