Transcript of When Something Wicked This Way Comes

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KIM (VO): (Over intercom) Five minutes to air. First team in the studio, please. Five minutes.

NATALIE (VO): Well, I've heard the rumor.

JEREMY (VO): Now I've heard the rumor.

NATALIE : That's two.

JEREMY : Plus Kim.

NATALIE : That's three.

JEREMY : Three people have heard the rumor.

NATALIE : So I think we're justified in being nervous.

JEREMY: I think we're justified in being damn nervous, and I'm someone who can be, frankly, nervous without much justification at all.

NATALIE: I know.

JEREMY: Elliott, have you heard the rumor?

ELLIOTT: Yes, I have.

JEREMY: That's four.

NATALIE: That's four people we know who've heard the rumor.

JEREMY: And that's only counting the people we know who've heard the rumor.

NATALIE: That's right.

JEREMY: What exactly does a ratings expert do?

NATALIE: Well, presumably, he raises ratings.

JEREMY: What's wrong with our ratings?

NATALIE: Our ratings are fine.

JEREMY: We come in third.

NATALIE: Consistently.

JEREMY: Damn straight.

NATALIE: We come in third each and every week.

JEREMY: The only way we could possibly do better is if we came in first or second.

NATALIE: That's right.

JEREMY: It's not like we're those clowns in fourth.

NATALIE: Bunch of losers.

JEREMY: So 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!

NATALIE: It's illogical!

JEREMY: And yet four people have heard the rumor.

DAVE: You guys hear about the ratings guy?

JEREMY: A full five people now!

DAVE: Good show!

NATALIE: Good show!

JEREMY: I'm a little worked up about this.

NATALIE: As well you should be.

JEREMY: As well should we all.

(NATALIE and JEREMY have made their way to DANA's office, where DANA is wearing a black leather, sleeveless halter top and black leather pants. NATALIE knocks.)

DANA: Come in! Hi!

JEREMY: (Nervous). Hello.

DANA: What's up?

NATALIE: Dana, what are you wearing?

DANA: Do you like it?

NATALIE: As a matter of fact, I do.

DANA: Tell me something. (As she leans down to fix her shoe, JEREMY's eyes head for her revealed cleavage.) Why would the nickel-back have set up five yards off the line on 3rd and 1, inside the 50, and they'd been going off tackle all day?

NATALIE: Well, you have to figure--. Excuse me, Dana. (Turns to JEREMY) Sweetie, Dana can tell when you're staring at her breasts.

DANA: I wasn't!

NATALIE: It's okay.

JEREMY: I m-mean, my eyes naturally went there, but now I'm fine.

NATALIE: (To Dana) Why are you wearing that?

JEREMY: I assume after the show you're going directly to an important business meeting.

NATALIE: She's going to a bachelorette party. Why are you wearing those clothes?

DANA: The bachelorette party is biker-themed.

JEREMY: It's biker-themed?

DANA: It's biker-themed. We're all being picked up and escorted to the party on Harleys. I'm gonna ride on the back of a hog.


DANA: I know the lingo.

JEREMY: Listen, have you heard the rumor?

DANA: About the ratings guy?

NATALIE: Is it true?


NATALIE: No, you haven't heard the rumor?

DANA: Yes, I've heard the rumor and no, it isn't true.

JEREMY: Really?

DANA: There's no ratings guy.

JEREMY: Five people have heard the rumor.

DANA: Five people are wrong. (Enters the control room.) Show me San Diego. Show me Oakland.

DAVE: Three minutes out.

CHRIS: Loading animation one through five.

WILL: Loading sound five.

DANA: Chyron's clear on 60?

NATALIE: It's clearing.

DAVE: Oakland's up.

DANA: Thank you, Dave, and stop looking at my ass.

DAVE: No problem.

(Cut to the studio, where CASEY is walking on set and talking to ALLISON.)

CASEY : 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...

DAN: Listen to this.

CASEY: Tell them about my street cred.

DAN: (Laughs.) Seriously.

CASEY: No, tell them about my rep.

DAN: 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.

CASEY: No, in some parts...

DAN: No, there are no parts. Now listen to this.

DAVE: Two minutes to VTR.

DAN: I just hung up the phone. What's the best news I could have?

