Will: (VO) Studio A, this is Master Control. You're up on router 9 tonight. Have a good show.
Dave: Stand by audio. Stand by VTR.
Elliot: Kim, I'm still looking for two back in the 'teens.
Kim: We're getting there.
Chris: Can I hear a role call from the field please?
Dana: This guy won't die.
Natalie: He won't.
Dana: He will not die.
Natalie: He just won't.
Dana: Can you believe this?
Natalie: The man won't die.
Jeremy: (VO) "Dear Louise, Here's what's going on right now. CSC is carrying the Continental Challenge live. Sampras is playing a first round match against a guy named Alberto Fedrigotti, who's ranked 178th in the world tennis standings and who Sampras should've easily finished off by now."
Elliot: I gotta be perfectly honest with you, I've never heard of this guy.
Jeremy: His name's Alberto Fedrigotti.
Kim: I've never seen him play.
JVO: "Sampras won the first two sets in a walk and was up four-love in the third. The crowd filed out to the parking lot a half-hour ago. The match was over. Except nobody told Alberto Fedrigotti."
Dana: This guy won't die.
Natalie: He really won't.
JVO: "He'd battled back and was up a break, and to Sampras's astonishment, was serving for the set. We were still assuming Sampras would break his serve and we'd be anle to get the show underway."
Dave: Two minutes to VTR.
Chris: Standby 2, 2A and 3.
Will: Preview animation, standby FX-3.
Dave: Dana, I'm at ready-1.
Dana: Hang on, we may have to wait a few minutes.
JVO: "Now the thing is, we're suppose to go on the air at eleven, and if Fedrigotti holds his serve and forces a new set, that means we've gotta hold for at least 45 minutes while Sampras makes this guy say 'uncle'. And nobody here likes to hold. In the studio, Dan and Casey were waiting for the cue, 60 seconds to VTR. Dan was doing what he's always doing when it's two minutes to air: he was annoying Casey."
Dan: I don't think you should be this way.
Casey: I'm bein' this way.
Dan: Yes, but I don't think you should be this way.
Casey: I am this way.
Casey: No. No seriously. We're doing a show.
Dan: This has something to do with the shirt. Does this have something to do with the shirt?
Casey: You're wired.
Dan: No I'm not.
Casey: You're wired.
Dan: I'm perfectly calm.
Casey: (grabbing Danny's microphone) You're wired. I don't want to talk about it.
JVO: "In the control room, Dana was resigned to going up three or four minutes late to allow Sampras to close out the match, but she just wasn't emotionally prepared for the thing to get thrown to a fourth set."
Dana: Can you believe this guy is doing this to me?
Jeremy: I don't think it's personal, Dana.
Dana: Oh it is personal, Jeremy.
Natalie: Don't worry, my Pete's gonna take care of him.
Jeremy: Your Pete?
Natalie: Pete Sampras has a little crush on me.
Jeremy: In Natalie World or the actual--
Natalie: In Natalie World.
Natalie: He sends me flowers a lot. One time he came over and cooked me dinner. He was wearing the most beautiful charcoal grey--
Jeremy: Hang on. (watching monitor. Everyone reacts to the game.)
JVO: "I didn't see the forehand passing shot that Fedrigotti made to force the new set. Neither did Sampras."
Elliot: This guy won't die.
Dan: Do you want to talk about it now?
Dan: I mean now that I'm not wired.
Dana: We gotta hold.
Dana: Just to bother you.
Casey: Why are we holding?
Dana: 'Cause some guy named Fettuccine Alfredo just... Jeremy, what's his name?
Jeremy: Alberto Fedrigotti.
Dana: --Alberto Fedrigotti just took Sampras to a fourth set.
Casey: Why would he do this to me?
Dana: He's not doing it to you personally, Casey. He's doing it to me personally.
Natalie: All right, Dave, I guess take us down from stand-by. Kim, Elliot, why don't you talk to the field. Let's stay on top of the late scores and don't anybody go too far.
Dana: (entering control room) Dave, you should take us down from stand by. Kim, Elliot, you should get on the phone with our people in the field and back them up about 45 minutes. Obviously we'll keep updating the late scores and please don't anybody go too far.
Natalie: We just did this.
Dana: Ah. (most everyone exits the control room, Dana goes to make a phone call.)
Dan: No, this is good. Cause now we can talk about it.
Natalie: Want to go get a doughnut?
Jeremy: I was gonna stay and write a letter to Louise.
