KIM: Five minutes to air. First team in the studio, please. Five minutes.
CASEY: Let's go.
DAN: Good news.
DAN: From now on, I am not Dan, I'm not Danny. I'm Daniel.
CASEY: Good. Let's go.
DAN: When I joined the union, there already was a Daniel Rydell. (Dan and Casey head to the studio.)
CASEY: Come on. Let's go do the show.
DAN: Guess what happened.
CASEY: What, the guy died?
DAN: The guy died.
DAN: I'm Daniel.
CASEY: Nice to meet you.
JEREMY: Hang on. We're going to call you back first thing in the morning.
JEREMY: Listen to this.
DAN: I'm Daniel now.
CASEY: Can we go?
JEREMY: That was a woman whose name I can't remember now.
DAN: Was it Daniel?
JEREMY: She's a publicist at a cosmetics company, and do we want five minutes on the air this Thursday with M.J.?
DAN: Jordan wants to do an interview?
CASEY: Well, why was it a publicist from a cosmetics company?
CASEY: Ah, don't tell me.
DAN: He's got a cologne coming out.
CASEY: Michael Jordan has a second cologne?
JEREMY: It's called Jordan.
CASEY: How do you suppose he thought up the name?
DAN: Who cares? They called us.
CASEY: They did.
DAN: You gotta be happy about that.
CASEY: I am.
DAN: They could've called Fox, they could've called ESPN--
CASEY: They called us.
CASEY: Oh, let's go do the show.
DAN: I think you should get happy.
CASEY: I am happy.
DAN: You don't look happy.
CASEY: I'm happy, just have other concerns.
DAN: Natalie, what do you think of Daniel Rydell?
NATALIE: Are you referring to yourself in the third person?
NATALIE: 'Cause it's awfully annoying.
DAN: I know it is.
NATALIE: Also, when they change the pronunciation of their name in midstream. "Don't call me Tony Dorsitt, call me Tony Dor-sett."
DAN: No, this is--
NATALIE: And like getting the world to call Prince by one pretentious name in a lifetime wasn't enough, I gotta learn to draw the symbol for boron.
DAN: No, this is--
NATALIE: What's on your mind?
NATALIE: Four minutes to air.
DAN: This is turning out to be a good day.
CASEY: That's right.
DAN: We landed an interview with M.J.
CASEY: Yes, and Sam Donovan gets in tonight.
DAN: You've taken a liking to him, haven't you?
CASEY: Sam Donovan?
CASEY: Yes, I have.
DAN: Because he drives Dana crazy?
CASEY: Ah, there are many reasons why I like the man.
DAN: But mostly because?
CASEY: He drives Dana crazy.
DAN: So what are your concerns?
CASEY: What concerns?
DAN: You said before that you were happy, but you had some concerns.
CASEY: Uh, I have to go to Charlie's class tomorrow and do a presentation.
DAN: Of what?
CASEY: Anything. I have to demonstrate something.
DAN: You know what you're gonna do?
CASEY: No. And please don't tell me it doesn't matter what I do, that I'm his father, and that he'll be impressed with me no matter what.
DAN: He's 10, Casey. He's gonna be mortified by you no matter what.
CASEY: Thanks for the pep talk, Danny.
CASEY: Shut up.
DAVE: Two minutes to VTR.
KIM: Three minutes live.
CHRIS: Stand by animation one through five.
WILL: Loading sound 5 and 5A.
ELLIOT: Standing by in Boston.
NATALIE: He's got a second cologne?
NATALIE: I wonder what it's like.
JEREMY: The publicist faxed me the press kit and apparently the new fragrance, like the redefined Michael himself, is about newness, playfulness, and unpretentious elegance.
NATALIE: Sounds good.
JEREMY: I'm gonna get me a jug.
NATALIE: Where have you been?
DANA: Is he here?
DANA: Is he here?
ELLIOT: Not yet.
DANA: Let's start the show.
NATALIE: We're not on for another 90 seconds.
DANA: I don't care. Start the show.
NATALIE: I don't really think we can do that.
DANA: You might be right.
NATALIE: I think I am.
DANA: He's gonna mess with the rundown.
DANA: He is.
NATALIE: You're letting him make you crazy.
DANA: I'm not letting him, Natalie. I haven't given him permission or anything. He does it all by himself.
JEREMY: We've got an exclusive interview with Michael Jordon.
DANA: Is that supposed to make me feel better?
DANA: He breezes on in from whatever city he's just breezed out of, and then he, you know, breezes on in--
DANA: --Always right before the show, when he tweaks the top of the rundown.