CASEY: You won a four-week vacation to someplace else?

DAN: The best news I could have for me.

CASEY: You got invited to Hilary Clinton's fund-raising breakfast.

DAN: I got invited to Hilary Clinton's fund-raising breakfast. Me, the First Lady, scrambled eggs, lively conversation. Turns out it wasn't that hard. You know what you have to do?

CASEY: Write a check for a thousand dollars?

DAN: That's right. But not everyone was given that opportunity. I was asked.

CASEY: They asked you for a thousand dollars, and you gave it to them. That's incredible, Danny.

DAN: I was picked, Casey. I was identified.

CASEY: Yes, it's called being a mark.

DAN: I gladly gave my money to a good fight.

CASEY: Danny, Isaac's got enough to deal with from the network right now without you getting into a good fight.

DAN: This isn't about politics.

CASEY: She's running for the Senate.

DAN: This is about me, Miss Hilary Rodham of Chicago, a connection.

CASEY: There'll be a connection?

DAN: I believe there will be.

CASEY: This really isn't political, is it?

DAN: No, sir, it is not.

CASEY: You have a crush on Hilary Clinton.

DAN: I carry a torch for her, yes.

CASEY: You're hot for Mrs. Clinton.

DAN: Well, agh, who isn't? But in my case it's more the physical than the cerebral.

CASEY: No doubt about it. I think we need to get you a CAT scan and stat.

DAN: I would like to have an intelligent, high-minded, right-thinking, socially progressive, impressively pragmatic conversation with Hilary Clinton. Tomorrow morning I shall.

CASEY: Shall you?

DAN: Yes. 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."


CASEY: Well, then here's to you, Mrs. Robinson.

KIM: 60 seconds live.

JEREMY: What kind of world do we live in when third place isn't almost as good as second place?

DANA: Jeremy...

JEREMY: The rumors are undeniable, Dana.

DANA: No, they're not undeniable. I'm denying them.

NATALIE: Do the count again.

JEREMY: Natalie and me, that's two.

DANA: Don't do the count.

JEREMY: Kim and Elliott, that's four.

DANA: He's doing the count.

JEREMY: Casey and Dan.

ELLIOTT: That's six.

DANA: Thanks.

JEREMY: Will, Chris and Dave.

DANA: I'm just doing this in my head, but that's nine, right?


DANA: Isaac! Good, you're here.

ISAAC: What are you dressed as?

DANA: I'm going to a bachelorette party. It's a theme bachelorette party.

NATALIE: Ask her what the theme is.

ISAAC: I just assumed it was hookers.

DANA: It's biker chicks.

ISAAC: Just as good in my book.

KIM: 30 seconds live.

DANA: Isaac, tell these people, would you?

ISAAC: Tell them what?

DANA: Tell them the rumor isn't true. Tell them there is no ratings expert coming in to work on the show.

ISAAC: The rumor is true. There is a ratings expert coming to work on the show, and he's coming tomorrow.

DANA: The network hired a ratings guy?

ISAAC: The network didn't hire him. I did.

JEREMY: Dana, this may not be the right time, but that's ten.

DAVE: In 3...2...

CASEY: 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 Redwings did some damage to the duck pond. And we'll take you around the NFL, where the Dolphins did some damage to themselves.

DAN: All that after this. You're watching Sports Night on CSC, so stick around.

DAVE: We're out.

CASEY: (Leans over to chat with Dan.)

DAN: (Barely audible) What do you think I should wear?"

(The scene fades to black and the first commerical break.)


(The newsroom the following day.)

NATALIE (VO): You know anything about the ratings guy?

CASEY: I know the exact same thing you know. I know Isaac is in meetings and he'll talk to us about it later. My question is, where's Dana?

DAN: I'm back!

NATALIE: How was it?

DAN: Fantastic!

CASEY: Good scrambled eggs?

DAN: Excellent scrambled eggs.

CASEY: Connection?

DAN: Connection made, my young friend.

NATALIE: Does anybody care if I'm not part of this?

DAN: It's just as well, Natalie. There are gonna be some parts of this story that are unsuitable for mixed company.

NATALIE: I have to edit tape.

CASEY: Where'd you say Dana was?

