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Becker
Becker Title.jpg
Title card
Format Sitcom
Created by David Hackel
Starring Ted Danson
Hattie Winston
Shawnee Smith
Alex Désert
Terry Farrell (1998–2002)
Saverio Guerra (1998–2003)
Nancy Travis (2002–2004)
Jorge Garcia (2003–2004)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 129 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time approx. 22–26 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run November 2, 1998 (1998-11-02) – January 28, 2004 (2004-01-28)

Becker is an American television sitcom that ran from 1998 to 2004 on CBS. Set in the New York City borough of The Bronx, the show starred Ted Danson as the title character, John Becker, a misanthropic doctor who operates a small practice and is constantly annoyed by his patients, co-workers, friends, and practically everything and everybody else in his world. Despite everything, his patients and friends are loyal because Becker genuinely cares about them.

The series was produced by Paramount Television, previous producers of Cheers, also starring Danson.

Contents

Characters

Actor Role Character run
Ted Danson Dr. John Becker 1998–2004
Hattie Winston Margaret Wyborn
Shawnee Smith Linda
Alex Désert Jake Malinak
Terry Farrell Regina 'Reggie' Kostas 1998–2002
Nancy Travis Chris Connor 2002–2004
Saverio Guerra Bob 1998–2003
Jorge Garcia Hector Lopez 2003–2004

For the first four seasons, the main characters were:

Becker, a Harvard Medical School graduate, runs a neighborhood medical practice. He is easily annoyed by things such as a flickering street lamp, noisy neighbors, the couple having very loud sex in the apartment above him, or his numerous failed attempts to quit smoking. Becker has a personal superstition that "All midgets are bad luck, whenever I see one, something bad happens to me". He has been married and divorced twice and is very stingy.

Despite his gruff nature, Becker exhibits moments of kindness, and genuinely does care for his patients, choosing to remain in a run-down Bronx neighborhood because that’s where he is needed. He often accepts gifts, such as baseball tickets, from patients who cannot afford to pay him.

Becker’s nurse and office manager, and one of the few people who can tolerate Becker, Margaret is a motherly figure to Becker and Linda. She is married, which at best is an on the rocks marriage, to the often mentioned but never-seen "Lewis", who hates Becker (and vice versa). She once thought about becoming a singer instead of a nurse. Margaret is a Christian, specifically a Baptist, and often quotes the Bible. Margaret is generally the most level-headed character and acts as the voice of reason. She also appears to have liberal views; as in one episode, she is asked what Florida is known for, and sarcastically answers “not counting votes?”, and once chastised Becker for what she perceived as homophobic behavior. She is also shown to be quite stubborn, a prime example is where she got her job by not leaving till Becker hired her.

A muddle-headed young woman whose surname is never revealed, she works at the doctor’s office as a fledgling nurse's aide to establish independence from her wealthy parents. Becker also mentioned that he owed her father a favor, suggesting that that is the only reason Linda is kept around. Although her help is often of questionable value she can occasionally show surprising competence. She once described herself as being like a spare tire, something that can really come through and save the day when needed, but not someone you want to rely on unless you have to. An example of her more competent moments occurred when Becker was having trouble diagnosing a patient's illness. Linda noted that, despite having returned from a vacation in the Bahamas about six weeks ago, the man still had a tan. This led Becker to the cause of the man's problems: Addison's disease. Her mother is an alcoholic and her parents are apparently quite wealthy, having bought Linda a penthouse with a doorman, an original Monet painting, a view of the park, and a Danish ambassador as a neighbor. Even Becker once voiced he was planning to "kill you and live here" after seeing it for the first time. In season two, she invites Bob to live with her after he becomes homeless. Shortly after, she begins trying to set him up with job openings so she can politely kick him out. She has been out with lots of men, including her on-again/off-again ex-boyfriend Gil, who is frequently mentioned (often in a negative context). Linda is popular with some of the patients, sometimes due to her outfits and her optimistic attitude; mostly kids enjoy her being around when it comes to take shots. She respects Becker, often calling him "Doctor" no matter where she is, and has even stuck up for him at a parent/teacher meeting she attended with John to straighten out the "sex talk" he gave to a classroom of little kids. She admires him, and does get along with him when he's having one of his few good days. She also respects Margaret and is often helped out of a lot of tough situations. She has a soft spot for small animals and loves to go shopping, clubbing, and dating a new guy every week. Linda also speaks various languages. One of her ex-boyfriends taught her how to speak some Mandarin and it came in handy while Margaret was having difficulty communicating to a foreign patient.[1] She also speaks Portuguese and speaks it to an at-home patient named Enid Connelly.[2]

