Season 2: Episode 19: April Is The Cruelest Month
DANA: This is idiotic.
DANA: This is idiotic and I'll tell you what else, this is no way to run a network.
BERT: Don't call me idiotic.
DANA: Bert, I--
BERT: No, I'm a full-grown adult lady, and I've heard about you at these meetings. I am not other people. I am the network CFO.
DANA: This is not slow-pitch softball, it's the Olympics. And whatever you might think of my decorum, what I'm doing right now is my job.
BERT: I understand, Dana, but unless you can point to the tree upon which money is growing--
DANA: This sucks--
BERT: A casual observer would never guess you were from a good family, Dana.
ISAAC: Hey, let's leave families out of--
DANA: This is happening every week, Isaac.
RAY: Not every week.
DANA: Every damn week we're looking for change under sofa cushions. Meanwhile, Luther Sachs has just cashed a $740 million bonus.
DANA: Newsweek says he's one of the five highest-paid CEOs in the country and you're still cutting back on Olympic coverage?
DANA: So I'm asking: what's going on?
BERT: We reviewed the budget.
DANA: A budget that was approved eight months ago.
BERT: It went through the normal review process at the network level and was sent up to the corporate level.
DANA: Oh, I like the sound of this.
RAY: Dana, a budget that calls for a 34-man team in Sydney is overly ambitious.
DANA: Well, God forbid we be ambitious.
ISAAC: Let's dial down the volume a bit. And Ray, Bert, I got to say that cutting down from 34 to 12 is off-the-charts ludicrous. 12 people is gonna look like local news.
RAY: Isaac, CSC's gonna close a deal with Austech.
BERT: It's an Australian carrier.
ISAAC: What kind of deal?
RAY: Austech shares production costs in Sydney and supplies supplementary manpower.
DANA: What do we do?
DANA: For a refreshing change of pace? That'll be exciting for us.
BERT: We're not here to keep you interested, Dana, however, we do keep you employed. So, as long as we do, please watch your mouth.
ISAAC: Bert, I'm more steamed about this than Dana is, so bring it over here.
ISAAC: For instance, what are you in this meeting?
BERT: I'm in it because I'm in it, Isaac.
ISAAC: Well, that answer is far from satisfactory to me 'cause I think you'd agree that it's unusual that you'd play a hands-on role in--
BERT: Finance is going to be playing more of a hands-on role in CSC operations.
ISAAC: Well, that's good news.
ISAAC: 'Cause it's the sensitive hand of finance that always leads to prizewinning coverage.
BERT: Your prizewinning coverage is racking up deficits to the tune of $120 million a year. You want to cut me a check, we can end all this right here.
ISAAC: How's it gonna work?
RAY: Austech works out of their studio in Melbourne. They've got another facility in Sydney. They're hardwired into your earpiece.
DANA: Can I ask why they need any producers at all?
RAY: They don't.
BERT: Ray just said they don't.
RAY: If you look through the budget, you'll see travelling staff is limited to on-air and support.
DANA: Are you--
RAY: Dana, are you telling me you'd produce better coverage if you were sitting in the back of a truck in Sydney?
DANA: Yes, I'm telling you that. Sydney is where the Olympics are.
BERT: Folks, this is not a town hall meeting. I'm telling you the way it is. Live with it, don't live with it, either way, I've got a lunch. Nice to see you, Isaac.
ISAAC: Yeah. (Bert leaves.)
RAY: It's gonna be great. You're gonna love the footage from Austech.
ISAAC: Get out.
RAY: It's gonna be fine. (Ray leaves.)
DANA: Is there any chance they're just talking about the Olympics?
DANA: They're talking about production?
DANA: So they're talking about losing people.
ISAAC: They're not talking about it.
ISAAC: Do me a favor.
ISAAC: Keep it to yourself.
DANA: Yep. That was funny what you said before about the prizewinning coverage.
ISAAC: You do this job for a lifetime and you do get a sense of humour.
ISAAC: Want a drink?
DANA: It's noon. (Starts to leave)
ISAAC: Austech. (Dana returns)
DAN: Hey, Jeremy.
JEREMY: I didn't know anyone was using the room.
DAN: I'm just doing the A.L. East. I can pick it up later if you want.
DAN: You sure?
DAN: So, it's Passover.
