Gimme A Break

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Gimme A Break Cast

Series Description

Gimme A Break was a 30 minute dramatic comedy series on NBC about a police chief who asked his wife's friend to become his housekeeper and surrogate mother to his three daughters after his wife passed away.

Gimme A Break Cast

Nell Carter .... Miss Nellie "Nell" Ruth Harper
Kari Michaelson .... Katie Kanisky
Lauri Hendler .... Julie Kanisky Maxwell
Lara Jill Miller .... Samantha "Sam" Kanisky
Dolph Sweet .... Police Chief Carl Kanisky
John Hoyt .... Stanley "Grandpa" Kanisky

Theme Song

Title: "Gimme A Break"

By: "R. Page and J. Graydon"

Gimme a break, now I know what it takes.
I'm putting a new face on the old one
Ready for anything.

Playing with fate, not a moment too late.
I'm showing the whole world
Nothing can get me down.
Woo woo hoo!

Gimme a break,
Yeah yeah!
Gimme a break
'Cause I sure need one!

Gimme a break,
Yeah yeah!
I finally know where I belong.

Gimme a break,
Yeah yeah!
Gimme a break
'Cause I sure need one!

Gimme a break,
Yeah yeah!
I finally know where I belong.
Gimme a break!

Gimme A Break Trivia

The front door of the Kanisky home has a mail slot in it when viewed from the inside but the slot is nowhere to be seen in outside shots. Where was the script supervisor on that one!

Helen Hunt ("Mad About You") tried out for the role of Katie Kanisky.

In an unusual move for 1980s TV, episode #84, "Cat Story", was performed live. Instead of the usual closing clips, the cast came out onto the set together and took a bow at the end of the episode.

Nell Carter's full name is "Nell Ruth Carter" and the character she played on Gimme A Break was named, "Nell Ruth Harper". Only the last names were different.

Dolph Sweet died on May 8, 1985 from cancer. Three days later, the final episode he appeared in (#88, "Julie's Birthday") was broadcast. Gimme A Break could have passed along with Dolph (as often happens when a major character disappears from a TV show), but Dolph's death was "mirrored" in the first episode of the fifth season where the characters all grieved over the death of Chief Kanisky. Then Nell Carter's character took over as mother and father of the kids and the series lasted two more seasons.

Nell Carter was nominated for two Emmys for her role as Nell Harper in 1982 and 1983. (Carol Kane won for "Taxi" in 1982 and Shelley Long won for "Cheers" in 1983). Nell Carter was also nominated for two Golden Globes in 1983 and 1985 (Debbie Allen won for "Fame" in 1983 and Shelley Long won for "Cheers" in 1985. Nell did win an Emmy in 1982 but it wasn't for her role on Gimme A Break. It was for her role in the 1982 TV movie titled, "Ain't Misbehavin'"!

The Kanisky family (and Nell's) address was 2938 Wells Drive; Glenlawn, California.

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