These are the final minutes to "Sam Goes To College", the 113th and first episode of the sixth and final season of the NBC 1981-87 hit sitcom "Gimme A Break!". This aired as the one-hour sixth season premiere on Wednesday, September 24, 1986.
Things have dramatically changed again in the Kanisky household as Nell (Nell Carter) begins to face the prospects of empty nest syndrome. First, eldest daughter Katie (Kari Michaelsen) has accepted a job in San Francisco and is set to begin her new life there. Middle daughter-and new mother-Julie (Lauri Hendler) and her husband Jonathan (Jonathan Silverman) decide to leave Glen Lawn and move to San Jose in order to get more privacy after living in a crowded house. After a computer error mix-up, youngest daughter Samantha (Lara Jill Miller) prepares to start college in New Jersey. While family friend Officer Simpson (Howard Morton) helps Jonathan with the move, Nell frets, because she realizes that all her "girls" are leaving home.
After sharing memories of their lives over the past five years, Nell bids a fond, emotional farewell to Katie, Julie, Jonathan, their baby daughter Nell, and Simpson. She then goes up to Julie and Jonathan's old room , which used to be the Chief's room, where she finds a picture of the girls as kids. As she is crying, she composes herself quickly when her young ward Joey (Joey Lawrence) asks if he can spend the night at a friend's house, to which she agrees.
When Joey leaves, she sits for a minute and begins to realize that the girls she raised for six years are grown women with their own lives. SHe looks skyward and "talks" to the Chief, where she ruefully laughs that Julie's daughter Nell will dump her too when she grows up.
*In order to secure GAB's sixth season, NBC informed the producers that drastic changes would have to be made. Ratings had dropped severely in the fifth season due to the death of original cast member Dolph Sweet in 1985. The decision was made that the show's setting in the coming episodes would transition from Glen Lawn, California to New York City. The show focus would now change to Nell, Sam, Joey, Addy (Telma Hopkins), and Grandpa Kanisky (John Hoyt) As they were being let go due to the network's demand for changes, this would mark the final appearances of Kari Michaelsen, Lauri Hendler, Jonathan Silverman and Howard Morton in their respective roles of Katie Kanisky, Julie Kanisky Maxwell, Jonathan Maxwell and Officer Ralph Simpson.
For myself and other, this is considered to be the true finale of "Gimme A Break!"