Lara Jill Miller

Welcome! This site was created August 17th, 1998, for the purpose of celebrating the career of the wonderful 80's television actress, Lara Jill Miller. Lara Jill played the youngest and cutest daughter, Samantha Kanisky, on the hit NBC sitcom, Gimme a Break! from 1981-1987.

This site was originally created by Sergio Robles. In December 1999, I was asked by him to take it over. I hope to continue adding information and photos so her fans can enjoy it. I cannot stress the importance of *your* participation. Contribute anything! Questions, comments, additional photos, information....anything to make this site better. It is people like yourselves that keep this site going. I am really pleased to have heard from all of you and hope you keep sending in all of your contributions. Again, I would like to say "thanks."

If you would like to send in something, please send it to me. Please use the contact form. This is not Lara Jill's personal e-mail address. I am only a fan and have no way of forwarding your e-mails to her. Sorry!


Buy Lara Jill Miller Photos and Memorabilia:


Gimme a Break! on DVD:

Gimme a Break! - Season One DVD

Gimme a Break! - Season 1 was released on DVD on February 14, 2006. The 3 single-sided discs contains all 19 episodes from the first season and run 468 minutes (so the episodes should be unedited at over 24 minutes each). There will be slim cases inside of an outer slipcover box. They will be in the original 1:33:1 frame video and an English Mono audio track. There will be English subtitles. The suggested retail price is $34.98.

Bonus features for Gimme a Break! - Season 1:

- "The Great '80s TV Flashback" - 30 min featurette
- Bonus episode of "Charles in Charge" from Season One - "Extracurricular Activity"
- Bonus episode of "Kate & Allie" from Season One - "A Very Loud Family"
- Preview episode of "Gimme a Break!" from Season Two - "Nell Goes To Jail"

Purchase Gimme a Break! - Season One on DVD

Read our review of Gimme a Break! - Season One on DVD

If you live in Canada, Gimme a Break! - The Complete First Season was released on May 30, 2006 by VEI. The episodes are the same (including the bonus Season 2 episode "Nell Goes to Jail"). The packaging, menus, and other special features are different.

Read our review of Gimme a Break! - The Complete First Season (Canadian Release) on DVD

Gimme a Break! - The Complete Second Season (Canadian Release) on DVD

Gimme a Break! - The Complete Second Season was released in Canada by VEI on January 16, 2007. People in the US can order it online from Amazon.ca . The DVDs will play in your DVD player. We still don't know when Season 2 will be released on DVD by Universal. When Season 2 is released in the US, it will likely be identical to the Canadian release except for the packaging, menus, and special features (if any).

Gimme A Break, I sure deserve it. It's time I made it to the top. Earning herself Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations for her portrayal of Nellie Ruth "Nell" Harper, Nell Carter brings this 1980s TV show to life. Gimme A Break! focuses on the spirited, but by no means typical, Kanisky family consisting of a widowed Police Chief father, his three daughters, ranging from grade-schooler to troublesome teen, and their vivacious housekeeper Nell. With her strong opinions and humorous maternal instincts, Nell's role extended far beyond that of a normal housekeeper, giving the sitcom its punchy premise. This 3-disc set of Gimme A Break!'s sophomore season contains all 22 episodes, a preview episode from the series' third season that introduces to us a pint-sized Joey Lawrence, as well as a bonus episode from the forthcoming Third Season DVD release of another feel good sitcom from the 80's - Kate & Allie.

Featuring guest appearances in its Second Season by Hollywood Legend Don Rickles, musical act The Pointer Sisters, Michael Dudikoff (Cobra, the American Ninja films), Harrison Page (ER, Sledge Hammer!, Ally McBeal, JAG), Marcia Wallace (Match Game, The Bob Newhart Show, The Simpsons), Gimme A Break! is the dearly loved comedy that is chock-full of both wisecracks as well as tear-jerks.

Purchase Gimme a Break! - The Complete Second Season (Canadian Release) on DVD if you live in the US

Purchase Gimme a Break! - The Complete Second Season (Canadian Release) on DVD if you live in Canada

Read our review of Gimme a Break! - The Complete Second Season (Canadian Release) on DVD

Gimme a Break! - The Complete Series

"Gimme a Break, I Sure Deserve It..."

This box set includes all 137 episodes from Gimme a Break!'s successful Six Season run on the NBC television network.