JEREMY: Yeah, I know. I'd have known anyway from being 28 and looking at a calendar, but my mother called me this morning just in case.
DAN: You doing anything?
JEREMY: Well, we've got the two shows.
DAN: Yeah, well, I'm , you know, just--
DAN: I'm just, uh, Elliot, Will, and I are doing a little something between shows.
JEREMY: A Seder?
DAN: It's not gonna be a big deal. We're just gonna break some matzo, say a prayer.
JEREMY: That's great.
DAN: You want to come?
DAN: It's not gonna be a big deal.
JEREMY: Let's make it a big deal.
DAN: No, I want to keep it small. I don't want to make a lot of noise about it.
JEREMY: I understand. Quiet, understated.
JEREMY: I'll go write the pageant.
DAN: The pageant?
JEREMY: Well, there are sections of the Haggadah that, quite frankly, could use a polish.
DAN: You're gonna do a rewrite on the Haggadah?
JEREMY: It's not written in stone, Danny.
DAN: Actually, some of it is.
JEREMY: Now, I'll need a company of players. Who's coming?
DAN: Well, me, you, Elliot, Will pretty much represent the Jewish population around here.
JEREMY: Let's throw open our doors.
DAN: You think?
JEREMY: Yeah. Passover's about the telling of a great story to those who've never heard it. Usually it's small children, but, you know, gentiles will do.
DAN: All right, well, ask whoever you want, but I don't think anybody's gonna want to be there.
JEREMY: Why not?
DAN: 'Cause I'm gonna be there.
JEREMY: Dan, it wasn't that bad.
DAN: It was.
JEREMY: No, it wasn't.
DAN: You're not Casey.
JEREMY: Casey's gonna forgive you. Everyone else already has.
DAN: Anyway, between shows. I took care of the food.
JEREMY: Well, then all that's left is for me to organize production.
JEREMY: Ask Casey.
DAN: Go away.
JEREMY: Ask Casey.
DAN: Go away now.
NATALIE: I would like to see the following things: I would like to see our feed from Toronto on any even-numbered monitor, I would like to hear a sound test at Shea, and I would like someone to feel my forehead.
NATALIE: Elliot, feel my forehead.
CHRIS: Are you sick?
KIM: She's not sick.
NATALIE: Oh, I believe I'm coming down with something.
DAVE: Don't encourage her.
WILL: The picture's up on four.
NATALIE: Will, give me your hand.
WILL: I just ate a sticky bun.
NATALIE: Ok, then don't give me your hand. You'll have to just trust me. I'm burning up.
NATALIE: Olympic fever, baby!
DAVE: Oh, God!
NATALIE: Catch it!
CHRIS: I thought there was something really wrong with her.
ELLIOT: Well, you be the judge.
JEREMY: (enters) Hey.
NATALIE: I've got the fever, Jeremy. I'm hot.
NATALIE: I cannot be stopped.
NATALIE: Keep cobalt-2 on a standby.
CHRIS: Sound 10's on a flat roll.
NATALIE: What do you need?
JEREMY: Dan and I are making a Seder between the shows.
ELLIOT: Will and I are already there.
JEREMY: And the rest of you are invited too.
NATALIE: I'm not Jewish.
JEREMY: Yeah, I dated you for a year and a half.
NATALIE: Right up until the day I broke up with you.
JEREMY: An event that occurred just moments after I broke up with you, but it's Passover and I digress.
NATALIE: That's pretty unusual for you.
JEREMY: Hey, just the kind of festive wit I'm looking for. This is a universal Seder and you'll be playing evil Pharaoh.
JEREMY: You bet.
ELLIOT: We're playing roles?
WILL: Like in a play?
JEREMY: Exactly like that, Will.
JEREMY: Let me tell you something, Erickson can pitch.
KIM: Yep. Who am I playing?
JEREMY: You're playing Pharaoh's assistant Maggie.
NATALIE: There's someone named Maggie in the Haggadah?
JEREMY: There is now.
DAVE: All right, I'm locking the chyron.
NATALIE: Olympic fever, mi muchachos.
DAVE: Oh, man, she's doing it in Spanish now.
NATALIE: Give me sound.
News Room/Hallway/Dana's Office
DANA: Excuse me, everyone. Cut footage for the 50s in a half-hour.
DANA: Hey, what?
CASEY: Mmm -- nothing.
