Sports Night

ABC (ended 2000)





Sports Night Fan Reviews (40)

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out of 10
769 votes
  • More than a decade later I'm writing reviews, complaining about good shows that are canceled because they're too intelligent for the general public and I compare them each to the mother of all criminal cancelations: Sports Night

    I actually saw "Jeremy" on the Series Finale of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles - it was ironic that he'd get a big guest star role in the finale episode. He did an excellent job. Of course Felicity Huffman has done well for herself - and her husband never had a problem. "Dan" has been in a number of things though he hasn't had the success of his desk partner in "6 Feet Under" and other roles. I miss Natalie and of course Robert. If I ever see a copy of the show with the laugh-track - I'll burn it - what a humiliating way to go for a great show.

    SN: RIP
  • Quite simply - the best show ever. Excellent writing, acting, direction.

    Just choosing the classification for Sports Night is tough. "Personal Favorite" or "Absolutely Fabulous" certainly fit. "Underappreciated" is also a big one. Even TV Guide gave it the title of "Best Show You're Not Watching. So what happened? Was it "Ahead of it's time?" Comedy? Drama? Dramedy, even? I loved that you never knew what you were getting. Some episodes had me laughing out loud the entire way through, others had me in tears. Isn't this the mark of a great show? It doesn't have to be one or the other. The audience really connected with the characters. We cared. How many shows nowadays can we say we truly care about these characters?

    A sports show? A show about a television show? A workplace comedy? A relationship comedy? Yes - all of them, and yet none of the above. You didn't have to like sports to enjoy Sports Night. The references were certainly there, but you certainly didn't miss out by not being a jock. The TV references were there, but not so much that it lost the non-techies of us. Maybe we learned a little about ratings! We cared about the relationships, be it Casey and Dana, Natalie and Jeremy, Dan and Rebecca or others - yet those never over rode the premise. The show never became a romantic comedy or tragedy. It kept us on our toes. It kept us smart. Pop culture references were abundant, and Sorkin expected his viewers to be of reasonable intelligence to get half the jokes. Hmmm, maybe this was the problem... Smart shows followed in the same vein and did better; The West Wing, Gilmore Girls, and several others. Perhaps Sports Night helped break ground, if only among critics. They began looking out for more sharply written, well crafted dialogue.

    One thing is for sure, this show bolstered many careers. Had anyone really heard of Peter Krause, Felicity Huffman, Joshua Malina, or even Teri Polo, Brenda Strong or the great Aaron Sorkin before Sports Night hit the screen? No offense to the other cast members, there was no one that was any less fantastic. I am persoanlly a big fan of Josh Charles and am happy to know that he is following his heart on stage. Krause and Huffman each went on to star in their own incredibly successful programs (Six Feet Under, Desperate Housewives). Malina entered the realm of The West Wing as well as landed several leading prime time roles. Ms Strong must have one of the cushiest jobs in TV now as our Housewives narrarator, and Teri Polo has been successful on both the big and small screen since. Sorkin is clearly a love him or hate him kind of writer, but no one can deny the influence that The West Wing has had on television. Some may even suggest that he left Sports Night to flounder because he was concentrating on TWW. Maybe, maybe not. Either way, I am sure that SN gave some the springboard they needed to gaining credibility in Hollywood. The Special Edition 10th Anniversary DVDs come out this fall. I'll be getting mine the day they are available.
  • "Sports Night" was absolutely wonderful!

    I really hated it when Sports Night’s run was over! I guess it was just too good to last!

    Great actors, great chemistry, great writing! The character development was so rich that I actually cared what happened to them. It was getting better with every episode!

    Right after it was over I got my hopes up when I heard that other networks were eager to pick it up. But I understand that Aaron Sorkin had too many irons in the fire to continue the battle to keep this one running. At least some good came from Sports Night’s demise - - one of those irons in the fire was "The West Wing"!

    If you haven't seen Sports Night you should. Get the DVD's and invest the time in watching it. If you like smart, funny TV I think you'll love this show!
  • Sorkin's Masterpiece! I've watched this show 15 times and still can't get enough!