Dana: (on the phone) Ah, hey Mildred, it's Dana. Is he there?
Natalie: Do you want to go someplace and make out?
Jeremy: That sounds good, but I really want to write this letter to my sister.
Dana: (on the phone) It's gonna be 20 minutes, half hour tops, I promise. Come by here at 12:30 and pick me up. We're gonna have a great time to tonight. Okay, I'll see you then. (goes into Control Room) Hi.
Dana: Uh, are Kim and Elliot...?
Dana. Good. Oh hey, did someone tell Isaac...?
Dana: Good. Excellent.
Dana: I have nothing to do.
Natalie: Do you want to go with me to get a doughnut?
Natalie: Do you wanna go someplace and make out?
Natalie: I'm gonna get a doughnut. (exits)
Dana: Okay. (to Jeremy) What're you doin'?
Jeremy: I'm writing a letter.
Dana: To your sister?
Jeremy: To my sister.
Dana: That's nice. Louise is a nice name.
Jeremy: She's named for our grandmother. (keeps typing while Dana talks)
Dana: My grandmother's name was Alice. On my mother's side. On my father's it was Penelope. Which is a name you don't hear much anymore. Penelope was...
Jeremy: You know what's hard? Writing here and talking there.
Dana: I have unscheduled time on my hands.
Jeremy: And I know how difficult that must be for you, but I want to write this letter.
Dana: Okay. (turns away slightly, then comes back quickly) Wanna play garbage can basketball?
Dana: A little garbage can basketball.
Dana: That's fine. (continues to watch Jeremy type)
JVO: "Anyway, Michael said when he saw you you were upset about the divorce and talking about leaving school. For the moment, I'm not going to lecture you. I know you're concerned about Mom and Dad, and we're on this hold right now, so my intention is simply to take your mind off things with some tales of Sports Night. I'm gonna have to get up for a second though, cause I know what's about to come from Dana."
Dana: Is it 'cause you're chicken?
JVO: "Be right back". (Jeremy gets up and holds the door for Dana as they exit)
JVO: "I'm back. I should tell you, in the interest of full disclosure, that Dana's a surprisingly good garbage can basketball player. I'm likely to have a random visitor or two while I write this, but for the most part everyone here has gone to some neutral corner for a little bit."
(Dan and Casey are at the catering table)
Casey: I'll tell you what the problem is here.
Dan: No provolone cheese?
Casey: No provolone.
Dan: You're saying you don't want to talk about it?
Casey: I'm saying I'd like, just once, for there to be provolone.
Dan: Is this one of those times when you say you don't want to talk about it but you really do?
Casey: No, but it's shapin' up into one of those times when I say I don't want to talk about it but we end up talking about it anyway.
JVO: "You'll be happy to know that Dan finally got a date with Rebecca. They've been out to dinner twice, but because of a kind of emotionally abusive marriage that Rebecca just got out of, she's been very cautious with Dan."
Dan & Casey's office
Rebecca: Hey, Casey. Hey, Dan.
Dan: Hey, look at this.
Dan: You're here.
Rebecca: I know.
Dan: We're actually in a hold. The tennis coverage is running over.
Rebecca: I know.
Dan: You look nice.
Dan: Am I in trouble?
Casey: I'll leave.
Rebecca: Casey, do you remember the reason why Dan came up to my office in the first place?
Casey: Please, oh please, don't drag me into this.
Rebecca: It was to tell me that he couldn't ask me out because he'd started seeing a woman named Elaine. Am I right, Casey?
Casey: You see I'm sittin' here with no provolone.
Rebecca: The when he became helplessly in love with me, as men are prone to do, he said he'd tell Elaine that they couldn't see each other anymore.
Rebecca: By the way, I took a couple of phone messages while I was sitting here.
Dan: Did my father call by any chance, cause...
Rebecca: Elaine called!
Dan: Oh hey. Look at this, Casey. Elaine called for you. (hands Casey the message)
Rebecca: You're pitiful.
Dan: Hey. There has not been the kind of time necessary--
Rebecca: You've got a little time on your hands right now. Doesn't he, Casey?
Casey: This is big time television. Guy puts out Swiss cheese. Nothin' else.
Dan: Here's the thing. I would do it right now. I would do it right this second. But I'm in a sort of pre-show mode. It's a very delicate energy and it can't be tampered with. All anyone here is thinking about is the broadcast.
Dana: (sticks her head in the office) Guys, a little garbage can basketball?
Rebecca: Dan's in pre-show mode.