CASEY: So listen...
CASEY: There's this video store on my corner -- now, it's not chain or anything, it's just the one store.
DANA: Hurry up with this.
CASEY: I don't feel I have your undivided attention.
DANA: You don't.
CASEY: Ok. So, I go into this place from time to time.
DANA: To rent Caddyshack?
CASEY: Or La Dolce Vita, yeah. Anyway, the guy wants me to do a 10 favourites list so he can put it up on the wall next to my picture.
DANA: You're having trouble coming up with 10 movies?
DANA: Then what's the problem?
CASEY: I don't want to do this.
DANA: Then don't.
CASEY: I mean, I really don't want to do this.
DANA: Then don't.
CASEY: It's not like I'm being a snob or anything, it's just... I have a career and I can't have my picture up there next to the guy who just opened for Carrot Top at Carolines.
DANA: Don't do it.
CASEY: I just don't know what to say to the guy.
DANA: Tell him you won't do it.
CASEY: I'll sound like a jackass.
DANA: You are a jackass.
CASEY: You think I should do it?
DANA: I honestly don't care, Casey. I would give all I had at this moment for my biggest problem to be your ego.
CASEY: That was a little harsh.
DANA: Do me a favor. Go make up with Dan, would you?
CASEY: Hey, leave me alone.
CASEY: No, I'm serious, Dana. Leave that be.
CASEY: (leaves, then comes back) If I did do the list, it'd be a damn good list. I can tell you that much right now.
DANA: How many Rocky movies?
CASEY: One through three.
DANA: Not four and five?
CASEY: Don't be ridiculous, Dana. This is the ten best movies of all time.
CASEY: See ya.
DAN: I did most of the A.L. East, but I'm going to come back to it.
CASEY: After the stuff at 4:00?
CASEY: Ok, I'll keep it open.
DAN: Yeah. Good. I'm also gonna get some more film on Erickson. They're sending it to me--
CASEY: On the satellite.
DAN: Casey. Believe it or not, um, Jeremy and I are having a little Passover Seder in between shows I don't know, actually, I thought it might be kinda fun. We never have had a Seder together, me and you.
CASEY: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I've never been to a Seder at all.
DAN: Yeah, well, this one's not gonna start a stampede of conversions or anything, but, uh, it might be nice if you want to come.
CASEY: No, I don't- I don't think so, Danny.
DAN: Oh. (walks away) Just asking.
CASEY: Yeah, no I gotta do this stuff.
CASEY: I'm saving 2:20 for the A.L. East.
DAN: Good. Thanks.
DAN: Manager Johnny Wilson was upbeat after the announcement, declaring, "This is great. This is great. This is how you win championships. This is just so great." Close your eyes: it's just like sitting by Walden Pond.
CASEY: Indeed. We're gonna pay some bills and come back in just a minute. I'm Casey. He's Dan. Don't go away.
DAVE: We're out.
ELLIOT: Three minutes back.
NATALIE: Let me tell you something, I'm feelin' a little woozy.
DAVE: Why do you--
NATALIE: I'm feelin' a little lightheaded, a little woozy.
DANA: Let's see Nashville on ready-1.
NATALIE: Doctor, doctor, Mr. M.D., can you tell me, please, what be ailin' me?
DANA: Talk a walk with me a second.
WILL: 2:30 back.
Dana and Natalie exit to the hallway.
NATALIE: What's up?
DANA: No, nothing. I was just-- I keep meaning to ask you, do you know Rick Rogers at Prime Sports?
NATALIE: I don't know him. We've probably shaken hands at some point.
DANA: You should call him.
DANA: No, nothing. I keep meaning to tell you over the past few days, there've-- there's a senior producer leaving.
NATALIE: Are they looking for me to recommend someone?
NATALIE: 'Cause Kim's ready. She can do that job.
DANA: No, I just wanted to mention it 'cause--
NATALIE: How was the budget meeting this morning?
DANA: It wasn't good.
DANA: Olympic coverage. I know, I wanted that for you.
NATALIE: What about people?
DANA: I think we're gonna lose some people.
NATALIE: Kim and Elliot are very employable.
NATALIE: Don't worry about it.
DANA: I am worried about it.
NATALIE: Don't be today.
NATALIE: I don't know. It's Passover.
They go back into the Control Room. Jeremy is handing out parts for the pageant.
JEREMY: Who's Sarah?
REDHEAD: I am.
JEREMY: Cue Sarah.
DANA: What are you doing?
DAVE: 60 seconds back.
DANA: Make it snappy.
REDHEAD: "Abraham, we are simple, honest, hardworking people, and our lives are good."
WILL: "I completely agree, Sarah. I hope we never have to leave my father's house or even this land."
JEREMY: "But Abraham's wish was not to be, for one day, while tending to his sheep..."
DANA: Would you please?
JEREMY: "Abraham heard the voice of God."
DANA: Dave's God?
WILL: "Who's that?"
DAVE: "It's me."
WILL: "I'm hearing things. The wind must be playing tricks with my ears."
DAVE: "It's not a trick, it's me. I've chosen you."
WILL: "Chosen me?"
DAVE: "I've chosen you. You've been chosen."
WILL: "I don't like the sound of that."
DAVE: "No, it's ok. What I want you to do is this: I want you and Sarah to leave your father's house and leave this land and go forth to a place called Canaan. There in Canaan, you will become the founder of a great nation."
DAVE: 10 seconds live.
DANA: "The wind must be playing tricks with my ears"?
JEREMY: I'm a genre writer.
DAVE: In 3, 2...
DAN: That's all for us, but like your next-door neighbour, we just won't go away. We'll be back at 11:00 with the West Coast scores and highlights.
CASEY: You've been watching Sports Night on CSC. We'll see you later.
DAVE: We're out.
DANA: Good show.
JEREMY: Rehearsal's in one hour. I need Joseph, I need Jacob, I need Pharaoh.
KIM: What about Pharaoh's assistant?
JEREMY: Yes, I need Maggie.
NATALIE: I broke up with you first.
JEREMY: I'll need Pharaoh's executioners.
NATALIE: Pharaoh wasn't executed.
JEREMY: That's one interpretation.
CASEY: So I'm gonna run out and do this thing.
CASEY: Go see this guy.
DAN: What guy?
CASEY: A guy downtown at my video store.
DAN: About what?
CASEY: Uh, it doesn't matter.
DAN: Ok, well, I'll see you tonight for the show then.
CASEY: Yeah, well, I gotta go change first, but, um...
DAN: Yeah, yeah, sure.
CASEY: So, you got people coming to this Seder, or--?
DAN: Yeah, some people are coming. It's no big deal.
CASEY: See you later.
NATALIE: I was sorry to hear that you and Joanie split up.
JEREMY: Jenny. It wasn't Joanie, it was Jenny.
NATALIE: If you don't mind me saying so--
JEREMY: Not much chance of that.
NATALIE: I think she was good for the boy in you, but not for the man in you.
NATALIE: A choreo-animator? That's like dating Mary Poppins or your junior high school librarian.
NATALIE: Am I out of line?
JEREMY: No, except she wasn't a choreo-animator.
NATALIE: What was she?
JEREMY: A porn star.
JEREMY: She's made over 80 adult films. She's slept with, if possible, more men than you have. Jenny was a porn star, for both the boy and the man in me.
DANA: (enters) Hey.
DANA: You got a second?
NATALIE: I believe I do, yes.
JEREMY: Not quite finished with your scene yet, Dana.
DANA: Well, hurry up. I'm all aflutter. (Dana and Natalie leave)
JEREMY: Ok, I'll stay right here. The problem is I'm already on page 9 and I haven't introduced Moses yet. That's problematic if you're telling the story of Exodus, yet it's an epic tale, so maybe it isn't problematic. Nor is it problematic that I'm talking to myself, for that is the creative process. All right, stop now.
NATALIE: A porn star?
NATALIE: A porn star?
NATALIE: He broke up with me 'cause I wanted to do too much. I wanted to have too much fun. So, logically, his next girlfriend would be a porn star.
DANA: I was not entirely forthcoming before.
DANA: When I talked to you before about Rick Rogers and Prime Sports.
NATALIE: What do you mean?
DANA: In the next few months, there are going to be massive rollbacks.
NATALIE: You think Kim and Elliot are in danger?
NATALIE: Don't ever misunderstand me, Dana. I hate Jeremy's breathing guts, but I love him like I've never loved anyone, plus, which, I honestly don't think we can do the show without him.
DANA: I know.
NATALIE: My point is that if anyone's job is worth fighting for, it's-- Oh, God.
NATALIE: They want to fire me.
DANA: All it is is an instinct right now.
DANA: A senior associate's a luxury position. Fox doesn't have it; CNN/SI--
NATALIE: Yeah. Yeah, ok.
DANA: So. Maybe you want to call Rick Rogers at Prime Sports.
NATALIE: I'll wait.
NATALIE: I'll wait and see what happens.
DANA: That's fine, but--
NATALIE: I'm gonna go check out some cut footage.
JEREMY: Let's go. Where's Pharaoh? I can't work like this.
NATALIE: (enters) Yeah.
JEREMY: You're on.
NATALIE: Can I talk to you outside?
JEREMY: That's happening a lot today.
NATALIE: Out there.
JEREMY: Somebody find me my Moses. It's almost time.
ELLIOT: It's almost time?
JEREMY: Well, we've got another 500 or 600 hundred years, but we're getting there. (goes into the hall with Natalie)
NATALIE: A porn star?
NATALIE: You slept with a porn star?
JEREMY: It never actually got that far.
NATALIE: You dated a porn star and never slept with her?
NATALIE: What a goober.
JEREMY: Thanks. Natalie?
JEREMY: You ok?
JEREMY: It looked for a second like--
NATALIE: Dana thinks there's gonna be some rollbacks.
JEREMY: Does she think it's gonna be you?
JEREMY: Dana's not gonna let that happen, Natalie.
JEREMY: Dana's not gonna let it happen, and neither will I.
NATALIE: I miss you.
JEREMY: Ok. Let's go back inside. (they go back to the conference room)
ISAAC: Jeremy, what the hell am I supposed to do?
JEREMY: You're Moses.
ISAAC: Ah, Moses.
DAN: Why don't we all take our seats? Anywhere. Right there's good. I was hoping, if no one minded, I was hoping on saying a few words before we started. I know I've spoken to you all individually, but it's worth saying out loud on this occasion that my behaviour last week, both on and off the air, was regrettable. I appreciate those who have forgiven me, and I understand those that haven't yet. I just say that these are fractious times: professionally, personally, socially. I suspect in the next few days, we're gonna hear that our Olympic budget has been cut back dramatically and that there might be other cutbacks that could be far worse. It seems to me that more and more we've come to expect less and less from each other, and I'd like to be the first to start bucking that trend. We need each other badly. Badly. I need you all badly.
Casey stands outside the conference room, knocks on the window, and motions for Dan to join him in the hall. Dan leaves the conference room.
CASEY: How's it going in there?
DAN: I'm bombing.
DAN: I'm trying to tell them how I feel, but I'm not--
CASEY: Well, you're good at that.
DAN: You're better.
CASEY: Anyway, I saw this guy... at my video store, and I started thinking.
CASEY: That I wouldn't trade the last 10 years working with you for anything. Not for anything, Danny, I swear to God. (Casey spreads his arms and the two embrace.)
DAN: You see, you do it good.
CASEY: You do it good.
DAN: All right, come on. The gefilte fish is getting cold.
CASEY: Isn't it supposed to be cold?
DAN: Unh, unh. You coming?
CASEY: You know, we've got a lot of repair work to do.
DAN: You know where we start?
DAN: We get our show back. (they head back into the conference room)
DANA: "And God heard their cry and said unto Pharaoh, slavery is unholy and will not stand. You will end it now."
NATALIE: "But Pharaoh ignored the will of God. God allowed his voice to grow."
DANA: "Let me be perfectly understood. Every man, woman, and child is my creation, born of this Earth with an absolute right to live free within my laws as their will so commands them. You will let my people go, and you will do it now."
ISAAC: "And once again, Pharaoh ignored the will of God."
ISAAC: "And that was a mistake."
ISAAC: "For God then looked down at his lineup card, pointed to a kid on the bench, and said 'Moses, you're up!'"
ISAAC: "About damn time the cavalry showed up around here, wouldn't you say?" (more cheering) Jeremy, would you bless this wine and all these gifts in front of me?
JEREMY: rises and recites a blessing in Hebrew: "Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe who creates the fruit of the vine. Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe who has chosen us from among all people and exalted us above every tongue and sanctified us with his commandments."
original transcript from the_49th_floor