|Casey McCall (Peter Krause) and Dan Rydell (Josh Charles) anchor "Sports Night."|
Original source: abc.com
"Sports Night" is a behind-the-scenes look at the people responsible for producing a show within this show. Every night at 11:00 p.m., "Good evening. From New York City..." rings out and the cable sports show, "Sports Night," comes to life on the airwaves with Casey McCall and Dan Rydell as its hosts.
The on-air charm and chemistry Casey and Dan exude is easy to pull off for the two because they are also best friends off-camera. They are surrounded by a team of co-workers, and their face-pace, intelligence, humor, and opinions help make the behind-the-scenes as entertaining as the nightly show itself.
Casey finds himself as a recent divorcee, and he is quite unsure about beginning his new life as a single father. The charming Dan wants to reintroduce Casey to the positive aspects of life and all it has to offer.
Dana Whitaker, "Sports Night"'s executive producer and Casey's college friend, cares and is concerned about Casey's recent ordeal, but she needs him to be able to separate his personal and professional lives because his on-air personality has been bringing down the show. She needs to see improvement because she needs to answer to her boss, Isaac Jaffe. As the show's managing editor, Isaac is tough on his staff, but he believes in his team and he'll vehemently defend his team against the network executives.
Natalie Hurley is the show's senior associate producer, a position she has risen to quickly considering her young age. She encourages the hiring of a new associate - one with which she initially becomes enamored - producer and research analyst, Jeremy Goodwin. Jeremy's dream job is to work for "Sports Night," but he is nervous and fearful about not being able to fit in with the rest of the staff.
The show's director, Dave, along with two technicians, Chris and Will, and production associates, Kim and Elliot, help round out the heart of the staff and are critical in putting the nightly show together.
In covering sports, where people are judged by wins and losses, the people at "Sports Night" will celebrate their victories and console each other through their defeats. The one consistency is they remain committed together as a team as they tackle life's daily ordeals and the stiff competition involved with cable sports television.
"Sports Night" was created by executive producer Aaron Sorkin, scribe of such acclaimed films as "A Few Good Men," "The American President," and "Malice." Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Tony Krantz, co-chairmen of Imagine Television, serve as executive producers. Thomas Schlamme (the live episode of "ER") and Rob Scheidlinger ("Cousin Bette") are also executive producers. "Sports Night" is from Imagine Television in association with Touchstone Television.
Original source: abc.com
"Sports Night" enters its second season with three Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Hardly a surprise, considering that during its premiere season, "Sports Night" garnered the Achievement in Comedy award from the Television Critics Association, a Directors Guild Award (for Thomas Schlamme), and a Humanitas Prize.
It has generated a mountain of rave reviews and made the "Best of..." year-end lists for such publications as Time and People. TV Guide touted the headline, "Rookies of the Year!," and Entertainment Weekly weighed in with "'Sports Night' is a home run."
Every weeknight at 11:00 p.m., Casey McCall (Peter Krause) and Dan Rydell (Josh Charles) hit the airwaves to host the cable sports show, "Sports Night." However, it's the behind-the-scenes team of frenzied producers, directors, researchers and support staff that make up the heart of ABC's half-hour series, "Sports Night."
The show within the show is driven by the charm and chemistry between its two hosts -- a chemistry the network is relying on to lead the charge against stiff competition. For Dan and Casey, this comes naturally, since the two are best friends on and off camera. Surrounding them is their ensemble of co-workers, whose intelligence and humor make backstage at "Sports Night" as entertaining as the show itself. Together they will cheer each other through their personal victories and support each other through life's daily agonies of defeat.
A recent divorce has left Casey hesitantly at the beginning of life as a single father and New York divorcee. Possessing a wicked sense of humor, Dan is determinedly more positive about life and wants to reintroduce Casey to its joys. Their talented and overworked producer, Dana Whitaker (Felicity Huffman), cares about Casey's situation, but she needs him to do his job supremely well. This is because she must answer to executive producer Isaac Jaffee (Robert Guillaume), who's tough on his staff but valiantly defends them against the network brass.
Associate producer Natalie Hurley (Sabrina Lloyd) may be the youngest member on the crew, but she is extremely competent. It is she who encourages Dana to hire Jeremy Goodwin (Joshua Malina) as associate producer and research analyst. He's a devoted fan who is more than a little starstruck, a trait that manifests itself in a huge case of nerves.
The focus of the '99-'00 season will continue to be the effort that goes into making sure that the show-within-a-show, "Sports Night," hits the airwaves at 11:00 p.m. every night on the Continental Sports Channel.
However, the devotion this group has to their jobs is only surpassed by their genuine affection for and camaraderie with each other. Casey McCall and Dan Rydell's friendship is a rock-solid touchstone for both men. As co-anchors they support each other brilliantly on the job, but each acts as guide for the other through life.
Casey's on more shaky ground with executive producer Dana Whitaker. She's just coming off a broken engagement, in which she was the one unceremoniously dumped, but at last they are both free and single people. Not that it makes anything easier. They will continue to do their attracted/ambivalent dance, sometimes to humorous, touching effect, and other times to heated argument. They produce a great show, but the struggle continues to produce great romantic lives. Producer Natalie Hurley and research analyst Jeremy Goodwin appear to have mastered romance-- but maybe not quite.
As per usual, not every moment in the "Sports Night" studios and bullpen is filled with hilarity. Executive producer Isaac Jaffee has returned to work, but the effects of his stroke are visible and a concern to both his employees and his bosses. Indeed, the corporate honchos of CSC (Continental Sports Channel) are going to make their presence felt, and dirty words like "ratings" are going to take on greater importance.
"Sports Night" stars Peter Krause as Casey McCall, Josh Charles as Dan Rydell, Felicity Huffman as Dana Whitaker, Robert Guillaume as Isaac Jaffee, Joshua Malina as Jeremy Goodwin and Sabrina Lloyd as Natalie Hurley.
The critically-acclaimed and award-winning "Sports Night" was created by Aaron Sorkin, who also created the hit television series, "The West Wing," the award-winning play and movie, "A Few Good Men," and the celebrated films, "The American President" and "Malice." Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Tony Krantz, co-chairmen of Imagine Television, serve as executive producers to the show. Thomas Schlamme ("The West Wing" and "ER") and Rob Scheidlinger ("Cousin Bette") are also executive producers. "Sports Night" is from Imagine Television in association with Touchstone Television.
"Sports Night" is from Imagine Television in association with Touchstone Television (now known as ABC Studios). The show initially ran on ABC, and it premiered on September 22, 1998, and ended its run on May, 16, 2000. The episodes of "Sports Night" reran on Comedy Central during 2001-02, and the entire series is available on DVD.
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