NATALIE: It's kind of got you psyched out.
DANA: He does not have me psyched out.
SAM (enters) Hello.
NATALIE, JEREMY, KIM, ELLIOT, DAVE, WILL, CHRIS: Hey, Sam.
DANA: Hello, Sam.
DANA: Welcome back.
SAM: Thank you.
DANA: Welcome back from England.
SAM: Thank you.
DANA: Where they really need a ratings consultant in the dog-eat-dog world of the BBC.
KIM: 60 seconds live.
SAM: How's the rundown?
DANA: The rundown's fine.
SAM: It looks good.
DANA: It is good.
SAM: It looks good.
DANA: What do you want to change?
SAM: I don't want to change anything.
SAM: The rundown's fine.
DANA: Yes, you say that and then at the last second, you change the top, just to see everybody scramble around.
SAM: I don't think that is what I do.
DANA: Well, not this time, it's not, my British friend.
SAM: I'm from Philadelphia.
SAM: You seem a little psyched out, Dana. Maybe you want Natalie to run the show.
NATALIE: Maybe that's not a bad id--
DANA: Excuse me! I am not psyched out, nor am I buying into your little game, King George. You're not tweaking the top of the rundown. I am.
DANA: Yes, I too am versed in the tactics of the mind, Sir Thomas, and I'm making a preemptive strike.
DAVE: 30 seconds live.
DANA: Flip the 30s and the 40s, drop the paint, over the shoulder in the 22-block, and move Iverson to the wood.
DANA: Do it!
Natalie, Jeremy, Kim, Elliot, Dave, Will, Chris, and Redhead talk over top one another. Most dialogue cannot be understood, but suffice it to say: they are busy.
DANA: Ok. See. Ok. That was exactly what you wanted me to do, wasn't it? (Sam merely stares back at her.)
DANA: Go back. Go back! Go back!
Everyone talks at once again.
DANA: You're having a really good time, aren't you?
SAM: Yeah, it's good to be back.
DAVE: In 3, 2...
CASEY: Good evening. From New York City, I'm Casey McCall alongside Dan Rydell. Dan?
CASEY: No, I'm good with my hands. I could build something for the class.
DAN: You're not good with your hands.
CASEY: It's 11:00 now. The class doesn't start 'til 2:00, do you think three hours is long enough for me to get good with my hands?
DAN: I read Beowulf in three hours.
CASEY: How could you read Beowulf in three hours?
DAN: I didn't read it, really, but I saw the movie.
CASEY: Uh, but there's no movie of Beowulf.
DAN: What the hell movie did I see?
CASEY: You're not helping.
DAN: Do you know how to bake bread?
DAN: They probably don't either. You could probably fake it.
CASEY: Wouldn't I have to produce some bread at the end?
DAN: You sprinkle some flour, you pound some dough. "Hey, look over there!" You pull a loaf of Wonder out from under the desk.
CASEY: Leave me alone.
JEREMY: "Jordan by Michael reflects Michael's transition from inimitable basketball legend to dashing on-the-go businessman."
CASEY: The press kits from JSM?
JEREMY: "His Carolina home is the muse for his latest fragrance. The fresh pine aroma of the Carolina back country gives this product an evanescent excitement." They know we're a sports show, right?
DANA: Let's start preparing some questions.
DAN: "Hey, Michael, when you were growing up in North Carolina, did you ever just breathe the air and think, 'One day, I'm gonna bottle this and make 250 million bucks'?"
DANA: Basketball questions.
DAN: I want to start him off with something a little--
NATALIE: Hang on. There aren't gonna be any basketball questions.
JEREMY: She's right.
NATALIE: Are you reading this?
JEREMY: The last page?
JEREMY: This was not meant for us.
DANA: What are you two talking about?
NATALIE: The last page of the press kit.
JEREMY: It's not meant for us. It's not meant for the press. It got in here by accident.
NATALIE: It was written by a publicist for Michael's people.
DANA: "We must be cautious of the media will spin the interview onto an entirely different topic -- sports -- and ignore our product. Let's do our best to steer the conversation back to cologne." Hmm.
DANA: Well now.
DAN: "We suggest you use your celebrated media savvy to achieve our goal."
DANA: We're gonna be talking about perfume for five minutes?
CASEY: Is there a difference?
DANA: Then what are we talking about?
CASEY: It's gonna be fine.
DANA: It's not gonna be fine. We're gonna be talking about perfume for five minutes.
DAN: We're gonna talk about basketball.
DANA: It says--
DAN: We're interviewers, Dana. We conduct the interview. Do you think we're gonna get outfoxed by Michael Jordan?
