History Series / SportsNight

14th Apr '17 10:43:09 PM karstovich2
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The single camera {{dramedy}} about an Creator/{{ESPN}}-style sportscast (see ''Series/SportsCenter'') created and (mostly) written by Creator/AaronSorkin went off the air after just two seasons on Creator/{{ABC}}, but it remains a cult favorite and an influential example of the form.

to:

The single camera {{dramedy}} about an Creator/{{ESPN}}-style sportscast (see ''Series/SportsCenter'') created and (mostly) written by Creator/AaronSorkin went off the air after just two seasons on Creator/{{ABC}}, Creator/{{ABC}} from 1998 to 2000, but it remains a cult favorite and an influential example of the form.
14th Apr '17 10:41:57 PM karstovich2
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** Well, only Dan (Dartmouth) and Rebecca (Wharton) actually attended a school in the Ivy League as far as we know. But they're all highly educated. Casey graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Natalie attended Northwestern and Jeremy attended Amherst.

to:

** Well, only Dan (Dartmouth) and Rebecca (Wharton) ([=UPenn=] Wharton) actually attended a school in the Ivy League as far as we know. But they're all highly educated. Casey graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Natalie attended Northwestern and Jeremy attended Amherst.
17th Dec '16 12:35:07 PM BananaPancakes
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[[caption-width-right:350:"Good evening everybody, from New York City, I'm Dan Rydell alongside Casey [=McCall=]. You're watching Sports Night on CSC, so stick around."]]

The single camera {{dramedy}} about an ESPN-style sportscast (see ''SportsCenter'') created and (mostly) penned by Creator/AaronSorkin went off the air after just two seasons on ABC, but it remains a cult favorite and an influential example of the form.

The show starred Peter Krause (''Series/SixFeetUnder'', ''{{Series/Parenthood}}'') as Casey [=McCall=], Josh Charles (''Film/DeadPoetsSociety'' and ''Series/TheGoodWife'') as Dan Rydell, Felicity Huffman (''Series/DesperateHousewives'') as Dana Whittaker, Sabrina Lloyd (''Series/{{Sliders}}'') as Natalie Hurley, Joshua Malina (''Series/TheWestWing'') as Jeremy Goodwin and Robert Guillaume (''Series/{{Benson}}'', ''Series/{{Soap}}'') as Isaac Jaffee as its core cast, all of whom worked at a fictitious cable sports channel patterned after ESPN. (Characters on the show often referred to real-life sports celebrities, teams, other television channels, Broadway musicals and various pop culture references in an attempt at verisimilitude.)

Most of the 22-minute episodes featured a similar pattern:\\
- Workplace banter that introduces the week's major problem or theme\\
- Slapstick gags or more banter that fulfilled the show's half-comedy billing\\
- A sudden twist into the serious realm at about the halfway mark\\
- One of the characters (usually Dana) flying off the handle for no good reason\\
- Primary plot problem resolution\\
- If subplot is present, a comedic or sentimental subplot resolution that points up a DoubleAesop

During the first season, ''SportsNight'' employed a LaughTrack, with mixed results. Because Sorkin was not happy with the LaughTrack, it was gradually dialed down during the season, and disappears entirely for the second. At the beginning of season one, the LaughTrack points up the structure by cackling riotously for the first 12 minutes and then staying oddly silent throughout the latter acts.

While the structure of the episodes were similar, ''SportsNight'' was written with wit and intelligence, and presented a number of non-cliche plot problems for the audience to think about. Even cliche plot problems -- as when Jeremy dates a porn star in a HookerWithAHeartOfGold plot -- were presented with true feeling for the characters and a deft touch that never felt cloying or aged.

to:

[[caption-width-right:350:"Good evening everybody, from New York City, I'm Dan Rydell alongside Casey [=McCall=]. You're watching Sports Night ''Sports Night'' on CSC, so stick around."]]

The single camera {{dramedy}} about an ESPN-style Creator/{{ESPN}}-style sportscast (see ''SportsCenter'') ''Series/SportsCenter'') created and (mostly) penned written by Creator/AaronSorkin went off the air after just two seasons on ABC, Creator/{{ABC}}, but it remains a cult favorite and an influential example of the form.

