Coming Home

Original Release Date: December 25, 2001

Teleplay by:
Jim Hamilton

"Place Your Vote!" Result:
Which couple will go on a holiday trip?

Estimated Run Time:



Dan is walking into the newsroom. His publicist, Catherine Brenner, is briskly walking from behind.

Catherine: Dan? It's important you let me know about these things. We can get you added exposure with your appearances.

Dan: I wasn't looking for exposure.

Catherine: Tell me what you were looking for.

Dan: A good time?

Catherine: You can still have a good time and still be recognized by people.

Dan: I just wanted to watch a fight with my girlfriend.

Catherine: In front of thirty-thousand people.

Dan and Catherine walk into Dan's office.

Dan: And it was an awesome fight.

Catherine: How far did the fight go?

Dan hangs up his coat.

Dan: It went the distance... you already know about this.

Catherine: I am aware that it was a split decision and many consider it to be the best fight in over a decade.

Dan: Pound-for-pound, yeah.

Dan sits at his desk and starts his computer.

Catherine: A lot of people- famous people- were at the fight, Dan. People are talking about this fight.

Dan: Right. They're talking about the fight, not who attended.

Dan gets up and grabs a book from the bookcase.

Catherine: You need added exposure. If people know you, a sports anchor, were at the fight, that's added exposure.

Dan sits back at his desk.

Dan: What are you doing tonight?

Catherine: Excuse me?

Dan flips open the book.

Dan: I was wondering if you had any plans for tonight.

Catherine: I was going to make pasta tonight.

Dan takes some notes.

Dan: Drop a bunch of noodles in boiling water and heat up some sauce?

Catherine: No. I have a pasta machine, and I was going to make it from scratch.

Dan: Now that was easy.

Catherine: What was easy?

Dan: Me asking you about your plans.

Dan gets back up.

Catherine: So?

Dan: You could have done the same with me.

Dan places the book back in its original spot on the bookshelf.

Catherine: I've got several accounts. Our firm has many accounts. We can't keep track of every event you plan on attending.

Dan: I pay you to do that, don't I?

Catherine: It would be easier if you gave us an idea of where you were going and what you were doing.

Dan: Ask.

Catherine: What?

Dan: Ask me if I am doing anything today.

Catherine: Dan, are you doing anything today?

Dan: Yes.

Catherine: What is it?

Dan: I'm going to see my shrink.

Catherine: Okay.

Dan picks up a tape from his desk.

Dan: I have some work to do, but you can tag along if you like.

Catherine: I think I'll be leaving.

Dan: Suit yourself.

Dan leaves the office and Catherine follows from behind.

Catherine: Could you please e-mail me your future plans?

Dan: I'm going grocery shopping tomorrow, if you would like to get me some added exposure.

Catherine: I'm talking about public events.

Dan: It is a public event, especially when everybody is standing in a huge checkout line.

Catherine: Are you doing anything for Christmas?

Dan: I'm going to participate in a live nativity scene to help celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Catherine: You're not serious, are you?

Dan: I'd make a great shepherd. Jeremy?

Jeremy turns around at his desk.

Jeremy: Hey, Dan.

Dan: I'd make a great shepherd, don't you think?

Jeremy: For what? Herding sheep?

Dan: A live nativity scene.

Catherine: Dan is participating in a live nativity scene.

Jeremy looks over Dan's shoulder toward Catherine.

Jeremy: Hello.

Catherine: Hi. I'm Catherine, Dan's publicist.

Catherine extends her hand and Jeremy shakes it.

Dan: By the way Jeremy, this is Catherine, my publicist.

Jeremy: Good to meet you.

Catherine: Likewise.

Jeremy: You do know... Dan is Jewish.

Catherine: I... I knew that.

Jeremy: Dan? We need you to tape some promo spots for the coming week.

Dan: Which ones?

Jeremy: The college football bowl season.

Dan: All three-hundred thousand games? Got it. But it will have to be later tonight.

Jeremy: That's fine. As long as they get done.

Dan: Okay.

Dan continues walking through the newsroom and Catherine continues to follow.

Catherine: I'm going to be leaving now.

Dan: For real this time?

Catherine: Yes.

Dan: Because you keep telling me you are leaving, yet you keep following me.

Dan and Dana cross paths.

Dan: Dana? Could I get an extra fifteen seconds for the Islanders?

Dana: What do you need it for?

Dan: To complete a thought.

Dana: Can't you do it... faster?

Dan: They're on a roll.

Dana: I'll give it to you, but it's not set in stone.