    I'll start off by saying 'I LOVE THIS SHOW!'. Now thats out of the way, what's so great about 'Sports Night'? you might ask. Well it was possibly the most under-rated show of all time. Sorkin's witty dialogue hits the mark every time, whether it be a comdedic, dramatic or romantic moment, the dialogue is always perfect. Sports Night's next biggest asset, is the unbelievable cast it was blessed with, just look at where they are now! Dan and Casey are one of the greatest duo's of all time, their conversations have never failed to entertain me. Dana and Casey (not to be confused with Dan and Casey), the shows main romantic storyline had fantastic chemistry and the fact that it was never resolved bugs me constantly. The rest of the cast all excellent, Jeremy's nerdishness (is that a word???), Isaac's advice, neurotic Natalie, all amazing! The best way to learn about the brilliance of Sports Night is to pick up a DVD and watch it for yourself, trust me you won't regret it!
  • Best of the late 90s

    On Family Guy (a show I generally do not like) they once offered this analysis of Sports Night: "It's too good to be funny." On a certain level, I would have to agree. I don't see this as derogatory, though. Sports Night didn't resort to being "funny" like other sitcoms--it was more like a 30s screwball comedy, with its laughs coming from sharp but flawed characters, funny situations, and recurring gags. To me, it's one of the funniest shows ever made, with gags that can't be fully appreciated until the third or fourth time through the series. It's far more than that, though--it's really a love story about these six people who are so attached to their work they can't get attached to anything else. It's tragic in that sense, but also poignant, because at least they have found something about which to be passionate.

    Sports Night is destined to be compared to The West Wing, but I find Sports Night more compelling--it's less polished, more prototypical, and more felt than its younger sibling. If you like television that adds up to something and actually provokes feeling and thought, this is one to check out.
  • A great comedy / drama about a sports cast group much like sportscenter on ESPN.

    A great comedy / drama about a sports cast group much like sportscenter on ESPN. This was a great show and i would watch it today if they brought it back. Most of the cast has gone on to do big things, six feet under, desperate houswives, the west wing and the like. That plus the very high rating the show has here is proof enough it shouldn't have been canceled. It is my opinion that this is another one of those shows that was hurt by being to "smart" and too hip. many comedies suffer because they will not dumb themselves down to a common or below common ground. Why can't there be TV shows for smart people?
  • An explosive masterpeice cut short before it's chance to shine.

    Sports Night was a thrilling drama, but unfortunately it was canceled. Sports Night offered a deep story in the world that Aaron Sorkin created. It offered witty comedy that was smart, sophisticated but you didn't need to be smart or sophisticated to appreciate this wonderful show. Sports Night offered a level of realism and intelligence rarely seen in a sitcom, Sports Night should have been destined for greatness. Rarely does any show on television, dramas included, engage the viewer in such a way as this one did. Who knows? If Sports Night continued on ABC, would it grow to a huge sucess? And would have been given the recognition it so richly deserves and put up with the other great sitcoms like Friends and Seinfeld. But all we can do is wonder.
  • Television comedy at its best

    "Sports Night" is simply one of the best half-hour comedy shows to have ever come out of network television in the US. Beautifully conceived and written by Aaron Sorkin, it is a smart show about interesting, literate, and articulate characters. A show set in the offices of an ESPN-like cable network could easily have been formulaic, crass, and moronic, but instead "Sports Night" is unpredictable, elegant, and intelligent, all without being pretentious or smug. In addition to the wonderful scripts, "Sports Night" has one of the best ensemble casts ever assembled for a half hour of television. Everyone works together with impeccable timing, keeping things going at a rapid pace that never allows ones interests to flag. And it is refreshing to find a show that respects its audience and refuses to pander by slowing things down or over-explaining its plot points, references, etc. It is sad that such a gem should have only run for two seasons, but that short run ensures that the show will never lose its freshness because it never had the chance to get stale.
  • Ranks with Seinfeld as the best of sitcoms while being completely orginal. Perfectly constructed, highly literate stories about very interesting people.