The owner and operator of a diner she inherited from her late father, Reggie is a former model and is unhappy being stuck running a diner. When Becker is away from his office or apartment, he can almost always be found at her diner. Reggie is torn over her feelings for Becker – the two have the kind of love-hate relationship often seen in sitcoms. She is frequently taunted for her poor cooking and drops hints that the Board of Health has issued her warnings before. Although disenchanted with her occupation, Reggie does seem to enjoy her customers and lets them make it a sort of extension of their homes, allowing Becker, for example, to operate the register to access the cigarettes he keeps there. Reggie eventually goes on to acquire a degree in psychology but has a panic attack when the jokes of the episode hinge on the uselessness of the degree. In the 5th season's premiere episode, "Someone's In The Kitchen with Reggie?", she and Becker sleep together because she is jealous of the fact Chris likes John. The following day, she leaves town, leaving a message telling everyone that she regrets sleeping with Becker and that she couldn't face the humiliation of it. She also says that she wants to pursue a better career. Jake receives a phone call from her, answered by a random customer who wants a cup of coffee while the group is discussing Becker's decision to dump Reggie, saying that she went to Miami to meet up with a few of her modeling friends and that they were going to travel through Europe.

Becker's best friend, Jake also works at the diner selling newspapers and miscellaneous items such as candy, magazines, cigarettes, gum, etc. Jake is blind following a car accident several years before. He lived with his grandmother as a youngster and was close to her before she died. Jake married a woman, Amanda (played by Lindsay Price), 24 hours after they met but they got the marriage annulled, deciding to live together instead. Amanda left Jake after two and a half years, taking all his possessions with her. The show ends with him going off to college in Chicago with the money he got in an inheritance and staying with a relative who teaches at the University.

Bob is an old high school classmate of Reggie's who is short, annoying, and during the first two seasons refers to himself in the third person. Bob is a sex addict who originally wants to have sex with Reggie, in spite of the fact Reggie has made her disgust for him quite plain and that he was married. During season two, Bob becomes homeless after losing most of his money in a divorce. Linda invites him to live with her in her parent's penthouse but quickly tries to figure out ways to kick him out. After messing up several job openings Linda tries to set him up with, Bob becomes the superintendent of Becker's apartment building in the third season. As with Linda, Bob's last name is never revealed, although we do discover his middle name is Benito. Bob is a recurring character for the first two seasons, and is made a main character for Seasons 3 through 5. Although he avoids his job as a building superintendent at Becker's building, one of his few talents is that he is an excellent cook. Despite the food at Reggie's Diner being sub par, he is still able to cook very well. Bob disappears after the fifth season. His absence is explained by Jake in the Season 6 premiere episode in which Jake claims he went on a vacation. He is never referred to again. (Guerra decided not to renew his contract for the sixth season.)

New characters in seasons 5 and 6

Chris Connor joined the show as the new neighbor who moves to the Bronx after traveling the world. Chris, originally supposed to be in the show for only four episodes, joined the show at the end of Season 4 and became a regular cast member in Season 5. Chris takes over the diner and begins a love-hate relationship with Becker. She is his total opposite – always nice and cheerful, but they eventually got together by the end of the series. Travis had previously worked with Danson in Three Men and a Baby.

