|"Sports Night" Television Episode Guide|
Sports Night on CSC > TV Episode Guide
|ABC Episode Guide|
First Season: 1998-1999
|1.||1- 1||Sept. 22, 1998||Pilot||yes||yes|
|2.||1- 2||Sept. 29, 1998||The Apology||yes||no|
|3.||1- 3||Oct. 6, 1998||The Hungry and the Hunted||yes||yes|
|4.||1- 4||Oct. 13, 1998||Intellectual Property||no||yes|
|5.||1- 5||Oct. 20, 1998||Mary Pat Shelby||no||no|
|6.||1- 6||Oct. 27, 1998||The Head Coach, Dinner, and the Morning Mail||no||no|
|7.||1- 7||Nov. 10, 1998||Dear Louise||yes||no|
|8.||1- 8||Nov. 17, 1998||Thespis||yes||no|
|9.||1- 9||Dec. 1, 1998||The Quality of Mercy at 29K||yes||no|
|10.||1-10||Dec. 8, 1998||Shoe Money Tonight||yes||no|
|11.||1-11||Dec. 15, 1998||The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee||no||yes|
|12.||1-12||Jan. 5, 1999||Smoky||no||yes|
|13.||1-13||Jan. 12, 1999||Small Town||no||yes|
|14.||1-14||Jan. 26, 1999||Rebecca||no||yes|
|15.||1-15||Feb. 9, 1999||Dana and the Deep Blue Sea||no||no|
|16.||1-16||Feb. 23, 1999||Sally||no||yes|
|17.||1-17||Mar. 9, 1999||How Are Things in Glocca Morra?||no||yes|
|18.||1-18||Mar. 23, 1999||The Sword of Orion||no||yes|
|19.||1-19||Mar. 30, 1999||Eli´s Coming||no||yes|
|20.||1-20||Apr. 6, 1999||Ordnance Tactics||no||yes|
|21.||1-21||Apr. 13, 1999||Ten Wickets||no||yes|
|22.||1-22||Apr. 27, 1999||Napoleon´s Battle Plan||yes||no|
|23.||1-23||May 4, 1999||What Kind of Day Has It Been||yes||no|
|Episode Summaries from the First Season|
|Pilot||Transcript - Script|
Casey begins to slow down at the job, due to his impending divorce. He's been out of his house for 6 months, and for the last three, according to Dan, Casey "has been showing them nothing but the back of his hand." The staff tries to get him out of his haze, and J.J. and the network brass threaten to fire him based on his on-air performance. At the same time, Casey himself thinks about leaving until he witnesses that he'd only do this for the wrong reasons.
Dana hires a new associate producer, neurotic, but brilliant Jeremy Goodwin- even though he freaked out when he had to give an instant analysis of the New York Knicks. Dan has a New York Renaissance....
Also, much trivia and background information is released in this episode, such as that CSC stands for Continental Sports Channel, that Luther Sachs is the CEO of the company, and Helsinki is in Finland. Also, Dan and Casey originated the show two years and two months ago- making their first show around mid-July of 1996- and they had worked in the 3rd and 5th largest markets (which, according to the Nielsen system, was Chicago and San Francisco).
Ntozake Nelson, a 41 year-old South African distance runner, is running the 15,000 meters that night in the World Pacific Games, which CSC is broadcasting. J.J. objects to having a 3:20 piece devoted to him on "Sports Night" because it doesn't fit CSC's demographics, but Nelson proves everyone wrong by winning the race and providing an inspirational moment for the whole staff, including Casey, who calls his son up to have him watch the history-making event.
Dan has an article written about him in "Esquire", and is misunderstood on his opinion over marijuana and the law and gives the impression he supports the legalization of marijuana. The network higher-ups, including Luther Sachs, demand an apology, and Isaac and Dana agree with their opinion. The Standards and Practices Department questions Dan because they think he is a recovering addict, stating that Dan says he last used drugs 11 years to the day. Isaac tells Dan to do the apology because "this is television and this is how it's done." No one can come up with a firm answer as to whom Dan should be apologizing to, so he ends up telling the story of his brother who died because he copied Dan's drug habits. Dan's brother, Sam died in a car wreck when he was 16 and Dan was 18. Sam was high on drugs and drunk. The accident occurred 11 years ago that night- the night Dan stopped smoking pot.
