162 Days



Dan is typing away at his computer.


Dan gets up, leaves his office, and looks at Natalie, who is sitting at her desk.

Dan: Are you all right?

Natalie: It's these dog-gone chairs.

Dan: What's wrong with yours?

Natalie: The spring toward the back is popping out.

Dan: Maybe its a problem with the manufacturer.

Natalie: Good answer.

Dan: Good answer?

Natalie: Yeah. You could have suggested that I was getting fat.

Dan: Now that you mention it...

Natalie: I can do many evil things to you.

Dan: It's definitely the fault of the manufacturer.

Natalie: I thought so.

Dana emerges in the newsroom.

Dana: Senior staff, there's a meeting in the conference room right now.

Natalie gets up from her desk, and she and Dan go into the conference room.


People file into the conference room. Half of the group is seated, while the other half stands around.

Jeremy: What's this meeting about?

Dana: Last night's show.

Everyone lets out a collective groan.

Dana: Hey, this is a learning opportunity for us.

Natalie: To learn not to suck.

Dana: It wasn't that bad.

Dan: Then why are we having this meeting?

Dana: Okay, it was bad.

Dana bangs her head on the table.

Dana raises her head back up and waits patiently. Natalie checks some notes on her clipboard. Jeremy starts rhythmically tapping his fingers on the table. Dana glares toward Jeremy. Jeremy stops.

Jeremy: Sorry.

Dana: Thank you.

Dan fiddles with a thread coming from his shirt.

Dan: Are we having this meeting or what?

Dana: We're waiting for Isaac.

Natalie: Is Sam attending?

Dana: This meeting?

Natalie: That's what I'm asking.

Dana: God, no.

Everyone looks around aimlessly.

Dan: I swear, I thought it was 'Giga Aggie.'

Dana: That's all right.

Jeremy: 'Giga Aggie' doesn't make sense.

Dan: Sure it does. It's kinda like an aggie, but bigger. Like a gigabyte, you get a giga aggie.

Dana: Danny, it's Gig 'em Aggie. Like 'get them aggie.'

Dan: I didn't attend Texas A&M. I didn't know.

Jeremy: You shouldn't use it if you don't know what it is.

Dan: I thought is was Giga Aggie, which is why I used it.

Natalie: And what's with 'Rock Chalk Jayhawk' at Kansas?

Dan: And what's a Virginia Tech Hokie?

Jeremy: A hokie is a form of a wild turkey.

Dan: Their mascot is a bunch of gobblers?

The conference room door opens, and walks in Isaac.

Isaac: Last night's numbers look impressive.

Isaac hands Dana a sheet.

Isaac: We posted an increase, and nearly knocked off Fox Sports.

Dana: (looking over the sheet) Our numbers dropped slightly over each quarter-hour.

Dan: So they were turning us off as the show went on.

Isaac: Even though the numbers were impressive, what matters is the impression we made.

Dana: Not good, huh?

Isaac: You know, when my daughter, Alexis, came home after her first semester at Cornell, I looked over her grades. They were mostly C's and lower, and she knew I would be upset. She had been goofing around that semester, and it caught up with her in the end. She knew what she needed to do, and she didn't need to hear it from me. Instead of giving her a lecture, I just told her that I was very disappointed with her performance.

Everyone sits in silence.

Dana: In my five years at CSC, I think this may have been our worst show.

Natalie: We were missing our cues.

Jeremy: We didn't communicate effectively.

Dave: We were slow with direction.

Chris: We didn't preset in the correct order.

Will: We wasted about a minute over the whole show because it wasn't crisp.

Isaac: Everyone is right.

Dana: Guys, we need to relax and have a good show.

Dan: That's it.

Dana: I know, Danny.

Dan: No, that's it. Good show. You didn't wish us a good show. The show was jinxed from the start.

Will: It's like 'break a leg.'

Chris: Or always leaving a light on the theater stage.

Dana: We shouldn't have to rely on superstition or folklore to do our jobs effectively.

Jeremy: It doesn't hurt to believe in something.

Dana: It doesn't hurt, but don't use it as a crutch.

Natalie: Actually, Dana did wish us a good show.

Dan: I don't remember hearing it.

Natalie: I think that was when the intercom was on the fritz.

Isaac: Whatever the reason, we need to pull it together. We showed everybody why we are a third-place network. Let's improve and have a good show. We can do this; and if we can't, we'll find some people who can. It's all of our responsibilities to get this show to be the best it can be. Last night looked like a huge lack of concentration. Stay focused and do your jobs well. That's all.

Dana: Okay. We'll see everyone at rundown.

Everyone gets up to leave. Isaac pulls Dan aside.

