IMDb > "Gimme a Break!" (1981)
"Gimme a Break!"
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"Gimme a Break!" (1981) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1981-1987

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Overview

User Rating:
6.3/10   1,504 votes »
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View company contact information for Gimme a Break! on IMDbPro.
Seasons:
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Release Date:
29 October 1981 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Carl Kanisky is chief of police in Glenlawn, California. After the death of his wife, Margaret, he asks her friend... See more »
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 12 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
User Reviews:
Holds up surprisingly well 30+ years later See more (13 total) »

Cast

 (Series Cast Summary - 9 of 101)

Nell Carter ... Nellie Ruth 'Nell' Harper (137 episodes, 1981-1987)

Lara Jill Miller ... Samantha 'Sam' Kanisky / ... (119 episodes, 1981-1987)

Lauri Hendler ... Julie Kanisky / ... (114 episodes, 1981-1986)
Kari Michaelsen ... Katie Kanisky (111 episodes, 1981-1986)
Dolph Sweet ... Chief Carl Kanisky / ... (88 episodes, 1981-1985)

John Hoyt ... Grandpa Stanley Kanisky / ... (82 episodes, 1982-1987)

Joey Lawrence ... Joey Donovan (77 episodes, 1983-1987)

Telma Hopkins ... Addy Wilson (68 episodes, 1983-1987)
Howard Morton ... Officer Ralph Simpson / ... (49 episodes, 1981-1986)
(more)

Series Directed by
Hal Cooper (81 episodes, 1983-1987)
Jim Drake (14 episodes, 1982-1983)
Linda Day (10 episodes, 1981-1987)
Will Mackenzie (7 episodes, 1981-1982)
Tony Singletary (5 episodes, 1982-1987)
Patrick Maloney (4 episodes, 1986-1987)
Phil Ramuno (3 episodes, 1986-1987)
Dick Harwood (2 episodes, 1981-1982)
Howard Storm (2 episodes, 1981)
John Bowab (2 episodes, 1983-1984)
Oz Scott (2 episodes, 1983)
Jules Lichtman (2 episodes, 1986-1987)
 
Series Writing credits
Mort Lachman (137 episodes, 1981-1987)
Sy Rosen (137 episodes, 1981-1987)
Arthur Julian (28 episodes, 1983-1987)
Mady Julian (20 episodes, 1984-1987)
Ted Bergmann (13 episodes, 1981-1983)
Terry Hart (13 episodes, 1985-1987)
Chip Keyes (8 episodes, 1981-1982)
Doug Keyes (8 episodes, 1981-1982)
Rod Parker (8 episodes, 1983-1987)
Tom Biener (8 episodes, 1983-1985)
Ron Landry (8 episodes, 1983-1985)
Gary H. Miller (7 episodes, 1983-1985)
Pam Veasey (6 episodes, 1986-1987)
Ron Bloomberg (5 episodes, 1984-1985)
J. Stanford Parker (4 episodes, 1981-1983)
Chet Dowling (4 episodes, 1982-1983)
Sandy Krinski (4 episodes, 1982-1983)
Joan Brooker (4 episodes, 1985-1987)
Nancy Eddo (4 episodes, 1985-1987)
Booker Bradshaw (3 episodes, 1981-1983)
Coleman Mitchell (3 episodes, 1981-1983)
Geoffrey Neigher (3 episodes, 1981-1983)
Hal Cooper (3 episodes, 1983-1985)
Ed Jurist (3 episodes, 1983)
Larry Rhine (3 episodes, 1983)
Erik Tarloff (2 episodes, 1981-1982)
Gina Goldman (2 episodes, 1983-1984)
Rob Kaplan (2 episodes, 1983-1984)
Pamela Norris (2 episodes, 1985-1986)