Dana decides to do a teaser about a no-hitter currently taking place, but Jeremy politely disagrees with the decision because he says it will jinx the pitcher. After the teaser is done, the pitcher loses the no-hitter.
Casey worries about why he is not considered "cool" like Dan, and he feels that Dan's magazine article makes him seem "not cool." Casey tells Dana he is cool and asks for Dan's help in making him cool again.
Dan thinks he is stalked by one of the CSC fitness show stars.
Jeremy can't make a news spot short enough; his piece being eight-and-a-half minutes long instead of the standard 30-40 seconds. Natalie has Casey help Jeremy with his piece because she admits she has "feelings" for Jeremy.
Natalie also gets Dana thinking romantically about Casey by telling her that Casey is sending her signals.
|The Hungry and The Hunted||Transcript - Script|
Jeremy gets "the call" from Isaac and Dana to produce a segment on outdoor activities for CSC's hunting show, "Outdoorsman Show." While he wants to advance with his career, he has a big problem with hunting for "sport." Isaac advises him to speak up more because he does fit in at Sports Nights, even though he might not fit in other places.
Technical errors occur on the set, while Natalie tries to orchestrate romance between Casey and Dana for a formal party, sponsored by Luther Sach. Casey becomes jealous when Dana goes looking fabulous and on the arm of another man.
Casey spins out of control due to jealousy when Dana starts seriously dating Gordon. He swats flies that no one else can see, kicks fire hydrants, and other odd behaviors.
Dana, Natalie, and Jeremy wonder where all their "good" ideas went and CSC has to pay royalties after Dan sings Casey "Happy Birthday" on the air.
|Mary Pat Shelby|
Dana is excited to be getting a notorious football player, Christian Patrick on the show. The staff is not when his lawyers force them to not mention the ex-girlfriend he badly abused, Mary Pat Shelby. When Natalie goes to pre-interview him, he assaults her by exposing himself and grabbing her arm. Dana makes the difficult decision of breaking the story, and Natalie, after initially trying to be heroically silent, decides to press charges.
Also, Dan wrestles with whether or not to get a goatee and Dana realizes her absence of a sense of humor.
|The Head Coach, Dinner and the Morning Mail|
Natalie goes through with pressing charges. She finds it hard to focus when she becomes the target of the media and hate mail ("Morning Mail") from sports fans. Jeremy can't sleep because he's trying to protect Natalie. Dana recommends to Jeremy that he ask Natalie out to dinner. Jeremy tries to find the perfect place to take Natalie to dinner and ends up making a picnic in the office("Dinner"), but falls into a much needed deep sleep before they can eat.
"The Head Coach" involves Dan's harsh treatment on a coach's bad decision. Dana continues to date Gordon and Casey continues to deny his jealousy.
Jeremy writes a letter to his deaf sister, Louise (a sophomore at Amherst College), about his job at Sports Night. He also talks about Dan's writer's block, Isaac is mad because his daughter is dating an overachieving Republican, the beating of an 80-year-old Negro League ball player, Archibald Russell, and he also writes about his love for Natalie.
Casey tries to annoy Gordon, but he finds him to be a more formidable sparring partner than he anticipated. Natalie decides to take matters into her own hands and kisses Jeremy.
Also, in this cleverly written episode, Jeremy reveals the background of some of the characters. Isaac Jaffe, the managing editor, started out as a stringer for the Atlanta Journal, and went on to win the Pulitzer Price for his coverage of the Gemini Mission. He later went on to be the London Bureau Chief for CNN, which he retired from. Until three years ago, Luther Sachs bought Continental Corps and brought him out of retirement to run a new cable sports show. He has a 16-year-old daughter.
Dana has six brothers, one of whom plays for the Denver Broncos. She has attended all girl schools most of her life.
Finally, the show has four run-down meetings a day, at noon, 6 P.M., 8 P.M., and 10 P.M. for an 11 P.M. to midnight airing of the show.
