Becker
GenreSitcom
Created byDave Hackel
Starring
ComposerBruce Miller
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes129 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Dave Hackel
  • Tim Berry
  • Ian Gurvitz
Producers
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running timeapprox. 22 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkCBS
ReleaseNovember 2, 1998 (1998-11-02) –
January 28, 2004 (2004-01-28)

Becker is an American sitcom television series that originally aired on CBS from November 2, 1998, to January 28, 2004, broadcasting 129 episodes. Set in the New York City borough of the Bronx, the show starred Ted Danson as John Becker, a misanthropic doctor who operates a small practice and is constantly annoyed by his patients, co-workers, and 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 Dave Hackel Productions and Industry Entertainment, in association with Paramount Network Television.

Premise

The show revolved around Becker and the things that annoyed him, although the members of the supporting cast also had their moments. The relationships between Becker and Reggie, and, later, Becker and Chris formed the key plots of many episodes. The show tackled more serious issues as well, such as race, homosexuality, transgender identities, addiction, nymphomania, schizophrenia, cerebral AVM, and political correctness.

Episodes

Main article: List of Becker episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
122November 2, 1998 (1998-11-02)May 17, 1999 (1999-05-17)
224September 20, 1999 (1999-09-20)May 22, 2000 (2000-05-22)
324October 9, 2000 (2000-10-09)May 14, 2001 (2001-05-14)
424October 1, 2001 (2001-10-01)May 20, 2002 (2002-05-20)
522October 6, 2002 (2002-10-06)April 20, 2003 (2003-04-20)
613October 8, 2003 (2003-10-08)January 28, 2004 (2004-01-28)

Cast and characters

Terry Farrell's departure

Terry Farrell was written out of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (where she played Jadzia Dax) after her contract expired without renegotiation.[1] Soon after, Farrell got the role of Reggie. According to Farrell, the original plan was for Reggie and Becker to have a relationship with romantic tension over the course of the show; the show's ending would be them going on their first date. However, the producers became worried that this would be compared to Sam and Diane's relationship on Cheers, so they backed away from it.[2]

At the end of season four, Nancy Travis was introduced for a short arc playing Chris, Becker's new neighbor. Chris was a cheerful and optimistic character, the opposite of Becker, and would serve as a rival for Reggie. The season ended with a cliffhanger as Reggie kissed Becker and then left. However, Farrell was dropped at the end of season four,[3] which came as a shock to her.[2] Creator and executive producer David Hackel and Farrell have both stated that it had nothing to do with Farrell supporting the cast in a lawsuit and walkout for a promised pay raise after season three.[2][4] Hackel said that Chris and Becker's relationship would "shake things up a bit," which the network wanted, and that, instead of having Reggie do the usual thing and return to patch things up, she would just decide to leave.[4]

Syndication

The show was offered in syndication between 2003 and 2004, after its network run on CBS ended. In the U.S., the show aired on WGN America until 2010. ReelzChannel added the show in fall 2010. As of 2023, Becker aired on Antenna TV, Pluto TV, and Rewind TV.

In Australia, Becker was originally broadcast on Network Ten. Reruns of the series have been aired weekdays on Foxtel's pay TV network 111 funny and Network Ten's digital channel 10 Peach.

Home media

CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released all six seasons of Becker on DVD in Region 1. Season 4-6 are Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases, available exclusively via Amazon.com's CreateSpace program.[5][6][7]

On June 6, 2017, CBS DVD released Becker: The Complete Series on DVD in Region 1.[8]

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.[9]

In Region 4, Paramount Home Entertainment released the first three seasons on DVD in 2008/2009. In 2013, Umbrella Entertainment acquired the rights to the series and subsequently re-released the first three seasons. Season 4 was released on February 5, 2014.[10] Season 5 and 6 were released in August 2016.