DANA: Of course you're gonna get outfoxed by Michael Jordan. He's Michael Jordan.
DAN: We have media skills we can utilize. Right?
JEREMY: "Stick to the topics that appeal to you -- your sense of fashion, keen eye for style--"
DAN: We'll bring him back to basketball.
JEREMY: "--Your sensuality, your love of literature and the arts."
SAM: Forget basketball. Let him talk about sensuality and books he's read. It's worth two and a half share points.
DANA: Well, tallyho, Sam. I didn't know you were with us.
SAM: I'm here if you need me.
DANA: Thanks. We don't need you.
SAM: Too late. Set up a practice interview. One of you be Michael and try to throw Dan and Casey off.
DANA: A practice interview?
DANA: A practice interview?
DANA: You honestly think that's gonna help?
SAM: Yeah. Don't you?
DANA: We're done.
CASEY: Hang on, can I just say something? I have to go to Charlie's class tomorrow and do some sort of presentation, and it turns out I really have no demonstrable skills. Any of you have an idea?
DANA: Well, your head's a perfect rectangle. Maybe that'll impress the kids.
CASEY: Ok, you guys think on it. I'll be in my office if you come up with anything.
NATALIE: Back at 4:00.
ISAAC: Hi. Dana, listen to this. This is fantastic. "Bioengineering might one day create living creatures adapted to survival in space."
ISAAC: Space birds.
ISAAC: Don't you want to know how they're gonna fly without air?
ISAAC: It says here they're going to fly on sunlight.
DANA: So, we got this Michael Jordan offer--
ISAAC: For farther out, where the sunlight grows weaker, they're gonna bioengineer a squid.
DANA: A squid?
ISAAC: Yes, swimming not in water, but in space, "drawing volatile fuels from Jovian moons to power their gentle but efficient propulsion systems."
DANA: Uh, Michael Jordan--
ISAAC: "Their utility could be comparable to that of horses and mules in the winning of the West."
ISAAC: I can see myself out there, sitting alone by the fire, a space squid my only companion.
ISAAC: Michael Jordan.
ISAAC: They want to talk about cologne.
DANA: In the press kit, they accidentally included coaching notes for Michael on how to bring the interview back to the cologne.
DANA: Yeah. Do we book the interview?
DANA: And talk about perfume?
DANA: There's no difference.
ISAAC: Michael's Michael. Let him talk about what he wants.
DANA: You really want to use Sports Night for a 5-minute infomercial?
ISAAC: With Michael? Sure.
ISAAC: You know, just 10 years ago, it would have been hard to imagine a black man selling cologne.
DANA: 8-year-olds are buying aftershave, Isaac. I'm not sure it's a huge step forward.
ISAAC: I'll take any step forward.
ISAAC: They're talking about bioengineering animals and terraforming Mars. When I started reporting Gemini missions, just watching a Titan rocket lift off was a sight to see. Now they're gonna colonize the solar system.
DANA: Are you obsessing about this?
ISAAC: Because I won't be alive to see it.
DANA: Ok. (exits)
ISAAC: Space squid. And there's a drawing. This is gonna be incredible.
Dan & Casey's Office
CASEY: Well, here I go.
DAN: What do you got?
CASEY: Uh, I came up with several interesting things I think will, you know, captivate their young minds.
DAN: What do you got?
CASEY: It's not one particular thing so much as an overview--
DAN: Casey, what do you got?
CASEY: (reveals a loaf of bread) Wonder bread was ridiculous, Danny. They'd see through that in a second.
DAN: You'll be fine.
CASEY: I am killing my child.
DAN: Say, you know who looks good today?
CASEY: I'll see you later. (leaves the office, turns around and comes back in) What did you say?
DAN: Sally looks good today.
CASEY: Why did you say that?
DAN: 'Cause she does.
CASEY: You don't like Sally.
DAN: I kind of do.
CASEY: You can't.
DAN: Why not?
CASEY: 'Cause my life is very confusing right now. So is yours. And you can't like Sally.
DAN: I didn't say I liked Sally. I sad she looked good today.
CASEY: Then you said you liked her.
DAN: Beowulf wasn't a movie?
CASEY: You know, I have to go and pretend to bake bread now.
DAN: Casey, remember, it's all in the misdirection, ok? "Hey, look over there!"
CASEY: Got it.
SALLY: You don't know me.
SALLY: My name's Sally Sasser. I'm executive producer of West Coast Update. I thought it was time I came by and said hello.
SALLY: You've been doing an impressive job here.
SAM: Thank you.