NATALIE: She was up all night. She called and said she'd be in an hour late.

DAN: She was skankin' around town all leathered up?

NATALIE: I guess so.

DAN: Excellent.

CASEY: Hey, you're talkin' about the woman whose first date with me I'm planning.


CASEY: That was some pretty interesting grammar.

NATALIE: (Chuckles.) See you at the rundown.

DAN: (Grinning.) Casey, it was the best breakfast of my life.

CASEY: For a thousand bucks, I'd imagine it'd be up there.

DAN: I was introduced to her. She held out her hand. Hilary Clinton. There she was. The hair, the shoes and the whole thing. She said, "Dan, let me..." First of all, she called me Dan.

CASEY: Were you wearing a name tag?

DAN: Yeah.

(Casey smiles and nods.)

DAN: All right, anyway. She said, "Dan, I'm not much of a sports fan, but when I've watched your show..." (Laughing) "'ve made me laugh."

CASEY: You've made quite a few of us laugh.

DAN: Okay, you know what? She said something nice about you, but I'm not gonna tell you what it was.

CASEY: Carriage ride through the Park, in or out?

DAN: I'm not gonna tell you that either.

CASEY: Finish the story.

DAN: 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.

CASEY: You mean non-secular.

DAN: What do you mean?

CASEY: You don't oppose secular programs that are publicly financed. You oppose non-secular programs that are publicly financed.

DAN: Yes.

CASEY: Go on.

DAN: Wait.

CASEY: I'm right.

DAN: Are you sure?

CASEY: Non-secular means bound to religious guidelines. Secular means free of religion.

DAN: (Thinking.) Okay. I'm sure I got it right at breakfast.

CASEY: Fifty-fifty chance.

(DAN is still pondering the odds that he got it right.)

CASEY: So go on.

(A distracted DAN reaches for a change of clothes.)

DAN: I'm gonna go and change my clothes.

CASEY: Okay.

(DAN drops the clothes to the floor.)

DAN: I didn't get it right.

CASEY: I know.

DAN: I blew it.


DAN: I mixed up! I inverted the definitions of secular and non-secular!

CASEY: Looks like that might be the case.

DAN: Hilary Clinton thinks I'm an idiot!

CASEY: Either that or a religious bigot.

DAN: I went to an Ivy League school, Casey.

CASEY: Proud day for Dartmouth, Dan.

DAN: I made an idiot out of myself in front of Hilary Clinton.

CASEY: Yeah, but at least you had to spend a thousand bucks to do it.

DAN: Well, clearly I have to get in touch with her.

CASEY: Clearly.

DAN: I mean, I need her to know that I know the difference between secular and non-secular.

CASEY: You don't know the difference between secular and non-secular.

DAN: Yeah, but I do now, and I should have then. I have to call her.

CASEY: At this point, I'd say it's a moral imperative.

DAN: I'll call her hotel.

CASEY: Oh, they'll put you right through.

DAN: I'm not saying it's not gonna take a perseverance, but I'm going to make contact with this woman.

CASEY: Good luck!

DAN: Thank you.

(As DAN turns to leave the office and change clothes, DANA runs up and bumps into him.)

DANA: Casey!

DAN: I can't talk right now.

DANA: No problem. Casey!

CASEY: Hey, I'm glad you're here because we have some decisions to make.

DANA: I've had an epiphany!

CASEY: Really?

DANA: Yeah! Walk with me.

(They walk through the newsroom.)

CASEY: Okay.

DANA: I was up all night.

CASEY: I heard. Good bachelorette party?

DANA: It was great, but that's not where I was all night.

(They arrive at DANA's office.)

CASEY: Where were you all night?

DANA: Having an epiphany.

CASEY: Was there a stripper?

DANA: At the party?

CASEY: Yeah.

DANA: Yes.

CASEY: Did he have a better body than me?

DANA: Of course he had a better body than you, Casey. He was a professional male stripper.

CASEY: You know, let me tell you something. When we're asked, men know how to answer that question.

DANA: Listen, seriously...

CASEY: It's not like I'm not qualified for the job, Dana. It's just something--

(DANA covers his mouth with her hand.)

DANA: I know, I understand. Do you want to hear about the epiphany?


DANA: Casey...

