The Unsinkable Dana Whitaker

Teleplay by:
Jim Hamilton

Estimated Run Time:



Inside the control room, the show is in progress and the crew is quietly at work. A finishing preview for an LPGA event is on one of the monitors. After a golfer is shown giving a high-five to her caddy, Dan appears on the screen.

Dan: (on-air) It will be a challenge for the field, especially with Annika Sorenstam coming off a victory last week while also serving as defending champion. CSC will have live coverage of the final two rounds Saturday and Sunday-

Jeremy hangs up the phone in the control room.

Jeremy: We're going to have some problems with 48.

Dana: What kind of problems?

Jeremy: Audio problems.

Dana: But the video is fixed?

Jeremy: Visually speaking- yes.

Dana: Okay, let me hear the audio. Preview 48.

Chris and Will preview 48 as Dana listens closely through her headphones.

Will: 48 is up.

Dana: What is that?

Jeremy: It's the result of a codec problem.

Dana: I can hear that.

Natalie: What does it sound like?

Dana: A lot of hissing.

Natalie: Like a slow air leak?

Dana: More like a wind tunnel. SSSSSHHHHHHH.

Natalie: Can they get it fixed?

Dana: I don't know. Jeremy?

Jeremy: I don't know. It's a codec problem.

Dana: In which case, it's my problem.

Jeremy: I'll get on it.

Jeremy leaves for the sound room as Dana leans into her microphone.

Dana: (into mic) Guys? We're having some audio problems with 48. Roll over directly to 50.

As Bobbi and Dan note the adjustments, Natalie does some quick note checking and figures something out in her head.

Natalie: Factoring in all the updates we've had on the World Series, we're about twenty seconds over.

Dana: Overall? Twenty seconds overall?

Natalie: Twenty seconds if we don't drop 48.

Dana: Got it. (into mic) Guys? Don't worry about 48 and 49. Go straight to commercial at the end of the block. (backs away from mic) Everybody else, we've got to keep the show tight. This is a 60-minute broadcast, not a 90-minute broadcast. Got it?

The crew makes further adjustments.

Dana: Everybody got that?

A collective "yes" is heard inside the room.

Dana: Elliott? Go grab Jeremy.

Elliott: On it.

Elliott writes down something and heads toward the sound room.

Dan: (on-air) -and when we come back, we'll get you the latest out in Anaheim as a slightly important game - Game 6 of the World Series - continues to be a high-scoring affair. You're watching "Sports Night" on CSC, so come on back.

Dave: We're out.

Natalie: Two minutes back.

At the anchor desk, Bobbi looks over her shot sheet while Dan decides to make casual conversation.

Dan: Are you doing anything after the show tonight?

Bobbi: As a matter of fact, Dan-

Dan: A number of us were going to go down to Anthony's after the show, and I would like to extend an invitation to you and Sam.

Bobbi: Sam?

Dan: Yeah. Sam, your boyfriend.

Bobbi: Sam is not my boyfriend.

Dan: Then who is your boyfriend?

Bobbi: Rob.

Dan snaps his fingers.

Dan: Right. Rob. I'm sorry. Rob.

Bobbi: We've been going together for how long, Dan?

Dan: I wasn't aware of us going anywhere.

Bobbi: Rob and I have been dating for a very long time.

Dan: I haven't kept up with anniversary dates, if that's what you were asking.

Bobbi: Rob and I will be fine this evening.

Dan: Suit yourself.

Dan reaches over and takes a drink from his water bottle. Alyson comes over to wipe some sweat from Bobbi's forehead.

Dan: It wasn't because I called him Sam?

Bobbi: What was that?

Dan: You're not going down to Anthony's after the show because I inadvertently called him Sam?

Bobbi: We wouldn't be going even if you called him Rob.

Dan: You two have plans. I understand. Forget I asked.

Alyson leaves the anchor desk.

Dan: You could have also said 'thank you.'

Bobbi: Alyson was just doing her job.

Dan: I was referring to the invitation.

Bobbi: Just now?

Dan: Yeah.

Bobbi: To Anthony's?

Dan: Yeah. It's only polite to thank me and decline the invitation.

Bobbi: You called him Sam.

Dan: And I apologize for the mistake.

Bobbi: Are you being facetious?

Dan: Let's just forget I ever asked.

Dan swivels his chair to face the center camera.


Isaac is sitting at his desk while Sam stands beside it. The two are waiting for the live network feed to continue after the commercial break.

Isaac: You usually watch these things from inside the studio.

Sam: I'm taking a slightly different approach.

Isaac: You usually have a direct hands-on approach.

Sam: Just wait. The time will come.

Isaac: What are you looking for?

Sam: I can't put my finger on it.

Isaac: You just don't want to tell me.

