One of the most talked-about new series for NBC in 1984 was Punky Brewster. The show starred newcomer Soleil Moon Frye as the latest entrant in the “cute kid” sitcom derby (Diff’rent Strokes and the like). Punky was an orphan who, along with her dog Brandon, was discovered living in an abandoned apartment by curmudgeonly old apartment manager Henry. Soon enough, Punky warmed Henry’s heart and he decided to take care of her, opening the door to weekly adventures.
After one season, Punky became popular enough with viewers that NBC decided to give her a cartoon and a contraction. It’s Punky Brewsterfeatured the same characters as the live version and most of the same cast. The new addition was Glomer, a Gazoo-like character who would magically transport Punky and friends to faraway places.
The initial popularity of the primetime Punky wore off more quickly than expected, and the sitcom left the network for syndication in 1986. The cartoon followed suit a year later.