Fred Gwynne was originally to play Henry but backed out when, in an audition for the role of Henry P. Warnimont, He was identified as Herman Munster, which was his role on The Munsters.
Because the show had many young viewers and was scheduled after football games which tended to run overtime, six fifteen-minute episodes were produced. This was done rather than joining a full-length episode in progress, because that would disappoint children watching the program, and showing it later tended to put them up at a time parents may have considered too late for their children.
The program-producing unit of the NBC network produced the first two seasons. When it was cancelled, the show was sold to Columbia Pictures Television for $60 million. Columbia produced the latter two seasons (though there is a one year interval between them) without NBC's involvement.
'Cherie Johnson (I)' was the niece of the show's creator and producer, David W. Duclon, who named the character for her. Nevertheless, she auditioned for the role like everyone else and was picked by the network to play the role.
When the Challenger shuttle, which was helped piloted by history teacher Christa McAuliffe, exploded the executives at NBC knew a lot of children would be devastated by her loss as the shuttle launch was shown in many schools. A script was immediately written in which the character of Punky had to come to terms with what the shuttle explosion meant.
The episode "Fenster Hall" was a failed attempt to create a spin-off of "Punky Brewster". It was originally a one hour episode, but was cut into two shows for syndication.
Punky's dog Sandy (LXI) was named after then-NBC programming chief Brandon Tartikoff.
During the whole run of the show, Henry's bedroom is not shown, the Johnsons' apartment is shown only once, and Margeaux's house is shown only once.
During the second season, several of the interiors of the set were altered. The beige couch from the first season was replaced with a blue plaid couch. The bathroom and the hallway were altered, and the front door of Henry's apartment was changed as well.
Henry's and Punky's phone number is 555-1566.
In the episode The Perils of Punky (Part 1), the license plate on Henry's car reads P. POWER.
Although not officially an adaptation, Punky Brewster contains many story elements in common with the novel Silas Marner, in which a miserly old hermit whose only friend is an elderly woman adopts a precocious young girl who was abandoned by her parents.
Punky's dog Brandon(LXI) was named after then-NBC programming chief Brandon Tartikoff.
At the beginning of the episode, Henry recites from the poem "The Walloping Window Blind," by Charles Edward Carryl.
This episode aired two weeks after the final game of the 1984 National League Championship Series. The Chicago Cubs lost to the San Diego Padres in two games to five. As of the 2005 season, the Cubs still have not been back to the World Series since 1945.
Henry calls for a detective friend who is named after Gene Doucette, the show's costume designer.
Although the network rejected the proposed series based on this episode, the producers brought back the Mike Fulton character played by T.K. Carter and made him Punky's teacher in the following season.
The title of this episode is based on a song from the 1974 Jerry Herman stage musical "Mack and Mabel."
This episode reveals that Henry drives a 1955 De Soto with the license plate "P POWER".
This episode ends with footage of real-life anti-drug parades emceed by show stars Soleil Moon Frye and 'Cherie Johnson (I)'.
Peyton B. Rutledge, who appears in this episode in a brief cameo as a schoolteacher, is the inspiration for this series. Nicknamed "Punky Brewster" as a child, she was a friend of NBC president Brandon Tartikoff. No direct explanation of her appearance other than an in-joke is given herein.
The tune Linda plays on the violin is "Kinderszenen, Op. 15, No. 7", popularly known as the "Traumerei", by Robert Schumann.
The episode title is based on a popular ad campaign for milk that aired at the time.
This episode was based on a story contest held by the producers. Children would send in stories involving the show's characters, and the winning entry would be made into an episode.
This was the last original episode broadcast on NBC.
This was the first episode broadcast in first-run syndication.
This episode reveals that Punky attends Westview Elementary School.