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.