Becker is an American television sitcom created by David Hackel and set in the New York City borough of The Bronx which follows 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.
The series aired in the USA on CBS from 2 November, 1998 to 28 January, 2004. There are 129 half-hour episodes in six seasons.
Becker originally aired in South Africa on e.tv from 16 July, 2000 to 6 January, 2008. It later aired on DStv's Sony Entertainment Television (SONY) channel. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 5 originally aired on e.tv from 11 December, 2005 to 7 May, 2006, on Sundays at 19h30. New episodes broadcast weekly.
Season 5 premiered on SONY on Monday 17 December 2012, at 19h35. New episodes broadcast on weekdays at the same time. There are 22 episodes in the fifth season.
Although a good physician, Becker is constantly annoyed with his patients, co-workers, friends, and practically everything and everyone else in his world.
Yet Becker's temper belies a more complex character, his rants often being his way to keep the world from seeing whom he really is — a compassionate idealist afraid to appear emotionally vulnerable.
As a result of his outspoken nature, Becker is inaccessible to most people that do not know him. His patients and friends are nonetheless loyal, because Becker portrays a kind-hearted side that shows that, despite his cantankerous personality, he really does care about them.
He is assisted by super-capable Margaret Wyborn and less-than-capable Linda, who's only kept on because no one else can stand the doctor.
Becker's best (some would say only) friend is the blind Jake Malinak, who runs a newsstand in the diner across the street. The diner used to be run by Reggie Kostas, but it has been taken over by Chris Conner, a lady whom Becker fluctuates between loathing and being attracted to.
The diner is also frequented by Robert Benito, who is universally known as Bob and is the super at Becker's apartment (much to the doctor's regret).
Between the fourth and fifth seasons, Terry Farrell was fired. The reason for her dismissal remains unclear. 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.
After Terry's dismissal, actress Nancy Travis was hired to play Chris Connor, the new neighbour in Becker's apartment building who moves to the Bronx after traveling the world.
Nancy, originally supposed to be in the show for only four episodes, became a series regular after the firing of Terry Farrell. Chris takes over the diner and begins a love-hate relationship with Becker.
The character of Chris was never as popular as Reggie, and this cast change is often viewed as the point at which the show jumped the shark.
Season 1 (22 episodes)
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 16 Jul 2000 | Finale: 10 Dec 2000 | Sundays, 19h30
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 1 Mar 2012 | Finale: 30 Mar 2012 | Weekdays, 18h30
Season 2 (24 episodes)
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 17 Dec 2000 | Finale: 27 May 2001 | Sundays, 19h30
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 2 Apr 2012 | Finale: 3 May 2012 | Weekdays, 18h40
Season 3 (24 episodes)
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 1 Sep 2002 | Finale: 9 Feb 2003 | Sundays, 19h30
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 4 May 2012 | Finale: 6 Jun 2012 | Weekdays, 18h40
Season 4 (24 episodes)
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 10 Oct 2004 | Finale: 20 Mar 2005 | Sundays, 19h30
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 6 Nov 2012 | Finale: 14 Dec 2012 | Tue-Fri, 19h35
Season 5 (22 episodes)
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 11 Dec 2005 | Finale: 7 May 2006 | Sundays, 19h30
Channel: SONY | Premiere: 17 Dec 2012 | Finale: 15 Jan 2013 | Weekdays, 19h35
Season 6 (13 episodes)
Channel: e.tv | Premiere: 14 Oct 2007 | Finale: 6 Jan 2008 | Sundays, 19h30