Season 1 = 19 episodes (+ bonus Kate & Allie & Gimme a Break! Season 2 episodes)
Season 2 = 22 episodes
Season 3 = 22 episodes
Season 4 = 25 episodes
Season 5 = 24 episodes
Season 6 = 25 episodes

Earning herself Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her portrayal of Nell Harper, Nell Carter brings this classic '80s sitcom to life. Gimme a Break! centers on the spirited, but by no means typical, Kanisky family consisting of widowed Police Chief Carl Kanisky, his three daughters Katie, Julie and Samantha, and their feisty housekeeper-turned-surrogate mother Nell.

Joining the Gimme a Break! clan in its Third Season is Joey Donovan, a six-year-old orphan played by a pint-sized Joey Lawrence. This budding con artist is soon taken in by Neil and becomes one of the show's leads in a cast that kept growing with the additions of The Chief's dopey subordinate Officer Simpson (Howard Morton), Grandpa Kanisky (John Hoyt), Julie's boyfriend and eventual husband Jonathan (Jonathan Silverman), Joey's younger brother Matthew (Joey's real-life kid brother Matthew Lawrence), Nell's mother Maybelle (Rosetta Le Noire), street-smart kid Maggie (Rosie O'Donnell), plus Nell's girlfriends (Alvernette Jimenez) and Addy (Telma Hopkins).

With her strong opinions and humorous maternal instincts, Nell's role extended far beyond that of a normal housekeeper, giving Gimme a Break! its punchy premise and helping to redfine the meaning of "family."

This box set includes every episode from Gimme a Break's six season run and features guest appearances from Sammy Davis Jr., Don Rickles, Danny Glover, Rue McClanahan, Whitney Houston, Helen Hunt, The Pointer Sisters, Milton Berle, Andy Gibb, Tony Randall, James Cromwell, Ray Parker Jr., Paul Williams and Pat Sajak.

Purchase Gimme a Break! - The Complete Series on DVD (US)

Purchase Gimme a Break! - The Complete Series on DVD (Canada)

Read our review of Gimme a Break! - The Complete Series on DVD


Lara Jill Miller

What's New:

Lara Jill Miller

  • 03/27/13: TV One Acquires Gimme a Break for May 2013

    Gimme a Break! The hit '80s sitcom, Gimme a Break! is coming to TV One! Hot off of their acquisition of What's Happening!! in March, TV One will add Gimme a Break! to its schedule beginning Friday, May 3, 2013. The sitcom will join the Friday night comedy block featuring classic sitcoms. The series has not regularly aired on cable in about 15 or so years when USA Network aired it weekday mornings. The series has aired in a couple of markets in local syndication in recent years, but that's it. We last saw the sitcom on cable back in 2006 when TV One aired a special day marathon in celebration of the series' first season coming to DVD. However, it was just a stunt marathon and this will be a regular addition! TV One will air Gimme a Break! Fridays from 8-9pm and also 11pm-12am beginning Friday, May 3. It will kick-off the new Friday night comedy block line-up. Sanford & Son will return to the TV One line-up and air Fridays 9-10pm (encores 12-1am). What's Happening!! will be moving timeslots to 10-11pm now, instead of the current 11pm-12am hour. The series will also encore 1-2am. Only Gimme a Break! doesn't encore, as the 11pm-12am airings are different from 8-9pm. With the addition of Gimme a Break! and the return of Sanford & Son, this means That's My Mama and The Jeffersons are not going to be a part of the Friday night comedy block schedule. Not to worry, as they are still airing on the schedule on other days, with The Jeffersons remaining weekday mornings and its Tuesday daytime marathon block. You'll also see sitcom marathons/stunts continue on Saturdays after the Good Times block beginning at 2pm, with What's Happening!! getting a block on Saturday, May 4 from 2-6pm featuring the first eight episodes. You will also see Sanford & Son and What's Happening!! pop-up Sunday mornings with an hour each from 8-10am beginning May 5. No word if Gimme a Break! will regularly air yet on any other day besides Fridays, but you'll for sure see it pop-up on the Saturday stunt block from time to time after 2pm.