Series Produced by
Mort Lachman .... executive producer (137 episodes, 1981-1987)
Hal Cooper .... executive producer (96 episodes, 1983-1987)
Arthur Julian .... producer (96 episodes, 1983-1987)
Rod Parker .... executive producer (96 episodes, 1983-1987)
Terri Guarnieri .... associate producer / coordinating producer (68 episodes, 1983-1986)
Coleman Mitchell .... producer (41 episodes, 1981-1983)
Geoffrey Neigher .... producer (41 episodes, 1981-1983)
Marica Govons .... associate producer (25 episodes, 1986-1987)
Jan Siegelman .... associate producer (12 episodes, 1982-1984)
Michael Mount .... associate producer (11 episodes, 1981-1984)
Brigit Jensen .... associate producer (11 episodes, 1981-1982)
Gayle S. Maffeo .... associate producer (8 episodes, 1982)
 
Series Original Music by
Bob Christianson (unknown episodes)
 
Series Film Editing by
Harold McKenzie (81 episodes, 1981-1986)
Michael Weitzman (25 episodes, 1986-1987)
Larry Harris (22 episodes, 1982-1984)
Kelly Sandefur (7 episodes, 1983-1986)
 
Series Casting by
Randy Stone (137 episodes, 1981-1987)
 
Series Art Direction by
Chris Idoine (96 episodes, 1983-1987)
Chuck Murawski (70 episodes, 1983-1986)
Peter Clemens (22 episodes, 1982-1983)
Don Roberts (19 episodes, 1981-1982)
 
Series Set Decoration by
Richard L. Johnson (1 episode, 1984)
 
Series Costume Design by
Palmer Brown (114 episodes, 1982-1987)
Adella Farmar (19 episodes, 1981-1982)
Betty Pecha Madden (4 episodes, 1982)
 
Series Makeup Department
Maria Valdivia .... hair stylist (93 episodes, 1983-1987)
June Josef .... makeup artist (88 episodes, 1983-1987)
Linda Cowan .... makeup artist: Miss Carter / makeup artist (86 episodes, 1983-1987)
Pamela Huggins .... hair stylist: Nell Carter / hair stylist: Miss Carter (79 episodes, 1983-1987)
Jaren Millard .... makeup artist / hair stylist (66 episodes, 1984-1987)
Billie Jordan .... makeup artist (45 episodes, 1981-1983)
Sue Cary Mayer .... makeup artist (36 episodes, 1982-1984)
Mary Gerraro .... hair stylist (23 episodes, 1982-1984)
Lawrence Woodard .... hair stylist (19 episodes, 1981-1982)
Susan Cook .... hair stylist: Miss Carter (7 episodes, 1987)
Wendy Pennington Holz .... makeup artist (5 episodes, 1986-1987)
Dale Miller .... hair stylist (5 episodes, 1987)
Paulette Pennington .... hair stylist (3 episodes, 1986-1987)
Dannie Todd Willis .... makeup artist (3 episodes, 1987)
Jerrie Werkman .... makeup artist (2 episodes, 1987)
 
Series Production Management
Howard Lipstone .... executive in charge of production (89 episodes, 1981-1985)
Patty Gary Cox .... unit manager / unit production manager (46 episodes, 1984-1986)
Jim Gaston .... unit manager / executive in charge of production / ... (44 episodes, 1982-1984)
Douglas Wellman .... unit manager (19 episodes, 1981-1982)
Cindy Brody .... unit manager (7 episodes, 1987)
Kevin E. Fortson .... unit manager (3 episodes, 1986-1987)
Mary Ellen Jones .... unit manager (2 episodes, 1985)

Debbie Elbin .... unit production manager: NY (unknown episodes)
 
Series Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Patrick Maloney .... associate director (91 episodes, 1983-1987)
Phil Ramuno .... associate director / assistant director (39 episodes, 1981-1983)
Jeff Meyer .... associate director (4 episodes, 1986-1987)
Pat Fischer-Doak .... associate director (2 episodes, 1982)
 
Series Art Department
Ed Beceril .... property master / properties (46 episodes, 1983-1985)
Larry Buck .... property master / properties (46 episodes, 1983-1985)
Robert Murdock .... property master (37 episodes, 1981-1983)
Scott Herbertson .... assistant art director (25 episodes, 1986-1987)
Milt Sport .... key prop / key props (25 episodes, 1986-1987)
Bill Wall .... property master (25 episodes, 1986-1987)
George Sayeg .... property master / property (23 episodes, 1985-1986)
Steven Bemiller .... key prop / property master / ... (22 episodes, 1985-1986)
Ron Cantoro .... property master (4 episodes, 1981)
 
