Sports Night (1998) s02e02 Episode Script

When Something Wicked This Way Comes

Kim: Five minutes to air.
First team in the studio,|please.
Five minutes.
Natalie:|Well, I've heard the rumor.
Jeremy:|And I've heard the rumor.
-- That's two that's three.
|-- Plus Kim.
Three people|have heard the rumor.
So I think we're justified|in being nervous.
I think we're justified|in being damn nervous, and I'm somebody|who can be, frankly, nervous -- without much justification|at all.
|-- I know.
-- Elliott, have you|heard the rumor?|-- Yes, I have.
That's four.
That's four people we know|who've heard the rumor.
And that's only counting|the people we know|who've heard the rumor.
That's right.
What exactly|does a ratings expert do? Well, presumably,|he raises ratings.
-- What's wrong|with our ratings?|-- Our ratings are fine.
-- We come in third.
|-- Consistently.
-- Damn straight.
|-- We come in third|each and every week.
The only way|we could possibly do better -- is if we came in first|or second.
|-- That's right.
-- It's not like we're those|clowns in fourth.
|-- Bunch of losers.
I honestly don't see|the logic in hiring someone to come in here|and shake things up|in order to gain share points when our ratings|are perfectly fine.
-- It's illogical.
|-- And yet four people|have heard the rumor.
-- You guys hear|about the ratings guy?|-- A full five people now.
-- Good show.
|-- Good show! I'm a little worked up|about this.
-- As well you should be.
|-- As well should we all.
[ Knock on door ]|Come in.
-- Hi.
|-- Hello.
-- What's up?|-- Dana, what are you wearing? -- Do you like it?|-- As a matter of fact, I do.
Tell me something.
|Why would the nickel back|have set up and they've been going|off tackle all day? Well, you have to figure --|Excuse me, Dana.
Sweetie, Dana can tell|when you're staring|at her breasts.
-- I wasn't.
|-- It's okay.
-- I mean, my eyes|naturally went there,|but now I'm fine.
|-- Why are you wearing that? I assume after the show|you're going directly to an important|business meeting.
She's going|to a bachelorette party.
Why are you wearing|those clothes? -- The bachelorette party|is biker-themed.
|-- It's biker-themed? It's biker-themed.
We're all being picked up|and escorted to the party|on Harleys.
-- I'm going to ride|on the back of a hog.
|-- Yeah? -- I know the lingo.
|-- Listen, have you heard|the rumor? -- About the ratings guy?|-- Is it true? -- No.
|-- No, you haven't|heard the rumor? Yes, I've heard the rumor.
|No, it isn't true.
-- Really?|-- There's no ratings guy.
Five people|have heard the rumor.
Five people are wrong.
-- Show me San Diego.
|Show me Oakland.
|-- Three minutes out.
Loading animation|one through five.
-- Loading sound 5.
|-- Chyron's clear on 60? -- It's clearing.
|-- Oakland's up.
Thank you, Dave.
|Stop looking at my ass.
No problem.
My point is that it can't be|any old first date.
The bar here is very high,|not so much because it'll be|my first date with Dana, but because it'll be|Dana's first date with me, and I'm known in some parts|for my first date.
In certain parts,|I have a rep.
There's such a thing|as street cred.
Dan Listen to this.
Tell them|about my street cred.
-- [ Laughs ] Seriously|-- Tell them about my rep.
You don't have a rep.
|You don't have street cred.
Your last date|was 14 years ago, and you ended up with|a marriage and a divorce.
Oh, in some parts -- No, there are no parts.
|Now, listen to this.
Dave: Two minutes to VTR.
|-- I just hung up the phone.
What's the best news|I could have? You won a 4-week vacation|to someplace else? The best news I could have|for me.
You got invited|to Hillary Clinton's|fund-raising breakfast.
I got invited|to Hillary Clinton's|fund-raising breakfast -- me, the first lady, scrambled eggs,|lively conversation.
It turns out|it wasn't that hard.
|You know what you have to do? -- Write a check for $1,000?|-- That's right.
But not everyone|was given that opportunity.
|I was asked.
They asked you for $1,000,|and you gave it to them.
That's incredible, Danny.
I was picked, Casey.
|I was identified.
Yes, it's called|"being a mark.
" I gladly gave my money|to a good fight.
Danny, lsaac's got|enough to deal with|from the network right now without you getting|into a good fight.
-- This isn't about politics.
|-- She's running|for the Senate.
This is about me Ms.
Hillary Rodham|of Chicago, and a connection.
There'll be a connection? I believe there will be.