The show starred show's core cast consisted of Peter Krause (''Series/SixFeetUnder'', ''{{Series/Parenthood}}'') as Casey [=McCall=], Josh Charles (''Film/DeadPoetsSociety'' and ''Series/TheGoodWife'') as Dan Rydell, Felicity Huffman (''Series/DesperateHousewives'') as Dana Whittaker, Sabrina Lloyd (''Series/{{Sliders}}'') as Natalie Hurley, Joshua Malina (''Series/TheWestWing'') as Jeremy Goodwin and Robert Guillaume (''Series/{{Benson}}'', ''Series/{{Soap}}'') as Isaac Jaffee as its core cast, Jaffee, all of whom worked at a fictitious cable sports channel patterned after ESPN. (Characters on the show often referred to real-life sports celebrities, athletes, teams, other television channels, Broadway musicals and various pop culture references in an attempt at verisimilitude.)

Most of the 22-minute episodes featured [[StrictlyFormula a similar pattern:\\
-
pattern]]:

*
Workplace banter that introduces the week's major problem or theme\\
-
theme
*
Slapstick gags or more banter that fulfilled the show's half-comedy billing\\
-
billing
*
A sudden twist into the serious realm at about the halfway mark\\
-
mark
*
One of the characters (usually Dana) flying off the handle for no good reason\\
-
reason
*
Primary plot problem resolution\\
-
resolution
*
If subplot is present, a comedic or sentimental subplot resolution that points up a DoubleAesop

During the first season, ''SportsNight'' ''Sports Night'' employed a LaughTrack, with mixed results. Because Sorkin was not happy with disliked the LaughTrack, it was gradually dialed down during the season, and disappears entirely for the second. At the beginning of season one, the LaughTrack points up the structure by cackling riotously for the first 12 minutes and then staying oddly silent throughout the latter acts.

While the structure of the episodes were similar, ''SportsNight'' ''Sports Night'' was written with wit and intelligence, and presented a number of non-cliche non-cliché plot problems for the audience to think about. Even cliche cliché plot problems -- as when Jeremy dates a porn star in a HookerWithAHeartOfGold plot -- were presented with true feeling for the characters and a deft touch that never felt cloying or aged.



* ArmorPiercingQuestion: A relatively trivial example. The coach at Casey's alma mater calls a disastrous play, and Casey spends the next week making fun of him on air for it... until Gordon asks him "What play would you have called?" and he realizes he has no idea.
* ArtisticLicenseMath: Jeremy guesses Natalie's six character email password, and Dana, shocked, remarks that there are 5,000 possible passwords of that length; Jeremy corrects her and says that there are "14,200 and some change." While we don't know what characters are valid for passwords in their email system, even a case insensitive password of just letters and numbers would have 36[[superscript:6]], or almost 2.2 million possibilities.
* ArtisticLicenseSports: Cricket enthusiast Aaron Sorkin included a line that in a Test (International) match, one of the bowlers had achieved the remarkable feat of taking all 10 wickets in a single innings (a feat only achieved twice in history - Jim Laker in 1956 and Anil Kumble in 1999), and compared it to a baseball pitcher throwing "3 straight perfect games." Whether that comparison is valid, the professional sports commentators can't understand how the bowler could have conceded any runs while doing this (which would be, in cricketing terms, a virtually miraculous occurrence). Even with absolutely no knowledge of the rules of cricket, you'd presume they'd realise that the standards of scoring in the two games were rather different.
* AuthorCatchphrase: titling the last episode of Season 1 "What Kind of Day Has It Been"--among others.

to:

* ArmorPiercingQuestion: A relatively trivial example. The coach at Casey's alma mater calls a disastrous play, and Casey spends the next week making fun of him on air for it... it … until Gordon asks him "What play would you have called?" and he realizes he has no idea.
* ArtisticLicenseMath: Jeremy guesses Natalie's six character six-character email password, and Dana, shocked, remarks that there are 5,000 five thousand possible passwords of that length; Jeremy corrects her and says that there are "14,200 "fourteen thousand, two hundred and some change." While we don't know what characters are valid for passwords in their email system, even a case insensitive password of just letters and numbers would have 36[[superscript:6]], or almost 2.2 million possibilities.
* ArtisticLicenseSports: Cricket enthusiast Aaron Sorkin included a line that in a Test (International) match, one of the bowlers had achieved the remarkable feat of taking all 10 wickets in a single innings (a feat only achieved twice in history - -- Jim Laker in 1956 and Anil Kumble in 1999), and compared it to a baseball pitcher throwing "3 "three straight perfect games." Whether that comparison is valid, the professional sports commentators can't understand how the bowler could have conceded any runs while doing this (which would be, in cricketing terms, a virtually miraculous occurrence). Even with absolutely no knowledge of the rules of cricket, you'd presume they'd realise that the standards of scoring in the two games were rather different.
* AuthorCatchphrase: titling Titling the last episode of Season 1 "What Kind of Day Has It Been"--among Been" -- among others.[[note]]Sorkin later [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming reused it]] for his subsequent shows ''The West Wing'' and ''Series/Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip''.[[/note]]



