Isaac is sitting behind his desk and having a conversation with Casey.
Isaac: I've contacted Bill Cassady over at ESPN and Ted Green over at Fox Sports.
Isaac hands Casey a note.
Isaac: Both of them are interested in hearing from you.
Isaac: I understand it is difficult dealing with this, but you need to investigate other opportunities.
Casey: I haven't had to interview for a job in over a decade. It's difficult just having to deal with the interview process all over again.
Isaac: I'm sorry Casey. I'm just trying to give you a helping hand. I'm not sure what the new executives will have in order for Sports Night, but I want to make sure you have as many options as possible. That way, you will not be caught in a bad situation.
Casey looks at the note.
Casey: You mean unemployed?
Casey: Thank you, Isaac. I appreciate it.
Isaac gets up from his chair.
Casey: I've already turned down ESPN once.
Isaac: Yes, I know, but they are still interested in you. Casey, I hate to move you out like this-
Casey: Oh, I completely understand the financial restraints the network is under.
Isaac: I mean right now.
Isaac: I have many meetings today. I'm meeting with Sam, Calvin Trager, and the new chief executive, Donna Kendrick.
Casey: All at once?
Isaac: Separate meetings.
Casey: Okay. I should be going then.
Isaac: Yes, you should.
Casey: Thanks again, Isaac.
Dana and Natalie are walking through the newsroom.
Natalie: So what do you think?
Natalie: You know... the new chief executive.
Dana: I know nothing about her Natalie.
Natalie: Dana... Donna Kendrick was a rising star with CNN, and she-
Natalie: There's a difference?
Dana: Yes, Natalie. One is a news network and one is a sports network.
Dana: You know that Natalie.
Natalie: I'm just saying- I thought you knew nothing about her.
Dana lets out a frustrated breath.
Dana: Natalie, I don't know what are her objectives. I don't know how she works. I don't know what she has in store for the network. I don't know what or how she envisions my show.
Natalie: Well, we've been doing well.
Dana: Not well enough.
Natalie: Up one-tenth of a point.
Dana: As I said, not well enough, Natalie.
The two walk down the corridor toward Dana's office.
Natalie: And what about Sam?
Dana: What about him?
Natalie: I have a feeling they are going to move him up to the executive suite.
Dana stops walking.
Dana: You've got to be kidding.
Natalie: I'm not.
Dana: Yes, you are.
Natalie: No, I'm not.
Natalie: They asked him to look at the other shows.
Dana and Natalie continue toward Dana's office.
Dana: He was supposed to give a brief overview on them.
Natalie: But still-
Dana: I've been glad he has been out of my hair and giving the other shows the wrath that is Sam Donovan.
The two walk into Dana's office. Natalie is looking down at her clipboard and Dana looks toward her chair.
Natalie and Dana jump back as Sam spins Dana's chair around.
Sam: You have a nice view out your window. It's much better than mine.
Natalie: Isaac's is even better.
Dana: Wha... what are you doing in here?!
Sam: Isaac is in a meeting, so I decided to come in here.
Dana: Is this your meditation room?
Sam: I'm already relaxed. You sound like you could use some meditation.
Dana: Aren't you supposed to be looking at the rest of the network?
Dana: Why are you here?
Sam: Sports Night is a part of the network.
Dana: You're looking at us today?
Dana: Haven't you done enough of that already?
Sam: Maybe not enough.
Natalie: Last month's numbers have us up one-tenth.
Sam: I know.
Dana: I sense a but.
Sam: But what do I know about Sports Night? Only in the last month, a substitute anchor got busted for smoking pot, there was a protest about the absence of variety from the snack table, and people are breaking already established guidelines.
Dana: Wh... what guidelines?
Sam: The policy about inter-office romance.
Dana takes a deep breath.
Natalie: But we're up one-tenth.
Dana: W... wh... who?
Sam: Who it is doesn't matter. I'm going to make sure Isaac resolves the situation.
Sam gets up from Dana's chair.
Sam: See you at the run-down.
Sam leaves the office.
Dana closes her door.
Natalie: I never said anything about you and Casey. Honest.
Natalie: Okay, Jeremy was there when I figured it out. But I haven't said a word to anybody.
Dana glares at Natalie.
Natalie: I think I'll go get Jeremy.
Dana: Good idea, Natalie. Good idea.
Natalie runs out of Dana's office.
Jeremy is typing away at his computer as Kim and Chris approach him.
Kim: Jeremy, how's the Tennis Masters Series coming along?
Jeremy: I'll get it done.
Chris: I've got the audio from the interview from the German Open for you.
Jeremy: I don't need it. Casey's doing the story.
Chris: He is?
Jeremy: We traded. I have the NHL and the Tennis Masters Series.
Kim: But you are working on neither.
Chris: It looks like he is working on- (looks closer at Jeremy's monitor) -his resumé.
Jeremy: Actually, I have finished updating it.
Kim: It will come in handy if you don't get your assignments done.
Jeremy: It doesn't hurt to be prepared just in case I'm one of the layoffs.
Chris: There's not going to be layoffs at Sports Night.
