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Season 1: Episode 8: Thespis

Studio/Control Room:
Man: Studio A, this is Master Control. You're up on router 7. Have a good show.
Dana: Thank you.
Dave: Stand by audio, stand by VTR.
Natalie: Four minutes out. Janie, I need you standing by for a possible comeback after 5.
Chris: Andruw Jones is spelled with a U.
Will: And Cris Collinsworth doesn't have an H.
Chris: Doesn't have an H?
Will: Doesn't have an H.
Kim: Why doesn't it have an H?
Natalie: It never had an H.
Kim: It has an H at the end.
Chris: He's saying Cris doesn't have an H.
Elliot: Anybody know why there's a 20 pound frozen turkey up on the light grid?
Dan: Dana, Elliot wants to know why there's a 20 pound frozen turkey on the light grid.
Dana: It's 24 pounds.
Dan: I'll tell him, but he'll probably just want to know why there's a 24 pound frozen turkey on the light grid.
Elliot: Why is there a 24 pound frozen turkey on the light grid?
Dana: I'm thawing it out.
Elliot: You're thawing out a turkey on the light grid?
Dana: Anybody got a problem with that?
All: It's cool with me. I'm fine with it.
Natalie: It's like a week before Thanksgiving.
Dana: This is just a dry run.
Natalie: A dry run on the turkey?
Dana: My whole family's coming to New York. 18 people.
Natalie: And this is your first time making the dinner by yourself.
Dana: Yes.
Natalie: It's a rite of passage into adulthood.
Dana: Yes.
Kim: It's a time for giving thanks. A time to share in the warm embrace of family.
Dana: Right.
Natalie: You don't want to take any crap from your mother.
Dana: I really don't.
Natalie: You're doing the right thing.
Dana: I need to see how long it takes to thaw.
Dave: Three minutes in.

Dan: By the way, know what today is?
Casey: It's Monday.
Dan: What else?
Casey: It's November 23rd.
Dan: And what does that mean? Come on.
Casey: November 23rd.
Dan: What happened on this date?
Casey: Boston College upsets Notre Dame.
Dan: Wrong.
Casey: Gretzky's 500th goal.
Dan: Think.
Casey: Alberto Salazar wins his fourth New York Marathon.
Dan: No.
Casey: Alberto Salazar wins his third New York Marathon.
Dan: Casey, you're not...
Casey: Does it have anything to do with Alberto Salazar or the New York Marathon?
Dan: No.
Casey: Let me take one more stab at it.
Dan: Go.
Casey: Alberto Salazar wins his second New York Marathon.
Dan: Casey.
Casey: Well what? What is it?
Dan: Forget about it.
Casey: Come on!
Dan: Forget about it.
Casey: Come on.
Dan: Forget about it.
Casey: Come on.