    In Gimme a Break!, the late singer/actress Nell Carter starred as Nell Harper, housekeeper and den mother to the three daughters of the Kanisky Family, headed by Dolph Sweet as the recently widowed local police chief. Controversial in its day for the 'stereotypical' set-up of a wise-cracking and overweight Black housekeeper who takes care of a white family, the show nevertheless endured six seasons on the strength of Carter's powerful persona, strong comic timing and musical chops. The show featured rare guest appearances from some of the biggest stars, 'before they were stars', including Whitney Houston, Dennis Haysbert, and Danny Glover.

  • 02/04/13: Gimme a Break Star Lara Jill Miller Speaks with Retroality.tv

    After a 15-episode run in 2011-12, Reimagine That! with Chris Mann is back for an all-new season of fun with classic TV stars! If you forgot, the series is a popular podcast "where retro pop meets forward thought" as Retroality.TV's behind-the-scenes "TVographer" Chris Mann talks rebooting pop culture's past, re-envisioning reality (TV and otherwise) and reinventing life after 35 -- spiritually, professionally and otherwise -- with Hollywood storytellers and survivors, retro aficionados and "re-creative" visionaries. Also: Chris reviews headline-making pop culture controversies. In episode 16, Chris talks with Lara Jill Miller of Gimme a Break! fame. Lara of course talks Gimme a Break!, Nell Carter, her appearance on Disney's Doc McStuffins, and other voice-artist success.

    Lara Jill Miller grew up before our eyes as Nell Carter's sweet-faced "little girl" Samantha Kinisky on the hit NBC sitcom Gimme a Break! In the '90s she went back to the East Coast, earned a law degree and became a practicing New York attorney ... but her passion for showbiz brought her back to Hollywood once more. In the last decade, Lara Jill has become one of the industry's most in-demand voice artists, with starring roles in several animated series (like Clifford's Puppy Days), films, video games and more. In a special Valentine-themed episode of the hit Disney Jr. series Doc McStuffins, which premiered on Friday on the Disney Channel and Disney Junior, the former child star again takes the spotlight, this time as Doc's lovable pal Lambie. In this exclusive, in-depth interview about her amazing journey, Lara Jill opens up about her close relationship with the late Carter, revealing how being the "Ain't Misbehavin'" star's "baby" kept Sam in the Gimme a Break! fold after the show was extensively retooled (and much of the original cast let go) during its final season. Lara Jill recalls some of the long-running sitcom's landmark episodes (Joey in blackface?! Katie has an IUD?!) and discloses that, had the show been renewed for a seventh season, the focus would have shifted to Nell's misadventures with Sam in college. (NBC, instead giving us A Different World, missed the boat on this one, folks.) Chris also fondly remembers Nell Carter, and three other TV greats we've lost more recently: Dallas icon Larry Hagman, Three's Company Regal Beagle bartender (and stage star!) Paul Ainsley and Maude and Diff'rent Strokes star Conrad Bain.

    Head on over to Retroality.tv and listen to episode 16 of this wonderful podcast from the great Chris Mann! "Gimme a break I sure deserve it...It's time I made it to the top."

  • 12/23/12: Ted (the bear) likes "Gimme A Break!"

  • 07/27/12: "Gimme a Break" Production Guide - the order in which the episodes were made

  • Click here for a mp3 file of some samples of commercials Lara Jill has done.

  • 08/09/10: Read our review of Gimme a Break! - The Complete Series on DVD

  • 05/21/10: Finalized High-Res 3D Packaging for 'The Complete Series' 18-DVD Set

  • 05/17/10: The Complete Series Confirmed for Canada: Date, Cost, Cover Art

    Gimme a Break! - The Complete Series

  • 05/15/10: Gimme a Break! - The Complete Series Coming to DVD

    As mentioned in our introduction this week, we have big news about a complete series release of a classic 80's sitcom... and now we will talk about that! That classic 80's sitcom is none other than the NBC sitcom starring Nell Carter, Gimme a Break! Yes, Gimme a Break! - The Complete Series is coming soon to DVD... but only in Canada. However, since Canada is a Region 1 nation, you can also purchase and watch these DVDs on your DVD players in the United States with no problems at all! In the United States, Universal released Season 1, then left the rest of the series abandoned. In Canada, VEI released the first two seasons, but then somewhat gave up on the idea of releasing the rest--until now, that is! The 18 disc set is scheduled to be released on July 20 at a very reasonable CAN$59.95 MSRP, but you can pre-order it now from Amazon.ca and get it for around $50.00 (American) shipped to the United States! That works out to less than $9 a season! No word on any special features at this time, though I doubt that there will be any. We do have a look at the cover art (which may not be final), courtesy of Amazon.ca, as shown above.

