Watch Gimme a Break!
- 6 Seasons
Gimme a Break! was a popular sitcom that aired on NBC from 1981-1987. The show revolved around the life of Nell Harper, a tough but caring African-American housekeeper who was played by Nell Carter. Nell worked for the Kanisky family who resided in Glenlawn, a fictional city in California. The head of the household was Chief Carl Kanisky, a widower and police officer who was played by Dolph Sweet. Carl was the father of three children; Katie, Julie, and Samantha Kanisky, who were played by Lara Jill Miller, Kari Michaelsen, and Lauri Hendler respectively. Throughout the show, Nell found herself in many entertaining situations as she tried to balance her job and personal life. Besides her professional responsibilities, Nell also had to cope with raising her late sister's two children, Joey and Matthew, who were played by Joey Lawrence and Matthew Lawrence. Nell's relationship with the Kanisky family evolved over time, and she became more than just their housekeeper. She became an integral part of their lives, and they enjoyed spending time together. Despite their differences, the Kaniskys' blended family learned to respect each other and work together. The show tackled issues that were relevant to the 1980s, such as teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, and racism. For instance, in one episode, Carl's daughter Julie decides to have sex with her boyfriend, and Nell tries to convince her to wait until marriage. In another episode, Joey is caught smoking marijuana, and Nell has to intervene to prevent him from getting into trouble. Nell's personality was one of the highlights of the show. She was quick-witted and had a sharp tongue. She never hesitated to speak her mind and was always ready with a punchline. Her comedic timing was impeccable, and she could make audiences laugh out loud. Besides Nell, there were many other memorable characters in the show, including Addy Wilson, Nell's best friend who was played by Telma Hopkins, and Franklin Delano Romanowski, Carl's bumbling police partner who was played by Howard Morton. The show also featured a revolving door of celebrity guest stars, including Rosie O'Donnell, Jonathan Silverman, and Paul Sand. Gimme a Break! was a hit with audiences and ran for six seasons before concluding in 1987. The show's catchy theme song, which was performed by Nell Carter herself, became an anthem of sorts for the 80s. Overall, Gimme a Break! was a fun and lighthearted show that explored the complexities of family life. The show touched on serious topics but managed to do so in a way that was both entertaining and thought-provoking. Nell Carter's portrayal of Nell Harper was the driving force behind the show's success, and her legacy continues to live on today.