Isaac: Kim, this is my daughter's number in San Fransisco. Would you keep trying her for me, please?
Kim: Sure.
Dana: Is there a problem with Kathy?
Isaac: There's no problem. She's due in 10 days. Esther flew out there this morning to be with her. She should've landed by now but I haven't heard from either of them.
Dave: 30 seconds to VTR.
Dana: Have a good show everybody. Isaac, Esther and Kathy are fine. You're going to be a grandfather in 10 days, so try not to make everybody crazy.
Isaac: Esther and I had a fight this morning before she left.
Dana: What about?
Isaac: Nothing. Kim! Keep calling.
Casey: Jeremy, November 23rd. Does that date ring a bell? And don't go to the computer.
Jeremy: Don't have to.
Casey: What is it?
Jeremy: It was on this day in 534 B.C. that Thespis stepped out onto the stage of the Theater Dionysis during a choral song and dance and became the first man to speak words as an actor in a play.
Casey: Tell me I was supposed to know that.
Dan: I don't wanna talk about it.
Dave: 60 seconds in, roll VTR.
Dana: Thespis?
Jeremy: The first actor. Now a mischievous ghost. He likes to wreak havoc on performances of any kind. I'd brace yourself for a strange show tonight.
Dana: It's not going to be a strange show.
Jeremy: He might wreak havoc.
Dana: He's not going to wreak havoc.
Jeremy: He might.
Dana: This show's locked up tight as a drum.
Jeremy: Thespis likes a challenge.
Dana: Thespis has been dead for 2,500 years.
Jeremy: You really think you should be baiting him like this?
Dana: I fear not ghosts, I fear them not.
Jeremy: Your courage is an inspiration.
Dana: You're just messing with me, right?
Jeremy: Sure.
Dana: Show's going to be fine tonight.
Jeremy: Yes.
Dana: Tight as a drum.
Jeremy: You betcha.
Dana: (trips and falls on her face) All right, why wasn't I briefed about this Thespis thing before?
Natalie: Dana...
Dana: Did you know about this Thespis thing?
Jeremy: It's bad to panic Dana. Thespis can smell fear a mile away.
Dana: All right. We just need to get through the top half-hour.
Natalie: That's right.
Dana: Anything that ever goes wrong with the show goes wrong during the top half hour.
Natalie: Nothing's going wrong.
Dana: Not if we can get through the top half hour.
Jeremy: Mortals.
Dana: Jeremy!
Jeremy: Thespis likes to play the full 60 minutes.
Casey: Give me one more hint.
Dan: Forget about it.
Casey: Danny!
Dan: It's not important.
Dave: In 3, 2...
Dan: Good evening. From New York City, I'm Dan Rydell alongside Casey McCall. Those stories plus, we're gonna take a swing through the NFL, where there were more than a few upsets yesterday.
Casey: We'll take you out to Pauley Pavilion for a Pac-10 match up you won't believe and we'll take you out to Watkin's Glen for a NASCAR rules explanation we can't understand. All that coming up after this. You're watching Sports Night on CSC, so stick around.
Dave: We're out.
Natalie: We're in commercial.
Dana: Two minutes back.
Natalie: 28 minutes to go.

*c-break*

Dan: The MLS. Major League Soccer. And if you know me, you know I eat, drink and breathe soccer. So without delay, the Miami Fusion. The D.C. United. Let's go to the action.
Dave: Stand by 22.
Dana: Give me a preview on FX7, V.O. 9 and show me the board.
Isaac: He doesn't know the route.
Will: Here's 7.
Chris: Here's 9.
Dana: Show me the board.
Dave: Board's up.
Isaac: I asked him to rehearse the route but he wouldn't listen.
Dana: You're babbling Isaac.
Isaac: He hasn't rehearsed the route.
Dana: Who?
Isaac: Douglas, my son-in-law. How are you going to find the hospital if you haven't rehearsed the route?
Dana: Isn't Douglas a radar officer in the navy?
Isaac: Yes, and if we were scrambling F-16s, I'd trust him to find the flight deck of the U.S.S. Coral Sea, but you can't find Berkeley General unless you rehearse the route. You think that's crazy?
Elliot: No crazier than thawing out a turkey on the light grid.
Isaac: What are you doing on the light grid?
Dana: It's nothing.
Kim: Isaac? It's your wife.
Isaac: Finally.
Dana: You see?
Dave: Stand by FX7, V.O. 12.
Dan: With the NHL season well underway, one of the big questions on the minds of fans is whether the defending champion Red Wings will pull off a 3-peat, and drink from Lord Stanley's cup once again.
Dave: Ready five.
Dan: For more on that, we go to Tracy Heller who is standing outside the Detroit Red Wings rocker room. Red Wings rocker room.
Dana: Oh man.
Dan: (laughs) Or perhaps the Detroit Red Wings. Locker room.
Dave: Take five.
Natalie: Two and half minutes back.
Dana: Thespis?
Jeremy: It's his special day.