    A completely orginal gathering of characters in the most unlikely of settings. Sorkin's writing quickly vests us in these characters and their universal trials and tribulations. His accomplisments in West Wing overshadow Sports Night but the writing is every bit as good with real wit used creating the humor. It is the finest ensemble cast this side of Seinfeld.
  • Great, witty and just plain original.

    This show was one of the best. Ever episode was clever and original and was funny as well. No studio audience when it was taped but that's what made it so great. Catching reruns on tv now sucks a bit because they added the dreadful laugh track to each episode.
  • A behind the scenes look at the inner workings of a national sports tv station.

    It was an absolute shame when this show was cancelled. This had the best writing on tv at the time. Too bad the writer was doing West Wing also. I know he had to make a choice...but I personally wish he would have saved this show. Great cast selection, they played very well off of each other. Just goes to show how good the actors were...most of them showed up on West Wing anyway. The pilot show has to be the best episode. Besides introducing us to the major characters, The hiring of Jeremy was great. Still a shame that this show died before its time.
  • Sports Night was a glimpse at the anchors/crew of a Sports News program (Surprised, right?) created by West Wing's Aaron Sorkin. Excellently written, cast, and acted, it suffered from an unusual pacing which, once you got used to it, made it wonderful. To

    I'd like to say that this show, like so many others I've found highly entertaining, wasn't given a good chance by the networks. In this case, though, it was given a particularly good spot on Tuesday nights immediately before the then very popular NYPD Blue. I pondered this, and finally figured it out. A mixture of (mostly) light comedy and drama, it had a very odd comic timing to it, and that made it such that you had to give it a chance to grow on you. While many did, it wasn't enough for ABC, given the time slot, and they killed it at the end of its second season.

    The show was excellently cast, exceedingly well written, and unique in venue. Even if you weren't all that interested in sports (and I'm not, for the most part) the quality and nature of the characters were such that you understood their love for sports even if you did not share it directly.

    The central notion is the lives and cares of the anchors and crew of the third-place cable sports network. The people are close, almost family, and there are the two anchors (Josh Charles/Peter Krause) as competing brothers, the big sister producer (Felicity Huffman), the gung-ho little sister(Sabrina Lloyd) as assistant producer, the nerdy brother(Joshua Malina) fact checker, and the patriarch who holds it all together, played excellently by Robert Guillaume (Guillaume suffered a serious stroke during the show, which was used as part of the story arc, and, when he came back, his visible struggles to regain full function were real).

    In addition to big name Guillaume, you will recognize a number of the other cast members -- Josh Charles was Knox Overstreet on Dead Poet's Society and numerous movies, Felicity Huffman now stars on Desperate Housewives, Sabrina Lloyd was on Sliders and now appears in Numb3ers. Joshua Malina is a regular on Sorkin's West Wing. Peter Krause is on HBO's Six Feet Under. Even the semi-supporting Teri Polo was the title heroine of ABC's short-lived I'm With Her. In addition, the second season includes an excellent 5-episode performance by the extremely talented William H. Macy (Main Street, Seabiscuit, Pleasantville) as a ratings specialist brought in to help improve the network's bottom line before someone pulls the plug.

    You'll note, perhaps, that I haven't said an awful lot in description of the show itself. Well, that's because it's not really easy to describe beyond the terms I've used. It's fairly unique in both form and style. Even the comic timing is oddly different, and it does take some getting used to (I think 5 to 6 episodes). I still consider it one of the top 5 shows I've ever seen, and found its demise to be quite a disappointment.

    Despite the fact that the final season ends with a number of threads unfinished, it's still well worth the time and effort to buy, rent, or find.
  • Great show and way underrated.

