The Ties That Bind

Written by:
Jim Hamilton

Estimated Run Time:



Dan and Casey are inside a small indoor cafe. They stand in line to place their order, but their minds are not set as they read the menu board hanging above the cash register.

Dan: You should really consider it.

The line moves forward.

Casey: I'm not eating anything with hard-boiled eggs in it.

Dan: I'm not making reference to the menu.

Casey: To me, eggs are best reserved for breakfast, and the last I checked, it was past the breakfasting hour..

Dan: Breakfasting hour? Yeah. You stand your ground.

Casey: I've been gaining too much weight. I need something fresh and light.

"May I take your order?"

The two reach the front of the line.

Casey: Do you have anything fresh and light?

Cashier: We've got egg salad made with egg whites and light mayonnaise.

Dan: Stand your ground, Haas.

Casey: Anything else?

Cashier: Water.

Casey: I'll have the tuna salad on wheat... with ice water.

Cashier: Okay.

Dan: Yeah, I'll have the same. Plus, I'll have a bag of chips.

Cashier: Is this together?

Dan: Yeah, I'm buying.

The cashier enters their order into the machine and hands Dan and Casey each a plastic tray.

Cashier: Thank you, and please proceed down the line.

Dan and Casey start moving down another line to pick up and pay for their orders.

Casey: I can afford to pay my own way, Daniel.

Dan: Yeah, but you'll be out of a job soon-

Casey: Because my show is being cancelled doesn't mean I'm out of a job. I still have another year left on my contract.

Dan: You might need to start saving up now.

Casey: Danny.

Dan: I'm just saying, you need to look into other options. You can't just be a field reporter on a pair of shows.

Casey: First of all, I'll be a national correspondent. Second, I'll be on five shows, not two.

Dan: And if you're really good, they might let you do the weather.

Casey: You mock me, yet you try to lure me back to CSC.

Dan: You know and I know coming back is the best thing for you.

Casey: I'll think about it in a year.

Dan: You need to think about it now.

As the two proceed down the line, a cell phone rings. Casey looks down, reaches inside his jacket pocket, and plucks out his cell phone.

Casey: (into phone) Casey McCall.

Dan: "Sports Night" is the perfect fit for you. It's the perfect fit for us.

Casey tries to wave off Dan.

Casey: (into phone) Really? We've got three? Great.

Dan: Plus, it wouldn't be hard to fit in. You practically know everybody.

Casey: (into phone) And thanks. I'm surprised and flattered to be nominated.

Dan: The best part is you'll be able to work with me.

Casey: (into phone) Thanks for the great news. I'll see you in a little bit.

Casey turns off his phone and places it back inside his pocket.

Casey: Danny, I'm under contract, and I was also on the phone with somebody from my network. If anybody overheard your conversation, they could charge you with tampering.

Dan: What? It isn't like I planted a weapon in somebody's trash can.

Casey: I'm under contract with another network. You just can't entice, make proposals, or try to lure people while they are with another employer. You first have to seek permission before you can even begin negotiations.

Dan: So if I proposed you try out for the New York Yankees, I would be tampering because you are under contract and I didn't take the proper channels in informing your employers.

Casey: Yes.

Dan: Here's another scenario. You're watching television one evening. You just happen to turn on CSC. You watch it for a little while, think the show was pretty good, and wonder what it would be like to work for CSC. Would it be tampering because the television gave you the idea to work for CSC?

Casey: Danny.

Dan: I'm just making the suggestion. I'm not making any kind of proposal.

Casey: Thank you.

Dan: For a contract proposal, you'll need to talk with Dana - but I'm certain you'll run into her when you go home tonight.

Casey glares at Dan.

Dan: What was your call about?

Casey: My show received three nominations, and I received one for best host.

Dan: Congratulations. Did they say anything about me?

Casey: Danny, it was a call about my show.

Dan: Right. Too bad they cancelled your show.


Dana is standing near the assignment desk inside the busy newsroom. She is giving instructions to Chris, Will, and Elliott.

Dana: (to Elliott) Contact the assistant athletic director. Charles Gelbaugh is the one with whom you need to speak.

Elliott: Got it.

Elliott hurries toward his desk.

Dana: (to Chris and Will) Guys? I'm going to need background info: career coaching records at the collegiate levels-

Chris: Including his tournament appearances.

Will: Maybe even include his playing career.

Dana: Perfect. We're going to run with this in the tens, so lets make it happen. Thanks, guys.

Chris and Will exit the newsroom as Natalie enters.

Natalie: What's going on?

Dana and Natalie start walking through the newsroom.

Dana: A player revolt at N.C.U.

Natalie: Did they use muskets to take over the campus?

Dana: No weaponry of any sort, Natalie. The players refused to practice this morning, and they are meeting with the athletic director right now.

Natalie: We're running with it?

Dana: Yeah. Kelly Kirkpatrick should be arriving in Sacramento shortly.

Kim hands Dana a tape.

Kim: Here's the feature on this weekend's Pro Bowl.

Dana: Thanks, Kim.

Kim heads off to another assignment.

Natalie: Speaking of dressing to impress, what's this?

Natalie points out Dana's ensemble of blue jeans and a sweatshirt.

Dana: Casey's moving some of his stuff into my closet, so my wardrobe is in a state of disarray.

Natalie: You do have more than one closet, right?

Dana: Before Casey started moving in, they were all my closets.

The two women stop at Jeremy's desk.

Natalie: Any word across the wire, Jeremy?

Jeremy: You're making reference to the list of nominations, where we will be rewarded with little to no acknowledgment of a job well done?

Dana: Aren't you Mr. Sunshine today.

Jeremy: On a day like today, I find it refreshing to keep my expectations to a bare minimum.

Natalie: So zero nominations are your expectations.

Jeremy: Absolutely.

A staffer walks by and hands Dana the latest news off the wire.

Jeremy: That and to avoid the fact these awards merit nothing more than finding out the favorites of a popularity contest.

Natalie: Come on, Jeremy. These awards are based on outstanding achievement and not selecting the homecoming queen.

Dana: Guys?

Jeremy: Let's face it. We receive little recognition because we're not the top-rated network. There are those who fall into one prestigious category, and everybody else falls into another category.

Dana: Congratulations. You each have a nomination.

Jeremy: Losers! And everybody else is losers!


Sam and Isaac are having a discussion inside Isaac's office.

Isaac: What do you think, Sam?

Sam: I think this is our best opportunity to make an impact.

Isaac: You're suggesting we go after name recognition.

Sam: If they have a resumé to match.

Isaac: What do you think of our current list of candidates?

Sam: I believe we are doing them more of a favor than vice versa. I've seen cardboard boxes with more personality than some of these candidates.

Isaac: This is just the preliminary list, Sam.

Excitement can be heard screaming from the hallway in the form of "Isaac!"

Dana rushes into the room.

Dana: We've got four nominations!

Isaac: The network?

Dana: We! "Sports Night" has four nominations! Hi, Sam!

Isaac: That's excellent news.

Sam: How many did the network receive?

Dana: Thirteen! We've got four nominations!

Isaac: Everyone is deserving of them. Congratulations.

Dana: I'm going to... I've got to... tell more people.

Isaac: Go.

Dana runs out of the office and squeals down the hallway.

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