Dana is nervous because her family, particularly her mother, is coming to New York for Thanksgiving. She practices thawing her frozen turkey on the light grid of the show. Also, there are complications with the birth of Isaac's first grandchild.
November 23rd marks the birthday of Thespis, the Greek God of Theater. A legend states that on his birthday, he has been known to haunt live productions, and for the first half-hour of it, Sports Night is targeted. The date is also the anniversary of Dan and Casey's first broadcast together, and Dan can't figure out why Casey isn't more enthusiastic.
Also, this episode gives away more details about the characters. Besides the 16-year-old daughter described in "Dear Louise", Isaac has an older daughter Cathy, who is married to Douglas, a radar officer in the navy. They live in San Francisco.
Finally, Dan and Casey discuss their first television broadcast, 5 years ago in this episode, which they say was called Lone Star Sports. This most likely is a Texas sports show. Dana states she is 33.
Just to make sure, Thespis isn't made up, here is what Grolier's had to say about it:
|The Quality of Mercy at 29K||Transcript|
The show is following two guys climbing Mt. Everest, the first time since 1954. Dan is trying to find a worthy charity to which to donate money, and ends up meeting one in his own office.
Natalie and Jeremy finally admit their feelings for each other. Although they decide to keep their relationship completely out of work, they're already having trouble.
|Shoe Money Tonight||Transcript|
It's snowing in Pittsburgh, so, the anchors of the 2 A.M. West Coast Update are stuck and the staff have to stay to cover the show. Instead of going to Atlantic City, Dan and Casey and the staff have a poker tournament.
Natalie is angry with Jeremy because he skipped an outing with her to go play tennis with an old girlfriend, who is now an actress. Casey approves a rundown from the 2 A.M. producer, Sally, without consulting Dana, making her feel very angry and unappreciated. Isaac is shrinking.
|The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee||Script|
A southern African American football player and five other students refuse to play at a Tennessee college where the Confederate flag is hung. Luther Sachs, the owner of CSC and alumnus of the college, sides with the college, but Isaac disagrees and says so on the show.
Casey goes on "The View" and takes credit for his wardrobe, which he doesn't deserve, and this leads Dan and another staffer to teach him that the show is a team.
Certain employees try to position themselves for a promotion when rumors of Isaac's leaving start to circulate. Dan decides it's time for Casey to start dating. Casey practices flirting with Dana.
It's Dana and Casey's night off, and neither wants to take it. They decide to double date; Dana with Gordon, and Casey with Lisa, a lawyer who's on a blind date.
Rumors spread about Isaac's job status when the Wall Street Journal reports the recent trouble between Luther Sachs and Sports Night. J.J. begs Isaac to let him forward messages to Luther instead of Isaac doing it himself. This leads Isaac to realize that J.J. is the only one to gain if there is turmoil between the show and company. Maybe J.J. is starting trouble?
Dana is nervous that Gordon is going to dump her because she is so preoccupied with work. Dan feels he should apologize for not calling Rebecca after he met her in the elevator. She doesn't remember him, though.
|Dana and the Deep Blue Sea|
Dan asks Casey to help him get with Rebecca. When Casey refuses, Dan tries to recruit Jeremy in his efforts to be "more than friends" with Rebecca.
Dana agrees to go snorkeling with Gordon, even though she's afraid of fish, in an attempt to keep the relationship going.
When Casey has a one-night stand and does not tell anyone, the entire staff, led by Dan, prods him for details. After Gordon cancels a date with Dana, she questions the status and future of their relationship.
Jewish Jeremy, panics when he is set to visit Natalie's parents for a Catholic holiday, he knows nothing of. He also stresses about drinking eggnog.
Casey figures out that Gordon slept with Sally also.
|How Are Things in Glocca Morra?||Script|
A televised tennis match heads into overtime, delaying the start of Sports Night and forcing Dana to choose between canceling a date with Gordon and handing the show over to Sally.
