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While looking through the GUIDE, I accidentally discovered that FXX (relative newcomer channel now carried on TWC, FXXHD channel 394 here on TWC/LA) has apparently acquired rights to air a number of splendid old TV shows. This includes "Arrested Development" (in HD) as well as that wonderful and brilliant early Aaron Sorkin show "Sports Night" which only ran two seasons on ABC back in 1998-2000 before getting canceled.


It's on for two 30-minute episodes per day at 1PM, and it just started last week. So today (Monday 3/31) they aired Season 1 episodes 7 + 8. I thus missed the first six episodes (although I actually had seen all the original shows when they originally aired 15 years ago), but really the storyline is just getting started so you can still jump in now and you'll catch on quickly. My guess is you'll really like it.


Although I don't really have enough time to watch the shows I am already recording regularly, I couldn't pass this one up. I know it's available on disc, and I have to FF through the commercials on FXXHD, and the show is actually in 4:3 480i SD (upconverted to 1280x720p for FXXHD so it looks pretty decent). But I don't care. This show was truly fabulous. Early Sorkin, practicing his writing technique for "The West Wing" yet to come. I've decided to re-watch it. Hey, it's only 20 minutes of show per episode. I can find the time. Makes you laugh, makes you cry. Brilliant writing and ensemble cast.


So this is just a heads up if you've never seen the show. My review is "well worth your time"... even if it's not in true HD.
 

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Orlando Rojas.
 

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Sports Night is also available on Amazon Prime Instant Video for those that have it.


I actually own the Complete Series DVD set.
 

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I loved 'Sports Night.' It was a smart, sophisticated series that apparently only appealed to a small core group of fans.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoilerJim  /t/1525258/sports-night-1998-2000-on-fxxhd-not-actually-in-hd-worth-a-watching#post_24554910


I loved 'Sports Night.' It was a smart, sophisticated series that apparently only appealed to a small core group of fans.

You've just described every Aaron Sorkin show.
 

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I have never seen this, the only Sorkin show I have seen is The Newsroom, which I like even despite its many flaws of people talking annoyingly fast and stupid love triangles that just get in the way of the story. Does this show have those too?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy  /t/1525258/sports-night-1998-2000-on-fxxhd-not-actually-in-hd-worth-a-watching/0_50#post_24555196


You've just described every Aaron Sorkin show.

I believe The West Wing was fairly popular, running 7 seasons.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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Originally Posted by lokar  /t/1525258/sports-night-1998-2000-on-fxxhd-not-actually-in-hd-worth-a-watching#post_24555614


I have never seen this, the only Sorkin show I have seen is The Newsroom, which I like even despite its many flaws of people talking annoyingly fast and stupid love triangles that just get in the way of the story. Does this show have those too?
I haven't watched "The Newsroom", so I can't comment. But "people talking fast" (including the "walk-and-talk" style of dialog between people) is certainly typical of Sorkin's work, and it started here in "Sports Night".


Before "The Newsroom" was the flawed and failed "Studio 60", which in my opinion also had casting problems greatly contributing to its demise.


Before that was "The West Wing", which was tremendous. Filled with lots of VERY SMART CHARACTERS and VERY SMART DIALOG, not to mention a terrific story line evolving throughout the years.


But where it all started was with "Sports Night". That's where he "made his bones" and "developed his style" and "practiced his craft" and "tried it all out for the first time". Very intimate, small setting, great characters, wonderful ensemble cast not to mention great guest stars, wonderful story idea (purportedly based on the TV partnership of Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann's on the ESPN show "SportsCenter").


It's an ongoing story... not one-and-done each episode.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lokar  /t/1525258/sports-night-1998-2000-on-fxxhd-not-actually-in-hd-worth-a-watching/0_50#post_24555614


I have never seen this, the only Sorkin show I have seen is The Newsroom, which I like even despite its many flaws of people talking annoyingly fast and stupid love triangles that just get in the way of the story. Does this show have those too?

Sports Night was packaged as a sitcom (even including a laugh track imposed by the network, thankfully dropped after several episodes) and did include several examples of Sorkin's awkward writing of relationships. I don't think they hurt the show, however, which remains on of my top 5 all-time 30-minute series. The cast is spectacular, the dialog sharp and witty, the stories engaging and atypical of the genre. Anyone who has ever liked anything by Sorkin will love this, IMO.
 