SALLY: Ratings are up two tenths.
SALLY: I don't know what you've heard about me, but I'm here to set the record straight and have the opportunity for a fresh start.
SAM: I haven't heard anything about you.
SALLY: Sure you have.
SAM: No, I haven't.
SALLY: I was the one sleeping with Gordon.
SAM: Who's Gordon?
SALLY: Dana's fiancé.
SAM: I didn't know that Dana was engaged.
SALLY: Oh, she's not anymore.
SAM: 'Cause you were sleeping with her fiancé?
SALLY: Yes, but really it was because I was sleeping with Casey, and Gordon knew that she was more upset that I was sleeping with Casey than she was that I was sleeping with Gordon.
SALLY: Were you able to follow all that?
SAM: No, but that's just because I wasn't paying attention.
SALLY: Anyway, I wasn't sure what you'd heard.
SAM: I hadn't heard anything.
SALLY: There's a sense that I'm after Dana's job.
SAM: Is that true?
SALLY: Absolutely not.
SAM: Dana's job's better than yours, isn't it?
SAM: More people watch the 11:00 than the 2am.
SAM: She's got more responsibility.
SAM: Makes more money.
SAM: Why aren't you after Dana's job?
SALLY: Well, I'd like her job, but I'm not after... My point is, I don't sleep my way up the ladder, and I just wasn't sure what you'd heard.
SAM: I hadn't heard anything.
SALLY: I don't sleep my way up the ladder.
SAM: That's too bad.
SALLY: This meeting's not going that well, is it?
SAM: No. The good news is, an hour from now, I'm not gonna remember who you are.
SAM: Anything else?
DANA: All right. Let's go. You ready, Dan?
DANA: Yes. Are you ready?
DANA: Who's gonna be Michael?
NATALIE: I am.
JEREMY: Why you?
NATALIE: Why not me?
JEREMY: You're nothing like Michael.
NATALIE: And the two of you have a lot in common?
JEREMY: We're both men.
NATALIE: Gender didn't seem to bother you when you got to be Dorothy Hamill.
JEREMY: This is retribution.
NATALIE: Damn straight, baby.
NATALIE: I love Dorothy Hamill. I used to do triple salchows in my bedroom. I sewed the little costumes. I skated every day after school. I was in a little group called the--
Dana thumps her head on the table.
DANA: Hi. Are we ready?
DANA: Let's go.
NATALIE: Mess with me, I sting like a bee.
DANA: Can we please--
DAN: Michael, welcome. Good to have you on the show.
NATALIE: Thanks, Dan.
DAN: Daniel. First things first, Mike. How are you enjoying retirement?
NATALIE: Well, as you know, Daniel, I'm only retired from basketball. My many business interests keep me busy, including my new cologne.
KIM: (answering phone) Hello? Excuse me, Dana.
KIM: It's Sam. He wants to see you in his office.
DANA: I'm busy. Let's go.
NATALIE: Which I should say is a--
KIM: He says he needs you now.
DANA: Please tell him I'm busy and that I will see him later.
DAN: Michael, when you watch the Bulls on tv, do you--
KIM: He says this isn't a request.
DANA: It isn't a request?
DANA: It's a command?
KIM: I suppose that's the implication.
DANA: Would you tell him this is the 21st century and we are not in Taming of the Shrew? Continue.
DAN: Michael, when you watch the Bulls on tv, do you sit--
KIM: He says he doesn't understand the reference, but that--
DANA: He doesn't understand the reference?
KIM: He said he didn't.
DANA: Woo! Excuse me. (leaves)
JEREMY: Look, I didn't know you wanted it that bad. I'm sorry--
NATALIE: Sorry don't feed the bulldog, Dottie.
DANA: Taming of the Shrew, the wedding scene--
DANA: Petruchio makes a bet with his friends. They send for their wives and bet which one will come fastest at their command. See, you don't know everything. It's a beautiful scene, by the way, with a glorious speech from Kate. "Such small payment for so great a debt."
SAM: "Too little payment for so great a debt."
DANA: I thought you said you didn't know the reference.
SAM: I just needed you to get your ass in here. Listen--
DANA: I'm looking for ways to kill you, you know.
SAM: Dana, I have been through alcohol, marriage, and network television. If you want to kill me, you're gonna need some Kryptonite.
DANA: What do you want?
SAM: You can stop practicing interview tactics.
DANA: What happened?
SAM: They want editorial approval.
DANA: Editorial approval?
DANA: What are you talking about? This is a taped interview on a news show. They want final cut?
DANA: This is a news show.