DVD name Ep# Originally aired Release dates
Region 1 Region 4
The First Season 22 1998–1999 April 1, 2008 May 1, 2013
The Second Season 24 1999–2000 February 3, 2009 July 3, 2013
The Third Season 24 2000–2001 January 12, 2010 November 6, 2013
The Fourth Season 24 2001–2002 July 3, 2012 February 5, 2014
The Fifth Season 22 2002–2003 June 11, 2013 August 3, 2016
The Sixth Season 13 2003–2004 December 17, 2014 August 3, 2016
The Complete Series 129 1998–2004 June 6, 2017 December 2, 2020

Reception

Becker debuted as part of CBS' highly rated Monday night lineup as a midseason replacement for the cancelled sitcom The Brian Benben Show, taking over the timeslot at 9:30 PM Eastern time.[11] The show performed well for its first four seasons, piggybacking off the ratings of its lead-in, Everybody Loves Raymond; in its first four seasons, Becker ranked in the top 20 and peaked at #13.

Despite the ratings wins they were getting with the series, CBS decided to try to find a new home for Becker and relocated the sitcom to lead off its Sunday night lineup. The ratings unexpectedly fell as Becker dropped out of the top 50 in the ratings, and CBS was set to cancel the series. The network relented and gave Becker a sixth and last season, but was only willing to order thirteen episodes and intended to air it as a midseason replacement. Once again, the network changed its decision and the last season launched in the fall. Moved to Wednesday nights and aired in tandem with former Monday staple The King of Queens, the 129th and last episode of Becker was aired on January 28, 2004.

Nielsen ratings

Season Episodes Timeslot (ET) Season premiere Season finale Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1998–1999 22 Monday 9:30 November 2, 1998 May 17, 1999 #18 13.9
1999–2000 24 September 20, 1999 May 22, 2000 #19[12] 15.26[12]
2000–2001 24 October 9, 2000 May 24, 2001 #16[13] 16.1[13]
2001–2002 24 October 1, 2001 May 20, 2002 #13[14] 16.3[14]
2002–2003 22 Sunday 8:00 (Episodes 1–14, 21)
Sunday 8:30 (Episodes 15–20, 22)
October 6, 2002 April 20, 2003 #51[15] 10.43[15]
2003–2004 13 Wednesday 9:30 October 8, 2003 January 28, 2004 #46[16] 10.29[16]

See also

References

  1. ^ Wolfe, John (September 29, 2020). "'Star Trek: DS9': Why Terry Farrell Left the Cast". Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Archived from the original on November 3, 2020. Retrieved December 24, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Bobbin, Jay (June 15, 2002). "Terry Farrell adjusts to life without 'Becker'". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Zap2It.com. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  3. ^ "Farrell Falls Off "Becker"". Internet Movie Database. May 24, 2002. Archived from the original on September 25, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Hackel, Dave (June 3, 2011). "Why did Terry Ferrell leave BECKER?". kenlevine.blogspot.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
  5. ^ "Becker DVD news: Release Date for Becker - The 4th Season - TVShowsOnDVD.com". www.tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on September 6, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  6. ^ "Becker DVD news: Release Date for Becker - The 5th Season - TVShowsOnDVD.com". www.tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on September 6, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  7. ^ "Becker DVD news: Release Date for The 6th and Final Season - TVShowsOnDVD.com". www.tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on September 6, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  8. ^ "Becker DVD news: Announcement for The Complete Series - TVShowsOnDVD.com". tvshowsondvd.com. Archived from the original on September 6, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  9. ^ "Becker: Season 1". play.com. March 2, 2009. Archived from the original on October 4, 2008. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
  10. ^ "BECKER (SERIES 4) -DVD & Blu-Ray- Umbrella Entertainment". Umbrella Entertainment. Archived from the original on June 2, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  11. ^ "Hello, 'Becker'; Farewell, Priestley". The Washington Post. December 1, 1998. pp. Y 03. Archived from the original on July 25, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2010.
  12. ^ a b "Top TV Shows For 1999–2000 Season". Variety. Archived from the original on January 20, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  13. ^ a b "The Bitter End". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue #598 Jun 01, 2001. June 1, 2001. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  14. ^ a b "How did your favorite show rate?". USA Today. May 28, 2002. Archived from the original on February 22, 2017. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  15. ^ a b "Rank And File". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue #713 Jun 06, 2003. June 6, 2003. Archived from the original on July 19, 2012. Retrieved December 2, 2010.
  16. ^ a b "I. T. R. S. Ranking Report: 01 Thru 210". ABC Medianet. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved December 2, 2010.