Sports Night

ABC (ended 2000)




  • Season 1 Episode 8: Thespis

  • Dan and Casey's first TV broadcast was five years ago on a show called Lone Star Sports. They've known each other for ten years, and Dana states is 33 years old.

  • Casey passed on hosting what became Late Night With Conan O'Brien, a job that would have triggered the beginning of the end for his marriage.

  • Season 1 Episode 7: Dear Louise

  • Dana: Casey! Gordon's taking me to Gracie Mansion tonight, for a dinner with the mayor.

    Gracie Mansion is the official residence of the mayor of New York City. Due to some odd "blue-law" type legal restrictions, several mayors have not been able to live there, due to marital status.

  • The show has four rundown meetings a day; at 12 pm, 6 pm, 8 pm and 10 pm for the 11 pm -12 am broadcast.

  • In this cleverly written episode, Jeremy reveals the background of some of the characters. Isaac Jaffe, the managing editor, started out as a stringer for the Atlanta Journal, and went on to win the Pulitzer Price for his coverage of the Gemini Mission. He later went on to be the London Bureau Chief for CNN, which he retired from. Three years ago, Luther Sachs bought Continental Corp and brought Isaac out of retirement to run a new cable sports show. He has a 16-year-old daughter.

  • Jeremy has a sister Louise who is deaf and is a sophomore at Amherst College. Dana has six brothers, one of whom plays for the Denver Broncos. She attended all-girl schools prior to her time in college (an earlier episode suggests she and Casey went to the same college).

  • Nitpick: Before the show's titles, as Jeremy is writing and everyone is talking to him as they leav for the day, Dan leaves the office and turns out the light. He reaches for a place where, in "storefront" offices, typically the light switch  is on the door jamb. However, in earlier views of the office (when, for example, Dan and Jeremy talk about restaurants in the previous episode, The Head Coach...(etc)), there is no switch located there.

  • Season 1 Episode 6: The Head Coach, Dinner an...

  • At the time of this episode airing, there were no major college (i.e., Div. I) head coaches named Rostenkowski

  • Natalie: Dan! I spoke to building maintenance about the air conditioning, they're sending someone up.
    Dan: The air conditioning...
    Natalie: Yeah.
    Dan: That's good, ummm, but the problem we're having in the studio is with the heat.

    In any modern commecial structure (as well as most domestic facilities), the two, heat and air conditioning, are a part of the same interrelated system, usually known as "HVAC" (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning). Someone sent up to deal with problems in one would be able to deal with the problems in the other. Unless the entire structure is having lack of heat issues, a problem like this most likely would relate to a valve not opening properly to allow the heated ventilation into the area. Dan's concern with the nature of the problem is irrelevant.

  • Jeremy states that there are more than 14,000 six-letter words which could have been Natalie's password. The actual number of possible passwords is at least 26^6 (the sixth power of 26), which is over 308 million passwords (this assumes that the case of the letters are irrelevant and that numbers and punctuation are disallowed). Presumably, the 14,000 figure represents the number of actual, legitimate six-letter words which she might have used. Usage of actual words for passwords is frowned upon for exactly this reason. Such a password is much, much easier to hack.

  • Casey: Excuse me, but wasn't I sitting next to you for two weeks when you said that Latrell Sprewell shouldn't be allowed to play professional basketball again?

    Latrell Sprewell was a talented NBA player who was thrown out of the NBA for a year after a 1997 incident in which he choked, then later threw a punch at, his coach. Subsequent arbitration restored him to league play in 1999.

  • Season 1 Episode 5: Mary Pat Shelby

  • In this episode, Natalie says she has a degree from Northwestern University.

  • In the episode, when Jeremy notices the mark on Natalie's arm, he says his sister had once given him a similar mark when she gave him an Indian Burn. He said he didn't know why she had done it and, later, that he should call her and ask. However, in a later episode, Jeremy tells everyone his sister is deaf, and that they only communicate by mail, making a phone call impossible.

    Aaron Sorkin says: "It was a mistake. Even as I was writing 'Dear Louise,' I wondered if anyone was gonna catch it. I'm pleased someone did."

    Note: In actuality, there are a number of mechanisms in place for the deaf to receive phone calls, and they have steadily advanced with time. At the time of the show, it was possible to call someone, and have a hearing person type the interaction (and read the response if the deaf person did not speak), using systems called TDD and TRS. These systems now (2006) can go so far as to have an operator act as a sign-language relay-translator (using webcams and a broadband connection) for a deaf individual. These systems are free, and are paid for via the Universal Access Charge tacked onto everyone's phone bill. Sorkin could have worked this into the story somehow and still had Louise be deaf, but apparently he had no actual experience with the deaf's problems and solutions.

  • Season 1 Episode 4: Intellectual Property

  • Casey and Dana appear to have known each other in college, and worked together previously in the TV markets of Dallas and L.A.

  • Casey's birthday is apparently September 5th.

  • Season 1 Episode 3: The Hungry and the Hunted

  • Dan: Also, grab your notebooks, we're going to take you inside the 4-3 defense, on this week's edition of Inside The 4-3 Defense

    The 4-3 defense is the most common defensive organization used in modern professional football, consisting of four linemen (located immediately adjacent the line of scrimmage) and three linebackers located behind the linemen, who can shift function depending on whether the developing play appears to be a run or a pass play. Other common variations of the defense are 3-4 and 4-4, defined by the number of linemen and linebackers. Legendary coach Tom Landry is often credited with creating the modern version of the 4-3 in the 1950s.

  • Casey: Those stories, plus -- grab your galoshes, we're gonna take you out to the Iditarod.

    The Iditarod is an annual Alaskan dog sled race, run since 1973 along the Iditarod Trail, a pioneering dogsled route.

  • The door to Dan and Casey's office is moved starting with this episode. In episodes 1-1 and 1-2 the door was located at the corner of their office. Starting with this episode it is moved one pane in, closer to the middle of the office.

  • Season 1 Episode 2: The Apology

  • Isaac: ...No rich young white guy has ever gotten anywhere with me comparing himself to Rosa Parks.

    Rosa Parks performed a highly influential act in the early civil rights movement. In the fifties, in Montgomery, AL, black people rode in the back of the bus, white people in the front. The middle sections varied, depending on need and the decision of the conductor/driver. In 1955, Parks was on a bus, seated in the middle section. When the white sections filled up, and more whites got on, the conductor directed the black people in frontmost middle row to get up to make room for them. Parks refused, the conductor had her arrested. The subsequent bus boycott was a significant part of the nascent civil rights efforts, especially since it provided a very public soapbox for a then-little-known minister named Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Season 1 Episode 1: Pilot

  • During the rundown meeting, Dana mentions that the story on Ntosake Nelson on the show was promoting the games. Later that day they are watching it on TV after that they go on in eleven minutes. How would a story be promoting an event if the story is given after the event? Perhaps what they were watching on TV was only one of the overall events being broadcast? The promo piece would have followed his run as color, but still been attempting to drum up interest in the rest of the coverage of The Games.

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More Info About This Show


Comedy, Drama


office politics, Dark Comedy, Cult, Adult, ensemble cast