CASEY: Yes. But first, let me just clear this plan with you. I pick you up Saturday at 8, drinks at Moonbas, dinner at Café Des Artistes, and then - wait for it - carriage ride through the Park with a bottle of champagne.

DANA: I can top that!

CASEY: I'm listening.

DANA: Instead of doing all that as our first date Saturday night, we postpone our first date for six months while you see other women!

(CASEY's face falls.)

CASEY: I'm sorry?

DANA: It was my epiphany!

CASEY: What was your epiphany?

DANA: That instead of you and I going out on our first-

CASEY: Don't, don't say it again. What's happened?

DANA: Listen...

CASEY: I am.

DANA: The bride, my friend at this thing last night, someone leaned over to me and said, "It's never gonna last."

CASEY: What's never gonna last?

DANA: The bride and the guy.

CASEY: Why not?

DANA: Because he was basically the only guy she'd dated as an adult. And either she was going to meet someone better, or she'd always feel like she could have met someone better.

CASEY: Dana...

DANA: Casey, you started dating Lisa when you were 18. You married her when you were 23.

CASEY: I remember all that.

DANA: I think you know how I feel about you, Casey.

CASEY: I think I do.

DANA: I want us to have a clear shot at this.

CASEY: Me too.

DANA: The date you planned sounds great...

CASEY: Yes, it does.

DANA: ...and we're definitely gonna do it...

CASEY: Okay...

DANA: First you gotta date other women.

CASEY: Let's go back to the beginning.



(CASEY and DANA are walking through the hallways into the newsroom.)

CASEY: You are about five different kinds of crazy, you know that?

DANA: I don't think this is the time or place, do you?

CASEY: No, you're right. Let's discuss this six months from now after I've had more experience with psychos.

DANA: I have to talk to Isaac now.

CASEY: What if I just flat-out refused?

DANA: What do you mean?

CASEY: What if I just refused to go along with your plan?

DANA: Then you do not get the wonder that is me.

CASEY: I'm not sure I want the wonder that is you.

DANA: Well, that's entirely up to you.

CASEY: Yes, it is.

DANA: That's right.

CASEY: Okay.

DANA: Fine.

CASEY: (Frustrated) I, I'm gonna kill you right now!

DANA: Problem is that's not the only thing you want to do with right now, is it?

CASEY: No, that's pretty much it.

DANA: I have to talk to Isaac now.

DAN: What's the problem here?

DANA: He's mad 'cause I had an epiphany, and he didn't.

(DAN looks at CASEY, who sighs in frustration, then turns his back to DAN.)

CASEY: This isn't happening.

(Meanwhile, DANA arrives at ISAAC'S office and knocks on the open door.)

ISAAC: Come in.

DANA: Hey.

ISAAC: How was the hooker party?

DANA: Biker party. It was fine. How was therapy?

ISAAC: I walked a tenth of a mile on the treadmill.

DANA: Good.

(She turns to close the door.)

DANA: Who's the ratings guy?

ISAAC: Now, Dana, don't go...

DANA: Who's the ratings guy?

ISAAC: His name's Sam Donovan.

DANA: Is he good?

ISAAC: No, I decided to hire a moron.

DANA: Isaac...

ISAAC: I think he's the best in the business. I think there's no one else close.

DANA: Who do I answer to? You or him?

ISAAC: Well, that's not how...

DANA: Who do I answer to? You or him?

ISAAC: I want you to work with him, Dana. I want you to make this work. It'll just be a short while.

DANA: You didn't have to do this, Isaac.

ISAAC: We're in third place.

DANA: We were ticking up on our own.

ISAAC: Not fast enough.

DANA: Fast enough for you! Fast enough for us!

ISAAC: Not fast enough for them.

DANA: I gotta tell ya, this side of you, this side of Isaac Jaffe fearing for his job...

ISAAC: (Talking over her) I want you to work with him, Dana. I want you to make this work.

(Cut to outside ISAAC's office, where NATALIE and CASEY are talking.)

NATALIE: Is there a number?

CASEY: What?

NATALIE: Is there a set number of women?

CASEY: I don't know.

NATALIE: 'Cause if there's a set number of women, maybe you could just get 'em out of the way, bing bam boom.