    I never really watched the show while it was on primetime. I only remember seeing a few episodes. One day, while at a store, I happened to pick up the complete series on DVD. I\'m glad I did. This show is one of the greatest shows I have ever seen. The show ended way before it should have. Some people might be scared off by the title, because of sports, but that only made up a fraction of the show. Most of the shows dealt with the funny and interesting relationships between the various cast members. I know there is no chance of this happening, but I wish someone could bring the show back. 10 out of 10.
  • Perfection.

    This is the only show I will ever grant a score of 10. It was perfect in every detail: writing, acting, execution... well, not so much in the execution. ABC pulled it from Sweeps, not allowing it to build an audience.

    Back to the positive. I have never cared so much about one group of characters. Each actor was perfect (I think I\\\'m gonna wear out that word) for their role. The characters displayed charm and wit. But they were also flawed, which only made them more lovable.

    I challenge you to watch \\\"The Apology\\\" or \\\"Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee\\\" or \\\"Eli\\\'s Coming\\\" or \\\"Cliff Gardner\\\" or \\\"The Cutman Cometh\\\" and see for yourself that this was the best show television has ever broadcast. It was ... perfect.
  • It was a sad day when this great show left the air.

    It was a very sad day when Sports Night was canceled, even though the last Third of Season 2 kinda hinted at it, the finaly gave a glimer of light that it might not leave for good, just the summer. Sports Night was one of the best shows to ever go on air, because it was a "light drama", "a clever sit-com", and a pretty acurite account of what it is to work with a tight group of people. I say the last part because alot of people just work in an office or something enclosed, but when you have to work everyday with alot of people, such as jornilism, or health care you become pretty tight with your cowokers. And there is always two of them dating or a will-they-wont-they type of realationship. This show also had one of the best line up of cast, and for the most part they have gone on to bigger and better things, but any time i see one of them on "Desperate Housewife", "Six Feet Under", "West Wing", or "Num3rs" just to name a few, I get a little smile on my face cause I know that they were once on one of the greatest shows ever, even if it was only one for two great seasons.

    "Quote Nevermore"
  • A show that was one of the funniest, smartest, and underappreciated shows on television.

    Sports Night was without a doubt one of the best shows on television. It was hilarious, with moments that would make you laugh out loud. The thing about Sports Night was that the humor was so quick and so smart that the average viewer who tuned in looking for a generic comedy with fart jokes and stupid humor was extremely dissapointed and stopped watching. Unfortunately that turned out to be a lot of people. The show was too smart to be on television, where people weren't able to appreciate it, much like Arrested Development is now. People cannot seem to recognize a wonderful cast that clicks on all levels, great dialogue full of quick witted humor, and a truly wonderful show. So while we are left with the memory of this show (and the DVD set) lets all hope that shows like this can be accepted soon!
  • In my opinion the BEST show of all time!

    This show is always funny. I have the DVD box set and I watch it whenever I feel down or just want to laugh. I make sure everyone I know watches it. And the first episode is very very funny and it only get's better and better with ever episode... I sometimes find it hard to stop watching once I start... I love this show... my only complaint is that there are not any more episdoes!
  • SportsNight was one of the first sitcoms to veer off the path. Unforutnately, it was so far off the path that not enough people saw it. What's left is hindsight that clearly shows the great writing the show had and the cast which made the show so specia

    Sports Night was Aaron Sorkin's great achievement before anyone had ever heard of West Wing. Sports Night provided a window into the world of the ESPN news room with fast-paced scripts and humour that referenced everything you could imagine. It has the witty banter of Gilmore Girls, the comedic pairing of two male friends of Two Guys, A Girl, And A Pizza Place, and the brilliance of shows that come along rarely, if ever.

    Although it's a real shame this show was cancelled, the short run also meant that Sports Night never faltered and never had a chance to lose its lustre.

    What remains is a painfully useless boxed DVD set with no extras and a cast that has spread out and joined new, more successful shows:

    Six Feet Under
    West Wing
    Desperate Housewives

    Hopefully, Sports Night will always be around in one form or another. If you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth the effort and money for the Complete Series on DVD.
  • Stupendous show, Sorkin at his best.