Casey: Let me take one more shot at it. Is it, um...
Dan: Our anniversary.
Casey: Our anniversary?
Dan: Our anniversary. Tonight is our anniversary.
Casey: Geez Dan, that night in Minneapolis with the Jagermeister, we didn't do anything untoward did we?
Dan: You mean did we get married?
Casey: Yeah.
Dan: No.
Casey: Good.
Dan: We recited the St. Crispin's Day speech in the lobby of the St. Paul Radisson.
Casey: Was it untoward?
Dan: No, it was just embarrassing.
Casey: So uh, how is it our anniversary.
Dan: It's the anniversary of our first show. November 23rd, five years ago.
Casey: No, we went on the air two years last July.
Dan: I'm not talking about Sports Night. I'm talking about our first broadcast.
Casey: Lone Star.
Dan: Lone Star sports.
Casey: November 23rd.
Dan: That's right.
Casey: What do you want from me?
Dan: Nothing, Casey. I'm just going to sit over here and do my show.
Casey: Impersonating my ex-wife never won anyone a place in my heart.
Dan: It's an important day to me.
Casey: It's an important day to me, too.
Dan: (laughs) I don't think it is.
Casey: How can I prove it to you?
Dan: Remembering it would be a step in the right direction.
Chris: One minute back.

Natalie: So Thespis is the Roman god of theater?
Jeremy: That's exactly right. Except he's not Roman and he's not a god.
Natalie: What is he?
Jeremy: He's Greek, and he's a ghost.
Dana: Who's Artemis?
Jeremy: Artemis?
Dana: Yes.
Jeremy: Artemis is goddess of the moon, the hunt, chastity and fertility. (Everyone ooo's and ahh's)
Dana: Your boy knows his mythology.
Natalie: Give him another one.
Kim: Athena.
Dave: Thirty seconds.
Jeremy: Goddess of wisdom, the arts and war.
Casey: Mercury.
Jeremy: God of commerce, wrestling, gymnastics, thieving, good luck, sleep, wealth and dreams.
Casey: Wow.
Natalie: There's a god of thieving?
Casey: There's a god of gymnastics?
Jeremy: Yes indeed.
Will: 10 seconds back.
Dave: Ready four.

Dan: I remember what you were wearing. Do you remember what I was wearing?
Casey: I remember not thinking at the time that you were a woman.
Dave: In 3... 2...
Dan: Thanks Tracy. You can see the Red Wings take on the Maple Leafs tomorrow night at 7:30 right here on CSC as Bob Lowry and Steve Capps bring you all the action from Toronto. Casey?
Casey: The PGA Tour was in Scotsdale yesterday for the final round of the Kingsbridge open. (Isaac enters control room)
Dana: You and Esther make up?
Isaac: Kim, get me on the next flight to San Fransisco.
Kim: What do you need me...?
Isaac: Do it now, Kim. (exits)
Dana: Uh, take over. (hands clipboard to Natalie) Natalie's got the wheel everybody. (exits)
Natalie: Put up 20, 21 and 22 on a preview screen. Casey, heads up. I need you to stretch a 20 blind roll into a 30.
Jeremy: You all right?
Natalie: Yeah.

Isaac's Office
Isaac: I'm gonna fly out tonight honey. I'll meet Mom and your sister at the hospital. I'll have Carmen spend the night. Honey, don't argue with me. I'll call you back in a few minutes. I'll call you back. (hangs up. Sees Dana) Get back to the control room.
Dana: What's going on?
Isaac: Dana, get back to the damn control room.
Dana: Natalie's fine for a couple of minutes.
Isaac: She's having an emergency c-section. They're doing it right now.
Dana: What happened?
Isaac: She was cleaning the kitchen when Esther got there. Esther said she doubled over in pain and started screaming. The O.B. said there was a massive internal bleeding. She was unconscious when she got to the ER. Is Kim working on the tickets?
Dana: Yes, yes. Why don't you sit down.
Isaac: She's nine months pregnant. What's she doing cleaning the kitchen?
Dana: She's hoping to make a good impression on her mother. But that's not why she's bleeding. Did they say anything to you about something called placenta previa?
Isaac: That's what it is.
Dana: It happened to my brother's wife, Shelly. Two weeks before she was due, massive hemmorhaging, rushed to the hospital.
Isaac: What happened?
Dana: Shelly was fine.
Isaac: What happened to the baby?
Dana: They lost the baby. But Shelly was fine.
Isaac: (sighs) You should get back to the show.
Dana: Yeah. I'll be back in a few minutes.
Isaac: Okay.
Dana: You all right?
Isaac: Yeah. (Dana exits)

