Feet of Clay



Back to current time, Natalie is in the busy newsroom.

Natalie: Dana asked me to get everybody ready.

Natalie walks up to Chris and Will and motions them toward the control room.

Chris and Will shrug their shoulders and go off in search of Dave. Natalie continues to scour the newsroom and look for other Sports Night staffers. She walks by Elliott, pats him on the arm, and points at her watch. Elliott nods in agreement and grabs the two hard copies of tonight's program.


In another flashback sequence, Dan and Casey's office is dark. A figure walks up to the door and opens it. The person standing in the doorway is Jeremy.

Jeremy: Natalie?

A body sits up on the couch.

Natalie: (sniff) Yeah?

Jeremy: Are you all right?

Natalie: Yeah. (sniff) I'll be fine.

Jeremy walks in and closes the door behind him.

Natalie: I was just... just doing some research. Looking up some facts.

Jeremy: In the dark?

Natalie looks at Jeremy, and he gets the message.

Jeremy: Uh... did you need any help? Is there anything I can do to expedite the process?


But Natalie does need something or someone to avert her attention because she has had a pretty difficult summer. With all the budget cuts happening at Continental Corp and Sports Night, I never figured Natalie's job would ever be taken for granted or in jeopardy.

Jeremy turns on the light, and they both momentarily shield their eyes. After noticing Natalie's tear-covered cheeks, Jeremy turns the light off. Natalie thanks him.

Jeremy comes over to the couch and Natalie scoots over- making room for Jeremy. Jeremy sits on the couch. He tries to lean back and relax, but he cannot. He leans forward and turns his head toward Natalie.

Natalie wipes the tears away from her cheeks and she puts on a brave face. Her smile quickly disappears as she begins to cry into the sofa.

Jeremy reaches across and rubs Natalie's arm.

Natalie looks up, smiles, and thanks Jeremy.

Jeremy: You need to look at this positively.

Natalie: Yeah... at least I'm not dead.

Jeremy: A little more positive.

Natalie: Yeah... if we still had free sodas, I wouldn't have a job.

Jeremy: Natalie-

Natalie: Come on, Jeremy. They released a statement saying that three jobs were saved because they eliminated the free sodas. It's good to know that I'm worth more than a free can of pop.

Jeremy: Natalie-

Natalie: Look at me, Jeremy. I can do my job!

Jeremy: With intrepidity.

Natalie: I do it, and I do it better than anyone else... except for Dana... but I can be an executive producer.

Jeremy: You will be.

Natalie: First, they pass me over for the 6:30 and give it to Kim. I am very happy for Kim! In fact, she deserves the opportunity to produce a show. But they go outside of Continental Corp to find a producer for the 12 o'clock lunch-time show? That's insulting!

Jeremy: I'm sorry.

Natalie: Then they eliminate the senior associate producer position! I still work here, but as an associate producer. I earned the right to be called a senior associate producer. My reviews have been spectacular and I have grown with this show. I haven't done anything to justify being passed over and, in fact, demoted!

Jeremy: Natalie, nobody else has a senior associate producer. ESPN doesn't, Fox Sports doesn't, and CNN/SI doesn't. From their standpoint, it didn't make sense to have the position.

Natalie: I earned that title!

Jeremy: I understand that. I support you on that.

Natalie: Then why are you backing their decision?!

Jeremy: Sometimes things are not the way we want, but the way things are right-

Natalie: "The King and I"?! You're quoting from "The King and I"?!

Jeremy: I'm trying to be objective.

Natalie: You need to be supportive.

Natalie gets up from the couch.

Natalie: When you thought you were going to be laid-off, I supported you and reassured you. And look! You are still working here! When I get passed over and then lose my title, you try to be objective.

Jeremy: I'm looking at both sides of the argument.

Natalie: You need to say that those bastards were wrong and that they'll regret their decisions! You need to say that they are out-of-touch with the operations of this network and they are a bunch of idiots that need to be drug out of their posh homes and beaten over with common sense!

Jeremy: Natalie-

Natalie: Don't! Don't tell me it will be all right! Don't tell me that you are being honest and objective. There are times when being supportive means you have to lie. All I wanted to hear was that I was good and deserving. I wanted to hear that they were wrong. That's all I wanted to hear, Jeremy. I'm leaving now.

