Gimme a Break!

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NBC (ended 1987)

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FredScuttle

 

8.4
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Gimme a Break!

Show Summary

A rotund black housekeeper maintained order in the home of a portly white police chief in this old-fashioned comedy set in the fictional town of Glen Lawn, California. Policeman Carl's beloved wife Margaret had died only months before, leaving him with three, winsome daughters, ranging in age from cute grade-schooler to troublesome teen. Wisecracks and fat jokes abounded, but there was a lot of love as Nell tried to befriend and surrogate mother to the clan. Officer Simpson was a dopey police officer who was frequently seen, and Joey was a six-year-old orphan and junior-grade hustler who joined the household in the 1983-1984 season.

As the 1985-1986 season opened the chief had passed away (actor Dolph Sweet had died), and Nell became both mother and father to the Kanisky brood. The man of the house was now Jonathan, who had married Julie at the end of the 1984-1985 season and moved in. The ratings started to slip from its usual place that season, and the network was so worried about that, and what they felt was a decline in the quality of the writing, that Hal Cooper, the executive producer, was told by NBC executives to either end production of the series or make major changes.

By 1986, with the Kanisky girls grown and/or college-bound, Nell and her best friend Addy decided to leave Glen Lawn for New York City, with Grandpa and little Joey in tow. There they discovered Joey's irresponsible father Tim, who turned over Joey's younger brother Matthew (played by Joey Lawrence's real-life brother) and departed, adding a second child to the shifting household. Marty was Nell's nutty New York landlord, who also owned the restaurant El Gaspacho downstairs, where he put on a phony Spanish accent and called himself "Esteban". The changes didn't help the ratings any, nor did two different time slots that season, and the show quietly ended its network run in the spring of 1987.

NBC Broadcast History

October 29, 1981- August 26, 1982----Thursdays----9:30 p.m.
September 2, 1982- September 30, 1982----Thursdays----9:00 p.m.
October 2, 1982- December 25, 1982----Saturdays----9:00 p.m.
January 6, 1983- August 4, 1983----Thursdays----9:00 p.m.
August 11, 1983- September 20, 1984----Thursdays----8:00 p.m.
September 29, 1984- November 24, 1984----Saturdays----8:30 p.m.
December 1, 1984- August 31, 1985----Saturdays----9:00 p.m.
September 7, 1985- June 7, 1986----Saturdays----8:00 p.m.
June 11, 1986- March 23, 1987----Wednesdays----9:00 p.m.
March 31, 1987- May 12, 1987----Tuesdays----9:00 p.m.

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  • YOU'LL HAVE PLENTY OF REASONS TO STAY INSIDE THIS FIRST WEEK OF OCTOBER WHEN YOU SEE THIS BATCH OF DVDS. REVISIT THE FIRST EPISODES OF C.S.I. AND FRASIER, OR WATCH THEM FOR THE FIRST TIME. FOR SOLID SCI-FI OFFERINGS, YOU HAVE THE COMPLETE SERIES OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE, THE SECOND SEASON OF MEDIUM, ANDROMEDA'S SEASON FIVE, AND A SLIM SET OF STARGATE SG-1. AND DON'T FORGET TO BRING HOME THE CLASSICS THE BRADY BUNCH, THREE'S COMPANY, AND THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO!

    October 3, 2006 DVD Releases

  • John Hoyt

    John Hoyt

    Grandpa Stanley Kanisky (1982-1987)

    Joey Lawrence

    Joey Lawrence

    Joey Donovan (1983-1987)

    Telma Hopkins

    Telma Hopkins

    Addy Wilson (1984-1987)

    Nell Carter

    Nell Carter

    Nellie Ruth "Nell" Harper

    Dolph Sweet

    Dolph Sweet

    Chief Carl Kanisky (1981-1985)

    Wednesday
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    Thursday
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    Friday
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    More Info About This Show

    Categories

    Comedy

    Themes

    social commentary, social issues, Classics, absent parent, Sitcoms