Bodies of Work



Dana is escorting two people through the studio. The two twenty-something people, a stunning man and equally gorgeous woman, receive some quick looks and long stares from passer-bys. Some watch the two because of their beautiful physical presence, and others watch only because of their presence.

Dana: Okay, you two. This is the studio where we shoot "Sports Night." Over there is the control room, and next to it is the sound room. To your left is the desk where the anchors sit and do the show.

Natalie enters the room and finds Dana. She carries her clipboard, which contains the latest news off the wire.

Natalie: Hi.

Dana: And this... this is Natalie Hurley, my esteemed colleague.

Natalie holds out her hand.

Natalie: I've read so much about the two of you. Welcome to CSC.

Natalie and Lorie Allen shake hands. Natalie and Jarrod Burke shake hands.

Jarrod: So, what's your position with Dana?

Natalie: Dana's crazy.

Dana: Excuse me?

Natalie: (to Jarrod) And a little looney, but you asked what's my position with Dana, and not what's my position on Dana. I'm the esteemed associate producer for "Sports Night."

Dana: You were esteemed until you called me crazy.

Natalie: And don't forget a little looney to go along with your crazy.

Dana: Thank you.

Natalie: No problem.

Dana: Whatcha' got?

Natalie: I've got Danny cleared for Shaq at 2:40 Pacific. (to Jarrod and Lorie) Danny has ten minutes to interview Shaq at 5:40 our time.

Dana: Wonderful.

Lorie: Shaquille O'Neal?

Natalie: Yeah.

Jarrod: He's going to be here? In this studio?

Natalie: No. He's going to be connected via satellite.

Jarrod: It would be totally cool if Shaq could be right here in the studio for the interview.

Natalie: Well, if you can pull that off, you'll become one of Dana's esteemed colleagues.


Inside his workplace, Casey is walking down a hallway. He stops, knocks on a door, and patiently waits for permission to enter.

"Come in."

Casey opens the door to the office of his boss, Stan Graham.

Stan: McCall? It's good to see you.

Casey: It's good to see you, Stan. How was your vacation?

Stan: Bah. You know how torturous two weeks in the Caribbean can be.

Casey: Not from personal experience, but I've heard stories.

Stan opens a desk drawer, flips open a small humidor, and pulls out two cigars. He pops one into his mouth and offers Casey the other.

Stan: Cigar?

Casey: Uh, yeah. Thank you, but I don't smoke.

Stan: But this isn't just an ordinary cigar, McCall. It's made from the finest leaves in the world. It's aroma will seduce you, and it's smoothness will enrapture you.

Casey: And by smoothness, I'm sure you are referring to many things, some of which are smooth and some of which are not so smooth.

Instead of focusing on the conversation at hand, Stan seems preoccupied with his search for a lighter.

Stan: Yeah. You have a light on you?

Casey: I'm afraid I do not.

Stan: You wanted to talk about our show.

Stan begins to dig around the room in search of a lighter.

Casey: Yeah. I've noticed there hasn't been any discussions on extending its current run. We've got one more episode to shoot-

Stan: These things take time, McCall. We have to receive feedback from the subscribers, the executives, and the shareholders. I wouldn't worry about the time it's taking for discussions.

Casey: I've noticed that other people involved with the show have been given permission to seek out other series or projects - some outside of this network.

Stan: Ah-ha!

Casey: So there is reason to worry?

Stan: I found my lighter.

Casey: I see that.

Stan grabs a lighter off a small end table. He takes much delight in lighting up his cigar as he walks back to his desk. Once there, he safely places the lighter inside his suit pocket.

Stan: If I recall correctly, you still have a year to go on your initial contract. If the show doesn't make it, we can still use you on other projects.

Casey: So I'm just a cog in the wheel that is this network.

Stan: Yeah. Cigar?

Stan once again offers Casey a cigar. Casey shakes his head.

Casey: And the crew being allowed to search for other projects aren't considered as critical personnel.

Stan: They're what you'd call "interchangeable personnel."

Casey: I don't think it's fair this network is giving them the impression this network is giving up on the show.

Stan: There's only a few selected people given this opportunity, so it really isn't fair. If you wanted fair and equal treatment for everyone, we would let everyone search for new projects.

The last sentence causes Stan to toss the one unlit cigar into his drawer. He quickly closes the drawer.

Stan: Unless, of course, you want to see what's out there.

Casey: Out where?

Stan: Out there. Test the waters, see if you can get a few feelers - maybe even a bite.

Casey: I'm not fishing for other projects. I'm looking to stay right here.

Stan: You've got a contract. Don't worry about it. Now how about that cigar?