This really isn't|political, is it? No, sir, it is not.
You have a crush|on Hillary Clinton.
I carry a torch|for her, yes.
You're hot for Mrs.
Clinton.
Well, I mean, who isn't? But, in my case,|it's more than physical.
|It's cerebral.
No doubt about it.
|I think we need to get you|a C.
A.
T.
scan, and stat.
I would like to have|an intelligent, high-minded, right-thinking,|socially progressive, impressively|pragmatic conversation|with Hillary Clinton.
[ Stomps foot ]|Tomorrow morning I shall.
Shall you? Yes, and she will say,|"My goodness.
"That Dan Rydell is|such a bright young boy -- "so much more than|sports scores and highlights.
I think I'll make him|my gentleman friend.
" Dave: Roll VTR.
|-- Well, then, here's to you,|Mrs.
Robinson.
-- 60 seconds live.
|-- What kind of world|do we live in when third place isn't almost|as good as second place? -- Jeremy|-- The rumors|are undeniable, Dana.
-- No, they're not undeniable.
|I'm denying them.
|-- Do the count again.
-- Natalie and me --|that's two.
|-- Don't do the count.
Kim and Elliott --|that's four.
Casey and Dan.
-- That's six.
|-- Thanks.
Will, Chris, and Dave -- -- I'm just doing this in my|head, but that's nine, right?|-- Yes.
Isaac, good, you're here.
What are you dressed as? I'm going|to a bachelorette party.
|It's a theme bachelorette party.
-- Ask her what the theme is.
|-- I just assumed|it was hookers.
It's biker chicks.
-- Just as good in my book.
|-- 30 seconds live.
-- lsaac, tell these people,|would you?|-- Tell them what? Tell them the rumor|isn't true.
Tell them there isn't|a ratings expert coming in|to work on the show.
The rumor is true.
There is a ratings expert|coming to work on the show,|and he's coming tomorrow.
The network|hired a ratings guy? The network didn't hire him.
|I did.
Dana, this may not be|the right time, but that's 10.
In 32 Good evening.
|From New York City, I'm Casey McCall|alongside Dan Rydell.
Those stories,|plus we'll take you|around the NHL, where the Red Wings|did some damage|to the duck pond, and we'll take you|around the NFL, where the Dolphins did|some damage to themselves.
All that coming up after this.
You're watching|"Sports Night" on CSC,|so stick around.
Dave: We're out.
Ever been|on a carriage ride? What do you think|I should wear tomorrow? Natalie: You know nothing|about the ratings guy? I know the exact same thing|you know.
I know lsaac is in meetings, and he'll talk to us|about it later.
My question is where's Dana? -- I'm back.
|-- How was it? Fantastic.
Good scrambled eggs? -- Excellent scrambled eggs.
|-- Connection? Connection made,|my young friend.
-- Does anybody care|if I'm not part of this?|-- It's just as well, Natalie.
There are gonna be some parts|of this story that are unsuitable|for mixed company.
-- I have to edit tape.
|-- Where did you say Dana was? She was up all night.
|And she called and said|she'd be in an hour late.
She was skanking around town|all leathered up? -- I guess so.
|-- Excellent.
Hey, you're talking about the woman whose first date with me I'm planning.
That was some pretty|interesting grammar.
See you at the rundown.
Casey, it was the best|breakfast of my life.
For a thousand bucks,|I imagine it'd be up there.
I was introduced to her.
|She held out her hand.
Hillary Clinton.
There she was -- the hair, the shoes,|and the whole thing.
She said, "Dan, let me" -- First of all,|she called me "Dan.
" Were you wearing a name tag? Yeah.
All right, anyway, she said, "Dan, I'm not|much of a sports fan, "but when I've watched|your show" [ Laughs ]|"you've made me laugh.
" You've made quite a few|of us laugh.
Okay, you know what?|She said something nice|about you, but I'm not gonna|tell you what it was.
Carriage ride through|the park -- in or out? I'm not gonna|tell you that, either.
Finish the story.
The story is|we had a conversation --|seriously.
Someone|had clearly briefed her on my stuff|with the public schools, and I told her|about my opposition to secular programs that|are publicly financed.
I really spoke up,|and she seemed to listen.
-- You mean nonsecular.
|-- What do you mean? You don't oppose|secular programs that are publicly financed, you oppose nonsecular programs|that are publicly financed.
-- Yes.
|-- Go on.
Wait.
-- I'm right.
|-- Are you sure? "Nonsecular" means|"bound to religious guidelines.
" "Secular" means|"free of religion.
