Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Becker was a CBS comedy TV show that ran from November 2, 1998 to January 28, 2004, starring Ted Danson (best known as Sam Malone in "Cheers") as the title character, Dr John Becker. Although a good doctor, Becker finds annoyance with the world in general, its people, and little things that irritate the heck out of him. He is also not afraid to speak his mind about anything. As such his people skills are not that good, although his patients are mostly loyal to him and keep returning to the surgery as Becker does have a caring side (although it is hard to see).
Becker attended Harvard and currently runs a practice in the Bronx, New York. Assisting him are head nurse Margaret Wyborn, who is one of the few people who can put up with Becker and his ways. She is married to the often mentioned but never seen Lewis. Also at the surgery is a rich girl known only as Linda (her surname is never revealed), who "helps" out at the surgery to be independent but doesn't actually do that much work.
When away from the surgery, Becker hangs out at a local diner, now owned by the beautiful Reggie Kostas who inherited the place from her late father. Reggie used to be a model and is not happy stuck running a diner. Becker's best friend, Jake Malinak, also works at the diner selling newspapers. Jake is blind following a car accident several years before. Also at the diner is Bob, an old high school classmate of Reggie's who is short, annoying, and refers to himself in the third person. Bob becomes the super of Becker's apartment building in the third season, although he tries to do as little work as he can. Like Linda, Bob's last name is never revealed, although we do find out his middle name is Benito.
At the end of Season 4, Nancy Travis joined the show as new neighbour Chris Connor, who moves to the neighbourhood after travelling the world. Chris, originally only supposed to be in the show for 4 episodes, became a regular cast member in Season 5 after the producers of the show decided to get rid of Reggie and have Chris instead. Chris takes over the diner and begins a love-hate relationship with Becker. She's his opposite - always nice and cheerful, but they eventually got together by the end of the series.
The show's main theme was Becker and the things that annoyed him, although the supporting characters also had their moments. Becker was annoyed by things such as a flickering street lamp outside his window, or his noisy neighbors, or the couple having sex in the apartment above him, or the numerous times he tried giving up smoking. But the show was not afraid to tackle more serious issues as well, such as race, homosexuality, AIDS, overeating, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and politically correct views. The show performed well for its first 4 seasons. However, CBS moved its timeslot from Sunday to Monday in 2002 and whilst the show still had good ratings, they began to drop as many fans kept missing the new Sunday slot. Becker was put on hiatus at the end of Season 5, but returned for a half season of 13 further episodes to tie up loose ends, airing the final episode in January 2004.
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