CASEY: Bing bam boom?

NATALIE: That was me getting women out of the way really fast.

CASEY: You don't think her epiphany sounds insane?

NATALIE: I sorta do, yeah. But she didn't run it by me, so this is the kind of thing that happens.

CASEY: 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.

NATALIE: Turning on me isn't going to solve anything.

(DANA comes from ISAAC's office.)

CASEY: What'd he say?

DANA: His name's Sam Donovan. He's supposed to be very good.

CASEY: Did Isaac say why all the sudden he decided to-?

DANA: What do you think? Natalie, let me have senior staff at ten minutes to air.

NATALIE: Sure. By the way, this plan...

DANA: Yeah?

NATALIE: Never ran it by me.

DANA: Going with my instincts on this one.

NATALIE: It shows.

(As NATALIE walks away, DANA gives CASEY a "Not now" look.)

DANA: I gotta get to work.

CASEY: Dana, I have dated women before.

DANA: You have not.

CASEY: What about that double date at Anthony Anthony's with you and Gordon? It almost turned very serious with that girl.

DANA: What was her name?

CASEY: Ah, for the life of me I can't remember.

DANA: That's because you ended up sitting at the bar with me, watching Sports Night.

CASEY: What about Sally?

DANA: That wasn't dating.

CASEY: Well, we slept together almost every night for three months.

DANA: Thanks for reminding me.

CASEY: Dana...

DANA: That wasn't dating. That was two lonely and pathetic people slinking off after a crappy little 2 a.m. show, getting drunk and using each other for sex.

CASEY: That's not dating?


CASEY: Okay. But still, can I just do that for a little while and we'll call it--?

DANA: No sir!

CASEY: Listen...

DANA: Casey, I have dated and I am done. The next thing I have, I want it to be serious.

CASEY: The last thing you had, you were engaged. How much--?

DANA: You gotta trust me on this.

CASEY: Well, I don't think I do have to trust you on this. We have a magical first kiss in my office--.

DANA: I do not deny it was magical.

CASEY: You better not deny it was magical, because I took off your feet, woman! (Smiling despite himself.) I rocked you back!

DANA: I do not deny it.

CASEY: I plan our first date: Moonbas, Café des Artistes--.

DANA: Carriage rides are out, by the way.

CASEY: They are not out. They're back in.

DANA: Yeah? If you're from Akron.

CASEY: Hey...

DANA: I'm not saying I wouldn't have had a good time.

CASEY: So, this woman comes along at your biker party.

DANA: Deanna.

CASEY: This drunken, bitter, lesbian woman.

DANA: Now why did you do that? Why would you put a "lesbian" right there?

CASEY: Are you saying...?

DANA: Tell me you're not a homophobe.

CASEY: order to prove to you that I'm grown-up enough to go out with you, you're going to make me go out and find other women to sample first?

DANA: I'm not even going to ask for approval.

CASEY: Thanks.

DANA: Casey.

CASEY: Dana!

DANA: We'll have more time to talk about this later. But just know that I want to give us the best possible chance.

CASEY: So you're gonna have me date your friends?

DANA: I gotta go. You all right?

CASEY: Actually, I'm frightened of my own life, but I' to you later.

(CASEY walks away.)

DANA: Good.

(As DANA walks to the newsroom, we transition to CASEY in his office later than night. DAN is sitting quietly on CASEY's desk, his back to CASEY.)

DAN: I'm gonna have to live with this.


DAN: She never returned my calls.

CASEY: That's pretty surprising.

DAN: She never returned my calls. I'm gonna 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.

CASEY: What are you, Burl Ives all of the sudden?

DAN: As a matter of fact, that was Mark Twain.

CASEY: I know who it was.

DAN: And so do I. And I'm able to quote him because I'm educated. I know things. You work your whole life, and in an instant...!


DAN: I'm sure she's told her friends by now.

NATALIE: Let's go!

DAN: It's just out there!

CASEY: Danny...

DAN: And it can't be gotten back!

CASEY: What do you think I should do about this?

DAN: I think you should what she tells you. She had a weird night at party. Things'll look different in the cold light of day.

CASEY: You think?

DAN: Does the plan include you're supposed to have sex?