    Pre-order Gimme a Break! - The Complete Series on DVD from Amazon.ca

  • 10/02/09: Gimme a Break! - A Fan Inquiry to Us on Facebook Leads to Some VERY Interesting New Information!

  • 09/27/09: Samantha (Lara Jill Miller) : Then And Now!

  • 10/20/08: Many Universal Seasons Not on DVD on Netflix.com!

    Tired of waiting for some of your favorite Universal series to continue on DVD? Now Netflix is giving you the entire run of many series that are not yet complete on DVD from Universal! Shows include Coach, Charles in Charge, Leave it to Beaver, Gimme a Break!, Kate & Allie, Dragnet '67, Adam-12, Emergency!, Kojak, Simon & Simon, McMillian & Wife, Quincy, seaQuest DSV, The Rockford Files, Airwolf, Murder She Wrote and Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. Wow you can watch every episode of Leave it to Beaver! Even season 6! Now you don't have to wait for Universal to complete the series and all the rest of these! All you have to do is to be a Netflix subscriber and you can watch all these episodes instantly on your computer in a nice streaming quality! Don't like that? Get the Netflix Ready Device so you can download these episodes to a device and play them on your TV! I know many of you would like to own the episodes on DVD, but this is a start in watching them.

  • 09/26/08: Will Fans Get a Break? We Find Out VEI's Decision About the 3rd Season DVDs!

  • 08/23/08: Season 3 is scheduled for release by VEI in Canada in 2009

    Buy Gimme a Break! - The Complete First & Second Seasons Bundled Together (Available 09/16)

  • 05/26/08: TVShowsOnDVD.com reports on VEI's Plans for Gimme a Break!

    E-mail VEI at info@visualentertainment.tv and tell them you want to see Season 3 on DVD!

  • 11/22/07: VEI has no plans for Season 3 yet

  • 01/16/07: Read our review of Gimme a Break! - The Complete Second Season (Canadian Release) on DVD

  • 09/29/06: Gimme a Break! - The Complete Second Season has been delayed by VEI Entertainment in Canada to early 2007

  • 09/21/06: Gimme a Break! - The Complete Second Season DVD Coming in Canada on October 3rd

    Click here to pre-order the set. People in the US can order from Amazon.ca . The DVDs will play in your DVD player.

    Season 2 in the US has not been announced yet.

    Here is the artwork for Gimme a Break! - The Complete Second Season (Canadian Release):

    Gimme a Break! - The Complete Second Season (Canadian Release

    Gimme a Break! joins the ME-TV (WMME-TV in Chicago) lineup September 18th - weekdays at 4:30PM CT

    Stations currently airing Gimme a Break!:

    WCWG/WTWB Greensboro, NC Weekdays 9-10am ET
    WLGA Opelika, AL Weekdats 10-11am CT
    WRJM Troy, AL Saturdays 4-5PM CT
    WWME Chicago, IL Weekdays 4:30PM CT

    Gimme a Break! - The Complete First Season (Canadian Release)

  • 05/05/06: Gimme a Break! - The Complete First Season Coming to Canada on May 30th

    Purchase Gimme a Break! - The Complete First Season (Canadian Release)

  • 02/12/06: Read our review of Gimme a Break! - Season One on DVD

  • 01/26/06: Season 2 bonus episode on the Season 1 set is Nell Goes to Jail as some people predicted.

    Bonus Material:
    --The Great 80’s Flashback
    --Bonus Episode-- Kate & Allie Season 1: A Very Loud Family
    --Bonus Episode-- Charles in Charge Season 1: Extracurricular Activity
    --Bonus Episode – Gimme a Break! Season 2: Nell Goes to Jail

    Nell Carter shines as Nellie Ruth “Nell” Harper, the role that twice earned her Emmy® and Golden Globe Award nominations, and helped redefine the meaning of “family.” Available for the first time ever on DVD, Gimme a Break! is the funny, hip and sometimes poignant portrayal of the Kanisky family: widowed Police Chief Carl; his three daughters Katie, Julie and Samantha; and their unflappable housekeeper-turned-surrogate mother (Carter). This 3-disc set includes all 19 episodes from Season One, as well as a preview from Season Two, bonus episodes from the smash-hit sitcoms Kate and Allie and Charles in Charge, and a special featurette that takes a look back at other great TV shows of the eighties. Featuring renowned guest stars such as Danny Glover, Rue McClanahan and Helen Hunt, Gimme a Break! is the beloved sitcom that delivers both love and laughs.