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Originally Posted by rdclark  /t/1525258/sports-night-1998-2000-on-fxxhd-not-actually-in-hd-worth-a-watching#post_24555707


Sports Night was packaged as a sitcom (even including a laugh track imposed by the network, thankfully dropped after several episodes) and did include several examples of Sorkin's awkward writing of relationships. I don't think they hurt the show, however, which remains on of my top 5 all-time 30-minute series. The cast is spectacular, the dialog sharp and witty, the stories engaging and atypical of the genre. Anyone who has ever liked anything by Sorkin will love this, IMO.
I totally with your last sentence as well as it being in the top 5 of all 30-minute series. And, it was probably THE vehicle that made Josh Charles (Will Gardner in 'The Good Wife') a TV star. I have to admit that I fell a little bit in love with Felicity Huffman during that time also.
 

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Sports Night also had a great cast many of whom have gone onto great careers. The sports anchors - Peter Krause of 6 Feet Under fame and now Parenthood and Josh Rydell recently knocked off in the Good Wife; Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives, which very popular, I never watched and Josh Melina who has done stints on West Wing and some appearances on Big Bang Theory. Throw in Robert Guillaume and you have quite an ensemble cast.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOPA  /t/1525258/sports-night-1998-2000-on-fxxhd-not-actually-in-hd-worth-a-watching#post_24555976


Sports Night also had a great cast many of whom have gone onto great careers. The sports anchors - Peter Krause of 6 Feet Under fame and now Parenthood and Josh Rydell recently knocked off in the Good Wife; Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives, which very popular, I never watched and Josh Melina who has done stints on West Wing and some appearances on Big Bang Theory. Throw in Robert Guillaume and you have quite an ensemble cast.
I think you mean Josh Charles who played Dan Rydell in Sports Night.



Josh Malina is now a regular on the ABC series, 'Scandal.'
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoilerJim  /t/1525258/sports-night-1998-2000-on-fxxhd-not-actually-in-hd-worth-a-watching/0_50#post_24555920


I totally with your last sentence as well as it being in the top 5 of all 30-minute series. And, it was probably THE vehicle that made Josh Charles (Will Gardner in 'The Good Wife') a TV star. I have to admit that I fell a little bit in love with Felicity Huffman during that time also.

For me it was Sabrina Lloyd, who seems unfortunately (for me) to have moved on to things other than acting in recent years.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark  /t/1525258/sports-night-1998-2000-on-fxxhd-not-actually-in-hd-worth-a-watching#post_24556145


For me it was Sabrina Lloyd, who seems unfortunately (for me) to have moved on to things other than acting in recent years.
Yes, she was quite an 'asset' to the show as well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark  /t/1525258/sports-night-1998-2000-on-fxxhd-not-actually-in-hd-worth-a-watching#post_24556145


For me it was Sabrina Lloyd, who seems unfortunately (for me) to have moved on to things other than acting in recent years.
I agree. Natalie was adorable, as was her relationship with Jeremy... which had its superb emotional ups and downs.


And who can forget Natalie trying to shock the "writer's block" out of Dan Rydell by throwing water at him unexpectedly, and blasting the airhorn behind him completely unexpected while at the show desk. And Dan said "Natalie, I don't have hiccups." Adorable.


And who can forget gorgeous Paula Marshall as Jenny (playing a porn star) who interacts with Jeremy at the downstairs bar, and has a 3-episode arc that also involves Natalie. That bar... wonderful second set location for some terrific after-work interactions and very personal revelations and story lines.


Wonderful guest stars (well before they made it big) included Brenda Strong, Teri Polo, Lisa Edelstein, Janel Moloney. Not to mention the numerous other famous people cameos along the way.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber  /t/1525258/sports-night-1998-2000-on-fxxhd-not-actually-in-hd-worth-a-watching/0_50#post_24556371



Wonderful guest stars (well before they made it big) included Brenda Strong, Teri Polo, Lisa Edelstein, Janel Moloney. Not to mention the numerous other famous people cameos along the way.

I've always admired Sorkin's loyalty to his actors. Go down the list of Sports Night's regular and guest cast and you'll see many of them turn up again in West Wing, Studio 60, or one of his movies.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark  /t/1525258/sports-night-1998-2000-on-fxxhd-not-actually-in-hd-worth-a-watching#post_24559522


I've always admired Sorkin's loyalty to his actors. Go down the list of Sports Night's regular and guest cast and you'll see many of them turn up again in West Wing, Studio 60, or one of his movies.
He's a modern day John Ford with regard to his cast of actors.
 

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All right, I'll have to give this show a try. Laugh tracks annoy me to the point that I haven't watched a show with a laugh track in it since Seinfeld went off the air but you guys say it goes away after a few episodes, right?
 
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