Meanwhile, Jeremy uses the delay to write to Louise, Dan's charms are beginning to work on Rebecca, and Casey can't tell Dana about Gordon's infidelity.
|The Sword of Orion||Script|
Jeremy is hit hard by the news of his parents' impending divorce, ignited by his father's twenty-seven year-long affair. He pushes himself to solve the mystery of a yachting disaster. This will be his first feature length story.
Meanwhile, romance is in the air when Rebecca agrees to watch a baseball game with Dan.
Dan's day is not shaping up to be a good one as Bobbi Bernstein returns to the broadcast and has proof of their affair. He also discovers Rebecca's husband hasn't quite reached "ex" status.
Meanwhile, Casey and Dana's bickering escalates because of their issues with Dana dumping the show earlier. Isaac had suffered a stroke reaches the staff.
Isaac's in the hospital, the network brass is all over Dana, Jeremy wants to break up with Natalie, Rebecca may go back to her husband, Casey continues to see Sally, and there is a bomb scare -- someone or something is bound to explode.
Natalie continues to rebuke Jeremy's attempts to break up with her. Dan tries to mend his relationship with Rebecca, but she goes back to her husband. Jeremy reports about a story he doesn't understand, Dana starts losing things, and Gordon is going to ask Dana to marry him when he gets back into town.
|Napoleon's Battle Plan||Transcript|
Casey's new battle plan to break up Dana and Gordon is to follow Napoleon's, sit back and watch what happens. This works well when a four-person love triangle is revealed. In this episode, Gordon proposes to Dana, she is excited but then hears from Natalie (who heard from Dan) than he had a fling with her enemy Sally. Not only has Sally been with her boyfriend, but also with her true love Casey, which Dana is angrier about.
Also, Jeremy can't give blood and the guys keep missing their pants.
|What Kind of Day Has it Been||Transcript - Script|
Casey's son visits the office, and lies to make his dad proud. Gordon dumps Dana because he thinks she's hung up on Casey. Jeremy thinks it would be nice to end the show with a ninth inning rally. Isaac returns.
|ABC Episode Guide|
Second Season: 1999-2000
|24.||2- 1||Oct. 5, 1999||Special Powers||no||no|
|25.||2- 2||Oct. 12, 1999||When Something Wicked This Way Comes||no||yes|
|26.||2- 3||Oct. 19, 1999||Cliff Gardner||no||yes|
|27.||2- 4||Oct. 26, 1999||Louise Revisited||no||yes|
|28.||2- 5||Nov. 2, 1999||Kafelnikov||no||no|
|29.||2- 6||Dec. 7, 1999||Shane||yes||no|
|30.||2- 7||Dec. 14, 1999||Kyle Whitaker´s Got Two Sacks||yes||no|
|31.||2- 8||Dec. 21, 1999||The Reunion||no||no|
|32.||2- 9||Dec. 28, 1999||A Girl Named Pixley||no||no|
|33.||2-10||Jan. 11, 2000||The Giants Win the Pennant, the Giants Win the Pennant||yes||no|
|34.||2-11||Jan. 18, 2000||The Cut Man Cometh||no||yes|
|35.||2-12||Jan. 25, 2000||The Sweet Smell of Air||no||no|
|36.||2-13||Feb. 1, 2000||Dana Get Your Gun||yes||no|
|37.||2-14||Feb. 8, 2000||And the Crowd Goes Wild||no||no|
|38.||2-15||Feb. 29, 2000||Celebrities||no||no|
|39.||2-16||Mar. 7, 2000||The Local Weather||no||yes|
|40.||2-17||Mar. 14, 2000||Draft Day: Part I -|
It Can´t Rain at Indian Wells
|41.||2-18||Mar 21, 2000||Draft Day: Part II -|
The Fall of Ryan O´Brian
|42.||2-19||Mar. 28, 2000||April is the Cruelest Month||no||no|
|43.||2-20||April 4, 2000||Bells and a Siren||no||no|
|44.||2-21||May 9, 2000||La Forza del Destino||yes||yes|
|45.||2-22||May 16, 2000||Quo Vadimus||yes||no|
|Episode Summaries from the Second Season|
As the second season opens, Casey hasn't asked Dana out, ninety days after Gordon called off the wedding. Dan encourages him to ask her out, but he can't get up the nerve. When Dana gives him just the nudge he needs, they finally kiss.
