A Good Time Was Had by All



Jeremy is walking through the newsroom. He sees Natalie by the windows and heads over there.

Jeremy: Natalie, I think we need to do a story on the baseball all-star selections.

Natalie: Why is that?

Jeremy: There was a programming error on the online ballots, which, in turn, has given a Pirates reserve outfielder an extra 100,000 votes.

Natalie: And they just discovered it?

Jeremy: A month after it was released.

Natalie: Can you get me a representative from Major League Baseball, the guy who did the program-

Jeremy: The programmer.

Natalie: -and see who else could be involved.

Jeremy: There is the possibility it may be a hosting error, a client-side error, or even a compatibility issue.

Natalie: What about the chance of 100,000 fans deciding to vote for this backup outfielder?

Jeremy: Highly unlikely; and I know what you're going to ask. You are wondering about the fans stuffing the ballot boxes as they have historically done, undeserving players being elected, and most position players from one winning team being selected.

Natalie: Yes.

Jeremy: I'll work on it and see what I can come up with.

Natalie: If it's a problem with the online ballot or with baseball, we'll use the story. Otherwise, it will be a non-issue.

Jeremy: Okay.

Natalie: Did you see the rally going on this morning?

Jeremy: Where?

Natalie: Downstairs and outside of the building.

Natalie and Jeremy look down out the window and try to see the rally below.

Natalie: There's about a dozen of them. They were there when I came in.

Jeremy: I was here at 8 o'clock.

Natalie: Okay. I wasn't here that early.

Jeremy: I can barely see them down there. Why are they rallying?

Natalie: You haven't heard?

Jeremy: I assume they are protesting something with the network.

Natalie: A few weeks ago, J.B. Blackwell was on "The CSC Outdoorsman."

Jeremy: So?

Natalie: The program the network showed wasn't out of the ordinary- they showed Blackwell and Bob Shoemaker hunting spring gobblers and fishing spotted bass and regular trout- but when the network went back to Blackwell to do a football story and talk about him moving from defensive tackle to defensive end, he couldn't stop talking about the time he had.

Jeremy: He probably went into explicit detail on how valiant he was against the defenseless animals.

Natalie: He talked about the two deer he shot- the ones the network didn't show on the program. He mentioned how he had a great time at Hickory Run.

Jeremy: Hickory Run?

Natalie: It's a state park in Pennsylvania. It's illegal to hunt deer this time of the year.

Jeremy: That's what the rally is about?

Natalie: They're protesting the network to drop the entire program. They also want Blackwell arrested for illegal poaching.

Jeremy: Poaching is already illegal.

Natalie: I know.

Jeremy: What I'm saying is... oh, never mind.

Natalie: Okay.

Jeremy tries to get a better look out the window.

Natalie: I'm sure they're going to be there for a while.

Jeremy has a look of concern as Natalie walks away.

Dan walks up to Jeremy.

Dan: Jeremy, you will not believe what happened this morning.

Jeremy: Furniture caught on fire?

Dan: I'm past that. I've moved on. I got a call from my alma mater.

Jeremy: Dartmouth?

Dan: Yeah, and guess what they want me to do?

Jeremy: I don't know.

Dan: Guess.

Jeremy: I don't want to guess.

Dan: Just guess.

Jeremy: I don't know. Give the commencement speech?

Jeremy heads toward his desk as Dan stands in shock.

Dan: How did you know that?

Jeremy: You asked me to guess.

Jeremy sits at his desk as Dan meets him there.

Dan: No, how did you come up with that?

Jeremy: I used deductive reasoning. You wouldn't come to me all excited if they had asked you for a donation. I can't see you teaching a class. Plus, there is graduation during this time of the year-

Dan: You thought of that in two seconds?

Jeremy: Three.

Dan: Okay.

Jeremy: I take it you are accepting the invitation.

Dan: Of course. It's a prestigious position to be put in.

Jeremy: I don't even remember who spoke at my graduation.

Dan: This is my chance to shape their futures. It is my chance to give some words of encouragement to today's youth.

Jeremy: And also beg them not to take our jobs.

Dan: That too.

Jeremy: Did you know about the protesters outside?

Dan: I saw some people yelling and waving some signs this morning.

Jeremy: What were they saying?

Dan: I really wasn't paying attention.