Jeremy: Yes, there is.
Kim: What have you heard?
Jeremy: Well, for starters, Casey's contract is not being renewed.
Jeremy: Yes. Actually, there is a good chance.
Kim: This is sad. Why would they not re-sign Casey?
Chris: Poor Casey.
Jeremy: I guess the network is enduring financial problems, and they may not stop at Casey. They may be looking to trim some non-essential positions here.
Chris: But everything is essential.
Jeremy: Until they deem it non-essential.
Kim: You know, I need this job.
Jeremy: Don't we all.
Chris: Melanie is talking about moving in with me. We can't afford to have one of us without a job.
Jeremy: So you are understanding and will be less mercurial with your criticism?
Kim: I guess I should look into some things, also.
Chris: Just for the record Jeremy, I did not mention any of your neglected responsibilities.
Jeremy: Thanks for the info.
Jeremy types on his keyboard.
Jeremy: There. I'm back to my responsibilities again.
Chris: Catch ya' later.
Kim and Chris walk off.
Dan approaches from the opposite direction and then sits on the edge of Jeremy's desk as Jeremy types away at his computer.
Dan: What can I say Jeremy?
Jeremy continues to type and ignores Dan.
Dan: I'm sorry. I didn't suspect anything.
Jeremy continues typing.
Dan: Better luck next time?
Jeremy stops typing and turns toward Dan.
Jeremy: She took my wallet, Dan. She reached into my pocket and liberated me from my cash, credit cards, my spare house and car keys, and, not to mention, my other little surprise inside.
Dan: Did I mention that I'm sorry?
Jeremy: They were predators and we were their prey.
Dan: Actually, you-
Jeremy: Yes, they got to me and didn't get to you. I guess you were to clever for them. Oh wait... that's right... those four women didn't ask you to dance with them.
Dan pulls out his wallet.
Dan: Listen, whatever cash you had in your wallet, I'll reimburse you.
Jeremy: This isn't about money.
Natalie has raced up from behind.
Jeremy: Hey, Natalie.
Natalie: Jeremy, Dana needs to see you.
Dan: In a minute, Natalie.
Natalie: No, right now.
Dan: Just a minute, Natalie.
Natalie moves right up against Dan, gives Dan a look, then gives Jeremy a look.
Natalie: Dana said right now.
Jeremy: I think Dana needs to see me.
Dan: Ung... yeah.
Jeremy gets up from his chair and starts walking through the newsroom.
Natalie: Right now!
Jeremy picks up his pace, and Dan breaks away from Natalie.
Dan: Ow! Why did you pinch me?!
Natalie: Dana said 'right now.'
Natalie: And Jeremy had his wallet stolen last night because he went out with you.
Natalie walks away from Dan.
Dan: It's not my fault! (pause) He was having a good time- a great time!
Jeremy walks into Dana's office.
Jeremy: You wanted to see me Dana?
Dana: Close the door behind you and have a seat.
Jeremy closes the door and then sits in front of Dana's desk.
Dana: So tell me. Has Natalie been telling you certain things?
Jeremy: She tells me many things.
Dana: Things about me and Casey?
Jeremy: She tells me many things about you and Casey.
Jeremy: For instance, Casey prefers small dogs to big dogs.
Jeremy: He does. And your favorite movie is "The Philadelphia Story."
Dana: Uh-huh. Let me be more specific. Has she said anything about... me... and... Casey.
Jeremy: Oh, between you two?
Jeremy: She said you two are secretly dating each other.
Jeremy: A few weeks ago, I guess. Why?
Dana: Do you believe it?
Jeremy: That you two are dating each other? It wouldn't surprise me.
Jeremy: I see how you and Casey interact. There's still a chemistry between you two. But I'm still confused on why you blamed Casey for the lack of variety on the snack table.
Dana: Forget about that. Have you told anyone of Natalie's suspicions?
Jeremy: No. Why?
Dana: It was just something Sam said a little while ago.
Jeremy: Does Sam suspect something?
Dana: Are you sure you never told anybody about Natalie's suspicions?
Jeremy: I'm sure I haven't told anybody. What's happening?
Dana: I don't know.
Jeremy: Well, that clarifies everything.
Dana: Yeah. You can go now.
Jeremy: That's it?
Dana: That's it.
Jeremy gets up and leaves the office, while Dana chews on the end of her pencil.
Isaac and Calvin Trager are in Isaac's office. Each of them have a copy of the budget report and the evaluation report.
Calvin: So we are projecting a profit in the first quarter of 2002.
Isaac: I see.
Calvin: So we are going to have to limit our expenses. We'll have to start flying people in coach instead of first class, the complimentary snacks and meals will now be charged to employees, and we have to lay-off employees.
Isaac: All right. (pause) May I ask you something, Calvin?
Isaac: About a year ago, you bought this network and you instituted improvements and established short- and long-term goals. Whatever happened with the goals?
Calvin: They still exist, but we have had to adjust our fiscal timeline to make this network profitable.
Isaac: What about the income from our sponsors? We had record revenues generated, yet we cut back on our programming costs.