* BrickJoke: Dana's frozen turkey in "Thespis", which she's thawing out in the lighting grid. [[spoiler: It crashes onto the news desk halfway through the episode.]]

to:

* BrickJoke: Dana's frozen turkey in "Thespis", which she's thawing out in the lighting grid. [[spoiler: It [[spoiler:It crashes onto the news desk halfway through the episode.]]



-->'''Dan:''' "What are you, some nutty nut-girl who's nuts?"

to:

-->'''Dan:''' -->'''Dan''': "What are you, some nutty nut-girl who's nuts?"



* DoesntLikeGuns: In "Dana Get Your Gun", we learn that Dana ''fervently'' hates guns; in fact she's a member of the Anti-Handgun Coalition. So her opinion of Sam drops a couple of pegs when he admires the musket she's inherited. Turns out ''he's'' a member of the same coalition, and there's a big difference in his mind between someone in the 20th century who buys a handgun just to be macho and redneck, and someone who made a musket in the Revolutionary War to fight off the British.
* DoubleStandard: Dana and Casey really like each other in the first season, but neither is ready to try and make it work. So Dana starts dating Gordon, which drives Casey crazy but everyone tells him to suck it up and deal and let her be happy. Later, Casey has a casual relationship (i.e. just sex) with [[spoiler: Sally]] and most of the characters treat it as a massive betrayal of the now engaged-to-Gordon Dana (who doesn't like this woman, mainly because she always flirts with Casey).
** There's a bit more to it than this. [[spoiler: Sally]] is constantly undermining Dana and her show and is actively after her job.

to:

* DoesntLikeGuns: In "Dana Get Your Gun", we learn that Dana ''fervently'' hates guns; in fact she's a member of the Anti-Handgun Coalition. So her opinion of Sam drops a couple of pegs when he admires the musket she's inherited. Turns out ''he's'' a member of the same coalition, and there's a big difference in his mind between someone in the 20th century who buys a handgun just to be macho and redneck, and someone who made a musket in the Revolutionary War UsefulNotes/TheAmerianRevolution to fight off the British.
* DoubleStandard: Dana and Casey really like each other in the first season, but neither is ready to try and make it work. So Dana starts dating Gordon, which drives Casey crazy but everyone tells him to suck it up and deal and let her be happy. Later, Casey has a casual relationship (i.e. just sex) with [[spoiler: Sally]] [[spoiler:Sally]] and most of the characters treat it as a massive betrayal of the now engaged-to-Gordon Dana (who doesn't like this woman, mainly because she always flirts with Casey).
** There's a bit more to it than this. [[spoiler: Sally]] [[spoiler:Sally]] is constantly undermining Dana and her show and is actively after her job.



* FramingDevice: of a letter home (DayInTheLife) ("Dear Louise...")

to:

* FramingDevice: of Of a letter home (DayInTheLife) ("Dear Louise...")Louise…").



-->'''Casey:''' Go to your meeting.
-->'''Dan:''' I told you, I'm making them wait.
-->'''Casey:''' No, you're making them mad.
-->'''Dan:''' No, I am making them anxious.
-->'''Casey:''' (''sees Isaac come into the room behind Dan'') I think you're just making them mad. I think Isaac specifically is mad.
-->'''Dan:''' No, Isaac's on my team. Isaac understands me. Isaac has a highly developed sense of right and wrong and he is hip to my battle plan.
-->'''Casey:''' Dan, he's standing right behind you.
-->'''Dan:''' (''turns around'') How you doing? Casey and I were just talking about your highly developed sense of right and wrong and I was just saying...
-->'''Isaac:''' Go sit your sorry ass down in that meeting.
-->'''Dan:''' On my way, sir.

to:

-->'''Casey:''' -->'''Casey''': Go to your meeting.
-->'''Dan:'''
meeting.\\
'''Dan''':
I told you, I'm making them wait.
-->'''Casey:''' '''Casey''': No, you're making them mad.
-->'''Dan:''' '''Dan''': No, I am making them anxious.
-->'''Casey:''' (''sees '''Casey''': [''Sees Isaac come into the room behind Dan'') Dan''] I think you're just making them mad. I think Isaac specifically is mad.
-->'''Dan:''' '''Dan''': No, Isaac's on my team. Isaac understands me. Isaac has a highly developed sense of right and wrong and he is hip to my battle plan.
-->'''Casey:''' '''Casey''': Dan, he's standing right behind you.
-->'''Dan:''' (''turns around'') '''Dan''': [''Turns around''] How you doing? Casey and I were just talking about your highly developed sense of right and wrong and I was just saying...
-->'''Isaac:'''
saying …
'''Isaac''':
Go sit your sorry ass down in that meeting.
-->'''Dan:''' '''Dan''': On my way, sir.



* TakeThat: In the series finale, [[spoiler:the new owner of CSC]] says "Anybody who can't make money off of Sports Night should get out of the money-making business." Take ''that,'' ABC!

to:

* TakeThat: In the series finale, [[spoiler:the new owner of CSC]] says "Anybody who can't make money off of Sports Night ''Sports Night'' should get out of the money-making business." Take ''that,'' ''that'', ABC!



--> '''Jeremy:''' "I think it's possible that a spike in the slave-sync signal shorted the PCI bus so the DMA controller had an IRQ conflict!"

to:

--> '''Jeremy:''' "I -->'''Jeremy''': I think it's possible that a spike in the slave-sync signal shorted the PCI bus so the DMA controller had an IRQ conflict!"conflict!



-->'''Dan:''' "So, if you've got a Play of the Year, you can contact us at ''CSC slash sports night dot com''."
*** Which is easily an in-character goof (although you'd think someone would have ribbed him about it): Danny clearly means "CSC at sports night dot com", and just got "slash" and "at" mixed up. Or more likely sportsnight@csc.com since CSC is the network and Sports Night is a show.

to:

-->'''Dan:''' "So, --->'''Dan''': So, if you've got a Play of the Year, you can contact us at ''CSC slash sports night dot com''."
com''.
*** Which is easily an in-character goof (although you'd think someone would have ribbed him about it): Danny clearly means "CSC at sports night dot com", and just got "slash" and "at" mixed up. Or more likely sportsnight@csc.com com, since CSC is the network and Sports Night ''Sports Night'' is a show.



* [[ThoseTwoGuys Those Three Guys]]: Chris, Will and Dave.
* VisitByDivorcedDad: "What Kind of Day Has it Been"
* WalkAndTalk : Seeing as this is an Creator/AaronSorkin work [[SorkinWalk this]] occurs in every episode.

to:

* [[ThoseTwoGuys Those Three Guys]]: Chris, Will Will, and Dave.
* VisitByDivorcedDad: "What Kind of Day Has it It Been"
* WalkAndTalk : WalkAndTalk: Seeing as this is an Creator/AaronSorkin work [[SorkinWalk this]] occurs in every episode.at least OncePerEpisode.



** Resolved in the second season when [[spoiler: they have a great kiss and almost start dating in the first few episodes, but don't because Dana has a "plan" and Casey actually moves on by mid-season]]

to:

** Resolved in the second season when [[spoiler: they [[spoiler:they have a great kiss and almost start dating in the first few episodes, but don't because Dana has a "plan" and Casey actually moves on by mid-season]]mid-season]].
12th Sep '16 12:01:50 PM zeldafanjtl
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* ArtisticLicenseMath: Jeremy guesses Natalie's six character email password, and Dana, shocked, remarks that there are 5,000 possible passwords of that length; Jeremy corrects her and says that there are "14,200 and some change." The actual number would vary with the number of allowed characters, but both chracters' numbers are way too high. Six character passwords composed of the 94 non-whitespace characters on a standard American keyboard only have 564 possibilities.

to:

* ArtisticLicenseMath: Jeremy guesses Natalie's six character email password, and Dana, shocked, remarks that there are 5,000 possible passwords of that length; Jeremy corrects her and says that there are "14,200 and some change." The actual number would vary with the number of allowed characters, but both chracters' numbers are way too high. Six character passwords composed of the 94 non-whitespace While we don't know what characters on are valid for passwords in their email system, even a standard American keyboard only case insensitive password of just letters and numbers would have 564 36[[superscript:6]], or almost 2.2 million possibilities.
10th Sep '16 1:57:29 AM zeldafanjtl
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Added DiffLines:

* ArtisticLicenseMath: Jeremy guesses Natalie's six character email password, and Dana, shocked, remarks that there are 5,000 possible passwords of that length; Jeremy corrects her and says that there are "14,200 and some change." The actual number would vary with the number of allowed characters, but both chracters' numbers are way too high. Six character passwords composed of the 94 non-whitespace characters on a standard American keyboard only have 564 possibilities.
10th Jun '16 8:00:31 PM nombretomado
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The show starred Peter Krause (''Series/SixFeetUnder'', ''{{Series/Parenthood}}'') as Casey [=McCall=], Josh Charles (''DeadPoetsSociety'' and ''Series/TheGoodWife'') as Dan Rydell, Felicity Huffman (''Series/DesperateHousewives'') as Dana Whittaker, Sabrina Lloyd (''{{Sliders}}'') as Natalie Hurley, Joshua Malina (''TheWestWing'') as Jeremy Goodwin and Robert Guillaume (''{{Benson}}'', ''Series/{{Soap}}'') as Isaac Jaffee as its core cast, all of whom worked at a fictitious cable sports channel patterned after ESPN. (Characters on the show often referred to real-life sports celebrities, teams, other television channels, Broadway musicals and various pop culture references in an attempt at verisimilitude.)

to:

The show starred Peter Krause (''Series/SixFeetUnder'', ''{{Series/Parenthood}}'') as Casey [=McCall=], Josh Charles (''DeadPoetsSociety'' (''Film/DeadPoetsSociety'' and ''Series/TheGoodWife'') as Dan Rydell, Felicity Huffman (''Series/DesperateHousewives'') as Dana Whittaker, Sabrina Lloyd (''{{Sliders}}'') (''Series/{{Sliders}}'') as Natalie Hurley, Joshua Malina (''TheWestWing'') (''Series/TheWestWing'') as Jeremy Goodwin and Robert Guillaume (''{{Benson}}'', (''Series/{{Benson}}'', ''Series/{{Soap}}'') as Isaac Jaffee as its core cast, all of whom worked at a fictitious cable sports channel patterned after ESPN. (Characters on the show often referred to real-life sports celebrities, teams, other television channels, Broadway musicals and various pop culture references in an attempt at verisimilitude.)
29th Dec '15 8:10:21 AM SparkyYoungUpstart
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Added DiffLines:

* BrickJoke: Dana's frozen turkey in "Thespis", which she's thawing out in the lighting grid. [[spoiler: It crashes onto the news desk halfway through the episode.]]
8th Sep '15 11:11:27 PM Micah
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Added DiffLines:

* ArmorPiercingQuestion: A relatively trivial example. The coach at Casey's alma mater calls a disastrous play, and Casey spends the next week making fun of him on air for it... until Gordon asks him "What play would you have called?" and he realizes he has no idea.
8th Sep '15 3:06:08 PM Micah
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* ActorAllusion: Dana is telling Isaac about how much she loved ''Disney/TheLionKing'' on Broadway, and describes the opening, when Rafiki calls the animals- "And they come!" Isaac is amused- possibly because he's played by Robert Guillaume (who voiced Rafiki in the movie).



* LifeImitatesArt: The episode "Shane" features Casey interviewing a baseball player unhappy with being traded to New York. A few weeks later, Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker's 2000 Sports Illustrated interview, where he managed to offend just about every ethnic/racial/lifestyle group imaginable when describing New York. Interestingly, Casey defends the fictional baseball player, but mocks John Rocker in a later episode.



* WelcomeEpisode: "Pilot"
* WrittenInInfirmity: When Robert Guillaume suffered a stroke, Isaac was written as having one as well; he later recovered and returned.

to:

* WelcomeEpisode: "Pilot"
* WrittenInInfirmity: When Robert Guillaume suffered a stroke, Isaac was written
"Pilot", with Jeremy as having one as well; he later recovered and returned.the new guy.
8th Sep '15 3:03:53 PM Micah
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* ExecutiveMeddling: Portrayed at several points (often as RealitySubtext).
** ABC thought '''this show''' should have a '''laugh track'''. If you've ''ever'' seen or heard anything by Creator/AaronSorkin you should immediately recognize what a terrible, terrible idea this is.

to:

* ExecutiveMeddling: Portrayed at several points (often as RealitySubtext).
** ABC thought '''this show''' should have a '''laugh track'''. If you've ''ever'' seen or heard anything by Creator/AaronSorkin you should immediately recognize what a terrible, terrible idea this is.
RealitySubtext). [[invoked]]
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