Jeremy: Natalie, watch out-

Natalie: Hush!

As Natalie turns to leave, she trips and falls to the floor.

Natalie: I'm fine.

Natalie gets back up.

Jeremy: There's a basketball on the floor.

Natalie: I now see that. Maybe the lights should have been left on.

Jeremy: Maybe.


"Sports Night" has recently expanded its franchise. We continue to air our show at 11 PM and the "West Coast Update" airs at 2 AM. We added shows at noon and at 6:30 PM. Natalie- and everybody else- figured she would be selected as executive producer of one of these shows. Instead, the 12 noon program was given to Joseph Bell, an associate producer from Fox Sports, and the 6:30 PM program was given to Kim Burke, the "Sports Night" associate producer I've told you about in the past.

Natalie checks her face to remove any tears, and then she leaves the office.

Jeremy looks around the darkened office and slaps his hand on the arm rest of the sofa. He slightly injures his hand and he rubs it to try and relieve the pain.

Jeremy picks the basketball up off the floor and begins to bounce it.

bounce, bounce, bounce


A pair of hands stop the basketball. The room is now lit, and Dan and Casey are in their office. Dan is holding the basketball, and they are both dressed and prepared to do their show.

Dan: You can take it with you.

Casey: The basketball?

Dan: Yeah.

Casey: It's not mine.

Dan: Well, it's not mine.

Casey: It's always been in the office.

Dan: You can take it with you.

Casey: It's not mine.

Dan holds the basketball up in the air.

Dan: I rechristen thee "Casey's basketball."

Dan holds the ball toward Casey, and Casey takes the basketball.

Casey: What am I going to do with it?

Dan: Casey, come on. We do sports. You know what you do with that.

Casey: I live in an apartment.

Dan: So?

Casey: You may notice that I don't live in Madison Square Garden.

Dan: You can take it to the gym. They have courts there.

Casey: They also have a healthy supply of basketballs.

Dan: Well, you can take it with you when we play some street ball.

Casey: Street ball?

Jeremy enters the office.

Dan: Yeah. Jeremy- want to play with us?

Jeremy: What are we playing?

Casey: We're going to play street basketball.

Jeremy: They don't have hoops along West 52nd.

Dan: You, me, and Casey can challenge a bunch of younger kids to a game of shirts and skins.

Jeremy: Dan? Have you been hit with something?

Casey: Apparently so.

Dan: We can take Casey's new basketball.

Jeremy: Casey got a new basketball?

Casey: Dan is giving me this one.

Dan: We have experience gentlemen. I think we can form a game plan to overcome their youthful energy.

Jeremy: Not to mention their superior speed, rebounding, and jumping abilities.

Casey: And the fact that they can shoot the ball.

Dan looks at Jeremy, then looks at Casey.

Dan: You're no fun.

Jeremy: I'd be happy if I could hit the backboard with my shot.

Dan: Just play tight defense.

Jeremy: I trip over my feet.

Casey: I've seen Jeremy do it.

Jeremy: See?!

Dan shakes his head.

Dan: What do you need, Jeremy?

Jeremy: Dana wants everybody in the studio five minutes earlier.

Dan: Why?

Casey: I don't want a fuss being made over my last day on-the-air.

Jeremy: Dana said to come early.

Dan: Works for me.

Casey: There better not be any cake.

Jeremy: There isn't any cake.

Casey: There's no cake?

Jeremy: Yes.

Casey: Why?

Jeremy: You didn't want a big deal made out of this.

Casey: It's my last show.

Jeremy: I thought you didn't want a big deal made out of this.

Casey: I don't.

Jeremy: So, there's no cake.

Casey: Not even chocolate?

Jeremy: No.

Casey: I'll settle for fudge marble.

Jeremy: No.

Casey: Not even carrot?

Jeremy: No- no cake of any kind.

Dan: We'll be there five minutes earlier, Jeremy.

Jeremy: Thank you.

Jeremy leaves the office.

Casey: How about a pie?!

As Jeremy walks through the newsroom, Donna Kendrick hurries by. She is heading toward Isaac's office.


It's moments like these when I realize I'm not as good of a man as people are led to believe. There are times when I let analysis take over, instead of letting my feelings be known. Deep down, I still support and care for Natalie. There are just times when I have a difficult time expressing it- especially at that moment with Natalie. That's probably why it is good we are no longer dating.

