Season 1
Season 1
Number of episodes 23
Original airdates September 22, 1998 to
May 4, 1999
Home cinema release November 5, 2002[1]
September 30, 2008[2]
March 3, 2010[3]
Season chronology
Previous Next
Not applicable Season 2

Season 1 of Sports Night consists of 23 episodes. It originally aired from September 22, 1998 to May 4, 1999 on ABC. It was first released on DVD on November 5, 2002.



Image Title Directed by Written by Original
air date
1 1 Pilot "Pilot" Thomas Schlamme Aaron Sorkin September 22, 1998 1-01
Already at odds with the network over Casey's recent lack of professionalism, the team is struggling to get the go-ahead to air a human interest feature on an African runner who's about to compete in his first major race since recovering from a potentially career-ending leg injury. Natalie finds herself attracted to Jeremy, a nerdy but knowledgeable applicant for an opening on the production team.
2 2 The Apology "The Apology" Thomas Schlamme Aaron Sorkin September 29, 1998 1-02
The network is upset when a magazine quotes Dan as saying that he favours the decriminalization of marijuana. When he is forced to give an on-air apology, he dedicates it to his little brother who died in a car accident while intoxicated.
3 3 The Hungry and the Hunted "The Hungry and the Hunted" Thomas Schlamme Aaron Sorkin October 6, 1998 1-03
Isaac sends Jeremy out on his first line producing job, covering hunting. Natalie uses a company function to encourage Casey and Dana to date, but when they get there they discover she is on a date with a man named "Gordon" (Ted McGinley). When Jeremy returns from the hunting trip, he is visibly shaken by what he has seen.
4 4 Intellectual Property "Intellectual Property" Thomas Schlamme Aaron Sorkin October 13, 1998 1-04
Casey is jealous of Dana's relationship with Gordon. Dan is reprimanded for singing "Happy Birthday" to Casey on the air, because the network was forced to pay royalties to the song's copyright holder, and wants everybody on the team to choose a public domain song for him to sing on their birthdays.
5 5 Mary Pat Shelby "Mary Pat Shelby" Thomas Schlamme Tracey Stern,
Aaron Sorkin
October 20, 1998 1-05
The team tries to score an exclusive interview with Christian Patrick, a football player who's under investigation for sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend, but Patrick's agent will only grant the interview if the assault allegation is off limits. Natalie is sent to conduct a pre-interview with him, but comes back with an injured wrist. All hell breaks loose when the team learns that a stadium employee saw Patrick physically attack a female sports reporter in the locker room.
6 6 The Head Coach, Dinner and the Morning Mail "The Head Coach, Dinner and the Morning Mail" Thomas Schlamme Matt Tarses,
Aaron Sorkin
October 27, 1998 1-06
Still on edge from the Christian Patrick incident and the hate mail she's receiving from football fans for deciding to press charges, Natalie is distracted and keeps messing up her work. The team is cutting her some slack, but the show is beginning to suffer. Jeremy wants to take Natalie out to dinner to comfort and support her, but is having trouble choosing a restaurant.
7 7 Dear Louise "Dear Louise" Thomas Schlamme Aaron Sorkin November 10, 1998 1-07
Jeremy writes a letter to his sister Louise, describing a day in the office. Dan struggles with writer's block and Natalie tries to help him by acting as if it were the hiccups. Isaac is unhappy that his teenage daughter is dating a young Republican.
8 8 Thespis "Thespis" Thomas Schlamme Aaron Sorkin November 17, 1998 1-08
The mischievous Greek ghost Thespis is in the building, causing havoc with the show. Dana worries about impressing her mother at Thanksgiving dinner, while Isaac worries about his oldest daughter's pregnancy complications.
9 9 The Quality of Mercy at 29K "The Quality of Mercy at 29K" Thomas Schlamme Bill Wrubel,
Aaron Sorkin
December 1, 1998 1-09
The team is covering a mountaineering expedition that's close to the top of Mount Everest. Dana develops a surprising interest in Broadway musicals after taking her niece to see The Lion King. Dan struggles to find a charity to support.
10 10 Shoe Money Tonight "Shoe Money Tonight" Dennie Gordon Aaron Sorkin December 8, 1998 1-10
Another anchor team's flight is grounded in Pittsburgh, forcing Casey and Dan to stay at work instead of taking a planned weekend trip to Atlantic City — but they turn disappointment into opportunity, challenging the rest of the team to an office poker night.
11 11 The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee "The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee" Robert Berlinger Aaron Sorkin,
Matt Tarses,
David Walpert,
Bill Wrubel
December 15, 1998 1-11
Casey appears on The View, but upsets some of his coworkers when he accepts a compliment on his clothes without giving credit to the wardrobe staff. Seven college football players in Tennessee are suspended for refusing to play under the Confederate Flag and Isaac resists the idea that he's obliged to get personally involved in the story just because he's black.