Before having to decline the offer, Casey musters the strength to briefly smile, even though his instincts tell him to roll his eyes due the lack of attention being paid by his boss.


A frustrated Dana walks into Isaac's office. Isaac stops his paperwork and watches Dana sit down in front of his desk. Dana crosses her legs, crosses her arms, and shakes her head.

Dana: It's like I'm a den mother to those two.

Isaac: Yeah, it looks that way.

Dana: They ask me to give them a tour of the place - like my schedule isn't pressed enough as it is.

Isaac: Speaking of which-

Dana: I'll probably be asked to fetch them some lunch. I might even have to cut the crusts from their peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. I, Dana Whitaker, am the guardian of Lorie and Jarrod, the hosts of "The Lorie and Jarrod Show."

Oh god. Please don't tell me their broadcast is called "The Lorie and Jarrod Show."

Isaac: Dana?

Dana: Yeah?

Isaac: Where are Lorie and Jarrod right now?

Dana: How the hell should I know?

Dana stands up, walks over to the window, and takes a seat along the ledge.

Dana: I am surprised you're not upset over this.

Isaac: Over you having to be a tour guide, or the fact you are here complaining about it?

Dana: The fact we were kept in the dark over the negotiations and the program development.

Isaac: It's out of my hands, Dana.

Dana: You're sick for two days, yet I'm here the whole time, and all the executives are like wham-bam the deal is done without having consulted us even once.

Isaac: They elected to take a different course.

Dana: Well, there needs to be a warning sign on this course: beware of a bumpy ride. How am I supposed to produce a show when I have absolutely no say from its inception?

Isaac: You're not the executive producer.

Dana: But... Isaac? I produce "Sports Night." Are they bringing in another outsider to produce this show?

Isaac: They're staying in house on this one.

Dana: Well, Natalie would be the next logical choice, and Jeremy probably isn't strong enough to produce a show on his own. Unless... no!

Dana jumps over to Isaac's desk.

Dana: Sssally Sssasser. Sally Sasser was picked to produce this show?

Isaac: You don't have to worry about fitting it in your schedule.

Dana: But Sally?

Isaac: I'm afraid so.

Dana slumps into a chair.


Jeremy is on the telephone while standing in front of his desk.

Jeremy: (into phone) No, no, no. I'm just looking for the probability of Samuels playing. It's not like I'm asking who has the territorial rights to Sakhalin Island. (listens) Okay, I'll make it simple. If I were a gambling man, should I place money on Samuels playing or Samuels not playing? (listens) You don't gamble? Okay. Wait, wait, wait! Don't hang up! Hello? I guess your moral fiber is keeping you from giving me an answer that is neither vague nor precise... and why am I still talking on the phone after he has hung up on me?

Jeremy hangs up his phone and spins around to find Sally Sasser standing next to him.

Jeremy: Sally.

Sally: Jeremy, it is good to see you.

Sally holds out her hand and Jeremy instinctively shakes it.

Sally: I suppose you've heard that I'm going to be producing the network's latest show.

Jeremy: I'll admit this is the first I've heard of it... but congratulations.

Sally: Great. Thank you, Jeremy. Anyway, I was wondering if you would be interested in becoming my associate producer for this series.

Jeremy looks around to see if Sally is talking to a different Jeremy.

Jeremy: Me?

Sally: Yes, of course. I would be delighted and honored to have you join my crew.

Jeremy: But I'm already obligated to "Sports Night."

Sally: I've seen your work, Jeremy. It is really, really professional and good. Would you mind if I'm candid with you?

Jeremy: Sure. Why not?

Sally: I don't believe Dana and Natalie give you enough credit. Granted, they are two fabulous producers-

Jeremy: Absolutely.

Sally: -and they certainly know how to run a show. I don't want you to feel you are trapped in a position where you cannot advance. What I'm looking for is someone who is ready for a new challenge, someone who has shown the potential, but has not been given the opportunity. I want you, Jeremy.

Jeremy: You want me?

Sally: Yes. So how about it?

Jeremy: I already have a lot of responsibility with "Sports Night"-

Sally: And you can continue to do your regular routine with "Sports Night" while you cut your teeth with me.

Jeremy: Flattering, as it sounds - and by the way, thank you for the compliments and offer - but I feel I need to carefully judge and place into consideration-

Sally: Did I mention you will be receiving an additional salary - one on top of the one you currently make doing "Sports Night"?

Jeremy: Ah, money.

Sally: How about it, Jeremy?

Jeremy: Considering the financial restraints I'm currently under, any financial windfall would definitely ease my burden. Now, I'm not saying that I'll do anything for money, but it is something I have to keep in mind.