    Disc 1: 3 Hours 17 Minutes; Disc 2: 3 Hours 17 Minutes; Disc 3: 1 Hours 14 Minutes

  • 01/26/06: It looks like Gimme a Break! won't join the regular TV One line-up. This is just a one time only event:

    On Saturday February 11th from 12N to 10P (and in the overnight from 12M to 6A), TV One takes a stroll down memory lane for a one-time-only day-long tribute to one of the longest running sitcoms in African-American television history, "Gimme A Break!" The late singer/actress Nell Carter starred as Nell Harper, housekeeper and den mother to the three daughters of the Kanisky Family, headed by Dolph Sweet as the recently widowed local police chief.

    Controversial in its day for the 'stereotypical' set-up of a wise-cracking and overweight Black housekeeper who takes care of a white family, the show nevertheless endured six seasons on the strength of Carter's powerful persona, strong comic timing and musical chops. In advance of the release of the show's first season on DVD, the 10 hour marathon highlights 10 episodes from the first season, and 10 more key episodes from the rest of the show's run. The show features rare guest appearances from some of today's biggest stars, 'before they were stars', including Whitney Houston, Dennis Haysbert, and Danny Glover.

  • 01/23/06: Gimme a Break! Marathon on TV One
    TV One Presents a special Gimme a Break! marathon on Saturday, February 11, 2006 from 12 noon to 10 p.m. And most of the episodes will also re-air from 12 midnight to 6 a.m. And don't forget to buy the complete first season on DVD the following Tuesday (Feb. 14) from Universal Home Video!

    There is no word yet if Gimme a Break! will join the regular line-up or not, but stay tuned and we'll try to find out!

    Saturday, February 11, 2006
    12:00pm/12:00am Gimme A Break! Episode 101 "Katie the Crook"
    12:30pm Gimme A Break! Episode 102 "A Good Man is Hard to Find"
    1:00pm Gimme A Break! Episode 104 "Do or Diet"
    1:30pm/12:30am Gimme A Break! Episode 105 "Mom's Birthday"
    2:00pm/1:00am Gimme A Break! Episode 106 "A Man in Nell's Room" GS: Danny Glover
    2:30pm Gimme A Break! Episode 110 "Nell's Ex" GS: Jay Johnson ("Soap")
    3:00pm/1:30am Gimme A Break! Episode 113 "Nell Goes Home"
    3:30pm Gimme A Break! Episode 114 "Samantha Steals a Squad Car"
    4:00pm Gimme A Break! Episode 117 "Sam's Affair"
    4:30pm Gimme A Break! Episode 118 "The Robbery"
    5:00pm/2:00am Gimme A Break! Episode 219 "The Return of the Doo-Wop Girls"
    5:30pm/2:30am Gimme A Break! Episode 302 "Joey, Part 1" Joey Lawrence joins the cast.
    6:00pm/3:00am Gimme A Break! Episode 305 "Joey, Part 2" Joey Lawrence joins the cast.
    6:30pm/3:30am Gimme A Break! Episode 308 "Nell's Friend" Telma Hopkins joins the cast.
    7:00pm/4:00am Gimme A Break! Episode 315 "Flashback"
    7:30pm/4:30am Gimme A Break! Episode 318 "Knock Three Times"
    8:00pm/5:00am Gimme A Break! Episode 319 "Katie's College" GS: Whitney Houston
    8:30pm Gimme A Break! Episode 409 "Baby of the Family"
    9:00pm Gimme A Break! Episode 424 "Friendship"
    9:30pm/5:30am Gimme A Break! Episode 501 "Joey's Train"

  • 01/10/06: Article on the 1985 live episode of Gimme A Break

    Gimme A Break was #38 on TV Lands list of 100 Unexpected Moments (A Child in Blackface - A cruel off color joke gives Nell Carter a chance to teach a lesson in racism) New interview segments with Lara Jill Miller and Matthew Lawrence (talking about his brother) were shown. This aired in December and was featured in TV Guide's December 5-11 issue.