    This show was ahead of its time. This was the first show that Sorkin wrote for TV, and easily could have had a West Wing type run, and probably should have had one. This show was the very first of the witty sitcoms. It was well written beyond anything else on TV, and I believe it was just too fast and over the head of most people for that time, and on a major network. If it could have been on a CW, WB type channel it would have lasted and been Gilmore Girls before there was one. One of my very favorites, and it's very missed.
  • The finest half hour of television ever made.

    This show is spectacular. The proof that heaven exists is being able to buy it on DVD. Josh Charles, Peter Krause, Felicity Huffman, Sabrina Lloyd, Robert Guilluame, Joshua Malina…ALL FABULOUS. The acting, writing, casting, direction…ALL FABULOUS. There’s no reason to not get to know this show.

    I suppose the silver lining to this show getting cancelled is that we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy these actors, writers and directors on shows like Desperate Housewives, The West Wing, ED & Six Feet Under. Enjoy.
  • A missed opportunity by HBO from another mistake by ABC.

    This was THE BEST show on TV, bar none, and ABC, just like they did with Monday Night Football, Boston Legal and The Practice, screwed up anything good they've had. Fans of Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy, just wait, they'll find a way to screw those shows up and cancel them too.

    I never understand anything ABC does, because like shaping ESPN into a joke, it never makes sense.

    Sports Night was unbelievably briliant, the writing, the acting and cast. Anyone who tells you that it was too fast probably says the same about the West Wing, but ask that person if they liked A Few Good Men. They were all written by the same genius, Aaron Sorkin. If they don't like all three, odds are they aren't very smart and can't keep up with quick wit and a fast pace.
  • Aaron Sorkin before the West Wing. Same biting and cutting edge scripting, some of the same hot topics just cut down to twenty five minutes or so.

    Aaron Sorkin is a great writer! Before the West Wing came Sport's Night. It was very similar in style and deserves a much closer look. Same biting and cutting edge scripting, some of the same hot topics just cut down to twenty five minutes or so.

    Think the second season lost a bit of it's edge partly because Sorkin was busy on other projects however there were also rumours that the network was getting nervous with the topics being covered. Rape, drugs and racism were all covered as was network interference is news reporting. Following a similar pattern to the demise of Lou Grant the show went out with the storyline of the show mirroring the internal politics of the Network.
  • Aaron Sorkin before the West Wing. Same biting and cutting edge scripting, some of the same hot topics just cut down to twenty five minutes or so.

    Aaron Sorkin is a great writer! Before the West Wing came Sport's Night. It was very similar in style and deserves a much closer look. Same biting and cutting edge scripting, some of the same hot topics just cut down to twenty five minutes or so.

    Think the second season lost a bit of it's edge partly because Sorkin was busy on other projects however there were also rumours that the network was getting nervous with the topics being covered. Rape, drugs and racism were all covered as was network interference is news reporting. Following a similar pattern to the demise of Lou Grant the show went out with the storyline of the show mirroring the internal politics of the Network.
  • *Sports Night* was a show that I found so close to perfect that it was scary,and I'm not even a sports fan.Every Tuesday Night,these wonderful sportcasters,Danny & Casey,who were more like our best friends than sportscasters,would come through the set to

    I'm a biased Josh Charles fan,but *Sports Night* was a wonderful show....and,it wasn't even the sports that kept us intrigued.It was how well they covered the goings-on in the lives of everyone at the station that really kept us tuned in.And,by the time it went off,we felt like we were friends with everyone.
    We knew Casey's favourite song is *Afternoon Delight* by The Starland Vocal Band.We knew all about Dana's little *Dance of Joy*.We knew how Isaac had missed one of the most famous home runs in history by going to the restroom.And,Natalie and Jeremy were the geeks we wanted as siblings.
    By the time it ended,we were so close to these characters that we felt like they were stealing away our best friends by ending the series.
  • Sorkin knows what he\'s doing...when will the rest of us catch along?