Dan: Okay.

Dan and Catherine head out of the newsroom. Dana stops and looks at her watch. She shakes her head and continues through the newsroom.


Dana jumps and clutches her chest. Natalie approaches from her side.

Natalie: Sorry. I didn't mean to startle you.

Dana: You didn't startle me.

Natalie: You jumped.

Dana: When?

Natalie: Just now.

Dana and Natalie walk through the newsroom.

Dana: What's up?

Natalie: A lot.

Dana: Care to elaborate?

Natalie: A lot of sports.

Dana: Nat-

The two head toward Dana's office.

Natalie: Two schools are naming new head coaches, the Sixers just placed two more players on IR and they've signed someone who was delivering water for a living, and we might not have the Utah-Boise State game tonight.

Dana: Why?

Natalie: That's a lot of information I just gave you. I could occupy your time for hours by just talking-

Dana: Why won't we have the Utah-Boise State game?

Natalie: A cable broke.

Dana: Well, they can fix it. They have extra cables.

Natalie: Not this cable.

Dana: We lay thousands of feet of cable for each basketball broadcast. You're telling me we don't have a few extra feet of cable?

Natalie: The cable is in the truck.

Dana: Well-

The two walk into Dana's office.

Natalie: It's the hydraulic cable to help raise the satellite dish connection.

Dana: Why don't they just tack on the dish to the top of a building?

Natalie: With sustained winds of 40 miles per hour with gusts of 60, the windchill is below zero.

Dana: You've been hanging around Jeremy again?

Natalie: I'm just telling you what they told me.

Dana: Then why-

Natalie: They already tried hanging the dish.

Dana: What's the problem?

Natalie: The sustained winds of 40 miles per hour.

Dana throws some papers onto her desk.

Dana: The dish fell.

Natalie: Yeah.

Dana: And it shattered.

Natalie: Like a glass ornament.

Dana rubs her forehead, drops her head, and slumps into her chair.

Dana: I thought you said only a cable broke.

Natalie: I figured I would work my way up with the bad news.

Dana: There's different levels of bad news?

Natalie: Yes.

Dana: Does Isaac know?

Natalie: Nope.

Dana: Would you tell him?

Natalie: Nope.

Dana: Why not?

Natalie: Because there are different levels of management, and you giving Isaac bad news falls into that level.

Dana: So we might have to fill for two hours?

Natalie: Maybe. The crew is trying to get it fixed, but it might be right before tip-off.

Dana's phone rings.

Natalie: You'll tell Isaac?

Dana: Yeah.

The phone rings a second time. Dana answers it.

Dana: (into phone) This is Dana. (listens) Hi, Casey. (listens) Yes, I'm looking forward to it. Really. (listens while twisting the telephone cord in her hand) No, I'm not upset about it. It's your family. I'd love to meet them. (listens) Have a safe trip back. Love you, too.

Dana hangs up the phone and untangles the cord from her hand.

Natalie: He's flying back from his book tour?

Dana: Tonight.

Natalie: You two have plans for the holidays?

Dana: Yes.

Natalie: You don't sound happy.

Dana: I'm happy.

Natalie: You don't sound-

Dana: I am happy.

Natalie: Okay.

Dana: I'm just surprised with the situation. Last night, Casey asked me if I would like to go with him to visit his family during the holidays.

Natalie: You're going to Indianapolis with Casey?

Dana: Yes.

Natalie: You've met his parents before, haven't you?

Dana: Yes, back in college, but this time I'll be staying at their house with their son. It's completely different.

Natalie: Didn't Casey always bring Lisa and Charlie?

Dana: When he and Lisa were married.

Natalie: Where's Charlie spending the holidays?

Dana: Lisa and Charlie are visiting her parents for the holidays.

Natalie: Are you and Casey going to sleep in the same bed?

Dana: I don't know.

Natalie: You should find out.

Dana: It isn't that...

Natalie: Then what is it?

Dana: It's just that... I'm going to be spending the holidays with another family. I have no history with them. It isn't going to feel right because I won't be spending time with my family.

Natalie: You've spent the holidays here before.

Dana: I know.

Natalie: And holidays when you were here and your parents were in Iowa.

Dana: I know.

Natalie: Then what is it?

Dana: I should be with my family and not somebody else's family.

Natalie: Okay.

Natalie takes a step backward.

Natalie: You'll tell Isaac about the game?

Dana: Yeah, yeah.

Natalie: Thanks.

Natalie leaves the office as Dana sits and shakes her head.

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