  • 12/04/05: Gimme A Break - Season 1 will be released on DVD on February 14,2006.

    Bonus features for Gimme a Break! Season 1:

    - "The Great '80s TV Flashback" - 30 min featurette
    - Bonus episode of "Charles in Charge" from season one and "Kate & Allie" from season one
    - Bonus episode of "Gimme a Break!" from season 2

    Here is the full-sized cover art:

    Gimme A Break - Season One

  • 11/21/05: TVShowsOnDVD.com reports that Gimme A Break - Season One will be released on DVD on February 14, 2006. The 3 single-sided discs will contain all 19 episodes from the first season and run 468 minutes (so the episodes should be unedited at over 24 minutes each). There will be slim cases inside of an outer slipcover box. They will be in the original 1:33:1 frame video and an English Momo audio track. There will be English subtitles. The suggested retail price is $34.98.

    SitcomsOnline.com brings you a first look at the full-size cover art.

  • 11/21/05: Added link to Lara Jill Miller's Official Site

  • 10/04/05: Lara Jill Miller as Cartoon Network's Juniper Lee (Interview)

  • 06/13/05: VH1 Premieres '100 Greatest Kid Stars' In A 5-Night Series Hosted By Christopher Knight Beginning Monday June 13 9PM*

    NEW YORK, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- VH1 has crowned Gary Coleman, of "Diff'rent Strokes" fame, the number one kid star. Macaulay Culkin, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, Jodie Foster, Drew Barrymore, Emmanuel Lewis, Ron Howard, Corey Feldman, Maureen McCormick and Danny Bonaduce round out the top ten on the list.

    Premiering on Monday, June 13 at 9 P.M.* and hosted by Christopher Knight, "100 Greatest Kid Stars" is a five-night special that follows the tradition of VH1's successful "100 Greatest ... " franchise. VH1 has assembled the definitive list of child stars, and counts them down using new, exclusive interviews with many of the stars themselves and that golden footage from way back when ...

    VH1 "100 GREATEST KID STARS"
    64. Lara Jill Miller (GIMME A BREAK!)
    Complete List

  • 02/08/04: Added updated biography and 1 new photo to the gallery

  • 01/08/04: Added new photo gallery system and several new photos, if you have any photos to share - please upload them

  • 09/01/03: The voice of Clifford the Puppy, Lara Jill Miller is best known for her starring role as "Samantha" on the hit NBC sit-com Gimme A Break. After that series' 6-year run, Miller made a move to the East Coast where she starred opposite Dick Van Dyke in the Broadway revival of The Music Man. She enrolled at NYU with a dual major in Politics and French. Miller then attended Fordham University School of Law and proceeded to her second career as a litigation attorney. But the acting bug bit once again and Miller made her way back West. Her series credits include a recurring role on Nickelodeon's The Amanda Show, PAX TV's Chicken Soup for the Soul and she can be heard every week as "Kari" on FOX's hit animated series DIGIMON.

    Labor Day 2003 will bring more of what young children love – puppies and Clifford™ ! On Monday, September 1, Scholastic Entertainment will launch CLIFFORD’S PUPPY DAYS, an all-new animated series about Clifford’s “puppyhood” on PBS KIDS. Henry Winkler will be among the celebrities lending their voices to the cast of this new animated venture which is for children 3-7.

    Following the Labor Day premiere as part of the “PBS KIDS PET-TACULAR!” event, kids can look forward to CLIFFORD’S PUPPY DAYS each Tail Waggin’ Wednesday in the regular CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOGÒ time slot on PBS KIDS. These 25 new episodes will provide kids with all new Clifford adventures to look forward to this season. CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG will continue to air at its regularly scheduled time every weekday but Wednesday.

    .“Clifford’s Puppy Days has an incredibly positive and relatable message for kids – that however small you are, you can make a really big and important contribution,” said Deborah Forte, executive producer of the series and president of Scholastic Entertainment. “We are delighted to bring all new stories, setting and characters to Clifford fans.”

    “We are thrilled to bring even more Clifford to PBS KIDS. With the program’s socio-emotional themes, and as one of our most beloved characters, kids will have fun learning and identifying with the new adventures Clifford will face when he’s really small,” said John F. Wilson, Senior Vice President of PBS Programming.