Studio/Control Room
Casey: Miami of Ohio and Bowling Green aren't two teams that are usually in the national spotlight, unless you're talking about their...
Dana enters Control Room
Natalie: Thank God.
Dana: What happened?
Natalie: We blew the cue at 44.
Dana: Well, that's not so bad. Anything else?
Natalie: We had the wrong V.O. at 42, the wrong chyron at 50 and we would have had 20 seconds of dead air at 55, if Casey hadn't been thinking on his feet.
Dana: What did he do?
Natalie: I think it was the St. Crispin's Day speech, I'm not sure.
Jeremy: She did fine.
Chris: There's water dripping on the desk.
Dana: What desk?
Chris: The anchor desk.
Dana: Natalie, get someone up there and find out what's going on. I was gone three minutes. Is there anything that didn't get screwed up?
Jeremy: We spell Cris Collinsworth right.
Dana: Good.
Dave: In 3... 2...
Casey: Thank you Matt. We're gonna take a break for 2 and a half minutes and pay some bills. (Dan is holding a paper cup on the desk to catch the dripping water) But when we come back, we're gonna have college hoops, bowl predictions and a steeple chase that got out of hand.
Dan: You're watching Sports Night on CSC, so don't go far.
Dave: We're out.
Natalie: Two and a half back.
Dan: Dana, what the hell's going on?
Dana: Listen to me, Isaac's having a family emergency. But there's nothing we can do about it from here. Everybody got that? Get your heads in the game, we are going to get through the top half hour! I'm not going to be beaten by a 6,000 year old Roman god.
Jeremy: He's a 3,000 year old Greek ghost.
Dana: Well I'm a 33 year old television producer, and for one hour of every night, this is my little corner of the world, and nothing screws up here unless I screw it up! (Looking up) You got that? (turns to the anchor desk)Why is there still water dripping on this desk? (A 24 pound turkey lands on the desk)
Dan: Say, Dana? This wouldn't happen to be your frozen turkey by any chance, now would it?
Dana: (picks up turkey and leaves) Well, clearly I'm going to be taking crap from my mother.
Dave: Two minutes back.

*c-break*

Dan: In the NCAA, there ain't no such thing as free lunches, much less free sky box tickets or free hotel rooms. That's why Southern University wideout Marcus Ryan will sit out two games. Ryan's suspension comes to a total of five games...
Dave: Ready S.O.T. Go 90.
Dan: Just answer me this.
Casey: What are you, the Riddler?
Dan: What was wrong with you that day?
Casey: There was nothing wrong.
Dan: Why won't you tell me?
Casey: I was nervous. It was our first show.
Dan: You weren't nervous. There was something wrong.
Casey: Why are we still talking about this?
Dan: Was it because of what happened Conan O'Brien's show?
Casey: It had nothing to do with Conan's show. You've made way too much out of that. My name was mentioned (Dave begins counting them back while Casey continues) a couple of times, I was never seriously considered for the show. (to camera) In this week's police blotter, a judge has issued a court order for the arrest of former defensive end Mark Gastin for violating a court order. While in a Houston courtroom, Sacramento backup power forward Jason Grisham, was pleading 'no contest' to charges that he hit a fan over the head with fine cognac. For more psychotic behavior, here's Jack Jankowitz.
Dan: Yes you were.
Casey: Yes, I was what?
Dan: Being seriously considered for Conan's show.
Casey: No I was not.
Dan: Yes you were. And when you didn't get it you were stuck doing a little sports show with me in Dallas.
Casey: It was a good show, Danny.
Dan: It wasn't good enough for Lisa.
Casey: Yeah, what WAS good enough for Lisa?!?
Dan: What haven't you told me?
Casey: There's no mystery here.
Dan: Casey, I've known you for ten years. We've been working together for five of them. What haven't you told me?
Casey: Natalie, how much time do I have?
Natalie: Uh, another 15 seconds on this, then Dan's got 2 minutes, then a 2 minute c-break.
Casey: I'm gonna stretch my legs. (exits studio)
Dave: We're back in 3... 2...
Dan: We'll come back to Jack Jankowitz later on in our show. In women's college hoops...