Terry Farrell's dismissal

Between the fourth and fifth seasons, Terry Farrell was fired.[3] She has told interviewers that it came as a complete shock to her and that she is unsure of exactly why it happened, although she reportedly led a strike among the show's cast. Just before Terry's dismissal, actress Nancy Travis was hired to play Chris Connor, the new neighbor and potential love interest. She moved into Becker's apartment building in the Bronx after traveling the world. Travis, originally supposed to be in the show for only four episodes, became a series regular after Farrell was fired. Chris takes over the diner and begins a love-hate relationship with Becker.

Hector Lopez is a friend of Jake. Jake knew Hector as a little brother of one of his childhood friends. When Jake talked about him as kid, he said that he would do anything to get money including selling his parents' condoms, to which he responded by saying, "Hey, those weren't scams, they were business ventures. Besides I got a baby sister out of it." He was a cast member only during the sixth season and served as a replacement of sorts for Bob (Saverio Guerra did not renew his contract for the 6th season). In the last episode, Hector takes over control of the news stand after Jake announces he will be moving to Chicago the next day.

Premise

The show revolved around Becker and the things that annoyed him, although the supporting cast also had their moments. The relationships between Becker and Reggie (later, Chris) formed the key plots of many episodes.

The show tackled more serious issues as well, such as race, homosexuality, Cerebral AVM, and political correctness.

Reception

Becker debuted in a Monday slot at 9:30 PM Eastern time.[4]

The show performed well for its first four seasons, piggybacking off the ratings of its lead-in, Everybody Loves Raymond. CBS moved the show to Sunday in 2002, and its ratings deteriorated quickly, eventually forcing the network to put it on hiatus. CBS had planned to cancel it after the fifth season, but gave it a last-minute reprieve because of a dearth of promising comedy pilots. Becker's sixth season was to be as a mid season replacement for the 2003–2004 season, and thus only 13 episodes were ordered. Despite this, CBS' comedy lineup forced them to move Becker's sixth season debut to the fall, where the show was moved to Wednesday and paired up with The King of Queens. Ratings remained low, and the show finished out its run in January 2004, after 129 episodes.

Nielsen Ratings

Season Episodes Timeslot (ET) Season Premiere Season Finale Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 22

Monday 9:30

November 2, 1998 May 17, 1999 #18[5] 13.9[5]
2 24

Monday 9:30

September 20, 1999 May 22, 2000 #19[6] 15.26[6]
3 24

Monday 9:30

October 9, 2000 May 24, 2001 #16[7] 16.1[7]
4 24

Monday 9:30

October 1, 2001 May 20, 2002 #13[8] 16.3[8]
5 22 Sunday 8:00 (2002)

Sunday 8:30 (2003)

October 6, 2002 April 20, 2003 #47[9] 10.5[9]
6 13

Wednesday 9:30

October 8, 2003 January 28, 2004 #46[10] 10.29[10]

DVD releases

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released the first three seasons of Becker on DVD in Region 1.

In Region 2, Paramount Home Entertainment released the first season on DVD on April 28, 2008. There were issues with the discs that meant audio and video were out of sync. [11]

In Region 4, Paramount Home Entertainment has released the first three seasons on DVD.