Isaac returns to the job, but his stroke is badly showing and he is missing important things. This is concerning the crew. Also, Natalie and Jeremy have a fight over her being offered a job in Galveston, TX as a weather girl.
|When Something Wicked This Way Comes||Script|
A rumor quickly is spreading that a "ratings guy" is coming to raise the show's third place status. The rumors are true, Isaac hired him, without talking to Dana. The ratings guy does not care who he steps on.
Dana has an "epiphany" that her and Casey should date other people for six months. Dan is invited to the Hillary Clinton's Fund Raising Breakfast who he has a crush on. He confuses secular with non-secular in a conversation about schools.
With Sam Donovan around stiffness ensues both on and off the set. Dana debates leaving the show, after she feels everyone is blaming her for the shows problems. Natalie tells her that if she goes she has to bring her, and Jeremy, and Dan, and Casey. The tension grows, when the network bosses demand that the staff meet with J.J. and his boys for some notes. Sam is offered Isaac's job but he turns it down, and tells them where to go, thus showing he does have feelings and his true loyalties lie with Isaac.
Also, Cliff Gardner as a title refers to a story Sam tells J.J. and the boys before kicking them out. Cliff Gardner was the brother in law of Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of television. Although he couldn't help with the scientific parts, he knew that Philo would need glass tubes to make this invention. He set up a shop in the backyard and blew glass tubes, which today is known as the cathode receptor.
Jeremy becomes concerned when he finds out Natalie is writing to his deaf sister, Louise. Dan and Casey become, very competitive about an Internet poll over whose cooler. Casey convinces Jeremy to rig the computer to vote for him 2,000 times a minute. When Dana goes out with an old friend from high school, Cab Calloway, Casey is angry. Dana, as a spur of the moment action, takes off her underwear during the meal.
Jeremy tells Dana that there is no reason to hire people to prepare for the expected Y2K computer problems; he has made the computers Y2K compatible. To prove this, Jeremy, rigs the computer to say that it is December 31, 1999 and hold a Y2K test to prove that there will be no computer problems when the studio rolls into 2000. The results are total darkness.
Dan picks up a therapist in a bar, who invites him out on a date... he thinks, she really just thinks he needs some therapist.
In a "close up" interview Casey's old friend Sam McArnold disses New York. After saying he "doesn't like New York," Casey promises to edit it out, because he gave Casey an interview when he was just starting out. Dana won't let Casey edit the tape because she thinks it's good television and will help ratings, but Casey feels torn.
Abby's probing into Dan's feelings about his family make him unable to function and make him fear he is having a nervous breakdown. She reveals that he only feels comfortable with people on television and that he feels blame for his brother Sam's death and that his parents blame him also.
Natalie tries to come to terms with learning that hell isn't a place, but "a state of being." This comes to her after the Vatican releases a statement releasing the fact.
|Kyle Whitaker's Got Two Sacks||Transcript|
Dana is extremely proud when her brother gets two sacks in a football game. She becomes determined to show others how he did it. Jeremy is nervous about firing Corbin Davis, a cousin of J.J.'s who is screwing up simple assignments. Jeremy gives him a pep talk and Corbin tells him, that he doesn't take sides when J.J. talks bad about this show.
Dan tries to stop flirting after Abby confronts him about his need to be liked by every woman he meets. Also, because of a drug scandal involving football players erupts, Casey travels to Ohio to find out the names, Tina fills in. When the names are uncovered, one hits close to home for Dana... literally... her brother.
Dana gets edgy as the arrival of her brother, whose use of illegal steroids may have destroyed his football career, comes close. As part of a Secret Santa, Casey searches for the perfect gift for Isaac. Natalie tells Casey that if his gift isn't cheap and located within two blocks of the building Casey's getting socks.