Sally: Great. So I'll have your answer later this afternoon?

Jeremy: Uh... yeah... sure.... sometime this afternoon.

Sally: I'm looking forward to it. It's good seeing you again, Jeremy.

Sally struts away. Jeremy thinks about the uncomfortable decision he is going to have to make.


Dana is on her telephone as Natalie enters the office.

Dana points to her phone and mouths the words, "I'm on the phone." Instead of taking it as a cue to leave, Natalie decides to sit and wait.

Dana: (into phone) Check with his schedule, and we'll fly him in for an interview. Great. Thanks so much, Craig.

Dana hangs up the phone.

Dana: Natalie, I was on the phone-

Natalie: How did this happen? How did Sally and the new show happen?

Dana: I don't know. I was kept out of the proceedings-

Natalie: And why is that? And why isn't Isaac doing something about it?

Dana: Isaac wasn't part of the proceedings, either.

Natalie: Why?

Dana: I'll be sure to give you a more convincing answer once I consult my magic 8-ball, but for now all I can say is "I don't know."

Natalie: But Dana-

Dana: Offer them guidance, Natalie. Offer them guidance.

Natalie: Fine, I'll "offer them guidance." But a weekly sports-highlight program should fall under Isaac's guidance.

Dana: Yeah... I know.

Natalie: Also, Lorie and Jarrod have absolutely zero experience hosting a show - not to mention interviewing, researching, and anything to do with a little professional field they call "journalism."

Dana: I heard they did very well on their screen tests.

Natalie: That's because they are used to being in front of shutter photography.

Natalie begins striking outrageous poses.

Dana: Take it easy, Natalie.

Natalie: Take it easy? Dana, I've been here for over five years, and its taken me this long to get this far! They've been here for one day, and they've been handed everything I've had to earn!

Dana: Natalie, please lower your voice.

Natalie takes a deep breath.

Dana: There. Are you calm now?

Natalie: Yeah. Dana?

Dana: What?

Natalie: What are we going to do?

Dana: I don't know.


Sally leads Lorie and Jarrod through the newsroom. The group stops several feet from Dan's office.

Sally: Wait here for just a moment.

Sally enters Dan's office. Dan is surprised he has received company.

Sally: Dan.

Dan notices Lorie and Jarrod standing outside his door, but not within earshot.

Dan: Sally Sasser. I heard you were slithering around the building and taking these two into your little nest.

Sally: I see somebody must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Dan: I guess that's better than waking up and not realizing which bed you are in.

Sally: Let's put any hostilities and misunderstandings aside, Dan.

Dan: Of course, let's put up a good face in front of the newbies.

Sally: By all means.

Sally motions Jarrod and Lorie to come in.

Sally: This is Dan Rydell, senior anchor at "Sports Night." Dan this is Lorie Allen and Jarrod Burke.

Dan: Hi. Congratulations and welcome to CSC.

Dan shakes the hands of the new employees.

Dan: If we had known you were coming, we could have had some punch and some name tags for everybody. I'm sure you've met everybody in the building, so if you forget any of our names, don't be ashamed to ask.

Jarrod: Thank you.

Lorie: Thanks.

Sally: I was telling Jarrod and Lorie you have been with the network from the beginning.

Dan: Thanks, Sally.

Sally: You're not busy right now, are you?

Dan: I don't know... the only thing going on is sports, so I don't know if that matters...

Jarrod: And you've got that interview with Shaq Attack.

Dan: Precisely. Plus, I'm still putting together-

Sally: I'm sure these two would appreciate any time you could spend with them - you know, grooming them to hopefully become the polished anchor you are today.

Dan: S... Sally?

Sally: Spend thirty minutes with them, tops - unless you would like to spend more time with them.

Dan: Sally.

Dan pulls Sally aside in order to have a hushed, private conversation.

Sally: They're fast learners, Dan.

Dan: You could say they each have the natural ability of Mozart, but judging by the "deer in headlights" looks they are giving me, I'd be willing to bet their abilities to absorb knowledge is going to be closer to venison than to natural geniuses.

Sally: They've had a long day, Dan.

Dan: The better the reason to let them be.

Sally places her arm around Dan's shoulders. Dan gives Sally a "what the hell?" look as she turns her head toward Lorie and Jarrod.

Sally: (loudly) I know you wish to spend more time with them, Dan, but I feel any time you spend will be rewarding in itself.

Dan delicately escapes from Sally's coiled arm.

Dan: I can give you two minutes - one minute for the each of you.

Sally: Oh Dan, you are such a kidder. Don't give these two such a hard time that they want to leave. Everybody has welcomed and offered their undying support. They even have the wholehearted support of the network executives - that's all the network executives.