Dana: (laughs) That's a good one. (exits)
Dan: See, the thing about the pre-show mode--
Rebecca: I'll see you after the show.
Dan: You bet. (shouts into News Room) Kim! (to Casey) Here's what's interesting about sports. None of that would've happened if tennis-boy had gotten beat when he was supposed to.
Dan: The next time I step out of the office and I ask you to catch my phone calls, could you do me a favor and, you know, do it?
Kim: Still can't get the green light from Rebecca?
Dan: Shut up.
Dana: Dave, you've got "H", Kim, you've got "H-O", Will, you've got "H-O-R-S", which is sad. I'm winning, which was inevitable. Natalie, your shot.
Natalie: From Elliot's desk, off the conference room glass, into the garbage can.
JVO: "Meanwhile the Sampras/Fedrigotti match is deep in the fourth set.
JVO: "I'm starting to see signs that we'll be going on the air soon. Everyone's assuming that Sapras'll finish off this guy in just a few minutes. But there's a look on Sampras's face now that you have to be around sports long enough to recognize. He's the greatest player in the world and he's been on the court with this guy way too long."
Elliot: (enters) What's going' on?
Jeremy: He just broke his serve.
Elliot: It's about time. I'll go tell everybody. (turns to leave)
Jeremy: Fedrigotti just broke Sampras' serve.
Dana: All right, from the plant, ricochet off Will's head.
Elliot: Guys? We got a ball game.
Elliot: He just broke Sampras' serve. It's 4-2 in the fourth.
Dana: Doesn't this guy understand that I'm in television? (walks to Control Room. Natalie follows)
JVO: This match, which was supposed to be a walk, was heading into its fourth hour. And that was a bad break for Dana cause tonight's the night that Dana's meeting Gordon's friends."
Dana: (enters Control Room) He broke the serve?
Jeremy: Yeah. (Dana thinks for a few seconds and then goes to the phone)
JVO: "Dana and Gordon have been on thin ice lately, due mostly to Gordon's feeling that Dana's more involved with the show than with him and that Dana's not making an effort. She knew that cancelling their date tonight would infuriate Gordon. She tried catching him at the office before he left to come over, but he'd already left to come over."
Dana: Well. We've got ourselves a ballgame.
Dana: I really don't believe it.
Kim: He just absolutely will not die.
Natalie: Elliot, call the field. Back 'em up another 45 minutes.
Dana: This man is ruining my night.
Will: You're up fifty dollars.
Dana: I have plans tonight. I have plans tonight with people who aren't any of you. (walks into studio with Natalie)
Dave: He just won't die.
Natalie: He'll understand.
Natalie: He will.
Dana: I'm meeting his friends. They're at the restaurant. He's coming to pick me up. This is just the kind of thing that he was... (stops talking as someone walks by)
Natalie: There's another option.
Natalie: Give the show to Sally.
Natalie: It's after midnight.
Dana: No way.
Natalie: Dana if you want...
Dana: There's no way. (they continue discussing through voiceover)
JVO: "As if things weren't bad enough, Dana has the clock to contend with. It's almost midnight right now, and if the fifth set of the Sampras/Fedrigotti match goes long, it'll be past one. At some point, a decision will be made whether to go on with the late broadcast, or to hand off the show and let the 2 am pick up the scores and highlights, and handing off the show means Sally."
Natalie: You've done it before.
Dana: As a last resort, as a worst case scenario.
Dana: Mm hmm. A scenario that's so bad there's no other choice.
Natalie: A worst case scenario.
Natalie: How bad to you want Gordon not to break up with you?
Dana: I.. I don't...I don't think that should enter into it.
Natalie: You're right.
Dana: That it shouldn't enter into it?
Dana: I am.
Natalie: I know.
Dana: I'm confident I'm right. And you know what's happening tonight? The world in which I'm confident is running right smack into the world in which I'm not.
Natalie: I understand.
Dana: Like when you're parents come to school.
Natalie: I'm just wondering, and don't get mad.
Natalie: Would you care this much if Sally wasn't involved?
Dana: This isn't about Sally.
Dana: This isn't about Sally.
JVO: "Sally Sasser has Dana's job on the two a.m. show, which is called West Coast Update. And while West Coast Update may be considered the ugly step-sister around here, Sally Sasser is considered anything but. And it hasn't escaped Dana's notice that Sally's
looks haven't escaped Casey's."
Dana: And everything was fine until your Pete started playing like two pounds of stuffed cabbage.