    CLIFFORD’S PUPPY DAYS will present the young, bright, loveable bundle of energy before he was the biggest dog that ever was. The runt of the litter, in fact, Clifford in PUPPY DAYS is small enough to fit inside Emily Elizabeth’s slipper. Young fans will find that even though he’s small, Clifford has a huge heart and tremendous good humor that wins him friends and fans everywhere he goes. Viewers also will find young Clifford painting the town a new shade of red in a different setting – the big city. This new locale is filled with a diverse group of new friends, both human and animal, and endless possibilities for Clifford-style fun.

    CLIFFORD’S PUPPY DAYS will build on the literacy and community-based lessons consistent with those in CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG, which, in its third season, continues to reign as top dog with kids 2-5 and caregivers of children under 3. CLIFFORD’S PUPPY DAYS, like CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG, is based on Scholastic’s beloved, best-selling children’s books by Norman Bridwell, with more than 160 titles and 110 million books in print.

    Henry Winkler will be the voice behind Norville, a city bird with attitude. The voice of Clifford the puppy, will be performed by actress Lara Jill Miller (Broadway’s Music Man and NBC’s hit sit-com “Gimme A Break”). And, public television’s very own famed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns will “appear” as himself – in an animated guest appearance.

    The first two episodes CLIFFORD’S PUPPY DAYS will be broadcast in High Definition Television (HDTV), making it the first children’s series to air on PBS in HDTV.

    The National Captioning Institute (NCI) will provide closed captions and video descriptions (DVI) for CLIFFORD’S PUPPY DAYS. CLIFFORD’S PUPPY DAYS will also be available in Spanish (SAP) at a later date.

    Major corporate support is made possible by Lipton® and Chuck E. Cheese's. Clifford is funded in part by Ready To Learn cooperative agreement from the U.S. Department of Education through the Public Broadcasting Service

    (PBS) and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CBP). CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG has been nominated for 14 Emmy awards in three seasons, including four for 2002-2003. The series has garnered two Humanitas Prizes; two CINE Golden Eagles; a Parents’ Choice Award; a Gold Plaque from the Chicago International TV Film Competition; a GoldWorld Medal in the New York Festivals; a TASH Positive Images Award; a Parents Guide to Media Award, and selection as finalist in the prestigious Prix Jeunesse international competition in 2002.

    Related Links:

    Clifford's Puppy Days Official PBS Site

    TV Tome Episode Guide

    E! True Hollywood Story

    Gimme A Break!: The E! True Hollywood Story - premieres on Sunday, April 27th at 9PM EST/PST

    One-Hour Episode Features One of Nell Carter’s Last Television Interviews

    Los Angeles, April 24, 2003 - In 1981, disco was dead, the cold war was hot and NBC was definitely not must see TV. The network needed a hit and Gimme A Break! delivered. The TV series helped revive the network and also introduced Tony® Award-winning actress Nell Carter as one of television’s biggest and boldest new stars. Behind the scenes, however, Carter was wrestling with a life-threatening addiction to drugs, alcohol and food. Despite Carter’s mounting problems, including trips in and out of rehab, the actress was rewarded with two Primetime Emmy nominations for her leading role. By the show’s fifth season, however, NBC replaced some members of the original cast to make room for new faces and fresher story lines. While Carter eventually found her way to a successful recovery, NBC ultimately gave up on the sitcom (which helped launch the careers of Rosie O’Donnell, Jonathan Silverman and brothers Joey and Matthew Lawrence), canceling the show after its sixth season. In one of her last television interviews before her tragic death this past January at age 54, Carter talks openly about her fight against drug and alcohol abuse, as well as her battle with weight and making a career comeback. Additional interviews include original cast members Lara Jill Miller, Laurie Hendler, Kari Michaelson and Telma Hopkins, along with Carter’s close friend actress Debbie Allen. Gimme A Break!: The E! True Hollywood Story premieres Sunday, April 27 at 9:00 PM ET/PT.