As for expressing feelings of support and/or disappointment, there was the situation with Casey. With his contract expiring and his willingness to fulfill his obligation, the network decided promote his final week on CSC. They figured they would be able to get a spike in the ratings, thus generating more profit for the network.


Isaac is sitting at his desk when there is a knock on the door. Isaac stops what he is doing and invites the visitor into his office.

The door opens, and Donna Kendrick steps in. She looks tired and a little disheveled as she takes a seat in front of Isaac's desk. Donna is holding a manila folder in her hands, and the contents contain different sizes of paper containing hand-written letters, types notes, and various faxes.

Isaac: How are you doing this evening?

Donna: I'm sorry I've had to push back this meeting. Another two hundred arrived today.

Isaac: Letters?

Donna: Letters, faxes, phone calls- you name it. My assistants are working overtime just keeping up with it all.

Isaac: Anything positive?

Donna: They all want us to re-sign Casey.

Isaac: Well, it's good you are hearing from concerned viewers. If they don't like what they see, they'll just turn the channel.

Donna: It's still only a small number of our total viewership.

Isaac: What about the people who didn't send you feedback? I'm sure many of them are just as upset... concerned... as the ones who are being more vocal.

Donna: What am I supposed to do? Re-sign Casey?

Isaac: It would stop the letters.

Donna: I don't have the budget to sign him, Isaac. We've already been over this. I just can't go "poof," and thousands of dollars will appear in the budget.

Isaac: I know, and you want me to be sympathetic to the consequences of your decision-making.

Donna: I can't change it, Isaac.

Isaac: I know.

Donna: I'm just following orders.

Isaac: I know.

Donna: Then why are we talking about this?

Isaac: You initially brought this up.

Donna: Right. I did. We were going to talk about the fourth-quarter projections.

Isaac: I've got a show starting in a few minutes.

Donna: Hold on for a second.

Donna opens the folder and looks frustrated. She closes the folder.

Donna: I've got the wrong information.

There's a knock on the open door.

Jeremy: Please excuse me for a moment. Isaac? Five minutes earlier?

Isaac: Right. I'll be there.

Jeremy leaves.

Isaac: There is something I need to attend to. Would you care to join me?

Donna: Huh? Sure.

Donna and Isaac walks out of the office and down the corridor.


Although the network counted on gaining more viewers as everyone bids their farewell to Casey, they didn't see the backlash coming. Fans have been writing in, an internet site was started up, and viewers have threatened to try and drop CSC from their cable outlets. All of this because the network is looking like the bad guy, and Casey continues to work and show no sign of resentment.

As they step into the newsroom, it is completely full of assistants, graphics, editors, reporters, producers, technicians, and any other employees. They all seem to be working on various assignments, just minutes before the broadcast.

Donna leans over to whisper to Isaac.

Donna: This isn't normal. What's going on?

Isaac: Watch.


On the night of Casey's final broadcast, we decided to do something to honor him before the show. Sure, there were going to be presents and cake after the show, but we wanted to do something to show him how much we appreciate his hard work and dedication.

Dan walks out of his office, followed by Casey. Dan steps aside as everybody stops working. All the employees stop what they were doing and stand up. They begin to clap and cheer.

Casey stops walking and looks around. Everyone is focused on him and they are cheering him- their collective way of thanking him for doing a job that very few can do well, much less being able to do.

Dana walks up and gives Casey a big hug. People gather around to congratulate Casey and pat him on the back.

Casey: Th... thank you, all.

Everyone continues cheering as Dana escorts Casey through the newsroom. Everybody follows behind them and they continue to clap and shout.

Casey: We've got a show to do. Thank you everyone!

Everyone walks into the studio to do the show.


Casey was taken aback by the sudden outburst of emotion and support. All this time, he had been stoic about his situation. He never wanted to leave CSC, but he was going to have to.

As the laudations continued, I glanced over to a corner and noticed Donna Kendrick standing there. She was clapping, but she didn't look well. Maybe it was the tuna that was being served earlier today, maybe it was the fact she was having sleepless nights, or maybe it was the fact she has just realized she has made the biggest mistake of her young career. Whatever it was, Donna didn't want to be there, but she was going to have to be subjected to this- a culture of togetherness and support.

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