Jeremy: They're protesting "The CSC Outdoorsman."

Dan: You already know more about it than I do.

Jeremy: Aren't you the least bit concerned?

Dan: Are they threatening our lives?

Jeremy: No.

Dan: Then I'm not concerned.

Jeremy: Danny? They are saying that a former guest on the show needs to be arrested and charged with poaching.

Dan: What happened?

Jeremy: They said J.B. Blackwell illegally shot two deer.

Dan: J.B. Blackwell?

Jeremy: Yeah.

Dan: Marcus is doing a story on him.

Jeremy: That's when Blackwell talked about the events which have led up to today's protest.

Dan: Someone leaked out the story?

Jeremy: Apparently.

Dan: It sounds like there's a lot of problems with this.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Dan sees something and gives Jeremy a pat on the shoulder.

Dan: I've got to go. We'll talk about this later.

Jeremy: Okay.

Dan skips through the newsroom, and he catches up with Lindsey as she is entering his office.

Dan: Hey.

Lindsey: Good morning, Dan. I was coming to give you today's schedule of games.

As the two stand inside Dan's office, Lindsey hands Dan the sheet. Dan sets it on his desk.

Dan: Thanks. Say, did you hear about our school's commencement speech this weekend?

Lindsey: At graduation?

Dan: Yeah.

Lindsey: Not really; I'm just a junior.

Dan: Was there a general opinion of the speaker?

Lindsey: I'm not sure.

Dan: Because the original speaker had to pull out. Certain medical conditions won't permit him to be there this weekend.

Lindsey: I hope he'll be all right.

Dan: He will be; but the school had to pick someone to deliver the speech.

Lindsey: Who did they pick?

Dan: Me.

Lindsey: You?

Dan: Yes. I just got the call this morning.

Lindsey: That's great.

Dan: Great? It's an honor.

Lindsey: I'm glad you feel that way.

Dan: But I need you to do a favor for me.

Lindsey: What's that?

Dan: Could you somehow conduct a poll on campus to get their general reaction on me being selected as their speaker?

Lindsey: Am I supposed to stand outside of the student center and poll people?

Dan: That's a great idea.

Lindsey: I don't know if I have time to do that.

Dan: Well, you could initiate someone to conduct a poll.

Lindsey: It's a last-minute thing for them to do. I might be able to get someone to do an online poll.

Elliott enters the room.

Elliott: Dan? We're going to need an early copy for the beach volleyball tournament.

Dan: There's a tournament?

Elliott: Great. We can cut the highlights from the beginning.

Dan: Okay.

Elliott: And don't forget about Chris' bachelor party tomorrow night.

Dan: It's tomorrow night?

Elliott: Remember we're having it tomorrow night because we don't have a broadcast? Plus, its the last day off for all of us before the wedding.

Dan: Oh yeah.

Elliott: Will has spent a lot of time planning it out, so you need to be there.

Dan: Don't worry; I'll be there. And I'll make sure Casey is there also.

Elliott: Great.

Elliott leaves the room. Dan takes his seat as Lindsey watches him.

Lindsey: You're having a bachelor party?

Dan: Chris is having the party. He's getting married, not me.

Lindsey: Why do you want to throw some barbaric party where some woman shows up to strip naked?

Dan: Well, there's going to be beer, too.

Lindsey: All the better.

Dan: I'll just have you know that Chris' finacé is having a bachelorette party tomorrow night also.

Lindsey: So they're going to follow the same pattern men have set.

Dan: Well, I think we'll have a better-looking stripper.

Lindsey: I can't believe you guys.

Dan: You brought up the subject.

Lindsey: Why do you want to degrade women like that?

Dan: We're not degrading women. We're out to have a good time.

Lindsey: At the expense of women.

Dan: We're not doing anything illegal, and we're not doing anything that could get us fired.

Lindsey: I just think it's immoral.

Dan: Okay.

Lindsey: I think I'm leaving now.

Lindsey storms out of the office.


Isaac enters the conference room. He holds the door open as CSC executive Donna Kendrick and two other executives enter the room. Sam follows from behind. Isaac closes the door, and the five people each take a seat around the table. Each of them pull papers from their personal briefcases and set them on the table.