Isaac's Office:
Dan: (on TV)...the Pac 10's been having a good season with four teams in the top 25. On Sunday, the Bruins went in the valley of the sun for a conference match-up against Arizona State. (Isaac mutes TV)
Casey: (entering office) Any news?
Isaac: No.
Casey: Want some company?
Isaac: No.
Casey: Tough. (sits)
Isaac: Did a big frozen turkey fall down on the anchor desk during the last commercial?
Casey: Yes.
Isaac: Why?
Casey: Oh Isaac, is there really an answer I can give to that question that will satisfy you?
Isaac: I don't think so.
Casey: Then don't worry about it.
Isaac: (laughs) Esther and I had an argument this morning before she left for the airport.
Casey: About what?
Isaac: She said I wasn't showing enough enthusiasm about the baby.
Casey: That's ridiculous.
Isaac: No, it's not. I guess I've been feeling my age. I was rude to my son-in-law, I said to my daughter Kathy that I was too young to be a grandfather. What the hell kinda thing is that to say to your daughter?
Casey: Huh.
Isaac: Anyway. I'm sorry we fought this morning.
Casey: In a funny way, Danny and I are having that same fight right now. Only he doesn't know that it's about a fight Lisa and I had five years ago.
Isaac: You've never told him, have you?
Casey: No.
Isaac: Why?
Casey: I don't know.
Isaac: You've got to learn to show people how you feel about them, Casey.
Casey: Why do I have to prove it to him?
Isaac: Because he feels like a consolation prize.
Casey: He's not.
Isaac: Tell him. So you say a few words, you make a gesture, remember an important date. Small price to pay for what you get in return. For what you get in return, it's a steal. The rest is all vanity. (stands and gets himself a drink. Casey turns and walks towards him.) What?
Casey: I was going to give you a hug.
Isaac: Oh, please don't.
Casey: As a gesture.
Isaac: Oh. Okay. (both laugh)
Casey: Call the studio when you get some news.

