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Becker cast back to work

Five actors on the supporting cast of CBS' Becker showed up for work
Thursday despite having called in sick the day before amid speculation that they
were staging a walkout, Variety reports.

The actors -- Terry Farrell, Hattie Winston, Alex Desert, Shawnee Smith and
Saverio Guerra -- didn't appear at the series' first table read of the season
Wednesday. In response, Paramount TV Group chief Kerry McCluggage dispatched a
team of doctors to the actors' homes to check out their 'illnesses.'

The quartet staged the sick-out after Paramount executives declined to
discuss bumping up their weekly paychecks. Although the show is going into its
fourth year, the supporting players haven't yet negotiated an increase beyond
their normal yearly raises.

Reps for the actors hadn't been clear whether the cast would punch in for
work Thursday morning. But all five actors were on the Becker set at 10
a.m. as scheduled and without incident, despite no change in salary.

Paramount executives had no comment on the Becker crisis, but sources
said the studio believed the cast members were in breach of contract for failing
to show up for the table read.

Sources said the studio is open to a renegotiation, but not until
Becker is sold into syndication. Until then, Paramount won't know exactly
what its back-end potential is for the series and how much of that to share with
the cast.