Dan: I guess the cleaning crew and graphics are still on the fence over their undying support.

Sally: I'll check back with you three in around 30 minutes.

Dan: But-

Sally ignores Dan's objection and exits the room. Dan rubs his hands together and tries to come up with some advice.

Dan: Hi.

Obviously, Dan's first advice is to welcome the new people.

Dan: Please have a seat.

The two newbies quietly take a seat on the couch. Dan leans against his desk.

Dan: Since time is short, we can acquaint ourselves with each other at a later date. Do either of you have any background in communications, radio, television, or film?

Jarrod: I have a background in film. I starred in "Young Love and Heartache," "Ugly Toxic Creatures," and "Hawaiian Winds 4."

Dan: Sure. Yeah. Lorie?

Lorie: Does television also include interviews - for like when my calendar shoot was coming out?

Dan: No.

Lorie: Then my answer is "no," but could you repeat the question? I want to make sure I answered the question right.

Dan: Your answer said plenty.

Jarrod: What's your background in that stuff?

Dan: I initially became interested in it back in high school. I joined some clubs, worked on some projects, and got a taste of what it's like to work in this field. I became more serious when I chose my majors at Dartmouth.

Lorie: Dartmouth is in the Ivy League.

Dan: It's also in New Hampshire.

Jarrod: You attended one of the Ivy League universities?

Dan: Dartmouth is a college, not a university.

Jarrod: Yeah.

Lorie: It's still in the Ivy League, right?

Dan: Yes.

Jarrod: Going to a university like that, I've bet you've won a ton of awards and trophies.

Dan: Dartmouth is a college; and I've only won a single award. This is a difficult field in which to win awards.

Lorie: Is that it over there?

Lorie points to Dan's trophy sitting in a bookcase.

Dan: That? Uh, yeah, that's the award.


Jeremy enters the office expecting to find only Dan, but is confounded when he discovers Jarrod and Lorie also in the room.

Jeremy: I didn't realize you had company. I can come back when its more convenient-

Dan: Whoa, whoa, whoa there, Jeremy. Come back here. What do you need?

Jeremy: I'm seeking your advice.

Dan: You've come to a good place. Right now, I'm passing along some advice to Lorie and Jarrod.

Jeremy introduces himself to Jarrod by shaking his hand.

Jeremy: Welcome, Jarrod.

Jarrod: Thank you. It's great to be here.

Somewhat intimidated, Jeremy introduces himself to Lorie.

Jeremy: Hi, Lorie. It's good to see you here... I don't mean see you... even though you are standing in plain view... what I mean is-

Dan: Jeremy.

Jeremy: Welcome!

Lorie: Thank you, Jeremy.

Jeremy: You... you remembered my name?

Lorie: Remember?

Dan: I just introduced you, Jeremy. Remember?

Jeremy: Right. Right. Of course. We've all been introduced. We are all one big happy family right now. Yes, I've come by to welcome you here, Lorie... and Jarrod.

Dan: You'll have to excuse, Jeremy. He's been a fan of yours, Lorie, so you'll have to forgive him if he seems a little nervous.

Jeremy: Just a little nervous.

Lorie: That's sweet. Thank you.

Dan leans over to Jeremy.

Dan: You can stop twitching any time now.

Jeremy: Sure.

Jeremy straightens himself and clasps his hands behind his back.

Dan: Jeremy? You came for some advice. What's happening?

Jeremy: Huh? Yeah. It can wait. I see you are busy right now.

Dan: Let me ask you this. Do you have any advice for these two?

Jeremy: Me? Yeah. Be prepared.

Dan: That's great advice: be prepared. Have a general knowledge of your subjects. In order to conduct a good interview, you have know your subject. Knowledge will assist you in asking the right questions.

Jeremy, for instance, knows everything about football and baseball. He could probably name the MVP of Super Bowl XIII.

Jeremy: Terry Bradshaw.

Dan: See?

Jeremy: Bradshaw threw for a personal high of 318 yards and he connected with four touchdown passes - a Super Bowl record. The Steelers victory made Pittsburgh the first team to win three Super Bowls.

Dan: Okay. Now is not the time to inundate them with this.

Jeremy: Right.

Jarrod: Are you the associate-producer Jeremy? The Jeremy who will be working with us?

Dan raises his eyes upon hearing this new bit of information.

Jeremy: Well... a final decision hasn't been made. There has been talk, but no final decision. You know... I really need to be going. I can come back later.

Jarrod: Thanks, and good luck.

Lorie: It was nice meeting you.

Jeremy: Thanks. And welcome.

Jeremy leaves the office.

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