6.4/10
1,934
13 user 3 critic

Gimme a Break! 

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
1,071 ( 326)

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
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
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
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.
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 African-American family make the best of things in the Chicago housing projects.

Stars: Ja'net DuBois, Ralph Carter, BernNadette Stanis
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
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
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
Three's Company (1976–1984)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The misadventures of two women and one man living in one apartment and their neighbors.

Stars: John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers
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

Certificate:

TV-G

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Allo Nelly Bobo  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(137 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Everyone called Carl "Chief" or "Daddy" except for his parents and brother who called him by his first name. 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 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

What could have been.
21 April 2015 | by See all my reviews

Unlike movies which appear once, it's hard to rate a TV show since you're dealing with dozens of episodes and several seasons.

For 'Gimme a Break!', the synopsis on TV reads: 'A feisty housekeeper named Nell helps a widowed police chief raise his three daughters'. This was true for the first few seasons and this was when the show was at it's best.

It dealt with controversial issues but gave a balanced approach as the chief represented the more conservative side and Nell represented the more liberal side. Unfortunately, the actor Dolph Sweet ran into health problems during the show's run and soon past away. I think this changed the nature of the show and it was never the same after.

The show turned more into a talent exhibition for Nell Carter and her singing voice and away from family comedy. By the last season, she was no longer a housekeeper, nor helping a widowed police chief nor raising three daughters. The whole successful premise of the show was gone and the show was deservedly cancelled as it was not nearly as funny anymore.

Had Dolph Sweet not incurred health problems, who knows what might have been.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page