Behind Closed Doors

Original Release Date: December 18, 2001

Teleplay by:
Jim Hamilton

Excerpts from:
"Pilot" by Aaron Sorkin

Estimated Run Time:



Dana is walking through the busy newsroom.


Dana turns around and sees Sally approaching.

Sally: I'm glad I could catch up to you.

Dana: Yeah. Hey, Sally.

Sally: You've just been a busy little bee of late. I barely see you anymore.

Dana: Well, you know the business.

Sally: I sure do- especially lately. I've been so busy, I don't know whether it's night or day.

Dana: It's daytime.

Sally: Good to know.

Dana: You can usually tell by the position of the sun in the sky.

Sally: And you still have a good sense of humor to boot.

Dana: Oh... and congratulations on your hottest sports television thing.

Sally: Thank you, Dana. I appreciate it. If you don't mind me saying, I was disappointed not to see your name on the list.

Dana laughs.

Dana: Yeah. Sometimes those are the breaks.

Sally: Sometimes... not all of the time.

Dana: What did you need?

Sally: I hear you are finally selecting a permanent anchor to pair-up with Dan.

Dana: There's a lot of people involved in the process.

Sally: But it's your show.

Dana: Yes.

Sally: And you would have some influence over it.

Dana: I do.

Sally: If you don't mind me saying, I would like to recommend Peter and Paul for the position.

Dana: I can't have two people sitting in one chair.

Sally: What I'm saying is that I would be happy to see either one of them get the position.

Dana: Okay.

Sally: And as much as I would hate to lose them from the "West Coast Update," I would give a very high recommendation to either one.

Dana: I'm glad you said that. Your opinion means a lot to me.

Dana takes a step away.

Sally: Dana?

Dana stops.

Dana: Yes?

Sally: Is something wrong?

Dana: Nothing's wrong.

Sally: You didn't sound enthusiastic.

Dana: Should I?

Sally: Well, I'm practically handing over my anchors to you. I just thought you might be a little more... receptive.

Dana: I am. We have a list of a dozen candidates.

Sally: But you've narrowed it down.

Dana: A little.

Sally: Am I asking too late?

Dana: About recommending Paul and Peter?

Sally: Yes.

Dana: We had them under consideration.

Sally: Had?

Dana: Well, I don't have complete control over the hiring process.

Sally: So, the final decision rests with Isaac?

Dana: A little.

Sally: Well, with whom does the final decision rest?

Dana: Donna Kendrick, Sam, Isaac, and myself.

Sally: So you do have a say?

Dana: Like I said earlier, I don't have complete control.

Sally: But there's a chance?

Dana: I'll pass the recommendations to Isaac, Sam, and Donna.

Sally: Great. I'll have written recommendations on their desks later today.

Dana: Okay.

Sally: And I'll give you a copy also.

Dana: Gee, thanks.

Sally: You're welcome, Dana. This means a lot.

Dana: Yeah.

Sally walks away.


Natalie is outside of Isaac's office. The door is closed, but her head is pressed against it and she is listening in.

Jeremy walks up to Natalie.

Jeremy: What are you doing?

Natalie: Shh. (whispering) What does it look like I'm doing?

Jeremy: What's going on in there?

Natalie pulls Jeremy to the other side of the corridor.

Natalie: There's a meeting going on between Isaac and Sam. They've been discussing ratings and Casey's replacement.

Jeremy: What have they decided?

Natalie: Nothing, yet. Some of the candidates have been eliminated.

Jeremy: Who?

Natalie: Well, Melissa Stark is under contract with ABC.

Jeremy: Of course.

Natalie: And Jill Arrington's agent laughed when he heard from us.

Jeremy: That's not good.

Natalie: It sounds like they've narrowed it down to a couple.

Jeremy: Which two?

Natalie: Bobbi, Tina, and Jennifer.

Jeremy: That's three.

Natalie: Yeah.

Jeremy: You said a 'couple.' A 'couple' is two. A 'few' would be more than two.

Natalie: Shut up.

Natalie moves back over to the door and continues listening.

Jeremy walks over.

Jeremy: (whispering) Hear anything else?

Natalie: (whispering) Just your yapping.

Jeremy leans on the door to hear what's been discussed inside.

Natalie: (whispering) You're cramming me.

Jeremy: (whispering) Sorry.

Jeremy shifts around Natalie. Suddenly the door flies open and the two fall into the office.

Isaac is sitting in his chair, and Sam turns around to see Natalie and Jeremy on the floor. Natalie and Jeremy get up. Jeremy starts dusting himself off.

Natalie: (to Jeremy) See? I told you these locks were weak.

Jeremy: A little bit of pressure just makes them open up.

Isaac: We're you two listening in?

Natalie: On what?

Isaac: Sam and I were having a meeting.

Jeremy: Hi, Sam.

Sam: Hi.

Jeremy: Natalie was demonstrating the potential safety hazard of having poorly crafted locks on the doors.

Isaac: Uh-huh.

Natalie: We didn't realize you two were having a meeting.

Isaac: That's why my door was closed. It's always closed for meetings.

Natalie: It is? I never knew that. Jeremy, did you know that?

Jeremy: No, I did not.

Isaac: Get out.

Natalie: Okay, but you need to have these doors properly inspected.

Isaac: I'll have them sound-proofed.

Jeremy: That might be good. It would add a little more ballast to the door.

Isaac: Close the door behind you. Actually, you can leave it open.

Natalie and Jeremy leave the office.

When the two start walking down the corridor, Natalie slaps Jeremy behind the head.

Jeremy: What was that for?

Natalie: Adding ballast to the door.

Jeremy: What was I supposed to say? I'm trying to think quickly on my feet.

Natalie: Next time, leave the eavesdropping to me.

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