Isaac: Danny, you know it's 'Gig em Aggie'?

Dan: Yes, I know now.


Dan and Casey are sitting at a table in a bar. They are each on their second beer.

Dan: So, you've made the final decision?

Casey: Yes. I'm letting them know tomorrow.

Dan: You're going to be doing sports specials on HBO.

Casey: Yes. It isn't as much money, but I'll still live and work in New York.

Dan: HBO is an all right network.

Casey looks at Dan as he munches on a couple of pretzels.

Casey: What do you mean by "an all right network"?

Dan: I mean it's all right.

Casey: Care to elaborate?

Dan: It's not ESPN.

Casey: Yes, it's HBO.

Dan: ESPN just screams out sports.

Casey: It's the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, Danny.

Dan: What does HBO have?

Casey: They offer quality programming.

Dan: They rerun movies all the time.

Casey: They have good series.

Dan: Okay. They have "Sex and the City."

Casey's eyes get big.

Casey: "The Sopranos," Danny. The Emmy-award-winning series, "The Sopranos."

Dan: And they have "Arliss."

Casey: Yes.

Dan: Outside of that, they don't have much to offer.

Casey: What about that series about the mortuary?

Dan: Never heard of it.

Casey: What's its name?

Dan: I can't give you the answer if I've never heard of it.

Casey: I was talking to myself. I was thinking aloud.

Dan: You didn't do that during the interview?

Casey: No.

Dan: Because they might reconsider hiring you if you did.

Casey: It's a good network, Danny.

Dan: I believe you.

Casey: No, you don't.

Dan: Personally, I like Showtime. They have boxing.

Casey: So does HBO.

Dan: They do?

Casey: Yes.

Dan: Hmm. I'll have to check it out sometime.

Casey shakes his head.

Casey: You want another beer?

Dan: I'm still on my second.

Casey: I'm just asking.

Dan: Are you trying to get me drunk?

Casey: No.

Dan: Because if you get me drunk, you still won't be able to have your way with me.

Casey: I'm getting a beer.

Casey gets up from the table and heads to the bar.

Dan takes a drink of beer and eats a few more pretzels. A woman approaches the table.

Woman: Hi there.

Dan: Hi.

Woman: My boyfriend was wondering if you would sign this. He's a diehard fan of your show.

The woman pulls out a small book and a pen.

Dan: Sure.

Dan signs the book and hands it back to the woman.

Dan: Nice school ring. From which university did you graduate?

Woman: Texas A&M.

Dan: Oh... listen. About last night, I'm sorry I screwed up your little chant.

Woman: What chant?

Dan: You're little 'gig em aggie' chant. I accidentally said 'giga aggie.'

Woman: Really?

Dan: Yeah, and I'm sorry.

Woman: I didn't watch last night.

Dan: Oh.

Dan looks over the woman's shoulder.

Dan: Is that your boyfriend over there?

Woman: Yeah.

Dan: What school did he go to?

Woman: He went to A&M also.

Dan: Well, tell him I'm sorry.

Woman: He didn't watch last night, either.

Dan: all right. Okay.

Woman: Thanks for the autograph.

Dan: You're welcome.

Casey comes back with a beer.

Casey: And who is this? I leave you for a minute, Danny, and you're hitting on beautiful women?

Woman: Hi.

Casey: Hi. Casey McCall.

Casey and the woman shake hands.

Woman: I was getting Dan's autograph. My boyfriend is a diehard fan of his show.

Casey: His show?

Woman: Yeah.

Casey: How long has he been watching?

Woman: For years and years.

Casey: Great. I'm sure he would like my autograph also.

Woman: Why?

Casey: I used to anchor "Sports Night." I'm Casey McCall.

Woman: You already said that.

Casey: 'Good evening. From New York, I'm Casey McCall sitting alongside Dan Rydell.' I'm that Casey McCall.

Woman: I'll have to ask my boyfriend.

Casey: I thought you were a diehard fan.

Woman: My boyfriend is. I'll have to ask him.

Casey: Okay. Have a good evening.

Woman: Thanks, Casey McCall. Thanks again, Dan.

Dan: You're welcome.

The woman walks away.

Casey: What was that all about?

Dan: A lesson on the word 'devotion.'

Casey: The phrase 'diehard fan' loses its meaning with all that.

Dan: Yeah. If as many people watched our show as they say they watch our show-

Casey: We'd have higher ratings than "Survivor."

Dan: Hey? HBO has the "Larry Sanders Show."

Casey: They used to. The series is no longer airing.

Dan: Too bad. That show was what comedy is really about.

Casey: Yeah.

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