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 »

Creators:

,
Reviews
Popularity
2,499 ( 80)

On Disc

at Amazon

Episodes

Seasons


Years



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 »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

What's Happening!! (1976–1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A trio of black youths learn about life, love, friendship, credit cards, gambling, and a variety of other things while growing up in an inner city.

Stars: Ernest Thomas, Haywood Nelson, Danielle Spencer
227 (1985–1990)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

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.

Stars: Helen Martin, Marla Gibbs, Hal Williams
Amen (1986–1991)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Sherman Hemsley, Clifton Davis, Anna Maria Horsford
What's Happening Now! (1985–1988)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

"What's Happening Now!" is a sequel to "What's Happening!," a TV series about the adult main characters (Raj, Dwayne, Rerun, Shirley, and Dee) as teenagers/children.

Stars: Ernest Thomas, Haywood Nelson, Anne-Marie Johnson
One Day at a Time (1975–1984)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The misadventures of a divorced mother, her family, and their building superintendent in Indianapolis.

Stars: Valerie Bertinelli, Bonnie Franklin, Pat Harrington Jr.
Alice (1976–1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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 »

Stars: Linda Lavin, Beth Howland, Vic Tayback
Too Close for Comfort (1980–1987)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Jackie and Sarah Rush are two grown sisters who live in half of a duplex. Their parents, Henry and Muriel, live in the other half. Though one might think this proximity may be fun, both ... See full summary »

Stars: Ted Knight, Nancy Dussault, Jim J. Bullock
The Jeffersons (1975–1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A nouveau riche, African-American family who move into a luxury apartment building develop close, if occasionally fractious, relationships with other tenants.

Stars: Isabel Sanford, Sherman Hemsley, Marla Gibbs
Good Times (1974–1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A poor Afro-American family make the best of things in the Chicago housing projects.

Stars: Ja'net DuBois, Ralph Carter, BernNadette Stanis
Welcome Back, Kotter (1975–1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A compassionate teacher returns to his inner city high school of his youth to teach a new generation of trouble making kids.

Stars: Gabe Kaplan, Ron Palillo, John Travolta
Sanford and Son (1972–1977)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The misadventures of a cantankerous junk dealer and his frustrated son.

Stars: Redd Foxx, Demond Wilson, LaWanda Page
Newhart (1982–1990)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The misadventures of an author turned innkeeper in rural Vermont and his friends.

Stars: Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
...
...
 Julie Kanisky / ... 114 episodes, 1981-1986
Kari Michaelsen ...
Dolph Sweet ...
...
 Grandpa Stanley Kanisky / ... 82 episodes, 1982-1987
...
 Joey Donovan 77 episodes, 1983-1987
...
Howard Morton ...
 Officer Ralph Simpson 49 episodes, 1981-1986
Edit

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Allo Nelly Bobo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(137 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

There were two Mathews on the show. There was a Mathew Kanisky in the unaired pilot, and a Mathew Donavon, Joey's brother, who was brought in during the last season. 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

Referenced in GLOW: The Dusty Spur (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Sing A Song
Performed by Nell Carter
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Warm, funny 80s sitcom.
6 August 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gimme A Break was in the sitcom line-up, on NBC in the 80s. NBC had many quality sitcoms on the air in the 80s, such as Diff'rent Strokes, The Facts Of Life, Silver Spoons, etc. Gimme A Break, was certainly in the same league as any of NBC's other popular comedy shows. It was warm, funny, and presented many contemporary topics that modern families struggle with, such as teen sex, drugs, alcoholism, dating, etc.

Nell Carter played the main character, Nell Harper. On the show, Nell often got to display her considerable singing and dancing talents. This made the show quite entertaining overall. And Nell held this show together, with her no nonsense brand of comic delivery. She had a feisty charm, that made her shine above the rest of the cast. Her co-star Dolph Sweet (who played the family patriarch, Carl Kominski), was lackluster by comparison. Only Thelma Hopkins, as Nell's best friend Addy Wilson, had nearly as much comedic talent as Nell. If you like 80s sitcoms, I'd highly recommend watching Gimme A Break on DVD.


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

Contribute to This Page