Control Room/Studio:
Dana: I've named this Thanksgiving. I'm calling it 'The Thanksgiving of Mom's Disapproval." Included on the 2-record set are the hit songs "Why aren't you married?" and "Sports isn't the place for an educated woman" and "Didn't anyone ever tell you how to cook a turkey?"
Jeremy: On the turkey front, she may have a reasonable point.
Dana: Tell me the mission of Thespis. What's his M.O.?
Jeremy: By and large the mission of any ghost is to offer humility. They point out what's important by mocking what's not.
Dana: I'm not sold. I'm not sold at all.
Dave: Stand by in 3... 2...
Casey: Welcome back...
Elliot: (hangs up phone) Dana, Broadcast Center says we should expect some trouble with our transmission in the next couple minutes.
Dana: What kind of trouble? (all the monitors cut to static) Well that was certainly uncalled for. (hits Jeremy) No, I mean it.
Jeremy: Why are you looking at me?
Dana: Elliot, get someone on the phone and find out what's going on and how long we can expect it to be going on for. What have I done to Thespis? What have I done to him? What have I done to this ghost, who, by the way, that no one has ever heard of, but you. What have I done that he should choose, like Jacob Marley, to spend the entire night in the studio just slapping us around?
Jeremy: You're not bothering Thespis.
Dana: I'm obviously bothering Thespis.
Jeremy: He's fine.
Elliot: It's a power grid upstate. They should have us back on in a couple of minutes.
Dana: I just wanted to make a nice Thanksgiving dinner.
Jeremy: Well, not exactly.
Dana: What do you mean, not exactly?
Jeremy: It's none of my business. (stands up)
Dana: (follows him) Well I'm making it your business.
Jeremy: You can't just make it my business.
Dana: Well, I just did.
Jeremy: You're underestimating your mother. You get to see your family, what, twice a year? Savor it. Your mother's gonna love you whether or not you screw up the turkey.
Dana: My mother's gonna annoy me whether or not I screw up the turkey.
Jeremy: Which leads us to the conclusion that your mother loves you, even though she annoys you, and it's Thanksgiving, so which do you wanna focus on?
Dana: (looks down, stomps foot) For a guy who's read The Hobbit 14 times, you're not so dumb.
Casey: (enters) Hi.
Dana: Hey Casey.
Casey: I was on television for awhile there and then I wasn't anymore.
Dana: That's got to be pretty disturbing for someone like you.
Casey: I think it'd be pretty disturbing for someone like you, too.
Dana: It's a television show, Casey. I'm not thinking about worldly things at the moment.
Casey: Okay. IS ANYONE?!?!
Natalie: A power grid's down. We'll be up in a few minutes. You should stay at your desk.
Casey: There's not going to be any more poultry falling down? (starts walking back to desk)
Natalie: Who can say?
Dana: Stay at your desk!
Dan: What's going on in there?
Casey: A power grid's down, we're supposed to stand by.
Dan: Thank you.
Casey: I was gonna buy some flowers on the way back from the control room, but...
Dan: I don't know if you noticed, but I dropped that like 15 minutes ago.
Casey: Good.
Dan: I just think that...
Casey: Danny... they offered me Conan's show.
Dan: They did?
Casey: Yeah.
Dan: They offered it to you?
Casey: There was an offer. They offered me the show.
Dan: And you passed?
Casey: Yeah.
Dan: You passed on your own network show?
Casey: Yeah
Dan: To work with me in Dallas?
Casey: It was clear we were going national.
Dan: No it wasn't.
Casey: Look, I passed on the show, what does it matter why?
Dan: If you passed on the show, Lisa must've gone thermal.
Casey: She wasn't happy.
Dan: Case? Was that the beginning of the end? With you and Lisa?
Casey: Yeah.
Dan: (pauses) Casey. Casey, Casey, Casey...
Casey: Look, I appreciate your fond wishes...
Dan: Are you stupid?
Casey: What happened to the fond wishes?
Dan: You turned down Late Nite?
Casey: I wouldn't have been any good on the show.
Dan: Yes, you would've.
Casey: No, I wouldn't have.
Dan: You would've been great.
Casey: Dan...
Dan: You would've been great.
Casey: I would've been embarrassing.
Dan: That is flat out not true. What did that woman do to your confidence? How many hits did you have to take to your ego?
Dana: Guys, this is a 60 second heads up. Apologize for technical difficulties and we'll start right back up with 101.
Dan: You would've been great. You would've been very good.
Casey: Thank you.
Dan: You're very good on THIS show.
Casey: Oh yeah, I know. But thanks for saying so. I appreciate the gesture. (They high 5)
Dana: (talking to crew) So we're gonna be three minutes long. (turns to see Isaac walking towards her) Tell me what happened.
Isaac: (holds up a cigar) I got a 6 pound 8 ounce grandson named Matthew and his mother's doing just fine.
Dana: That's the best news I've ever heard! (hugs Isaac)
Dave: We got the studio back.
Dana: Hey, guys! Isaac's a grandfather!
Casey: Hey, congratulations.
Dan: Mazel Tov.
Isaac: Healthy baby boy. Have a cigar. Say, quick question. How come we're not on the air?
Dana: We've have our share of technical problems tonight as well as paranormal interference, but we think once we get done with the top half hour, we should be out of the mythical penalty box. If you will.
Isaac: Anybody know what the hell she's talking about?
Dave: 30 seconds back, we're back in 30.
Chris: Stand by FX 22. (Isaac hands out cigars to all the men, because apparently only men are allowed to celebrate)
Will: Stand by S.O.T. V.O. 19, 20 and 21.
Dana: Make sure Janie's there for the flat five.
Elliot: Listen to this phone call I just got. Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford were accepting a humanitarian award over at the Sheraton. Kathie Lee got up to the podium, slipped and fell face first into a plate of tapioca.
Dana: At the Sheraton?
Elliot: Yeah.
Dana: All the way across town?
Elliot: Yeah.
Dana: Ah! Ladies and gentlemen! Thespis has left the building. (everyone cheers)
Casey: Good evening, again. Still here from New York City, I'm Casey McCall alongside Dan Rydell and you can't get rid of us quite that easily. Let's get right to it with a preview of tomorrow's big A.C.C. contest between the Blue Devils of Duke and the Tar Heels of North Carolina. For more on that, I give you my partner, Dan Rydell.
Dan: Thanks Casey.

*credits*

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Tags: conan obrien, matthew, season 1, thespis, turkey in the light grid
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