The Punky Brewster TV show was a 30 minute comedy series that aired on NBC for its first two seasons and then in syndication for the final two seasons. It was about a little girl whose father walked out on the family and then her mother abandoned her along with her dog Brandon in a Chicago area shopping center. The girl and her dog took refuge in an empty apartment but was ultimately discovered and sent to an orphanage. Luckily, the manager of the building where she was found took a liking to her and fought diligently to become her foster father. While she still had to struggle with losing her parents, Punky moved on with her life making new friends and growing closer and closer to her new dad.
Punky Brewster CastSoleil Moon Frye ............. Penelope "Punky" Brewster
George Gaynes ................ Henry Warnimont
Cherie Johnson ............... Cherie Johnson
Ami Foster ................... Margeaux Kramer
Casey Ellison ................ Allen Anderson
Susie Garrett ................ Betty Johnson
Brandon ...................... Brandon the Wonder Dog
Punky Brewster Theme Song
Title: "Every Time I Turn Around"
Written By: "Judy Hart Angelo" & "Gary Portnoy"
Maybe the world is blind,
Or just a little unkind.
Seems you can't be sure
You maybe lonely and then,
Everytime I turn around,
Punky Brewster Trivia
Fred Gwynne was the top choice to play the role of Henry Warnimont but when he auditioned he was introduced as Herman Munster, the character he had played on the TV series, "The Munsters". That upset him so much that he removed himself from consideration for the role! That's perfectly understandable because actors who have appeared on a successful series in a leading role tend to be very concerned about being "typecast". After all, he was an actor who brilliantly portrayed Herman Munster ... he wasn't actually the character! He had also played a private in the Army on "Sgt. Bilko" and a cop on "Car 54, Where Are You?" among dozens of other roles!
The two part episode titled "Fenster Hall" that aired at the end of the first season was an attempt to create a Punky Brewster "spin off" but the ratings just weren't good enough to justify a new series.
Brandon Tatrikoff was the chief of programming at NBC when Punky Brewster was being produced and he got a couple of personal touches incorporated into the series. The title character's name was that of one of his childhood sweethearts and the dog on the series was named Brandon after him.
While most of the episodes were 30 minutes in length, there were six 15 minute episodes that aired because the series often followed football games that sometimes ran into overtime. Since the show appealed to very young children and it was scheduled to air at 7:30 PM eastern time on a Sunday night, they didn't want to keep the kiddies up any later but they didn't want to totally disappoint them either by totaly eliminating the episodes on those nights.
You may notice by the air dates below that Punky Brewster skipped an entire year between its second and third seasons. NBC personally produced the series for the first two and then decided to cancel the production. Then Columbia Pictures Television offered to buy the show for $60 million during the following year and brought it back for the following season.
When the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after takeoff, killing history teacher Christa McAuliffe and her fellow astronauts, NBC decided to quickly produce an episode that showed how Punky dealt with the situation. Many school children had actually watched the disaster because a teacher was going to teach lessons from space and many schools showed the takeoff on TV during school hours. Literally seeing a teacher die was very troubling to young children who really shouldn't have to deal with death at such an early age.
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
The First Season
The Second Season
The Third Season
The Fourth Season
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