" Okay.
I'm sure I got it|right at breakfast.
Well, 50/50 chance.
[ Sighs deeply ] -- Yeah.
|-- So, go on.
-- I'm gonna go -- I'm gonna|change my clothes.
|-- Okay.
-- I didn't get it right.
|-- I know.
-- I blew it.
|-- Yes.
I mixed up.
I inverted|the definitions of "secular"|and "nonsecular.
" Looks like that|might be the case.
-- Hillary Clinton|thinks I'm an idiot!|-- Either that|or a religious bigot.
-- I went to|an lvy League school, Casey.
|-- A proud day|for Dartmouth, Dan.
I made an idiot out of myself|in front of Hillary Clinton.
Yeah, but at least|you had to spend|1,000 bucks to do it.
[ Sighs ] Well, clearly, I have to|get in touch with her.
Clearly.
I need her to know|that I know the difference between secular|and nonsecular.
You don't know the difference|between secular and nonsecular.
Yeah, but I do now,|and I should have then.
|I have to call her.
At this point, I'd say|it's a moral imperative.
-- I'll call her hotel.
|-- They'll put you|right through.
I'm not saying it's not|going to take perseverance, but I'm going to make contact|with this woman.
-- Good luck.
|-- Thank you.
-- Casey|-- I can't talk right now.
No problem.
Casey -- Hey, I'm glad you're|here, because we have|some decisions to make.
I've had an epiphany.
-- Really?|-- Yeah! -- Walk with me.
|-- Okay.
I was up all night.
I heard.
|Good bachelorette party? It was great, but that's not|where I was all night.
Where were you all night? -- Having an epiphany.
|-- Was there a stripper? -- At the party?|Yes, there was.
|-- Yeah.
Did he have|a better body than me? Of course he had|a better body than you, Casey.
He was a professional|male stripper.
You know,|let me tell you something.
When we're asked, men know|how to answer that question.
It's not like|I'm not qualified|for the job, Dana.
-- It's just|-- I know.
I understand.
Do you want to hear|about the epiphany? -- No.
|-- Casey Yes, but first,|let me just clear|this plan with you.
I pick you up|Saturday at 8:00.
Drinks at Moomba,|dinner at Cafe des Artistes, and then -- wait for it --|a carriage ride through the park|with a bottle of champagne.
-- I can top that.
|-- [ Snaps fingers ]|I'm listening.
Instead of doing all that|as our first date|Saturday night, we postpone our first date|for six months while you see other women.
-- I'm sorry?|-- It was my epiphany.
What was your epiphany? That instead of you and l|going out on our first -- Don't say it again.
What's happened? -- Listen.
|-- I am.
The bride, my friend --|at this thing last night -- someone leaned over|to me and said, "It's|never gonna last.
" What's never gonna last? The bride and the guy.
Why not? Because he was basically|the only guy she dated|as an adult, and either she was gonna|meet someone better or she'd always feel|like she could have|met someone better.
-- Dana|-- Casey You started dating Lisa|when you were 18.
-- You married her|when you were 23.
|-- I remember all that.
I think you know|how I feel about you, Casey.
I think I do.
-- I want us to have|a clear shot at this.
|-- Me too.
-- The date you planned|sounds great.
|-- Yes, it does.
-- We're definitely|going to do it.
|-- Okay.
But first, you got|to date other women.
Let's go back|to the beginning.
You are about five|different kinds of crazy,|you know that? I don't think this is|the time or place, do you? No, you're right.
|Let's discuss this|six months from now after I've had more|experience with psychos.
I have to talk to lsaac now.
-- What if I just|flat-out refuse?|-- What do you mean? What if I just refuse|to go along with your plan? Then you do not get|the wonder that is me.
I'm not sure I want|the wonder that is you.
Well, that's entirely|up to you.
-- Yes, it is.
Okay.
|-- That's right.
-- Fine.
|-- l-I want to kill you|right now.
Problem is that's not|the only thing you want to do with me|right now, is it? No, that's pretty much it.
I have to talk to lsaac now.
What's the problem here? He's mad 'cause I had|an epiphany and he didn't.
This isn't happening.
[ Knock on door ] -- Come in.
|-- Hey.
How was the hooker party? Biker party.
It was fine.
|How was therapy? -- I walked 1/10 of a mile|on the treadmill.
|-- Good.
-- Who's the ratings guy?|-- Now, Dana, don't go -- -- Who's the ratings guy?|-- His name's Sam Donovan.
Is he good? -- No, I decided|to hire a moron.
|-- Isaac I think he's the best|in the business.
