Sports Night

Season 1 Episode 8


Aired Tuesday 9:30 PM Nov 17, 1998 on ABC

Episode Recap

Studio: It is just prior to a show, and the usual small glitches and questions are getting cleared up. Elliot is asking why there's a frozen turkey up in the light grid. The answer is that Dana is thawing it out, in a "dry run" to see how long it will take. She is nervous because her whole family is coming to NYC for Thanksgiving, and her mother is one of those hypercritical types. Dan asks Casey what is so special about the day. Casey tries to guess any number of different sporting milestones, in response to which Dan gets visibly upset. Isaac asks Kim to keep checking on his daughter in San Francisco, and he's worried, as his daughter is having a baby any day now and his wife has flown out to SF to help. He hasn't heard anything from her and she is overdue enough that he is beginning to get a bit anxious. Dan calls into the studio from the set, and asks Jeremy if he knows anything special about this date. Jeremy claims that it is the anniversary of Thespis' first appearance on a Greek stage to become the first one to speak words in a play (as opposed to the song and dance style which preceded). Casey looks at Dan and asks him if he was supposed to know about that. Dan gets surly (it clearly isn't). Dana asks quizzically, "Thespis?" and Jeremy continues, revealing that he is now a mischievious ghost who likes to wreak havoc on performances. He predicts an unusual night of glitches. Dana rejects the notion, and declares that nothing unusual is going to happen, then, rather predictably, trips and falls on her face. Now she's nervous.

Studio/Set: Casey is trying to get more information from Dan about what it is he's supposed to remember. Dan blows him off. Several intercuts occur to suggest the passage of time, and Natalie notes that there are 28 minutes of show to go. Isaac expresses concern that Douglas, his son-in-law, hasn't rehearsed the route to the hospital. Dana suggests he's babbling because he's nervous. Kim lets Isaac know his wife is on the phone, and he rushes out. Dan makes a minor on-air flub of his line, which he corrects, as the show goes to commercial. Casey tries one more time to guess, which prompts Dan to blurt out that it's their fifth anniversary of being on the air together (not SN). Casey takes this in, then gets kind of annoyed at Dan's rather female response to this. Meanwhile, Jeremy is showing off his knowledge of Greek Gods. Dan says he remembers what Casey was wearing, and asks if he can remember what Dan was wearing. Casey notes that he remembers not thinking at the time that Dan was really a woman. Isaac suddenly rushes in, and asks Kim to arrange a flight for him to SF, then quickly heads back out. Dana takes this in, then hands the show over to Natalie, and heads out after him.

Isaac's Office: Isaac is on the phone with his daughter, discussing plans. Dana comes in as he hangs up. He reveals his daughter is having an emergency C-section. Dana asks some questions, indicates that it happened to her brother's wife, who lost the baby, although her sister-in-law was fine. Isaac tells her to get back to the show, which she does, after making sure he's okay.

Studio/Set: Dana asks how things are going, and Natalie gives a littany of small glitches which suddenly struck while she was gone. Suddenly someone notes there's water dripping on the anchor desk out on the set. She tells everyone that Isaac has a small family emergency, and everyone should get their heads back into doing the show. Dana also shouts out her defiance of Thespis as she walks out onto the set, to see why there is water dripping on it. Suddenly the frozen turkey drops down out of the grid right in front of her. She picks it up and attempts to leave with some measure of aplomb.

Studio/Set: Later on in the show, Dan is asking Casey about their first show together, which he apparently had some difficulties with. Apparently, he was seriously in the running for The Late Show (as in "with Conan O'Brien"), and, when he lost out to Conan, it was the beginning of the end of his marriage. Casey is getting angrier and angrier about things (his wife, his marriage, and such) that he walks off the set before the commercial ends, after finding out how long he has until he's needed back onscreen.

Isaac's Office: Casey steps in, asks if there is any news. He then sits down, asks Isaac what really has him rattled, which is apparently the fact that he and Esther had an argument about his devotion to his to-be-grandchild. Apparently, the child was making him feel his age, which had him behaving uncharacteristically cavalier towards his daughter and son-in-law. Casey notes that that is not dissimilar to the fight he and Dan are having. Isaac suggests that Casey may know details which Dan doesn't know, suggesting he knows these details, too. Casey leaves.

Studio/Set: Dana is ranting, not happy with all the glitches, and asks Jeremy what Thespis' M.O is. He indicates that, for the most part, the mission of a ghost is to offer humility, making us realize what is important and what is not.. Elliot breaks in to advise them that the Broadcast Center is indicating that there may be some problems with the signal. Suddenly, all the monitors go to static, then to a "Technical Problems" fixed screen. Dana wonders what she did to annoy Thespis, and Jeremy says, "Nothing". In the meantime, Elliot has found out that the power grid upstate is down for a few minutes, to stand by. Dana asks what Jeremy meant by that, and he declines to answer. She pushes, and he points out that Dana underestimates her mother, that she only gets to see her family twice a year, so she should appreciate that. Her mother is going to love her regardless of what happens wiht the turkey. Dana says her mother is going to annoy her no matter what, to which Jeremy says, yes, but she loves you no matter what -- It's Thanksgiving, which do you want to focus on, the annoyance or the love? Dana admits he has a point. Casey wanders in, wondering what is going on, and is told that the power grid is down, and to go back and wait, signal might be back at any moment.

Set: Casey walks back in, informs Dan of the situation, and reveals to Dan that, in fact, he was offered the show, but turned it down in order to work with Dan. Dan realizes that this must have been a major factor in his fight with Lisa which eventually led to the divorce. He also realizes that he had to really like Dan in order to do that. Dana walks up to the desk, indicating that they are a minute away from being back on the air, and to prepare themselves.

Studio: Isaac comes in with news, that his daughter and his newborn grandson are doing fine. Isaac asks what is going on, why are they not on the air, to which Dana indicates that there have been a lot of small technical difficulties, but things are getting back on track. As things smooth out, the show fades.
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