Sam: I actually can't put my finger on it.

Isaac: Sam? If there is something you notice while watching the live feed, you need to alert me on it.

Sam: I haven't noticed anything significant.

Isaac: But you've noticed something.

Sam: Like I said, I can't put my finger on it.

The commercial break concludes, and the next segment begins with Bobbi updating the World Series.

Isaac notices Sam stroking his mustache as Bobbi does her update.

Isaac: You see something.

Sam concentrates on the monitor.

Isaac: Sam?

Sam: It's nothing.

As Bobbi finishes, she passes it over to Dan. Dan begins a block of NFL injury reports.

Isaac: They didn't do the story on the conclusion of the IRL season.

Sam: They were running long on time.

Isaac: You're keeping track of the time?

Sam: It's just a guess.

Isaac: Just from watching inside this very office, you were able to conclude the show was running over. Thus, they drop the story on the IRL.

Sam: It's just a guess. Something may have gone wrong with the video.

Isaac: Okay.

Sam takes a few steps away from Isaac's desk, and Isaac notices.

Isaac: The time has come?

Sam: Something like that.

Isaac turns back toward the monitor as Sam leaves the office.


Back inside the control room, the show smoothly continues. Elliott enters the room and passes a note to Natalie. Jeremy emerges from the sound room.

Jeremy: Dana? I can fix this. Just give me a couple of minutes- five minutes, tops.

Dana: We don't need the segment, Jeremy.

Jeremy: But I can fix this.

Dana: It will be fixed by tomorrow night.

Jeremy: But I can fix it tonight.

Dana: Jeremy, we pay people- other people- to fix these things. Elliott? Make sure the doo-hickey thingy-

Jeremy: The codec problem.

Dana: -yeah, the codec doo-hickey thingy is fixed in time for the 2 a.m. show.

Elliott: Got it.

Elliott makes a note and leaves the control room. Jeremy shakes his head and takes his seat.

Jeremy: Five minutes. Ten minutes, tops.

Dana: We're running over, so we dropped the story. Will somebody please talk to me about something else?

Chris turns around.

Chris: How's it going, Dana?

Dana sarcastically smiles.

Dana: Great. Couldn't be better. Somebody talk to me about the show.

Natalie leans over to Dana and hands her a note.

Natalie: Rodriguez struck out the first two batters in the top of the seventh.

Dana: There. Now that's what I'm talking about.

Natalie pulls back her headset and whispers to Dana.

Natalie: Are you still coming after the show... to Anthony's?

Dana: Natalie.

Natalie: Everybody's going to be there.

Dana: I... I don't know if I'm going to be comfortable-

Natalie: Casey's not going to be there.

Dana: Casey? I thought you said everybody-

Natalie: Casey's not going to be there.

Dana: When? I mean, when did Casey change his mind?

Natalie: I talked with him earlier.

Dana: When?

Natalie: On the phone.

Dana: Natalie.

Natalie: You don't have to worry, Dana. Casey's not going to be there, so you don't have a valid excuse for not attending.

Dana: I don't know.

Natalie: Everybody's going to be there... except for the exception of Casey.

Sam abruptly enters the control room. The crew straightens up with his appearance. Sam makes no acknowledgment of the crew, but instead focuses on the broadcast playing on the monitors.

Dana: Good evening, Sam.

Sam: Does anybody else see that?

Natalie: Uh... see what?

Sam: That. Of course, you don't.

Dana: Good evening, Sam.

Sam: Huh?

Dana: I said good evening.

Sam: Yeah. Dana, have you noticed anything with tonight's broadcast?

Dana: Other than Dan's hideous selection of a tie, I haven't noticed anything wrong with the broadcast.

Sam: Okay.

Sam takes a few steps toward the door to the studio.

Dana: What have you noticed?

Sam: It's nothing.

Dana looks frustrated.

Dana: Then why-

Sam: It's nothing. Don't worry about it.

Sam doesn't feel Dana's eyes burning a hole through the back of his head. He stays completely focused on the monitors.

Dana: Sam, let me ask you something?

Sam: All righty.

Dana: Are you doing anything after the show tonight?

Sam: Other than reviewing the tapes from tonight's show?

Dana: I mean, are you going to join us down at Anthony's,-

Natalie: (whispering) Uh, Dana?

Dana: -kick back and have a few beers with us?

Sam: It's really not my thing.

Natalie: (whispering) Dana?

Dana: (whispering) You said everybody was going to be there.

Natalie: (whispering) I didn't mean everybody everybody.

Dana: (whispering) Well, when you said everybody-

Everybody notices Sam opening the door into the studio.

Dana: Where are you going?

Sam: I'm going to take a look.

Sam exits the control room.

Natalie: What do you think he's going to do?

Dana: I don't know.

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