Who's saying what about Ted Danson?
Danson Inks Another Series
by Daniel Frankel
Tony Danza is back on TV! Oops. Wait, scratch that, we mean Ted Danson...yes, Ted Danson is back on the air. (Sorry...we get our floundering sitcom vets mixed up sometimes.)
According to the Hollywood Reporter, CBS and Paramount are close to an agreement that would cast the former Cheers barman/lady-killer as a "brilliant physician" in a sitcom called Becker, premiering next fall.
Dave Hackel (Dear John, Frasier, Wings) will produce the comedy, which is reportedly expected to come with a 13-show commitment.
Spokespersons for both Paramount and CBS confirmed the actor is currently set to do the pilot. Danson's publicist didn't return calls for comment.
Becker will be Danson's first television project since 1996's Ink, a comedy in which he played a grizzled newspaper reporter. The show had production trouble from the get-go and was quickly canceled.
Unlike Ink, however, the Reporter claims Danson's latest project wasn't inked around him.
In Becker, Danson will reportedly play a drinking, smoking malcontent, who's good at being a doctor anyway.
UltimateTV News Daily for Tuesday, March 24th, 1998
Danson: Dr. Feel good
Ted Danson may be coming back to a TV screen near you, if all goes well between CBS and Paramount to produce "Becker," a sitcom that would have"Cheers" veteran Danson playing a rough-and-tumble doctor. Though Danson's latest go at TV was cancelled quickly, ("Ink") "Becker" differs in that it was not written for Danson, according to The Hollywood Reporter."Becker" is slated for a 13 episode commitment with a fall release. "Dear John" and "Frasier" producer Dave Hackel will produce the series.
Mr. Showbiz, Monday, July 27, 1998
Danson Eats His Words With Becker
Cheers legend and Ink cautionary tale Ted Danson ate his words sooner than anyone could have guessed; the pull of the laugh track was too strong. After Ink, his CBS sitcom with wife Mary Steenburgen, failed miserably in 1997, Danson all but swore off television. "I was definitely through with CBS, and through with the half-hour," Danson said at Pasadena's Television Critics Association press tour. "And, I mean, really, I was telling all my friends, 'That's it.' You know, the typical actor thing. And in came [Becker], this amazing script that read like an hour show instead of a half-hour." The appeal of appearing in a half-hour show that feels like an hour seems questionable, but Danson clearly explains his logic behind choosing to portray the titular misanthropic doctor in the CBS midseason sitcom. "At age 50, it's nice not to have to be nice, you know," Danson says. "It's nice toI mean, in life, it's nice to not have to be nice." On what drew him to the script: "The appeal is the wordsthe good words. They're just great words." Those good words were put to paper by the show's executive producer Dave Hackel (Frasier, Wings), who was tired of dancing around the P.C. police. "I did a show once where we made a joke about a massage therapist, and they called the next morningthe National Association of Massage Therapists," Hackel says. "They didn't like that. A couple years ago on Frasier, we did a joke about someone ordering a mail-order bride from a country, and their embassy called the next morningthey didn't like that. "These are jokes. These are observations. I was so frustrated with it that it was time to just write about everything, and let the chips fall where they may," Hackel continues. Danson, an environmental activist who's built up quite a politically correct image (save for the unfortunate choice of performing in black-face at a Friar's Club roast several years back), is embracing his inner Becker. "I'm very excited about not being politically correct," the actor enthuses. "I spend a great many hours a day being politically correct. It's great to go to work and be a schmuck."
PEOPLE Daily October 15, 1998
DANSON CHEERS UP AGAIN
CBS has yanked the low-rated sitcom "The Brian Benben Show" from the9:30p.m. EDT Monday slot and will replace it with "Becker," a comedy starring Ted Danson ("Cheers") as a gruff doctor with a heart of gold, the network announced Wednesday. Benben's sitcom had its final airing last Monday; Danson's show will debut Nov. 2. In between, CBS will fill the time period by doubling up on episodes of its 9 p.m. EDT Monday comedy "Everybody Loves Raymond."
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