Series Sound Department
Sam Mallaun .... audio (84 episodes, 1982-1987)
Ken Turner .... audio (39 episodes, 1981-1983)
James L. Mylenek .... audio (6 episodes, 1985-1987)
Chris Chigaridas .... audio (4 episodes, 1984)
Kerry Boggio .... audio (2 episodes, 1982-1983)
 
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Chris Roberts .... lighting director (134 episodes, 1981-1987)
Gary W. Scott .... lighting director (3 episodes, 1981-1982)
 
Series Costume and Wardrobe Department
Janice Gordon .... costume assistant: Nell Carter / costume assistant: Miss Carter / ... (27 episodes, 1983-1984)
Elizabeth Bass .... assistant costume designer (25 episodes, 1986-1987)
James Hopkins .... costumes: Nell Carter / costume assistant: Nell Carter / ... (20 episodes, 1984-1986)
Shawna McGee .... costume assistant: Nell Carter / costumes: Nell Carter (15 episodes, 1984-1985)
Jefferson Beeker .... costumes: Nell Carter (5 episodes, 1985-1986)
Karen Hytten .... costumer: Nell Carter (3 episodes, 1986)
 
Series Music Department
Jay Graydon .... composer: theme music (96 episodes, 1983-1987)
Bob Christianson .... composer: theme music (41 episodes, 1981-1983)
Bob Garrett .... lyricist: theme music (41 episodes, 1981-1983)
Marley Sims .... lyricist: theme music (41 episodes, 1981-1983)
Mari Falcone .... music coordinator (2 episodes, 1984-1985)
 