Natalie: Do not blame this on Pete.
Dana: How has he not put that guy away yet?
Natalie: He's lulling him into a false sense of security.
Dana: I'm not handing the show to Sally so I can meet Gordon's friends. This is where I like to be. This is what I want to do. This is what I care about. This! (turns around to look at the news room and sees Gordon) And my honey-dew!
Gordon: What's goin' on?
Dana: Fedrigotti won the fourth set.
Dana: We're still in a hold.
Gordon: The show hasn't started yet?
Dana: If the show had started, Gordon, I'd be in the control room.
Gordon: They're gonna be sitting at the restaurant.
Dana: Honey, I'm really really sorry, but there's nothing I can do.
Gordon: Natalie can't do the show?
Natalie: I didn't prep it.
Dana: She didn't prep it.
Gordon: But, I mean, at this point, isn't it just calling out numbers from a script?
Natalie: You produce a lot of live television shows at the district attorney's office?
Gordon: U.S. Attorney's office. Can't uh...
Dana: Listen, I'm the executive producer of Sports Night. When I say I can't leave, I can't leave. I'm not lying.
Gordon: I didn't say that you were.
Dana: I'll be done in an hour and a half.
Gordon: Well, they'll be gone in an hour and a half.
Dana: I'll make it up to them.
Gordon: These were plans we had Dana.
Dana: News happens, Gordon. This is news.
Gordon: This! This is sports.
Sally: (entering the News Room) Here are some people who are staying late after school.
Dana: Hey Sally.
Sally: Startin' to get late.
Dana: Yeah. I'm not dumping the show Sally.
Sally: I'm saying their tied up in the fifth.
Dana: I know.
Natalie: It's not Pete's fault.
Sally: No, Pete looks good.
Natalie: I'll say.
Dana: Sally, you've met my boyfriend, haven't you?
Sally: (extending her hand) Gordon.
Gordon: That's funny. My name's Gordon, too.
Dana: Yes that was hysterical, dear.
Dan & Casey's Office
Casey: (seeing Dana, Gordon, & Sally together, he closes the office door and turns to Dan) Gordon had my shirt.
Casey: He was actually wearing it.
Dan: What do you mean?
Casey: I'm sayin' he had my shirt.
Dan: Start from the beginning.
Casey: I'm talking about it.
Dan: I know.
Casey: You asked me to talk about it and now I'm talking about it.
Dan: Gordon had your shirt?
Dan: The shirt you left at Sally's.
Dan: Gordon's sleeping with Sally.
Dan: You're sure.
Dan: How are you sure?
Casey: He told me.
Dan: He told you?
Casey: I'd figured it out. He had my shirt.
Dan: And you've known about this for how long?
Casey: A week.
Dan: And you told me when?
Casey: I'm telling you now.
Dan: (looks over at Dana & Gordon) Why is Dana still with him?
Casey: She doesn't know.
Dan: She doesn't know?
Casey: She doesn't know.
Dan: Because you haven't told her.
Casey: That's right.
Dan: Because to tell her that Gordon slept with Sally you'd have to tell her that you slept with Sally.
Jeremy: (sticks his head in) Hey.
Dan: What's goin' on?
Jeremy: Two games a piece in the fifth.
Dan: You finish the letter?
Jeremy: I'm takin' a break.
Dan: What's Dana thinking?
Jeremy: About dumping the show?
Casey: She's not gonna dump it.
Jeremy: Half past 12 and Gordon's here.
Dana: I've known Dana for 15 years. She's not dumping the show.
Jeremy: You guys need anything?
Dan: No. (Jeremy exits)
Casey: She's not dumping the show.
Casey: I don't want her to find out, Danny.
Dan: Yeah. All right.
Rebecca looks around the empty studio. Dan comes from back stage.
Dan: Just the market analyst I'm looking for.
Rebecca: What's going on?
Dan: We're waiting for the tennis match that wouldn't end to end. Listen...
Dan: I have called Elaine. I have told her that while she seems like a very nice woman, I've met someone else. I've met a woman named Rebecca. Wonderful, sensational, dare I add sexy Rebecca and Rebecca is who I'm dating right now. That is what I have told Elaine.
Dan: No, but I left a message on her machine to call me.
Rebecca: Listen to me--
Dan: Do you like Bec? Can I call you Bec?
Dan: Rebecca's fine.
Rebecca: It's okay if you want to go out with Elaine.
Dan: I don't want to go out with Elaine.
Rebecca: It's okay if you do.
Dan: I don't.