I think there's|no one else close.
Who do I answer to --|you or him? Well, that's not how -- Isaac, who do I answer to,|you or him? I want you to work|with him, Dana.
I want you to make|this work.
It'll just|be a short while.
-- You didn't have to do this.
|-- We're in third place.
-- We were ticking up|on our own.
|-- Not fast enough.
Fast enough for you,|fast enough for us.
Not fast enough for them.
I got to tell you, the sight of you --|the sight of lsaac Jaffee|fearing for his job I want you|to work with him, Dana.
I want you to make this work.
-- Is there a number?|-- What? Is there a set number|of women? I don't know.
'Cause if there's|a set number of women, maybe you can just get them|out of the way, bing-bam-boom.
-- Bing-bam-boom?|-- That was me getting women|out of the way really fast.
-- You don't think|her epiphany sounds insane?|-- I sort of do, yeah.
But she didn't run it by|me, so this is the kind|of thing that happens.
No, this is the kind|of thing that happens|when she does run it by you, so I'm surprised to hear|you weren't involved.
Turning on me isn't|going to solve anything.
What did he say? His name's Sam Donovan.
|He's supposed to be very good.
-- Well, did lsaac say|why all of a sudden|he decided to --|-- What do you think? Natalie, let me|have senior staff|at 10 minutes to air.
-- Sure.
By the way,|this plan --|-- Yeah.
Never ran it by me.
I'm going with my instincts|on this one.
It shows.
I got to get to work.
-- Dana, I have dated|women before.
|-- You have not.
What about that double date|at Anthony Anthony's|with you and Gordon? It almost turned|very serious with that girl.
-- What was her name?|-- Ah, for the life of me,|I can't remember.
That's 'cause you ended up|sitting at the bar with me|watching "Sports Night.
" -- What about Sally?|-- That wasn't dating.
Well, we slept together|almost every night|for three months.
-- Thanks for reminding me.
|-- Dana That wasn't dating.
|That was two lonely|and pathetic people slinking off after her|crappy, little 2:00 A.
M.
show, getting drunk,|and using each other for sex.
-- That's not dating?|-- No.
Okay, but still, can I just|do that for a little while|and we'll call it -- -- No, sir!|-- Listen Casey, I have dated,|and I'm done.
The next thing I have --|I want it to be serious.
The last thing you had,|you were engaged.
You got to trust me on this.
No, I don't think I do|have to trust you on this.
We have a magical|first kiss in my office -- I do not deny it was magical.
You better not deny|it was magical, because I took you|off your feet, woman.
I rocked you back.
I do not deny it.
I plan our first date --|Moomba, Cafe des Artistes -- Carriage rides are out,|by the way.
They are not out.
|They are back in.
Yeah?|If you're from Akron.
[ Sighs ] Hey.
I'm not saying I wouldn't|have had a good time.
-- So, this woman comes along|at your biker party --|-- Deanna.
This drunken,|bitter, lesbian woman.
Now, why would you do|that? Why would you go|to lesbian right there? -- Tell me|you're not a homophobe.
|-- Are you saying|in order to prove to you that I'm grown-up enough|to go out with you, you're gonna make me|go out and find other|women to sample first? -- I'm not even gonna ask|for approval.
|-- Thanks.
-- Casey|-- Dana We'll have more time|to talk about this later.
Just know|that I want to give us|the best possible chance.
So you're going to have me|date your friends? I gotta go.
|You all right? Actually, I am frightened|of my own life, but I'll talk to you later.
Good.
[ Sniffs ] [ Chuckles ] -- [ Sighs ] I'm going to|have to live with this.
|-- Yes.
She never returned my calls.
That's pretty surprising.
She never returned my calls, and I'm going to|have to live with this the rest of my natural life.
It's out there now, and it's probably getting|blown all out of proportion.
Listen.
You can hear the whispers|from the treetops.
You know a lie can make it|halfway around the world before the truth has a chance|to get its boots on? What are you,|Burl lves all of a sudden? As a matter of fact,|that was Mark Twain.
-- I know who it was.
|-- And so do l.
And I'm able to quote him|because I'm educated.
I know things.
-- You work your whole life,|and in an instant|-- Yes.
I'm sure she's told|her friends by now.
Let's go.
-- It's just out there|-- Danny and it can't be gotten back.
What do you think|I should do about this? I think you should do|what she tells you to do.
She had a weird night|at a party.
Things will look different|in the cold light of day.
-- Do you think?|-- Does the plan include|you're supposed to have sex? I don't know.
|I assume it's an option.