Series Other crew
Lorraine Sevre-Richmond .... production associate (95 episodes, 1983-1987)
Rod Parker .... executive script supervisor / script supervisor / ... (94 episodes, 1983-1987)
Jeff Meyer .... stage manager (90 episodes, 1983-1987)
Franklin Jones .... assistant to producers / assistant to executive producers (73 episodes, 1984-1987)
Arthur Julian .... executive script supervisor / executive script consultant / ... (73 episodes, 1984-1987)
Robert A. Bowen .... technical director (63 episodes, 1981-1987)
Tom Milo .... stage manager / assistant to producers (63 episodes, 1983-1986)
Terry Hart .... creative consultant (49 episodes, 1985-1987)
Bill Koshoway .... assistant to producers (48 episodes, 1984-1986)
Meredith Siler .... assistant to producers / production coordinator (48 episodes, 1984-1986)
Mady Julian .... story editor (48 episodes, 1985-1987)
Jody Margolin Hahn .... assistant to producers / assistant to producer (48 episodes, 1985-1987)
Tom Biener .... executive script consultant / executive story consultant (46 episodes, 1983-1985)
Ron Landry .... executive script consultant / executive story consultant / ... (46 episodes, 1983-1985)
Gary H. Miller .... executive story editor / story editor (46 episodes, 1983-1985)
Franco Bario .... production coordinator / production assistant (45 episodes, 1985-1987)
Gwen McCracken .... assistant to producers (42 episodes, 1983-1985)
Yukiko Tokunaga .... stage manager (40 episodes, 1981-1983)
Dick Woodka .... technical director (33 episodes, 1981-1986)
Gus Hornsby .... story editor (32 episodes, 1984-1985)
Michael Mount .... production executive / assistant to the executive producer (31 episodes, 1982-1983)
Chip Keyes .... story editor (27 episodes, 1981-1983)
Doug Keyes .... story editor (27 episodes, 1981-1983)
Kate McCallum .... assistant to producers (25 episodes, 1984-1985)
Wendy Murphey .... assistant to producers (25 episodes, 1984-1985)
Adam Waynert .... assistant to producers (25 episodes, 1984-1985)
Denise Fleissner Barta .... assistant to producers (25 episodes, 1986-1987)
Sean Mulcahy .... stage manager (25 episodes, 1986-1987)
Booker Bradshaw .... story editor (22 episodes, 1982-1983)
Chet Dowling .... executive story editor / executive story consultant (22 episodes, 1982-1983)
Sandy Krinski .... executive story editor / executive story consultant (22 episodes, 1982-1983)
J. Stanford Parker .... story editor (22 episodes, 1982-1983)
Sy Rosen .... creative consultant (22 episodes, 1982-1983)
Peter Barth .... stage manager (21 episodes, 1982-1984)
Cindy Brisker .... production associate (21 episodes, 1982-1983)
Meredith Baker .... assistant to producers (21 episodes, 1983-1984)
Rob Kaplan .... assistant to producers (21 episodes, 1983-1984)
Michael Martin .... assistant to producers (21 episodes, 1983-1984)
Len Uslaner .... technical director (21 episodes, 1983-1984)
Ted Bergmann .... executive story consultant (19 episodes, 1981-1982)
Jane Lipstone .... publicist (19 episodes, 1984-1985)
John Sgueglia .... stage manager (18 episodes, 1981-1982)
Peggy Geary .... production associate (17 episodes, 1981-1982)
Barbara Rogers .... assistant to producers (16 episodes, 1983-1984)
Ed Jurist .... executive script consultant (14 episodes, 1982-1983)
Larry Rhine .... executive script consultant (14 episodes, 1982-1983)
Gina Goldman .... story editor (14 episodes, 1983-1984)
Vince Mack .... technical director (13 episodes, 1981-1984)
Elvin Ivory .... stage manager (6 episodes, 1984)
John Westbrook .... technical director (5 episodes, 1981-1983)
Charlotte McDaniel .... production associate (4 episodes, 1982-1983)
Michael Morris .... story editor (4 episodes, 1982-1983)
Kevin McDonough .... stage manager (4 episodes, 1986-1987)
Madison Cole .... stage manager (3 episodes, 1983-1984)
Maynard C. Virgil I .... stage manager (3 episodes, 1984)
Teresa O'Neill .... assistant to producers (3 episodes, 1985)
Chuck Vinson .... stage manager (2 episodes, 1982)
Barry Goldstein .... medical consultant (2 episodes, 1985-1986)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
30 min (137 episodes)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The episode "Cat Story", , was aired live over NBC-TV on 2 March 1985.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: The front door of the set has a brass mail slot, but exterior shots are of a door with no slot.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 »
Soundtrack:
Gimme a BreakSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Holds up surprisingly well 30+ years later, 26 November 2014
Author: severe_td from Los Angeles

I was 9 years old in 1981 when this show debuted. Though I watched Gimme a Break from the start, it goes without saying that I lacked the maturity at that age to fully understand the adult humor and social issues being explored.

As Gimme a Break only enjoyed average ratings at the time, it was not a big candidate for syndication. As a result, it has been decades since I last saw the show.

I caught it again recently on YouTube, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was better than I remembered as a kid, perhaps because I could fully understand everything now. It's funny, charming, well-written, and even manages to tackle some serious issues. Most notably, it holds up surprisingly well today, which can't be said for many of the more popular sitcoms at the time.

The show was also fairly unusual in that its strongest episodes were in the first two years. Most successful shows take some time to find themselves, but Gimme a Break hit its stride early. Sadly, the show started to slip starting from season 3. Nell Harper's increased creative control was part of the problem. She was a very talented actress and singer, but not so much on the creative side. The series really took a nosedive in its final season when the girls left and the setting moved to New York.

Even so, this was a good show, and in fact deserved better ratings when it was on the air. Try watching it again, and I bet you'll enjoy it more the second time around.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (13 total) »

Message Boards

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The Girls Were Too Old... centipede84
vote for it to be On TVLand or Nick@Nite azf9114
The last season ctfan79
How did they explain the cheifs death JAlexa9898
What's the name of the song? steph915-42-545954
Episode Question DJWeezy
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