Sports Night
Cliff Gardner

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Cliff Gardner

At the desk, Dan says, "I believe we're about to get a pep talk." Casey, all morose, says, "Yep." Dana strides out onto the set and says, "I've seen brighter performances by inmates -- you mind telling me what the hell's going on?" like if this doesn't pep up the show, I don't know what will. Dan starts to say something, but Dana says, "I don't want to hear about it. This show's supposed to be fun, you guys sound like you're giving stock quotes. Is there a reason I should be aware of?" Now it's Casey's turn to try to say something, only to get cut off by Dana's Motivation with a Vengeance. We see Sam walk onto the set. "Don't give me your excuses," continues Dana. "We've got eighteen minutes of show left. What I'd like is for you guys to start earning your money. Do you have anything to say?" and Casey says, "Yeah..." but of course Dana doesn't really want to hear it and says, "Good!" and turns and walks away, having dispensed three brimming bowlfuls of Liver and Onions for the Soul. Casey makes a tight-lipped face and looks around, and I think he might be constipated.

Sam strolls up and starts speaking in that conspiratorial tone men use when a woman in authority has to dress them down, that tone of voice that clearly conveys, "What a bitch, eh? Probably that time of the month." "Donna seems pretty mad," says Sam. Dan tells Sam her name is Dana, which seems to take Sam by surprise. "Dana's a better name," says Sam, whatever that means. "I'm sure she appreciates that," says Casey, all bitchy and not even looking at Sam, who then goes on to confide in the two anchors, even going so far as to hunch over the desk. Sam says he thinks his presence in the studio is intimidating people and that he's going to watch the rest of the show in the green room. Casey snidely says he thinks Dana would appreciate that too. Sam walks away. Dan smugly says that Sam is weakening and he doesn't always get his way. Casey looks at the bare desk and says, "Did he just take our script?" Cut to a shot of Sam turning off the teleprompter. Natalie says to Dana, "We just lost the teleprompter!" as Dave says, "Fifteen seconds back." Dana gets on the mic to tell Dan and Casey the teleprompter's down, so they'll have to work off their script. I think we all know where this is headed. Dan informs her that Sam stole the script. That's not a problem, says Dana, she and Natalie will give them bullet points. She pauses as she realizes what Sam, that magnificent bastard, has done. "We'll whisper them in your ear," she says. The end-wacky-opening-scene music starts up as Dana looks flabbergastedly at Natalie. Commercials.

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Sports Night

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