Calvin: We didn't adequately anticipate the cost overruns for the Olympic Games and technological advancements.
Isaac: But Sports Night was supposed to be the anchor of the network?
Calvin: It still is.
Isaac: It can't be an anchor when the rest of the team is weakening. We need programming- and by programming, I mean sports and not all these one-hour specials we keep showing and repeating.
Calvin: I understand your concerns, Isaac. But for long-term profitability, we need to make some short-term sacrifices. These sacrifices will help the network become more efficient, which will allow us to achieve our long-range goal of becoming the second-ranked sports network.
Isaac: How long do you anticipate these sacrifices?
Calvin: I'm going to let Donna Kendrick determine the proper timeline.
Casey is sitting at his desk when Dan walks in.
Dan: What are you working on?
Casey: Previews for the Byron Nelson Classic.
Dan: What about the NBA?
Casey: What about it?
Dan: Aren't you doing those previews for tonight?
Casey: You are.
Dan: I am?
Casey: Yes, remember I traded the Tennis Masters Series with Kim for soccer, which I traded with Jeremy for the German Open. Jeremy then traded soccer with Natalie for the NHL, then Natalie traded with me for baseball. I then traded that to you for Byron Nelson, then I traded the NBA to you for the Darlington 200.
Dan: Which leaves me with?
Casey: The NBA and soccer.
Dan drops his papers on the floor.
Casey: We traded.
Dan: I don't remember.
Casey: We did.
Dan: No, I think I would remember soccer. I know I would remember soccer. When did I trade for soccer?
Casey: When Jo was in here fixing your computer.
Dan: She was? I wasn't here for that.
Casey: Oh yeah, that's right. Jeremy was in here.
Dan: So I don't have the NBA and soccer?
Casey: Yes, you do.
Casey: You just do.
Dan: Trade with me.
Casey: You've got to be kidding.
Casey laughs as he gets up and picks up Dan's papers. Casey sets them on Dan's desk, then walks to their library of books. Dan walks over to Casey's desk.
Dan: I can take Byron Nelson.
Casey: I'm sure you can. He's like a hundred years old.
Casey grabs a book and opens it.
Dan: Actually, he's 89. See? I already know more about the tournament than you.
Dan starts shuffling papers on Casey's desk.
Casey: Hey, leave my stuff alone.
Dan: I can do the preview for the tournament.
Casey walks over to his desk to stop Dan, but Dan has pulled out a sheet and is reviewing it. Casey reaches for the sheet, but Dan brushes Casey's arm away.
Dan: What is this?
Casey: It's my stuff.
Dan: No. It's from Isaac. Bill Cassady from ESPN? Ted Green at Fox? What's going on?
Casey: Give me that.
Casey snatches the sheet from Dan.
Dan: What's going on?
Casey sits at his desk.
Casey: What's going on?
Dan closes the door to the office.
Dan: Yes. Those are people from personnel at those networks. Why is Isaac giving you those numbers?
Casey takes a deep breath.
Casey: For opportunities.
Dan: Wait. You're not leaving the network, are you?
Casey stares at Dan.
Dan: They're not giving you a contract? Casey, tell me this isn't true.
Casey: It is.
Dan: No. Tell me this isn't true.
Casey: Isaac informed me I probably will not have a contract offer presented to me.
Casey: About... a few weeks ago.
Dan: And you didn't tell me?
Casey: I didn't know how to tell you.
Dan: You say, 'Dan, they're not giving me a contract.'
Casey: It's not that simple.
Dan: Yes it is.
Casey: First of all, J.J. was the one who made the final decision.
Dan: But J.J. is no longer with CSC.
Casey: Second, it doesn't hurt to have other options in case the new execs follow through with J.J.'s original plan.
Dan: That woman... who is going to be the new chief executive... Dottie, Donnie-
Dan: That's it. Donna. We can convince her to sign you to a new contract.
Casey: Let's wait until she gets settled in.
Dan: Casey, it is not time to procrastinate. We need to act right away. You should have told me about this sooner.
Casey: I didn't tell you because...
Dan: Because of what?
Casey: I... I wanted you to just be my friend. I didn't want your sympathy.
Dan: My sympathy? My sympathy?
Casey: Yeah. I don't want people crying and feeling bad for me. The last thing I need is a pity party.
Dan: I don't feel sympathetic toward you Casey.
Casey: Uh, thank you, I guess.
Dan: I'm livid at the executives. They do not see what an asset you are with the network, and we are going to prove it to them.
Casey: We'll see.
Dan: Throw that sheet away. You will not be needing to call personnel from other networks.
Dan: We're going to get you a contract.
Dan looks over at Casey.
Dan: Why aren't you enthusiastic?
Casey: I don't know.
Dan: Don't you want me to help you?
Casey: I... I don't know. I don't think you can help me get a new contract. I don't think anybody can.
Dan goes over to his desk and opens a drawer. He pulls out his mug from a San Francisco news station- the station where Dan and Casey first worked. He takes it over to Casey's desk and sets it in front of him.
Dan: This is what friends do for each other.