Rebecca: This isn't school.
Dan: I know.
Jeremy: (enters) I'm sorry--Dan?
Rebecca: Hey, Jeremy.
Dan: What's up?
Jeremy: There's a sort of impromptu meeting in the conference room going on. You might want to get in on it.
Dan: What's goin' on?
Jeremy: It's a quarter to one.
Jeremy: Yeah. (exits)
Dan: I gotta go.
Rebecca: I want to see a show. I was told there'd be a live sports show of some kind, I heard the anchors are kinda cute, and I want to see the show.
Dan: You and me both.
Rebecca: I'll be down in my office. Will you give me a call when the tennis match that wouldn't end ends?
Dan: Absolutely. (starts to walk away but turns back) Rebecca?
Dan: I'd never make a fool out of you.
Rebecca: Okay. What made you say that?
Dan: Nothing. No reason. I'll see you in a few minutes.
News Room/Conference Room
Gordon: This is the kind of--
Gordon: This is the kind of thing--
Dana: Please lower your voice.
Gordon: This is the kind of thing I'm talking about.
Dana: I'm very sorry that I can't spend time with your friends tonight.
Gordon: No, you can spend time with my friends and you can spend time with me. You just heard Sally tell you that you can.
Dana: Okay, and why don't we just have one of the guys in your office take over your case load.
Dan: (walks up, only looking at Dana) Hey.
Gordon: Late night for you guys.
Gordon: I said late night for you guys.
Dan: Yeah. Yeah.
Gordon: Yeah. (Dan stands silently for a few seconds and then goes into the conference room) Hey Sally, you must've slept with this guy, Fedrigotti. How long can he keep at this?
Sally: You know I was just thinking, It's been such a long time since Dan said something charming to me, and there it was.
Dan: I do what I can. What's going on?
Gordon: She just told you she could do the show at this point.
Dana: Let me tell you something, I know she could do the show at this point?
Gordon: So what are you saying?
Dana: I'm saying this is MY show. This isn't my hobby. And I'd appreciate it if you didn't come in here and try to broker deals between Sally and me.
Gordon: I need to get something from you Dana. I need a sign. I mean, I thought you wanted a life. I need you to give me something. Or...
Dana: What? Or what? (Gordon simply looks at her. Dana takes a deep breath and goes into the conference room) You know what? It's 1 am. I'm dumping Sports Night. Sally, you'll run the show with my team in the room and Dan and Casey at the desk.
JVO: "I'll never get it, Louise. I understand what makes a woman think that any man is better than nothing. I'll just never understand what makes a woman think she's got nothing."
Dana: So there you go. I'm not kidding. Let's go. Let's do our show. (Everyone leaves for the Control Room)
JVO: "Dana handed off the show for the night and went out with Gordon And his friends. Casey didn't see it coming and to see his face at the moment he found out, you'd think a string inside of him broke. I have a hunch it's gonna be a while before Casey and Dana are quite the same with each other."
JVO: "Meanwhile, Sally ran the show without a hitch."
Chris: 2A and 3.
Will: Standby FX 3.
Sally: Show me Cincinnati and get me Judy in Oakland.
JVO: "Rebecca stuck around and watched the show live from the studio. My guess is that either she's never seen a live television broadcast or she really likes Dan. Either way, she was very excited."
Rebecca: Oh my God. It's happening.
Rebecca: The show's starting.
Alison: Guys, you're all set. Have a good show.
Casey: Thank you, Alison.
Rebecca: (looks up at countdown clock) You have 30 seconds.
Rebecca: Aren't you nervous?
Dan: Remember when I was talking to you about being in show mode?
Dan: Show mode Show mode.
Rebecca: I'll stand over there.
Dan: Excellent. (Rebecca moves to stand behind the cameras)
Casey: Hard not to like her.
Dan: Tell me about it.
JVO: "Fedrigotti lost his match as the whole world knew he would. But I wish you could've seen the look in his eyes when Sampras hugged him at the net. It was a sight to see."
Dave: Twenty seconds live.
Sally: Good show everybody.
JVO: "All right. Ready for the lecture now? Under no circumstances are you to leave school. End of lecture. There will be a test on that material. Look,things are gonna be a little rough for a little while, but Lou, I want you to keep your head in the game. We'll come out the other side of this no problem. In the meantime, stay out of trouble, Louise. Love, Jeremy."
Dave: In three...two...
Casey: Good evening from New York City, I'm Casey McCall alongside Dan Rydell.