    Aaron Sorkin proves over and over again that he has a knack for smart television. Sports Night was a brilliant and witty show focusing on the inner workings of a sports news show. As always, Sorkin manages to assemble a stellar cast. Sorkin\'s quick-witted and speedy pace of dialgue put off some people. I for one love that he is raising the bar for television. The show is both hilarious as well as heartfelt. It is so sad that once again a genius of a show is cancelled (Arreseted Development anyone?). Aaron Sorkin always provides a well-execute script, insanely talented actors and avante style of direction. Do yourself a favor and netflix Sports Night if you\'ve never seen it.
  • That show was awesome.

    I would say bring it back but most of the people are working, the one chick is in that desperate house wives, I think a couple are on Left Wing I mean West wing. I loved that show. I was going to school, for broadcasting, around the time when they always replayed it on Comedy Central, back when that station played comedy and not their own political commentary. Yeah they actually had comedy I\'m surprised I remembered it either. I ended up going in General Commnuncations, because of my lack of respect for the media, but this show was really cool, at showing the woile routine they did for a show, and just the way they interacted was great. I always got a laugh from it too. What ever happened to the chick who played Natalie she was hot. This show was great it\'s too bad it\'s not on anymore.
  • Ended before its time

    Sports Night was a wonderful show, and Sorkins best. I loved West Wing, but this is THE show to watch. I was the old editor at so i am a bit biased, but none the less, this show was amazing.

    We were lucky to have it for the 2 seasons on basic cable... today, it would have been on HBO, and being a poor college student, i can't afford it, so i'm sure i miss out on things, but really, shows like this...Veronica Mars, Scrubs and Arrested Development are great shows, and although they do poor in the ratings, are wonderful shows that give me hope about TV...take that all the CSIs and L&Os...

    Good TV is around, you just have to look for it.
  • The best hour long drama was a half hour sitcom.

    I loved this show. I particularly thought it was wonderful back to back with Spin City, but that's another story.

    Here's the deal...ABC messed up big time. They messed up in the same way that NBC messed up with Boomtown and FOX is about to mess up with Arrested Development....But again, beside the point.

    What is the point? The point is that this was a great show. Visually interesting. Aurally stimulating. Funny. Dramatic. Great characters. Definitely some of the best writing I've ever seen (heard) on television.

    And...ABC messed up in the second season by tampering with the show to make it get better ratings. Ratings aren't what makes a show good. What makes a show good is a quality staff and cast. This show had that in droves.

    This was a completely new and interesting take on the workplace comedy. ..but it's creativity and it's quality were it's downfall.

    I'm glad I had the chance to get to know this series (and as I watch through the DVD for the ...well, a relatively high ammount...time, I am reminded again what an amazing show it was.

    Good characters, continuing stories, thought provoking episodes, and good comedy.

    They need more shows like this on television.
  • One of the smartest comedies to ever not make it.

    This show was great. Pure and simple. Smart dialog, smart storyline, great cast. To bad it just shot way over the heads of most of the tv viewing public and got almost no network support/pr. It was also probably cursed by the name as it looked like an actual sports show in the tv guide.
  • Sports Night followed the relationships that existed between coworkers at a fictional TV sports show.

    Sports Night was a show about a sports show that wasn't about sports. Sports Night was about the relationships that existed among the people who worked together on the set of the fictional "Sports Night." The best relationship was between Dan and Casey. Though it had its ups and downs, they were always there for each other. The relationship between Casey and Dana ran along the fine line between love and hate. It would have been interesting to see how they would have ended up if the show continued a few more years. I loved the Jeremy/Natalie storyline. It was so great when he broke up with her, but she refused to be broken up with. The support staff at the station were more than extras. They had lines in most episodes, and occasionally story lines. Isaac kept an eye on everyone, and was the wise father figure that they went to when they needed advice. The obligatory conflict came from the network "axe" that continually hung over their heads. The fictional show was constantly in jeopardy of being cancelled. Likewise the real Sports Night saw the axe fall after only 45 episodes.
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