6.4/10
2,514
17 user 2 critic

Gimme a Break! 

Trailer
1:02 | Trailer
Nell agrees to look after the Kanisky's home, as a special favor to her dying friend, and takes on the role of housekeeper to widowed police chief Carl and a parental figure to his three teenage daughters, and eventually a foster son.

Creators:

Mort Lachman, Sy Rosen
Reviews
Popularity
1,575

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 »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Nell Carter ...  Nell Harper 137 episodes, 1981-1987
Lara Jill Miller ...  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 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Kari Michaelson and Nell Carter both had eating disorders during production. Carter would binge eat. Michaelson would binge, purge, and fast. 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

Julie: Daddy, you're so old-fashioned. Didn't you ever suck face?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Reruns of the series in the US are cut by two minutes, One particular instance in a 1982 episode has a joke cut out, while retaining the laughter of the studio audience. See more »


Soundtracks

Merry Christmas Stranger
Performed by Nell Carter and Telma Hopkins
See more »

User Reviews

 
Gimme A Stroke! Only Kidding! This show made Nell famous!
21 March 2007 | by SylviastelSee all my reviews

Nell Carter will always be known as Nell from Gimme a Break than her Broadway background which included singing and dancing. Sadly, she died in her fifties. She plays a beloved housekeeper in a Caucasian American home led by the wonderful Dolph Sweet who passed away during the show's run. The cast also included three teenage daughters. The show had an extended family of regular cast members like Telma Hopkins who played Nell's best friend. Sweet's character was a police chief of Glenlawn, California. Over the years during it's run, Nell welcomed Joey and Matthew Laurence and other cast members. The show dealt with sensitive topics like depression, suicide, teenage angst, death, loss, racism, etc., without being preachy or dumb. It was never a critical favorite but you felt at home with Nell and the gang.


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 October 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gimme a Break! See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(137 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed