Isaac: That's great news, Bill. Sensational. We'll treat him very well. I say, we'll treat your client very well, Bill. Take care. (hangs up phone) Heh, heh, heh, HEH!
Dana: We got him?
Isaac: How much do you love me?
Dana: We got him?
Isaac: I'm asking you right now, this very moment, how much do you love me?
Isaac: (mouths words) We! Got! Him!
Dana: We got him?!?
Isaac: We got him!
Dana: We got him?
Isaac: We got him! We got him! Christian Patrick, right here in our studio!
Dana: It's not remote?
Isaac: In our studio! Tomorrow night at 11!
Dana: I am so hot for you right now.
Isaac: You know who ESPN's got?
Isaac: I don't either. But it's not Christian Patrick.
Dana: We gotta promote the hell out of this Isaac!
Isaac: I know.
Dana: I mean, you gotta get on the phone with promotions right now.
Isaac: I will.
Dana: Get 'em out of bed. It's moving day.
Isaac: It's a big day.
Dana: I mean, this is a coup, Isaac. It's gotta be promoted.
Isaac: What, do I look like I just sailed in from Minskapinsk?
Dana: No, you don't. But you've got to stop using Yiddish expressions.
Isaac: They work for me!
Dana: Not as much as you think. (exits)
Dan: I'm thinking seriously about doing it.
Kim: I wouldn't.
Dan: I'm thinking seriously about it. What do you think?
Elliot: I wouldn't.
Dave: It's not a good idea.
Will: I wouldn't do it.
Dan: I want this now. This is important to me. I'm an adult, and I want to grow a goatee.
Dana: (enters) Danny.
Dana: How much do you love me?
Dan: I want to grow a goatee.
Dana: Very, very bad idea. How much do you love me?
Dan: I think it would look good.
Dana: I think you'd look like Colonel Sanders. How much do you love me?
Dan: A little less since the Colonel Sanders thing.
Dana: We got Christian Patrick.
Dana: Tomorrow night.
Dan: Remote from the locker room.
Dana: In the studio, my clean shaven friend. In the studio. 5 minutes!
Dan: Oh, we gotta promote the hell out of this.
Dana: What, do I look like I just sailed in from Minskapinsk?
Dan: I really couldn't say, but I still think we should promote this interview. (walks towards office)
Dan: Good job.
Dana: (turns towards control room) Natalie!
Natalie: Yes ma'am.
Dana: How much do you love me, right now, this very second?
Natalie: What did I do?
Dana: Nothing. I'm asking how much, this very second - you know what? Never mind. Tomorrow night, you are going to go out to the Meadowlands to do a pre-interview.
Natalie: Since when do we do pre-interviews?
Dana: Since we booked Chris Patrick.
Natalie: You're kidding!
Dana: Tomorrow night we are going to win our time slot in 14 major markets for the first time since we went on the air. Does this strike you as something I'm inclined to joke about?
Natalie: But you're not generally inclined to joke about much of anything at all.
Dana: Yes, but if I were, this wouldn't be it.
Dana: Now, what does that mean?
Natalie: What does what mean?
Dana: Are you saying I don't have a sense of humor?
Natalie: Dana, I...
Dana: Never mind. You'll interview him right after the game tomorrow, then hustle on back. I need you here 90 minutes before showtime.
Natalie: You sure you don't want Jeremy?
Dana: I want you.
Natalie: Jeremy knows the NFL.
Dana: So do you!
Natalie: Not like Jeremy.
Dana: You'll do fine. Show me a list of the questions and don't play softball. This man is a convicted felon, and he's talking to us and nobody else, so let's make it count, you got it?
Dana: This show's lived in third place long enough, Natalie. It's moving day!
Natalie: Dana, you are wired!
Dana: Yes I am. Plus, I have a terrific sense of humor, I know lots and lots of jokes.
Natalie: People say that about you.
Dana: Good. Go. (Natalie exits) SportsCenter, Fox Sports News and here comes Sports Night, led by Dana Whitaker in the number-3 car. I'm talking to myself and that can't be a good sign.
Dan: A lot of great and distinguished men have worn goatees.
Casey: I'll give you $100 if you don't start naming them for me.
Dan: King Tut.
Casey: Thank you.
Dan: Sigmund Freud.
Dana: Dan, Casey. (all 3 enter Dan and Casey's office)
Dan: Galileo is another.
Dana: I've just been on a conference call with Patrick's agent and his lawyer.
Casey: Ah, and here come the guidelines.
Dana: 5 minutes and 30 seconds total. Casey will ask a question with a follow up. Then Dan. And so on.
Casey: Mary Pat Shelby?
Dana: Off limits.
Casey: How off limits?
Dana: Completely off limits.
Casey: Totally off limits?
Dana: Entirely off limits. No questions about Mary Pat Shelby.
Dana: We're just gonna talk about football.
Casey: How about something like this: 'Chris, what were thinking when you punched your girlfriend in the face and threw her down a flight of stairs? I'm sorry, I meant how the heck did you catch that pass against the Raiders?'
Dana: No. That would be a bad thing to do.
Casey: And you make this agreement 2 hours before the show.
Dana: It was the only time!
Casey: You are getting played like a fiddle and I'm serious.
Dana: I am not getting played. I got beat.
Casey: Damn right you got beat.
Dana: I know. I got beat.
Casey: You promote the thing non-stop, all day, all night, then they get you to agree to this nonsense at the 11th hour because they know there's no chance you'll pull it. You got beat like a drum!
Dana: Something was better than nothing and we needed this.
Casey: Yeah, and Patrick's people need to show their guy can still sell sneakers and soda. And when the whole thing's over, we hop in the shower and they leave the money on the night table. Plus, we get to show Mary Pat Shelby that unless she can catch 80 passes in a season, the world could honestly give a damn about her concussion and broken jaw.
Dana: I don't think I need a civics lesson from you, Casey.
Casey: Well, I think you need one from somebody, Dana, 'cuz you're doing a big thing badly.
Dana: I'm aware of the moral questions posed by this, but I'm also aware that this is a third place show that doesn't deserve to be. But I can't educate viewers to that fact, unless they're watching us in the first place. So. Your podantic scolding aside, I'll do anything short of a wet-tshirt contest to make that happen. And these days? The wet tshirt contest isn't looking so bad to me. You see what I'm saying?
Casey: I wasn't really listening. I was handicapping the odds of something falling on your head while you were talking.
Dana: These are the guidelines. (exits)
Casey: (to Dan) Hey, do you want to get involved in this?
Dan: I so don't.
Dana: Thank you!
Casey: Didn't you use to care about these things?
Casey: And it wasn't that long ago that you did.
Casey: I mean, it was like, yesterday.
Casey: Now, when I say 'yesterday' I'm not speaking metaphorically, I mean it was YESTERDAY. What happened to your values?
Dan: I find that maintaining them is a lot of work. I take a day off every now and then.
Casey: You take a vacation from doing the right thing?
Dan: Yeah. I don't loot store fronts or anything, but once in awhile when I consider the effort it takes to diligently adhere to a moral compass, I take myself out of the lineup and I rest for the next game.
Casey: I swear, you could run for congress and win.
Dan: Not with a goatee.
Casey: Yeah, that's true.
(Natalie enters empty room, having just returned from her interview. Jeremy enters while she is taking off her jacket)
Natalie: Oh, hey.
Jeremy: How'd it go?
Natalie: I didn't know anyone was using the room.
Jeremy: I'm pretty much done. I was just gonna put the voiceover on the N.C. State/Clemson package. Do you want to see it?
Natalie: No, let's do it later, okay? I need to get the pre-interview notes together for Dana. (holds right wrist with her left hand)
Jeremy: What happened to your wrist?
Jeremy: What happened to your wrist?
Natalie: Oh god, yeah. I jammed it in a thing.
Jeremy: Is it all right?
Natalie: Yeah. I got it jammed in a door by accident in the van. It was my own, I closed it, and I wasn't thinking...
Jeremy: It looks pretty sore.
Natalie: Yeah. No. It's fine.
Jeremy: I once got an Indian burn that looked like that. My sister Louise tied me to a tree.
Natalie: Why did your sister Louise tie you to a tree?
Jeremy: That's a perfectly fair question but I honestly couldn't tell you.
Natalie: I'm gonna find another room.
Jeremy: I should call and ask her.
Natalie: Yeah. (both exit)
Dana: All right. First of all... a priest, a minister and a rabbi walk into a bar...
Casey: What are you doing?
Dana: I'm telling a joke. A priest, a minister and a rabbi walk into a bar...
Casey: Don't do it.
Casey: It will end badly for you.
Dana: I can tell a joke.
Casey: No, you can't.
Dana: You've seen me tell a joke.
Casey: You telegraph your jokes.
Dana: I don't telegraph my jokes.
Casey: You do it with a Satanic grin.
Dan: Ooh, Satan's another one.
Casey: Another what?
Jeremy: That's right.
Dan: You see?
Jeremy: Plus he can tell a joke.
Dana: Who thinks Danny should grow a goatee? (everyone voices their discontent) There it is. 20 through 30, do we have the film on the Rangers and the Red Wings?
Dana: Are you just going to keep naming people with goatees?
Dan: As they come to me.
Chris: It actually presents a lighting problem.
Dan: A lighting problem?
Dana: People, we need to focus for a minute.
Dave: Yes, the goatee.
Dan: A lighting problem.
Will: It would be a bit of a lighting problem.
Dan: I have a hard time believing that my growing a goatee is going to cause any kind of a lighting problem, okay guys, all right?
Casey: Hey, these guys still haven't figured out how to light your nose.
Dan: (throws tissue in the air) Can I get a flag on that play, please?
Dana: 20 through 30, 40 we got to Pebble Beach...
Isaac: (enters) Excuse me, Dana. I'm sorry but I have to get some people on the phones.
Dana: What's going on?
Isaac: I'm not sure yet, but there's a story coming out of the Meadowlands. A maintenence worker, a custodian, somebody witnessed Christian Patrick, in an otherwise empty locker room, exposing himself to a woman.
Dan: What does the woman say?
Isaac: We don't know who the woman is. But if she was in there, it's likely she's press.
Dana: He exposed himself?
Isaac: The thing is, he may have done more than that. The witness said he saw Christian grab the woman's arm, and there was some kind of struggle.
Jeremy: Her arm?
Jeremy: Wait, he grabbed her arm?
Isaac: We're getting a lot of...
Jeremy: Could it have been her wrist?
Isaac: Yes, but...
Jeremy: Son of a bitch. (exits)
Isaac: What's with him? (slight pause)
Casey: It was Natalie. (everyone starts getting up)
Dana: Everybody else, work the phones.
Natalie: I'm fine.
Dana: Is it just your wrist?
Natalie: I'm fine.
Dana: He didn't hurt you anyplace else?
Natalie: He didn't hurt me.
Dan: (enters with ice pack) Put this on.
Jeremy: Put it on top like this. Don't put it underneath.
Natalie: It's not swollen.
Jeremy: It will be.
Dana: Put the ice on, Natalie.
Isaac: Natalie. He's going to be here soon. We'll have a car come, pick you up, take you home.
Natalie: Why do I have to go home?
Isaac: It's going to be uncomfortable for you when he gets here.
Natalie: Am I being fired?
Dana: Don't be ridiculous, he's saying...
Natalie: Then I'd like to stay. I'm the senior associate producer and I've got a show in 38 minutes. I'd like to be able to do my job.
Isaac: (sighs) Of course you can stay. Why doen't we all get back to work. (everyone but Natalie and Jeremy leave)
Isaac: Marsha, you better get me someone from legal and you better call JJ at the network.
Kim: Isaac. Christian Patrick's in the lobby with Bill Evans and David Burke.
Isaac: Put Patrick in the greenroom and have Evans and Burke sent to my office.
Dana: Natalie's in the edit bay, bring Patrick around the back. (runs to catch up with Dan and Casey) This is a whole new ballgame.
Casey: It is?
Casey: It's a whole new ballgame? Because we only agreed not to discuss Mary Pat Shelby, but we never agreed not to discuss any further acts of violence? Is that why it's a whole new ballgame? (all 3 have now entered Dan and Casey's office)
Dana: Listen! You pompous jackass, I am closer to Natalie than anybody in this world and I'm also a woman, so don't imply that I'm somehow insensitive to what's happened here. But. There happens to be an exclusive story sitting in the greenroom that's gonna be wildfire whether we light the match or not. It happened. It's news. I can't decide not to pursue it, just 'cuz it happened to us! Not only that, I think Natalie deserves to have her story told. (turns to leave)
Dan: Don't use the last part.
Dan: You had me 'til the last part.
Dana: What do you...
Dan: Of course, it's a legitimate news story and it would be embarrassing if we weren't the ones to break it. But Natalie didn't seem all that anxious to me to have her story told. And speaking as a friend, I think it's wrong of you to use that.
Dana: I am not rationalizing, Danny. I am saying what I believe.
Dan: That's fine, but in a minute you're going to have to float that argument by Isaac, and I'm just saying, you had me 'til the last part.
Dana: You're right. Natalie doesn't want the story to get out any way. You know what? It's a whole new ballgame. (exits)
Casey: I thought you were taking a break from moral accountability.
Dan: I threw in one for nothing.
Burke: We are not going to let Chris Patrick walk into an impromptu interrogation.
Dana: If it doesn't happen tonight, then it will happen tomorrow morning.
Evans: We don't know what happened. We don't know if anything...
Dana: We know that Natalie has a mark on her wrist the size of a charm bracelet and we know that we have a live interview with your client.
Evans: Talk to us.
Dana: Despite a mountain of fairly immutable evidence, I am prepared to believe that what happened to Natalie didn't happen to Natalie. And I'm confident I can persuade Natalie to see it the same way.
Burke: What's the catch?
Dana: Mary Pat Shelby.
Burke: What do we get? What do you get?
Dana: Natalie will deny reports that she was sexually assulted in an empty locker room, and I'm including league security as well as press inquiries. In exchange, I get an interview with Patrick in which Mary Pat Shelby is fair game. You do what I'm telling you and your client stays off 'America's Most Wanted.'
Burke: And you get your ratings.
Dana: Yes I do.
Evans: (to Isaac) We'll talk to Chris.
Isaac: Do it now.
(Dana open the door as both men leave. Isaac looks at Dana without saying anything, and then exits)
(Natalie is working on a Chris Patrick segment. She sees Jeremy talking to Elliot outside the room. Jeremy enters)
Natalie: What was that about?
Jeremy: It's not important.
Natalie: I can't be shielded like this, Jeremy. I need to know what's going on around here.
Jeremy: Dana cut a deal with Chris Patrick's people. There aren't going to be any questions about what happened.
Natalie: And we get Mary Pat Shelby?
Natalie: Dana knows what she's doing.
Jeremy: Yes, she does.
Jeremy: Are you happy with that?
Natalie: She did the smart thing.
Jeremy: Forget about the show.
Jeremy: She thinks it's what you want. You can go to her right now, Natalie. It wouldn't be as bad as you think.
Natalie: Yes it would.
Natalie: Yes, it would! Private conversations in the corridor? Secret meetings in Isaac's office? 'We'll have a car take you home?' I'm already out of the loop.
Jeremy: It's just tonight.
Natalie: No, it isn't. This is a soundproof room and I can still hear the phones ringing out there. They're on the scent, and they're all calling to talk to me. I have a journalism degree from Northwestern. I started out as a summer intern. I worked my way up to Senior Associate. Tomorrow I'd be a cocktail party joke. So it'd actually be every bit as bad as I think.
Natalie: If you don't mind I really have this work to do.
Jeremy: (goes to the door) Isn't there anything I can do for you?
Chris Patrick walks through the set, passes Jeremy
Chris: Hey, I'm looking for the men's room.
Jeremy: Down the hall to your right.
Chris: Thanks. (extends hand) Chris Patrick.
Jeremy: (slaps hand away) Get your hand out of my face. (Chris smiles and turns his face away) Did I say something funny?
Chris: I'm 6' 4", 230 pounds, bench press 3 bills, run a 4.4 40. (inhales sharply) What, you wanna dance with me, junior?
Jeremy: You touch her again, I'm gonna have you killed. Do you understand what I'm saying? I'm gonna pay someone $50 to have you killed.
Chris: Well, let me tell you something, Skippy. By the look in her eyes when she got a load of me? Seemed pretty impressed. (walks away)
(Dana is sitting in front of Isaac's desk with her feet up. The door opens)
Casey: What are you doing?
Dana: There's just, uh.... nothing.
Casey: The intend-to-view tracking puts us in 4.2 million homes. It's a landslide.
Casey: You're about to take us into the big time, Dana. You deserve credit for that.
Dana: (turns to face Casey) I sent her there on purpose. I sent her there instead of Jeremy because I knew how Patrick felt about women in the locker room and I thought that I could... provoke... a more... a better response to the questions. I sent her there on purpose. (turns away)
Casey: I know.
Dana: Does she? Does Natalie know?
Casey: Of course she knows. She learned from you.
Dana: Does she know that I sold her?
Casey: Dana, Natalie wouldn't complain if her hair were on fire. She wants what's best for the show. And she knows what I know.
Dana: What's that?
Casey: That you tend to do the right thing.
Dana: Oh. (reaches for Casey's hand, presses her forehead to it. Casey exits)
Dan: How's your wrist?
Natalie: It's fine. My wrist is fine. My wrist is fine. I know it's hard to think of things to say to me right now, but if people would stop asking me about my wrist, I'd really appreciate it. My wrist is fine.
Dan: Cool. (turns to leave)
Natalie: What were you gonna say?
Natalie: You came in here to say something.
Dan: I came in to ask about your wrist.
Natalie: No you didn't.
Dan: It's what everybody's doing.
Natalie: You're not everybody.
Dan: I can work on that.
Natalie: (sighs) You came in to say I shouldn't keep quiet.
Dan: No. Actually, you caught me on my day off.
Natalie: You're not gonna tell me to be strong?
Dan: Hasn't been my experience that you need to be told that.
Natalie: We all remember a Boston Globe reporter who was strong, Danny. There isn't a female sports journalist that didn't learn their lesson from it.
Dan: I would imagine.
Natalie: She had death threats. The FBI had to open her mail. Every loser who knew how to dial a phone was calling talk radio, saying 'she was a bitch who shouldn't have been there in the first place.' And when it was all said and done, she had to pack up her life and move to the other side of the planet.
Dan: Nat, I have absolutely no problem with you going along with Dana and taking a pass.
Dan: The only reason I came in here, was to tell you this: no matter what you decide? You've got friends. And this is what friends gear up for.
Dana: (leaving Isaac's office) This is insane. (runs into a man carrying video tapes and knocks him over) Oh, jesus, I'm sorry! I'm so sorry. I'm... I'll help you later! (runs into News Room) Kim!
Kim: Right here.
Dana: Um, I need you to cut a new intro, blow off 30 and um... give it to me in two minutes. Hey, I need all hands! Now! Uh, Elliot!
Elliot: What do you need?
Dana: I need graphics in the control room. Uh... Jeremy! (enters backstage) I need you to create 5 minutes. Can you do that?
Jeremy: Are we?
Dana: Thank you. (walks around the studio until she finally finds Isaac) Isaac.
Dana: We did a big thing badly.
Isaac: I know.
Dana: Can I try and fix it?
Dana: Excuse me everybody! Can I have your attention please? This interview's off.
Patrick's people: What?
Everyone else: Yes!
Dana: I want to thank you for coming down. But we're going to do a show now and I need you to clear the studio.
Casey: Let's go. Move it.
Burke: You can't do this Isaac.
Isaac: It's done.
Burke: You're all going to be the laughingstock of broadcast news.
Casey: We're pretty much used to that by now.
Dave: 3 minutes to air.
Dan: Folks, I'm pretty sure I heard my boss ask you all to leave the building.
Burke: This a third place show on a fourth place network.
Dan: Yeah, but all of that's gonna change, once I grow a goatee.
Casey: He's just crazy enough to do it, too.
Burke: (to Chris) Get your things. (Chris exits)
Dana: We've got 2 minutes! Have a good show.
(Chris walks down a set of stairs, carrying his bag. He turns a corner and Natalie tosses him a football)
Natalie: How you doin'?
Chris: (motions towards studio) Jeez.
Natalie: (chuckles) Yeah.
Chris: A lot of fuss about nothing, ya know?
Natalie: I'll say.
Chris: I mean... maybe I came on to you a little bit. No big deal, right?
Natalie: Do you remember how much you wanted to play professional football when you were a kid?
Natalie: That's how much I wanted to be a sports reporter. I was just there doing my job. But tomorrow, the sky's gonna fall down on both of us. 'Cause as soon as my show comes down at midnight, I'm going over to the 23rd precinct and I'm swearing out a warrant for your arrest. (walks a few steps past him, turns around) Chris.
Natalie: Right now, this second? How much do you love me?(exits, and so does Chris but not before showing us all how manly he is by spiking the football.)
Natalie walks up to Dana, who is watching the show on a monitor.
Dana: I'm sorry. (they hug)
Dan: Good evening, from New York City, I'm Dan Rydell alongside Casey McCall.
Dana: I'm so sorry.
Natalie: It's okay.
Dana: What can I do?
Natalie: Tell me a joke, Dana.
Casey: All that coming up after this, you're watching Sports Night on CSC, so don't go away.