    Additional Airings:

    Sunday, April 27th at 11PM EST/PST
    Tuesday, April 29th at 8PM EST/PST
    Saturday, May 3rd at 4PM EST/PST
    Sunday, May 4th at 12PM EST/PST

    Also on Sunday, May 4th at 2PM EST/PST the Child Stars of the 1980s special is re-airing: A look at young stars from the 1980s, detailing the ups and downs of their careers. Featured in the overview are Tina Yothers (“Family Ties”); Quinn Cummings (“Family”); Danielle Brisbois (“All in the Family”); Danica McKellar (“The Wonder Years”); Jeremy Licht (“The Hogan Family”); Lara Jill Miller (“Gimme a Break”); Brian Bonsall (“Family Ties”); Philip McKeon (“Alice”); and Keisha Knight Pulliam (“The Cosby Show”).

  • 03/05/03: Added updated biography

    Lauri Hendler, Kari Michaelson, and Lara Jill Miller

    Former cast members of the television series 'Gimme A Break!,' from left, Lauri Hendler, Kari Michaelson and Lara Jill Miller depart the funeral of entertainer Nell Carter, Monday, Jan. 27, 2003, in Culver City, Calif. The three co-starred with Carter on the show in the 80s. Carter died Thursday at age 54 after collapsing in her home. (AP Photo/Lee Celano)

    Nell Carter

  • 01/23/03: 'Gimme a Break' Star Nell Carter Dies

    Lara Jill Miller, who played Sam Kanisky on the show, recalled how proud Carter was when the former child actress decided to go to law school following the end of the series.

    "I loved her dearly. I shared my entire childhood with her. She was like a mom and best friend to me rolled into one. She called me 'her baby,' " Miller told E! News Live. "I'm so sad."

    BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) - Nell Carter, who played the sassy, matronly housekeeper on the 1980s sitcom "Gimme a Break!" and received a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical "Ain't Misbehavin'," died Thursday, her publicist said. She was 54.

    The singer-actress collapsed in her Beverly Hills home and was found by one of her 13-year-old sons, spokesman Roger Lane said.

    Carter had suffered from diabetes for years, Lane added, and underwent brain surgery in 1992 to remove an aneurysm. She recovered and continued to perform, mostly on stage.

    Carter was in rehearsals at a Long Beach theater for "Raisin," the musical version of "Raisin in the Sun."

    In addition to Carter's Tony win for "Ain't Misbehavin'," she won an Emmy in 1982 for the TV version. One of the highlights of the show — a revue based on the music of Fats Waller — was her soulful rendition of "Mean to Me."

    Her NBC comedy "Gimme a Break!" ran from 1981 to 1987, and garnered her two more Emmy nominations, in 1982 and 1983.

    In February 1985, an episode of the show was broadcast live — the first for a situation comedy in nearly 30 years. Carter and her costars performed flawlessly, and at the end, she threw up her arms and yelled, "We did it!"

    She played the housekeeper to a family headed by a widower who was the town police chief, played by Dolph Sweet. After Sweet died in May 1985, his character "died" too and the show went through a series of plot and cast changes.

    Blessed with a big voice and stage presence, the heavyset Carter prided herself on her range as a performer, doing musicals and drama as well as comedy.

    Early in her career, she performed as a singer on the gospel circuit. She moved on to coffeehouses and nightclubs in her native Birmingham, Ala., before going on to New York.

    She aspired to be a belter: a singer who gave her all. "You're afraid you might hyperventilate or crack, but you do it for the excitement of it," she said. "Head singers have to hold everything tight to get the note. I like belters, people who have that non-control but control."

    Growing up, Carter listened to her mother's recordings of Dinah Washington and B.B. King, and her brother's Elvis Presley records. She liked Doris Day, the Andrews Sisters, Johnny Mathis, and admired the work of Cleo Laine and Barbra Streisand.

    Carter said she would have preferred to be an opera singer.

    "When I was growing up, (performing) was not something you aspired to," she said in 1988. "I was a weirdo to want to be in show business. Most kids wanted to be teachers or nurses."

    Gimme A Break Online

    Yahoo / CNN


    Totally Awesome 80's Site of the Day! Site of the Day for May 20, 1999!


    visitors since this site was re-established 12/10/99 - approximately 8,500 previous hits since it was created 08/17/98 - last updated 03/27/13


    © 1998-2013, Todd Fuller Contact Form


    Yahoo Fan Club / Biography/Filmography / Photo Gallery / Touch and Go / People Magazine Article
    Gimme A Break Online / Links / Main Page