(PUT IT IN MOVIES BECAUSE THIS SHOW DOES NOT APPEAR IN TV SHOWS)
Gimme a Break! is an American sitcom which aired on NBC from October 29, 1981 until May 12, 1987. It starred Nell Carter as the housekeeper for a widowed police chief and his three daughters.
The sitcom took place in the fictional Los Angeles suburb of Glenlawn, California. Nellie Ruth "Nell" Harper (Nell Carter) agrees to be a housekeeper for the Kanisky household as a special favor to her late friend, Margaret Kanisky (played in flashback by Sharon Spelman), who was the wife of police chief Carl Kanisky (Dolph Sweet). Nell also served as a confidante to the chief's three daughters, 17-year-old Katie (Kari Michaelsen), 15-year-old Julie (Lauri Hendler), and 13-year-old Samantha (Lara Jill Miller).
Officer Ralph Simpson (Howard Morton) was a dopey police officer who worked with Carl. During the second season, Carl's parents, Grandpa Stanley (John Hoyt) and Grandma Mildred (Jane Dulo), were occasionally seen, as was his brother, Ed (Pete Schrum), an overweight mortician who loved to play practical jokes. Grandma, however, died after that season, and Grandpa moved in with Carl and his family. Ed got married and was written out of the series.
During the 1982-1983 season, the family also contended with a man who would often annoy the Kanisky household, who was only known by his surname of "Swackhammer" (played by actor Jack Fletcher). The aforementioned Swackhammer (but was incorrectly called jackhammer) was at first the assistant manager of the local phone company in Glenlawn, who angered Nell and called her by the wrong surname, not to mention turned off phone service to the Kanisky household, and having Nell arrested and thrown in jail. However, the phone company snafu was eventually fixed up, and the arrogant Swackhammer was demoted. Other episodes had him as a neighbor, who always complained about noise, and he was often referred to as "that jerk, Swackhammer!"; however after five episodes, Swackhammer disappeared with no explanation whatsoever.
The third season saw occasional appearances of Adelaide "Addy" Wilson (Telma Hopkins), Nell's childhood friend who worked as a teacher. Although they were friends, Nell and Addy would be somewhat competitive at times too. Meanwhile, Joey Donovan (Joey Lawrence) was a six-year-old orphan who joined the Kanisky household that year. Addy became a regular cast member one year later. In the fourth season, Julie married Jonathan Maxwell (Jonathan Silverman), a pizza-delivery man, who moved into the household.
Over the series run, a number of celebrities have appeared on the show, including singer Whitney Houston, Andy Gibb, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Ray Parker, Jr.. In some of these episodes, the guest would eventually perform a song with Nell. During the third season, Pat Sajak guest-starred as himself when Nell and Addy were contestants on Wheel of Fortune.