CASEY: I don't know. I assume it's an option.

DAN: You've explained to her that the plan is insane?

CASEY: Trying.

DAN: You want me to take a whack at it?


(DAN and CASEY arrive in the conference room, where the senior staff is gathered.)

DAN: What's goin' on?

DANA: I wanted us to say hello to Sam Donovan before the show started.

CASEY: I'm sorry?

DANA: I said I wanted us to say hello to Sam Donovan, the ratings consultant, before the show started.

CASEY: I thought you said, "I was thinking about my dating plan and realized I was mental."


DAN: Where is he?

DANA: I don't know.

DAN: 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 them mostly obsequious and starved for acceptance.

(Silence from the group.)

DAN: Boned and de-boned mean the same thing.

DAVE: Would you give it a rest?

CASEY: Actually, Danny's right. These guys just want to be liked. Let's 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.

DANA: We can't do that.


DANA: 'Cause Isaac wants me to work with him.

CASEY: Dana...

DA I'm gonna work with him, Casey. It's just for a few weeks.

(CASEY sighs. The room returns to silence.)

DAN: There's such a word as disheveled, but "sheveled" is nowhere to be found in the dictionary.

CASEY: Danny...

DAN: I'm just sayin' English sucks.

(Silence again. DANA looks at NATALIE's watch.)

DANA: We're starting to press the clock. Dave, do me a favor. Get us at ready one. Kim, Elliott, go ahead and do your pre-flight.

(DAVE, KIM, ELLIOTT, CHRIS and WILL leave the room, which is silent once more.)

CASEY: Exactly how many dates do I have to--?

DANA: Later.

JEREMY: This is nice. It's like quiet time.

DANA: To hell with it. Let's go and do the show.

(As they get up from the table, a disheveled man appears in the door.)_

DANA: Are you Sam Donovan?

SAM: Yeah. I was just looking for my office.

DANA: I'm Dana Whitaker.

SAM: How ya doin'?

DAN: Dan Rydell.

CASEY: Casey McCall.

SAM: Good to meet you. If someone could just point me toward my office.

DANA: We got together like this to welcome you.

SAM: Thanks. My office?

DANA: I'm sorry, you don't have one yet. I'm sure Janey, our office manager could...

SAM: That'll be taken care of by the morning?

DANA: Yeah.

SAM: Who's the segment producer tonight?


SAM: What's your top story? Oakland or Ted Martiabrodo?

JEREMY: Ted Martiabrodo.

SAM: Make it Oakland, will ya? Move Martiabrodo to the 10 block along with the wildcard. Are you scripted in the ones?

JEREMY: Yeah, but...

DANA: Excuse me, Jeremy. Sam, what are you doing?

(SAM starts writing notes on DANA's rundown.)

SAM: Huh?

DANA: What are you doing?

SAM: It's gonna be helpful if you get used to not asking that question.

DAN: 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 walk-out, including the on-air talent and producers, I'd down-shift a little.

SAM: 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 three points. Just between you and me, I'm gonna raise it three-and-a-half. 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.

(Stunned silence from the group. SAM looks at his watch.)

SAM: Who's the coordinating producer tonight?


SAM: Well, I've got 10: 55. You wanna call places?

(NATALIE stares back in silence.)

DANA: Places. First team.

DAN: Dana...

DANA: Go ahead, guys.

CASEY: No, wait a sec.

DANA: It's okay. Go ahead.

CASEY: You sure?

DANA: Yeah. Good show.

(DAN, CASEY, NATALIE AND JEREMY leave. SAM continues to make notes on the rundown.)

DANA: I'm not going to like you very much, am I?

SAM: Don't be ridiculous, Dana. Everybody likes me.

(Transition to the start of the show.)

DAVE (VO) : In three...two...

DAN: Good evening. From New York City, I'm Dan Rydell alongside Casey McCall. Those stories plus, Inside the Play Book with Kelly Kirkpatrick, Center Ice with Jack Jancowitz and The Infield Fly with Connie Morton in Chicago.

CASEY: All that comin' up after this. You're watching Sports Night on CSC, so stick around.

DAVE: We're out.

(The camera pulls back behind DAN and CASEY's point of view, showing SAM standing by the cameras, observing the show.)


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