October 31, 2000
"The Whole Shebang" by Deanna
"Sixteen Random Acts" by Sary
Dan leaves his office and heads toward the conference room. You can tell it is time for the ten o'clock rundown based on his attire- dress shirts and slacks. Casey joins him along the way.
Casey: About the five minutes and thirty seconds?
Dan: Did you get anything to fill the remaining five-thirty?
Casey: How about sixteen random acts of unpredictability?
Casey: Sixteen random acts of unpredictability.
Dan: Did you just pull this out of your-
Natalie: Let's go, guys.
Natalie runs into Dan and Casey.
Casey: We're coming.
Dan whispers into Casey's ear and nods in Natalie's direction.
Dan: Something's up.
Natalie: What was that?
Dan: (defensive) Nothing.
Casey: I got something to fill the five thirty.
Natalie: It better be better than Jeremy's suggestion.
Dan: And what was that?
Natalie: Synchronized cycling.
Dan: Oh, I see that all the time.
Just outside the conference room, Natalie and Casey stop in their tracks and in unison say, "You do?"
Dan: Yeah. They usually perform right next to the synchronized stair-master climbers at my gym.
Smiles come across each of their faces as they enter the conference room.
Everyone takes a seat inside the conference room, while Dan and Casey start another conversation.
Casey: How was your dinner?
Dan: The chicken was tender and juicy.
Casey: She canceled?
Dan: Third time in three days.
Casey: Rebecca's busy with work, I guess.
Dan: You guess?
Casey looks uncomfortable.
Casey: Uh, new job and responsibilities and everything.
Dana takes her seat, holding papers in one hand and a cream cheese bagel in the other.
Dana: All right, everybody. Tonight we've got the NBA, NHL, the PGA, and we still have five minutes and thirty seconds to fill.
Dan: No one's been arrested?
Casey raises his hand.
Dana: All right, Casey, way to come through. What have you got?
Casey: Sixteen random acts of unpredictability.
Dana: Sixteen unpredictable fights?
Dana: Newsworthy items?
Casey: Yesterday no, today yes.
Dana: Why today?
Jeremy: Because they didn't occur yesterday.
Dana: Thank you, Jeremy.
Casey: Dana, we've got sixteen random acts of unpredictability taking place in the last two hours in professional sports. And you know what? Why is it impossible for us to have film on any one of these?
Dana: So you've got nothing.
Casey: In the last hour, there have been fist-fights breaking out in three separate soccer games, one during a figure skating routine, and two on golfing greens. Five players had quit their respective basketball teams, two hockey players retired, and three horses on the backside of Keenland Racecourse had broken loose and escaped onto Man O War Boulevard.
Dana: Well, Casey, seeing that it's us; that we're five minutes thirty seconds short on the show; and that we're on the air in fifty-one minutes-
Dana: We're on the air in later, I would assume God or someone has ordained it's impossible for us to have film on any one of those sixteen... whatever you just said.
Dan taps his watch with authority.
Dan: It's fifty-one.
Dana: Fifty-one what?
Natalie: It's fifty.
Dan: Fifty-one minutes till we air.
Natalie: What does everyone have?
Everyone, with the exception of Dana, looks at their watches.
Dan: All right. It was fifty-one just seconds ago.
Natalie: Over a minute ago, buster.
Dana: Sixteen things happening and not an inch of tape on any of them. Danny?
Dana: Got a fill?
Dan: Elliott, what time do you have?
Dana: People, we need to focus.
Jeremy: Two people flying down ramps, doing flips, and other stunts simultaneously is very challenging and entertaining.
Dana: Jeremy, how about this? See what you can put together on a racehorse jockey called Lisa McMillion. She rode a horse called Silver... Something...to his victory in the Fountain of Youth Stakes, and everyone seems to think she's going to gain a mount for the Derby this year. If she does, it could be a big thing.
Jeremy: Why would it be a big thing?
Dana: Apparently she's a fairly new jockey and the daughter of some trainer guy ..or something ... Just do it, Jeremy, please. Casey, what are these random whatever you keep blubbering about?
Casey: I am not blubbering, this is honest disbelief. Sixteen people have quit, fought, or escaped and run wild in the last two hours, and we have not an inch of film on this.
Natalie: We can put together something for the retired guys, and I think the horses can be mentioned off-hand during the thing about the woman and Silver Whatever, but when it comes to the fights, I'm not sure.
Elliott: I think our best bet would be to show cartoons.
Kim: Show cartoons?
Elliott: Like at the movies. How they used to show cartoons during the movies in the theater.
Will: Well, they didn't actually show them during the movies.
Dana: People, please!
Dana drops her hand on the table with a smack.
Dana: Jeremy, go do the thing about the horses. Chris, we'll need a graphic to go with the retired guys. Kim, Elliott, go do your thing. The rest of you, let's focus. We've got three-thirty to fill and not an ounce of footage with which to fill it. Plus there's blood on the moon and I don't think this night is going to go well for us.
Casey: There's blood on the moon?
Dana: Indeed there is. Casey, we don't see much fighting in figure skating. (pause) Well, go!
Jeremy, Chris, Kim, and Elliott get up and leave.
Dana: Who fought in figure skating?
Casey: Pairs Jessica Holbrook and Jackson Duiker. Turns out Duiker had a little too much to drink.
Dana: Never heard of them.
Dan: That's 'cause they suck.
Dana: Natalie, please stop looking at Dan's watch, it's distracting. Danny, can you stretch the hockey highlights to include forty more seconds? With a story on the figure skaters, we might make this after all.
Dan: Let's go with Jeremy's story about the bike riders.
Dan: I can't stretch hockey.