-- You've explained to her|that the plan is insane?|-- I'm trying.
-- You want me to take|a whack at it?|-- No.
-- What's going on?|-- I wanted us to say|hello to Sam Donovan|before the show started.
I'm sorry? I said I wanted us|to say hello to Sam Donovan, the ratings consultant,|before the show started.
I thought you said, "l was thinking|about my dating plan and|realized I was mental.
" No.
-- Where is he?|-- I don't know.
Can I just say|that I've had experience|with this before and I think you're all|a little too worried|about nothing? These guys tend|to be obnoxious, but I've found|they're mostly obsequious|and starved for acceptance.
"Boned" and "deboned"|mean the same thing.
Would you give it a rest? Actually, Danny's right.
|These guys just want|to be liked.
We show him that he's|perfectly welcome here but make it clear|we do a good show, it's our show, and|we're reluctant to have|the network involved in creative|or editorial decisions.
We can't do that.
-- Why?|-- 'Cause lsaac wants me|to work with him.
-- Dana|-- I'm gonna work|with him, Casey.
It's just for a few weeks.
[ Sighs ] There's such a word|as "disheveled," but "sheveled"|is nowhere to be found|in the dictionary.
Danny I'm just saying|English sucks.
We're starting|to press the clock.
Dave, do me a favor.
|Get us at ready-1.
Kim, Elliott, go ahead|and do your preflight.
-- Exactly how many dates|do I have to go on --|-- Later.
This is nice.
This is like quiet time.
The hell with it.
Let's go and do the show,|and then -- Excuse me.
Are you Sam Donovan? Yeah.
I was just looking|for my office.
I'm Dana Whitaker.
How you doin'? -- Dan Rydell.
|-- Casey McCall.
Good to meet you.
If someone could just|point me toward my office We got together like this|to welcome you.
Thanks.
My office? I'm sorry.
|You don't have one yet.
I'm sure Janie,|our office manager --|[ Thud ] -- That'll be taken care of|by the morning?|-- Yeah.
Who's the segment producer|tonight? -- I am.
|-- What's your top story -- -- Oakland|or Ted Marchibroda?|-- Ted Marchibroda.
Make it Oakland, will you? Move Marchibroda|to the 10-block.
|Fill with the wild card.
-- Are you scripted|in the ones?|-- Yeah, but -- Excuse me, Jeremy.
|Sam, what are you doing? -- Hmm?|-- I said,|"What are you doing?" It's gonna be helpful|if you get used to not asking|that question.
Hang on.
You can't just come in here|and start dictating policy.
Now, we're ready|to work with you|as long as you understand that this is our show|and we feel we do it well.
You should also|bear in mind that Dana|doesn't stand alone here.
Unless you want your first|action as a consultant to cause a full-staff walkout, including the on-air|talent and producers,|I'd downshift a little.
You shouldn't think that just|because I'm looking at you|while you're talking to me that I'm necessarily|listening to or caring|about what you're saying.
It's just something I do|to be polite.
I was lying|on a beach in Bali.
I got a phone call.
|I got on a plane for 14 hours.
I was hired to raise this show's|audience share 3 points.
Just between you and me,|I'm gonna raise it 3 1/2.
I'm not lacking in confidence|as far as that's concerned, and because of that,|I can say this -- I honestly don't give a damn|if any of you work here or not.
Who's the coordinating|producer tonight? I am.
Well, I've got 10:55.
You want to call places? Places, first team.
Dana Go ahead, guys.
No, wait a second.
It's okay.
Go ahead.
-- You sure?|-- Yeah.
Good show.
I'm not gonna like you|very much, am l? Oh, don't be ridiculous, Dana.
|Everybody likes me.
Dave: In 32 Good evening.
|From New York City, I'm Dan Rydell|alongside Casey McCall.
Those stories,|plus "lnside the Playbook"|with Kelly Kirkpatrick, "Center lce"|with Jack Jankowitz, and "The lnfield Fly"|with Connie Morton in Chicago.
All that coming up after this.
You're watching|"Sports Night" on CSC,|so stick around.
Dave: We're out.
On the next "Sports Night" I'm frightened|every time I'm near him.
You gotta face that fear.
If I allow you three to go in there|and mess with my show, will it keep my staff|from losing their jobs? I can't make promises.
Fire me or shut the hell up.
It doesn't seem|like he's recovering|as fast as we hoped.
You've become a malcontent,|Danny.
You've become|a secretary, Dana.
-- No one's blaming you.
|-- Everyone's blaming me! -- We're in trouble.
|-- I know.