Sports Night

If you are looking for a comedy series about sports, but not really, check out Sports Night. It is written by Aaron Sorkin, who is best known for A Few Good Men, The American President and The West Wing and who is currently nominated for a best screenplay Academy Award for The Social Network. He is masterful at good character development using Mamet-like short dialogue and fast-paced episodes.

Sports Night, which aired on ABC from 1998 to 2000, is about a sports network similar to one on ESPN. The program highlights the interpersonal dynamics among members of the news team as they struggle with their own lives and the production of a live television broadcast.

Robert Guillaume (Soap, Benson) plays the benevolent managing editor, Isaac, and Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) is Dana, the Executive Producer. Josh Charles (The Good Wife) plays Dan, co-anchor. Peter Krause (Parenthood and Six Feet Under) plays Casey, the other co-anchor. Other cast members include Joshua Malina (West Wing), who plays the nerdy Jeremy, and Sabrina Lloyd plays Natalie, Senior Associate Producer. Romantic tension abounds between Jeremy and Natalie, as well as between Dana and Dan.

If you watch ESPN's SportsCenter, this program will especially appeal. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at producing a program that will be popular with viewers and please the owning corporation. Along the way come ethical dilemmas, the day-to-day pressures of producing live television, and the interpersonal dynamics of a group of people whose teamwork is essential for a good daily program.

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02/19/11
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