Gimme a Break!

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NBC (ended 1987)

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FredScuttle

User Score: 1674

8.3
out of 10
User Rating
202 votes
12

SHOW REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

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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Nell Carter

Nell Carter

Nellie Ruth "Nell" Harper

John Hoyt

John Hoyt

Grandpa Stanley Kanisky (1982-1987)

Dolph Sweet

Dolph Sweet

Chief Carl Kanisky (1981-1985)

Telma Hopkins

Telma Hopkins

Addy Wilson (1984-1987)

Lara Jill Miller

Lara Jill Miller

Samantha "Sam" Kanisky

Kari Michaelson

Kari Michaelson

Katie Kanisky (1981-1986)

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • My First Post

    7.5
    I am very new to this type of technology and it took me much trial and error to get as far as I am. I am posting this message to see that I know the right way to do it. This was one of my favorite shows growing up and I am sure that I am going to have a lot of fun on this site!
  • Gimme a freaking Break!

    6.5
    The show sort of started going downhill when the Dolph Sweet died then the wheels really came off this jalopy during the final season. They should have ended it the season before that.



    I have to admit when I was in highschool I had a crush on Lara Jill Miller - dont know why exactly. I just did. Well after the fat man cop dad died it just sort of went downhill since without a man in the house, Nell Carter couldnt keep control of the dang kids! Now Nell is dead too, so I guess there wont be a reunion show any time soon since all the other actors havent been seen around at all.



    Why does the description describe Nell Carter as "rotund" and Dolph Sweet as "Portly"? They were F-A-T, FAT! Come to think of it I could stand to lose 10-20 of those holiday pounds. LOL!moreless
  • This show was about a black housekeeper who promised the chief's wife she would take care of the chief and his daughters. She also ended up taking care of Joey and Matthew later in the series. All in all an excellent show that show be put back on the air.moreless

    10
    They really need to put this show back on TV and show all the episodes. This was an excellent show from beginning to end and I hope they come out the rest of the series on DVD, because I would buy the whole series. This show was hilarious and showed great family values with a housekeeper, the Chief, his daughters, and Joey and Matthew Lawrence. I hope they come out with the rest of the series on DVD, or put it back on TV where it belongs. I give this show a perfect ten. Like I said excellent from beginning to end!moreless
  • This show is AWESOME....Nell Carter is hysterical and has a voice blessed by God. I wish they would release a CD of all the songs she sang throughout the run of this show.moreless

    10
    This is a classically funny show. It allowed for physical humor and out right comedy. Some of the best episodes include: When the house was burglarlized. When the telephone company cut off the phone. When Nell went back home for Loretta\'s Wedding. All of these episodes showed the comedic ability of all of the players. There were some episodes that also allowed for some drama to play out and in doing so allowed us to truly start to care about these people. When Nell went home to see her ailing father and of course the episode that dealt with the death of the Chief. This is truly an amazing show.moreless
  • The best family-centered comedy of the 1980's!

    10
    This was the best family-centered comedy of the 1980's. Nell was superb in all six seasons, even though the final two seasons were very dismal and not as great as the series' first four seasons. After the death of the Chief, it was never the same, but Nell kept the show alive.
  • 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

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    More Info About This Show

    Categories

    Comedy

    Themes

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