6.3/10
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16 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:

Mort Lachman, Sy Rosen
Reviews
Popularity
2,044 ( 276)

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 »

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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
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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

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-G

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Like with most star vehicles in Hollywood the character's part was named after the star's first name. (See the Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Bob Newhart Show, What's Happening, The Partridge Family, etc.) 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

When this show first aired on the NBC television network, it ended with the logo for Alan Landsburg Productions superimposed against clips from the episode that was ending. However, in 1985, Alan Landsburg Productions was merged into Reeves Entertainment Group, which took over production of this series. The same year, it entered American syndication, with the Reeves Entertainment Group logo replacing the aforementioned one, sometimes cutting off the end of the closing music. See more »


Soundtracks

Ave Maria
Performed by Nell Carter
See more »

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User Reviews

What could have been.
21 April 2015 | by kandit1See 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.


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