Dana: Speak slowly then.
Will is working on his laptop.
Dana: Will, got a graphic on the skaters?
Will: Yes, indeed. If you use this one, you're looking at nothing but the audience. Where's the guy?
Dave points onto his screen.
Dave: He's right there.
Will: I got another one. We can use that one.
Dave: This one's nothing but his ass.
Dana: Use it. I'm sure he'll thank us. (looks down on her chair) Who spilled coffee on my chair?
Casey: Blood on the moon.
Will: Dana? Is that your bagel? (points toward Dana)
Dana lifts a sheet of paper and grabs the damaged snack.
Dana: Thank you. Dave?
Dave: Got it. It's going to look fine.
Casey: Where do you want it?
Dana: Move the Knicks-Sixers up, put Duiker-Holbrook in the thirties, the horses are going in the twenties, and... and... where's Isaac?
Dana: Right now?
Casey: Earlier today.
Dana: Right. (pause) Wait. The ratings review and meetings with advertising are tomorrow.
Casey: They are?
Dana: I have it written down. Isaac invited me to sit in on them.
Dana pulls out her planner, opens it, flips the page, and points to the date.
Dana: They're tomorrow.
Natalie: That's today.
Natalie: You're pointing at today.
Natalie: I'm afraid yes.
Dana: Oh no.
Dana throws her arms up on the desk.
Dana: I don't believe it. And why didn't anyone tell me?
Dana: What now?
Natalie: Your bagel is now an arm rest.
Dana picks her arm off the table and peels the bagel off the sleeve of her blouse.
Dana: (disgusted) That's it. Let's have a good show everybody.
Casey and Dan are sitting at the anchor desk. Casey is flipping through the pages of his script.
Dave: (over intercom) Two minutes, VTR.
Casey: Seriously, Dan, leave me alone.
Dan: I looked it up. I did the research, Casey. Did you know that?
Casey: Yes, but only because you've told me ten times.
Dan: All I'm saying is some people are ignorant idiots.
Casey stops flipping his pages and looks at Dan.
Casey: Yes, I happen to work with one of those.
Dan: Did I ask for your opinion?
Casey: No, but sometimes I just throw it in as a free gift.
Dan: You throw it in as a free gift?
In the control room:
Jeremy: Kim, what do you know about horses?
Kim: Not a heck of a lot. Why?
Jeremy: This woman, this McMillion person, rode Silver Screen to victory in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. I want to know why this matters to anyone.
Kim: It matters to Silver Screen's owners.
Jeremy: Does that make it newsworthy?
Kim: Not necessarily.
Dana: Jeremy, I thought you were finished with that.
Jeremy: I am.
Dana: Then why are you still-
Jeremy: Pure curiosity.
Dana: That's nice. But we don't have time for pure curiosity, Jeremy, given the fact that we've got two minutes to air.
Dana: Now that we've proven that we're not smarter than your average omen of bad luck, can we please rise above the moon's influence and stop bickering long enough to get the show on the air?
Dana: Nevermind, just get to work. Dave?
Dave: One minute to VTR, two minutes live.
Natalie: Look at the network feed!
Dana: What about it?
Natalie: The clock in the background. It agrees with me.
Dana: The clock in the background agrees with you.
Dave: I've got 10:59 and 10.
Dan: I've got 10:59 and 5.
Dana: I'm just going to weep. Casey, what are you doing?
Casey: Trying to accept the fact that we're about to make raging fools of ourselves.
Natalie leans over to Dana.
Natalie: Listen up, Jeremy and I aren't seeing eye to eye on an issue right now-
Dana: There's something that doesn't happen often enough. (listens into headset) Let me hear L.A.
Natalie: So anyway, I'd appreciate it if you could just ignore him for the time being.
Dana: Sure thing.
Jeremy: Natalie, you're acting like a five year old.
Natalie: Did you hear something, Dana?
Dana faces Natalie.
Dana: (to Natalie) I'm sorry. (to Jeremy) What do you want, Jeremy?
Dana: You said my name.
Jeremy: You said my name.
Natalie: It's nothing important. Ignore him.
Dana: I remember now. Jeremy, did you get Penn State cut?
Dana: I need to know! I'm sorry.
Jeremy: Yes, I did.
Dana: Was I talking to you?
Dave: Sixty seconds live.
Natalie: We ought to be live right now.
Dana: Natalie, please!
The intro music is playing in the background and Casey's voice can be heard playing on the tape.
Dana glances out of the corner of her eye and notices a figure standing right behind her.
Dana: Aaaaah! (jumps out of her chair)
Everyone else jumps, reacting to Dana's shriek. Dan and Casey jump in their seats and throw their hands to their ears, reacting to Dana's scream heard through their ear pieces. The figure turns out to be Isaac. Dana clutches her chest.
Dana: Isaac, you scared me to death! What are you doing here?
Isaac: I'm trying to summon up the spirit of humility and survive the disaster which is going on right now.
Dan: Everything, all right back there?
Dana: (into mic) Fine. Sorry guys.
Casey: Jeremy, what's this horse's name?
Jeremy: (into mic) Silver Screen.
Casey: And what's so important about him?
Jeremy: (into mic) I don't know.
Casey: Then how ought I to tease it?
Jeremy: (into mic) I don't know.
Casey: Thank you.
Jeremy: (into mic) No problem.
Dan and Casey look surprised as they are listening through their ear pieces. They both turn toward Camera One.
Dan and Casey: Good evening... I'm... (they look at each other) Good... we'll be right back.
Dave: We're out.
The control room sits quietly.
Isaac: I guess we don't have to worry about the extra forty now, do we?