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February 16, 2003

This is Sports Night

Sports Night was one of my Valentine's Day presents. The whole series. I always thought there were maybe 20 episodes, but it turns out there were 45 episodes -- 22.5 clever hours that give some insight into what it's like to do live TV.

I always thought of Sports Night as Ally McBeal for men. Similarities: Both are focused on relationships and sex, centered on the workplace. Ally, aimed at women, had guys -- Fish and Cage -- as the bosses, but focused on Ally and her roommate. Sports Night has Dana and Natalie as the bosses (okay, and Robert Guillaume), but focuses on Dan and Casey.

Of course, there are also differences. Men don't go for legal dramas? Let's set it in on a show just like ESPN's SportsCenter. Men have shorter attention spans? Make it a half-hour. Stir in the adrenaline of daily show deadlines, rapid-fire dialogue, and a lot more humor, and you've got something that could draw men.

Unfortunately, there's a laugh track on the early episodes. Later on, they dropped it, so you can make up your own mind when to laugh. It might have been a nice DVD extra to let you kill it on the earlier episodes, as well.

Another distinction is that Sports Night was probably the only show to cast Ted McGinley without jumping the shark. (A good thing, since he first appeared in Episode 4).

You can pick up Sports Night at Amazon.com.

February 16, 2003 | Permalink


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Oh yeah! SportsNight is one of my all-time favorite shows. For some time (they may still be doing it) ComedyCentral was showing it, but the time slots would move around (sometimes early am, sometimes not so early am). It's nice to see some of the characters show up in West Wing, another Aaron Sorkin show.

Posted by: Howard Fore at Feb 16, 2003 6:02:25 PM