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Old 04-08-2005, 12:45 AM   #1
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Sports Night

Many years ago, when Sports Night was being run in syndication on Comedy Central, I happened to stumble upon the show entirely by accident. At the time, I worked 4-midnight at Borders, and Sports Night was on from 1 to 3 in the morning. While surfing the night and pretty much always watching Comedy Central, this show came on.

I remember it looking vaguely familiar, as I had seen previews for it on ABC once or twice during it's original run, but for some reason, at the age of 18 and 19, I was dumb and naive and not smart enough to understand the humor, so I chose not to watch it.

At 21, that was something different. Well, not that I had gotten any smarter, but I began appreciating things more. After the first night of watching 4 episodes of Sports Night back-to-back, I was immediately hooked.

I watched it nightly, and got into the show. I looked online to find show information and discovered that the show had been cancelled by ABC about a year and a half prior. (I believe I was watching the show during the winter of 2001/2002. )

I had read the stories and news about the show appearing to be saved by HBO and similarities between the script and the real show itself. But to no luck.

Then I had read that the show was being aired on Comedy Central in the hopes that enough ratings and reviews might be able to save the show, and it would start up again in the fall of 2002, two years after it had went off the air.

Of course, nothing. And by that time, Six Feet Under had taken full swing, so Peter Krause was out of commission, and Aaron Sorkin was so immersed in The West Wing and that had become so popular, that the rumor of Sports Night returning with new episodes was just that : a rumor.

When the box set was released in November of 2002 (I believe it was 2002, maybe 2003? I can't remember), I immediately purchased the whole thing and watched it beginning to end in about a week. And then again, and again. The show had me hooked once again.

Then I became interested in other things - perhaps the U2 rumor mill for the new album started at that time, or what, but I forgot about Sports Night.

About three weeks ago, I had watched the complete series of "The Office" with a friend of mine and suggested watching Sports Night. He had never seen nor heard of the show.
So we started watching it, and ended up watching the first disc, which is 8 episodes, and about 2+ hours. He was hooked himself and said "What channel is this on?"

I told him that the show was cancelled after only two seasons and he was a little sad by that.

As we finished the first season and completed half of the second he stopped and said, "You realize, we only have 10 more episodes to go of this, and then I won't have any more Sports Night to see." I said yes, and he responds, "Perhaps we should slow down watching it, so I can enjoy the newness a little longer."

We thought about this for a moment and he said "nah", like myself, because he had become so interested in the show that he couldn't turn it off.

It's a sad thing: watching such a smartly written show, one of the best in the past 10 years, with superb acting and a witty script that only lasted 2 years, as people experience the show for the first time now, and have such positive reactions to it.

Not that we can't go back in time, but it's a shame that the people who are discovering it now, didn't discover it back when it first came out. The demand and praise for Sports Night among the people I know is huge, because it has all be introduced by word of mouth. And they all wish the show was still on.

But, at least I have two great years of telvision on DVD. And I can watch the show anytime I feel like I just know what happens next since I've seen it 18 kabillion times.

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Old 04-08-2005, 12:48 PM   #2
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It is a quality show, that's for sure.

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Old 04-08-2005, 07:27 PM   #3
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I watched the show both during it's original run and while in syndication. I'm a Broadcast Journalism major and have found that Newsrooms have the same kind of drama behind the scenes (more or less). I guess that's why I enjoyed it.
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