When Natalie gives Dan a tape to watch of her work as an anchor, he contemplates how to give Natalie constructive criticism about her career and ends up telling her it was great, when it really was just mediocre. The crew struggles to name an athlete of the century. Dan decides to go to midnight mass, even though he's Jewish.
|A Girl Named Pixley|
Casey reluctantly decides to implement Dana's "dating plan," which might blow up in her face. Jeremy frets about writing an acceptance speech for a journalism award everyone knows he's not going to win. Dana squeezes story ideas out of the staff when she realizes that the next night's show is running short - by 42 minutes.
|The Giants Win the Pennant, the Giants Win the Pennant||Transcript|
Casey goes out with Pixley again much to Dana's dismay. Dan wants to do a story on the amazing baseball pennant win by the Giants in 1951, and finds out that Isaac was actually at the game, although he missed the game-winning home run. When Casey finds out Isaac never told him, but told Jeremy, he questions their special bond.
|The Cut Man Cometh||Script|
While prepping to cover a major fight, Dana and Casey duke it out over their stalled fling, and Dan's dad, Jay, hits town for a tense visit. Jay pummels his son's confidence.
But after the match goes south, the CSC staff bands together to knock out a killer show, including an hour's worth of coverage of a fight that lasted seven seconds and a correspondent who only will respond to being called "the cut man." He mixes up Dan and Casey's names by calling Dan, Casey and Casey, Dan. He also shows he has no idea what he is talking about, when he talks about the last winner of the Miss America pageant, Miss Rochester.
|The Sweet Smell of Air|
The crew is excited when they get a chance to interview Michael Jordan; that is until the strings began to be attached. First, they find a paper in the press packet, that coaches Michael how to steer away from sports questions, next they are told to only talk about his new cologne, and then they get a request for total editorial control to Michael. They drop the interview when they discover that they were picked because of their ratings vulnerability.
Sam returns and sets Dana into a frenzy, and he later meets Sally, who spills her guts out to him. Casey is concerned over the powerful affect Sam has on Dana.
Isaac marvels at the future of space exploration. Also, Casey frets over what to do in front of Charlie's class, when he is invited to show and tell. Casey ultimately decides to do what he does best, he does a recap of recess and has interviews.
|Dana Get Your Gun||Transcript|
Natalie and Jeremy fight over going to a club and break up. Dan finagles the night off. A substitute anchor can't do his job because of his girlfriend. Dana and Sam share a moment during the show.
|And the Crowd Goes Wild|
Dana offers Sam a romantic send-off. Casey finds out his dilated pupils are causing temporary blindness.
Natalie gathers the gang for a game of Celebrities, leaving Jeremy alone at a bar until an actress starts flirting with him.
|The Local Weather||Script|
Jeremy admits he likes Jenny. Casey gathers everyone to watch a track meet in New Zealand. Dana goes to church.
|Draft Day, Part I: It Can't Rain at Indian Wells|
Dana and Casey make a bet regarding the NFL draft. Dana buys "I survived Draft Day" t-shirts for everybody. The stability of Dan and Casey's friendship starts to falter.
|Draft Day, Part II: The Fall of Ryan O'Brian|
Dan embarrasses Casey on-air, publicly showing the rift between the two. Jenny visits the set, and Jeremy struggles with his shame that he is embarrassed to admit she is a porn star.
|April Is the Cruelest Month|
Isaac and Dana find out their Olympic coverage has been decreased due to budget cuts. Dan and Jeremy host a Passover Seder. Casey and Dan start to patch things between them.
|Bells and a Siren|
With job security becoming an issue with recent budget cuts, Natalie gets a job interview at "Saturday Night Live." They offer her the job, but she declines it. Casey and Jeremy find some shocking news about Continental Corp- it is for sale.
|La Forza del Destino||Transcript - Script|
Dana meets a mysterious stranger who seems to know a great deal about the bidding for Continental Corp. He knows who is going to make a bid and at what stock price they were going to drop out. Dan tries to convince Casey that a move to Los Angeles might not be a bad thing.
Jeremy settles his affairs and reunites with Natalie. Rebecca comes back into Dan's life. The stranger in the bar turns out to be the owner of a holding company that buys Continental Corp. and wants to keep the station and the show.