What is "Sports Night"?

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Sports Night
Casey McCall and Dan Rydell

"Sports Night" is a comedy-drama series created by Aaron Sorkin, who also created "The West Wing," "A Few Good Men," and "The American President." The series ran from 1998-2000 on ABC, and the series is was in syndication on Comedy Central.

Here's what ABC had to say about Sports Night back in 1999:

"Sports Night" tracks the effort that goes into making sure that the show-within-a-show, Sports Night, hits the airwaves at 11:00 p.m. every night on the Continental Sports Channel . However, the devotion this group has to their jobs is only surpassed by their genuine affection for and camaraderie with each other. Casey McCall and Dan Rydell's friendship is a rock-solid touchstone for both men. As co-anchors they support each other brilliantly on the job, but each acts as guide for the other through life.

Casey's on more shaky ground with executive producer Dana Whitaker. She's just coming off a broken engagement, in which she was the one unceremoniously dumped, but at last they are both free and single people. Not that it makes anything easier. They will continue to do their attracted/ambivalent dance, sometimes to humorous, touching effect, and other times to heated argument. They produce a great show, but the struggle continues to produce great romantic lives. Producer Natalie Hurley and research analyst Jeremy Goodwin appear to have mastered romance -- but maybe not quite.

As per usual, not every moment in the Sports Night studios and bullpen is filled with hilarity. Executive producer Isaac Jaffee has returned to work, but the effects of his stroke are visible and a concern to both his employees and his bosses. Indeed, the corporate honchos of CSC (Continental Sports Channel) are going to make their presence felt, and dirty words like ratings are going to take on greater importance. "Sports Night" stars Peter Krause as Casey McCall, Josh Charles as Dan Rydell, Felicity Huffman as Dana Whitaker, Robert Guillaume as Isaac Jaffee, Joshua Malina as Jeremy Goodwin, and Sabrina Lloyd as Natalie Hurley.

PRODUCTION CREDITS: Sports Night was created by executive producer Aaron Sorkin, scribe of such acclaimed films as "A Few Good Men," "The American President" and "Malice." Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Tony Krantz, co-chairmen of Imagine Television, serve as executive producers. Thomas Schlamme and Rob Scheidlinger ("Cousin Bette") are also executive producers.

PRODUCTION COMPANY: "Sports Night," which premiered on September 22, 1998, is from Imagine Television in association with Touchstone Television.

Here's what I have to say about Sports Night:

"Sports Night" has been given many labels over its history: comedy-drama, intelligent comedy, short drama, etc., but undoubtedly, what it can be called is great television. This is a show which is fast-paced, well-written, superbly-acted, and beautifully directed.

"Sports Night" is a critically acclaimed series, which was a nice change-of-pace from the typical cookie-cutter comedy. They refrained from using a laugh track. They let the audience use its intelligence to decide what was funny and what was not. They did not inundate the script with bathroom and sexual humor, which is found so often in many other comedies. They allowed for serious and realistic scenes, which gave the show much depth. We were able to learn about the developing characters, which allowed us to relate and love them.

Fans have come together and formed a very vocal and intense group, and I feel the best part of "Sports Night" is the inspiration it provides. People have decided to become thespians, writers, producers, and others in the field of television and film. I've never seen a series in which its fans strive toward their own personal dreams and attempt to improve the quality of their lives.

Even though the television series is cancelled, the lasting effects of "Sports Night" will carry on.