DANA: That is... in a million years, would Fox or ESPN give editorial approval?
DANA: That's why they came to us.
DANA: Let's talk to Isaac.
DANA: You don't care, do ya? Ratings are ratings, no matter how bogus the ill-gotten gains.
SAM: I don't believe I said that, Dana.
DANA: Let's talk to Isaac.
SAM: By the way, I met a girl named Susie today. It sounds like she's the preferred vacation spot for all the men you date.
ISAAC: I got another one -- the Europa probe. They melt a hole in the ice cap of Europa, which is a Jupiter moon. They melt a hole down to the liquid water and send a submarine to search for signs of life that are almost surely there.
SAM: We gotta land a ship on Europa first, don't we?
ISAAC: You don't think we can land on Europa?
SAM: It's a sheet of ice 400 million miles away.
ISAAC: I don't give a damn. I covered NASA for eight years. You draw an "X" anywhere in the universe and these guys will land on it.
SAM: The thing is--
DANA: Isaac, Michael's people want editorial approval.
ISAAC: What are you talking about?
DANA: It's a condition of the interview.
ISAAC: This is a news show, we don't give editorial approval.
DANA: That's right.
ISAAC: They're insisting?
ISAAC: Well, Dana, if we did it just this once--
ISAAC: An exception--
DANA: We can't--
ISAAC: An exception for Michael.
DANA: They didn't go to Fox and they didn't go to ESPN.
ISAAC: Because they thought we were desperate enough for the ratings to do it?
ISAAC: Are we, Sam? (Sam shakes his head) Then tell them Isaac Jaffe says to go to hell.
DANA: Thank you.
ISAAC: Uh, Dana? Don't tell them to go to hell. Tell them that we're professionals and that we want to be the best at what we do. If anybody can understand that, it'll be Michael.
DANA: Right on the "X."
NATALIE: He's gonna bake the bread?
DAN: He's not actually gonna bake it. I doubt they have a suitable oven in the classroom. He's just gonna pretend to bake it.
JEREMY: I'm looking forward to the day when I have kids and I do a demonstration in their class.
ELLIOT: What would you do?
JEREMY: Whatever I was in the mood for. I could make a nuclear reactor if I could get my hands on some decent plutonium.
JEREMY: I can accelerate the aging process of a pumpkin.
JEREMY: Yeah. Pretty simple, actually.
CASEY: I'm back.
CASEY: I'm back and I'm triumphant.
NATALIE: They bought the bread?
DAN: Misdirection, Natalie.
CASEY: I didn't do the bread.
DAN: What'd you do?
CASEY: I did what I do, Dan. I did what I do.
DAN: You screwed up your romantic life in front of fifth graders?
CASEY: No. I got there early and I'm standing out on the playground during recess, and I'm trying to think what I can come up with at the last minute, but I can't concentrate on that because all around me kids are playing games. There's some kickball going on over there, dodge ball over here, hopscotch in the corner, and like a flood, like a surge, I'm suddenly filled with this sense of "I know what the hell I'm doing." And when recess was over, we go back into the classroom--
DAN: And you called the highlights.
CASEY: I called the highlights. It was fantastic. I did interviews with the kids, I did injury reports. I had a little girl named Phoebe do a demonstration of jacks -- shy little girl, barely speaks above a whisper because she's so afraid she's gonna say something stupid, but when I got her talking about foursies, she was like Muhammad Ali.
NATALIE: Nice, Casey.
JEREMY: Beats an aging pumpkin.
DAN: Don't worry about it.
DANA: We can go back about our business.
NATALIE: What do you mean?
DANA: It's not gonna happen. Let's get back to work.
DAN: Too many strings, huh?
DAN: Was it tough on Isaac?
DAN: Is Sam pissed?
DANA: No. He... turns out he was on my side on this one.
DANA: Still drives me crazy.
DANA: Totally...crazy. Anyway, uh, I will be back in my office.
DANA: See ya.
CASEY: See ya. (Dana leaves.)
DAN: You had a good day.
CASEY: Yes, yes. But as the adrenaline of the afternoon begins to drain away, some other things begin to come into focus.
DAN: Like what?
CASEY: Well, I finally broke up with Dana, who I never went out with. Dana broke up with Gordon because Sally slept with me, and you said you like Sally.
DAN: Hmm. And maybe Sam drives Dana a little too crazy?
CASEY: Yeah. I have some concerns.
DAN: Well, it wouldn't be a day unless you had some concerns.
CASEY: Yeah, I suppose.
DAN: Let's go write our show.
CASEY: All right.
original transcript from the_49th_floor