Donna: First of all, I'd like to thank everybody for being able to attend this quarterly meeting. Isaac, obviously we're going to talk about the four shows you're running.

Isaac: I've also brought my copies of your notes from the past two years. Of course, your predecessor, J.J., wrote some of these, but I think they may be of good use for us today.

Donna: Great. Kathy?

One of the executives, Kathy, opens her notes.

Kathy: Let's talk about the earliest show: the 12 P.M. broadcast.

Donna: We haven't been happy with the lack of progress made on the production.

Sam: Are you talking about ratings-wise?

Donna: The ratings are not where we want them to be, and we feel it is because of the production talent.

Sam: If you would like raw numbers, the 12 P.M. has actually increased its audience two-percent over last year's numbers and the 18 to 35 male demographic has increased a modest four-percent over last year's numbers.

Donna: We feel they could have been higher.

Kathy: Plus, with the recent cuts in our advertising budget, it may be wise to discontinue the broadcast.

Isaac: You want to drop the 12 P.M. show?

Donna: Yes. We can rerun the "West Coast Update" in its time slot.

Isaac: What about Joseph and his staff?

Donna: You're going to have to let them go.

Isaac: What about dispersing the talent among the other shows or shows under development?

Donna: As we stated, we're not pleased with the talent levels on this show, so we feel it would be best if we made a clean break with the 12 P.M. crew.

Kathy: We'll probably discontinue the broadcasts sometime in June.

Isaac: I was expecting a discussion about the shows, not sudden cancellations. There was never any discussion about this.

Donna: Unfortunately, the C.F.O. and the rest of the financial department feel the network can cut the costs of the production without greatly diminishing the ratings by rerunning the "West Coast Update."

Isaac: And not rerunning "Sports Night"?

Donna: The "West Coast Update" has the most-recent scores, plus there will be a lot less editing and production when comparing it to rerunning "Sports Night."

Isaac: I don't appreciate this sudden surprise.

Donna: I'm sorry, Isaac, but cuts have to be made. Steve?

The second executive, Steve, opens his notes.

Steve: Now, we'll talk about the 6:30 P.M. broadcast.

The group looks through their notes to find the next topic.

Steve: The show has been pretty consistent, and we're pleased with the results.

Donna: There is the possibility we may expand the show from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. If we do expand it, the show will begin at 6 P.M. instead of 6:30.

Isaac: Okay. Kim has done a fabulous job of running the broadcast.

Donna: We're don't want to implement any major changes right now. Just work with them on their timing and getting correct graphics. I've been watching too many stories starting with the wrong footage; but, again, we are very pleased with the product.

Isaac: Good.

Donna: Now, let's talk about "Sports Night."

The group flips through their papers and stop once they reach their notes about "Sports Night."

Donna: Overall, the product is pretty good.

Kathy: Didn't the anchor desk catch on fire last night?

Isaac: There was an electrical short which caused some minor damage. Everything has been repaired.

Donna: We're just a little concerned about the future of the show.

Steve: For instance, who is going to be running the show?

Isaac: The last time I checked, Dana Whitaker was listed as the executive producer.

Donna: She's been away from the show for nearly six weeks.

Isaac: She's still on medical leave.

Donna: I understand she was having difficulties with her pregnancy, which resulted in a miscarriage about two weeks ago.

Isaac: Her daughter survived two days before passing away.

Donna: I am truly sorry to hear that, but there comes a time when she needs to come back to her responsibilities with "Sports Night" or to step aside.

Isaac: We talk on the phone daily, and we're going to have lunch in a couple of days. I'll then be able to give you a definitive answer concerning her return.

Donna: We need an answer soon because I don't want to keep unused talent in wait. They need to be promoted and given extra responsibilities.

Isaac: Natalie and Kim have done a fine job filling in for Dana while she has been away. Either one of them could take the position if, for some reason, Dana chose not to come back right away.

Donna: I was thinking more of the lines of Sally Sasser.

Sam: Who?

Donna: Sally Sasser.

Sam: Okay.

Isaac: You would by-pass Natalie and Kim in favor of Sally?

Donna: I believe Sally is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to potential with the network. If Dana doesn't come back or if Dana struggles, Sally is competent enough to assume her responsibilities.

Isaac leans back in his chair and looks toward Sam. Sam gives Isaac a "what can we do?" look.

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