DVD Name Ep# Originally aired Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The First Season 22 1998–1999 April 1, 2008 April 28, 2008 July 31, 2008
The Second Season 24 1999–2000 February 3, 2009 TBA March 5, 2009
The Third Season 24 2000–2001 January 12, 2010 TBA August 6, 2009

See also

References

  1. ^ Seen in the season 1 episode "Activate Your Choices".
  2. ^ Seen in the season 2 episode "Sight Unseen."
  3. ^ "Farrell Falls Off "Becker"". Internet Movie Database. 2002-05-24. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000395/news?year=2002#ni0063300. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  4. ^ "Hello, `Becker'; Farewell, Priestley". The Washington Post: pp. Y 03. 1998-12-01. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/access/35583087.html?dids=35583087:35583087&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Nov+01%2C+1998&author=&pub=The+Washington+Post&desc=Hello%2C+%60Becker%27%3B+Farewell%2C+Priestley&pqatl=google. Retrieved February 5, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "TV Winners & Losers: Numbers Racket A Final Tally Of The Season's Show (from Nielsen Media Research)". GeoCities. June 4, 1999. http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/4616/ew0604.html. Retrieved 02-12-2010. 
  6. ^ a b "Top TV Shows For 1999–2000 Season". http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=chart_pass&charttype=chart_topshows99&dept=TV. Retrieved 02-12-2010. 
  7. ^ a b "The Bitter End". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue #598 Jun 01, 2001. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,256435,00.html. Retrieved 02-12-2010. 
  8. ^ a b "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. May 28, 2002. http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/2002/2002-05-28-year-end-chart.htm. Retrieved 02-12-2010. 
  9. ^ a b "Rank And File". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue #713 Jun 06, 2003. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,455439,00.html. Retrieved 02-12-2010. 
  10. ^ a b "I. T. R. S. Ranking Report: 01 Thru 210". ABC Medianet. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070930171419/http://www.abcmedianet.com/Web/progcal/dispDNR.aspx?id=060204_11. Retrieved 02-12-2010. 
  11. ^ "Becker: Season 1". play.com. 2009-03-02. http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/5173030/Becker-Season-1/ProductReviews.html#292995. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 

External links


Simple English

Becker
Format Sitcom
Created by Dave Hackel
Starring Ted Danson
Terry Farrell
Hattie Winston
Shawnee Smith
Alex Désert
Saverio Guerra
Nancy Travis
Jorge Garcia
Country of origin
No. of episodes 129
Production
Running time 30 minutes (including commercials)
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Original run November 2, 1998January 28, 2004

Becker was a 1998 American television series. It was a sitcom on the CBS network. It starred Ted Danson as Dr. John Becker, a very grumpy family doctor Who is unhappy with his life in The Bronx, New York. Becker became famous for his witty responses and constant negative outlook on all situations. The show aired on Wednesdays, and was cancelled in January 2004.

Characters

Actor Role Character run
Ted Danson Dr. John Becker (1998–2004)
Terry Farrell Regina 'Reggie' Kostas (1998–2002)
Hattie Winston Margaret Wyborn (1998–2004)
Shawnee Smith Linda (1998–2004)
Alex Désert Jake Malinak (1998–2004)
Saverio Guerra Bob (1998–2003)
Nancy Travis Chris Connor (2002–2004)
Jorge Garcia Hector Lopez (2003–2004)

For the first four seasons, the main characters were:

Becker, a Harvard Medical School graduate, runs a neighborhood medical practice. He is easily annoyed by things, and is a very angry person, He has been married and divorced twice.

  • Margaret Wyborn – Hattie Winston

Becker's office manager, and one of the few people who can not get annoyed by Becker and his ways, Margaret is a motherly-like figure to Becker and Linda. She is married.

  • Linda – Shawnee Smith

A muddle-headed girl whose surname is never revealed, she works at the doctor's office to establish independence from her wealthy parents.

  • Regina "Reggie" Kostas – Terry Farrell

The owner and worker of a diner she inherited from her late father, Reggie is a former model and is unhappy being stuck running a diner.

  • Jake Malinak – Alex Désert

Becker's best friend, Jake also works at the diner selling newspapers and miscellaneous items such as candy, magazines, cigarettes, gum, etc. Jake is blind following a car accident several years before.

  • Bob – Saverio Guerra

Bob loiters at the diner and is Italian. He is an old high school classmate of Reggie's who is short, annoying, and refers to himself in the third person.








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