12 12 Smoky "Smoky" Robert Berlinger Aaron Sorkin January 5, 1999 1-12
Isaac is worried about his job because he spoke out on the Confederate Flag issue. Dan thinks Casey should start dating again.
13 13 Small Town "Small Town" Thomas Schlamme Paul Redford,
Aaron Sorkin
January 12, 1999 1-13
Natalie is in the producer's chair for the night when Dana, Gordon, Casey and a woman from Gordon's office go on a double-date. When a rumor about a major player trade starts filtering through the gossip mill, the production staff scrambles to land an exclusive scoop. Dan has to contend with fill-in co-anchor Bobbi Bernstein (Lisa Edelstein), who claims that Dan once had sex with her in a hotel in Spain.
14 14 Rebecca "Rebecca" Thomas Schlamme Aaron Sorkin January 26, 1999 1-14
Dan is intrigued by Rebecca Wells (Teri Polo), an analyst in the network's marketing department who may or may not have flirted with him in the elevator. Dana is worried that Gordon wants to break up with her, and Isaac is flustered by a critical newspaper article.
15 15 Dana and the Deep Blue Sea "Dana and the Deep Blue Sea" Thomas Schlamme Aaron Sorkin February 9, 1999 1-15
Gordon invites Dana on a snorkeling trip, but Dana is afraid of fish. Dan tries to convince Jeremy to put in a good word for him with Rebecca.
16 16 Sally "Sally" Robert Berlinger Rachel Sweet,
Aaron Sorkin
February 23, 1999 1-16
Gordon stands Dana up, which makes her worried about their relationship. Jeremy is nervous about spending the weekend with Natalie's family, fearing conflict because they're Catholic and he's Jewish. Dan discovers that Casey has slept with Sally. Casey discovers that Gordon has also slept with Sally and confronts him about it.
17 17 How Are Things in Glocca Morra? "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" Marc Buckland Rachel Sweet,
Aaron Sorkin
March 9, 1999 1-17
A tennis match has gone longer than expected, delaying Sports Night and messing up Dana's dinner plans with Gordon. The network allows Dana to hand off the show to Sally and Casey is shocked and offended when Dana decides to do exactly that.
18 18 The Sword of Orion "The Sword of Orion" Robert Berlinger David Handelman,
Mark McKinney,
Aaron Sorkin
March 23, 1999 1-18
When Jeremy learns that his parents are divorcing, he becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to The Sword of Orion, a yacht which went off course and wrecked during a sailing competition 10 years before. Dan tries to convince Rebecca to watch a baseball game with him.
19 19 Eli's Coming "Eli's Coming" Robert Berlinger Aaron Sorkin March 30, 1999 1-19
Dan's having a truly horrible day: first he sees Rebecca talking to her ex-husband, and then Bobbi Bernstein's back again to cover a college basketball event. The team is worried when they don't hear from Isaac long after his flight from London lands. They eventually find out that Isaac had a stroke.
20 20 Ordnance Tactics "Ordnance Tactics" Alex Graves Aaron Sorkin,
Paul Redford
April 6, 1999 1-20
Dana is in charge while Isaac is in the hospital and the network is coming down hard. As if that weren't enough to put everybody on edge, someone has phoned in an anonymous bomb threat.
21 21 Ten Wickets "Ten Wickets" Robert Berlinger Aaron Sorkin,
Matt Tarses
April 13, 1999 1-21
A cricket player in India has taken all ten wickets in an innings. It is a major story, and the team is willing to cover it on the show except they don't know what it means. Casey's been making Jerry Falwell jokes on the air ever since the bomb threat and Dana wants him to knock it off. Rebecca tells Dan she wants to go back to her husband.
22 22 Napoleon's Battle Plan "Napoleon's Battle Plan" Robert Berlinger Aaron Sorkin April 27, 1999 1-22
Gordon has proposed to Dana. Casey's response is to follow Napoleon's battle plan ("Show up, and see what happens"), but Dan isn't sure that's a good idea: Napoleon lost, after all. Dana, for her part, sublimates her mixed feelings about Gordon's proposal into obsessing over a camera. When she finally finds out that Gordon and Casey both slept with Sally, she's more upset about Casey.
23 23 What Kind of Day Has it Been? "What Kind of Day Has it Been?" Thomas Schlamme Aaron Sorkin May 5, 1999 1-23
Dana buys the new camera and wants to take a staff photo. Casey's son Charlie comes to visit. Jeremy is following a baseball game in the hopes that the losing team might get a ninth inning rally. Just when everything has gone wrong and Dana is desperate for something good to happen, Isaac arrives for a visit.





  1. Josh Charles as Dan Rydell (23 episodes)
  2. Peter Krause as Casey McCall (23 episodes)
  3. Felicity Huffman as Dana Whitaker (23 episodes)
  4. Joshua Malina as Jeremy (23 episodes)
  5. Sabrina Lloyd as Natalie (23 episodes)
  6. and Robert Guillaume as Isaac Jaffe (18 episodes)

Guest starring

  1. Kayla Blake as Kim (23 episodes)
  2. Greg Baker as Elliott (23 episodes)
  3. Timothy Davis-Reed as Chris (23 episodes)
  4. Ron Ostrow as Will (23 episodes)
  5. Jeff Mooring as Dave (22 episodes)
  6. Ted McGinley as Gordon (8 episodes)
  7. Teri Polo as Rebecca Wells (7 episodes)
  8. Brenda Strong as Sally Sasser (6 episodes)
  9. Robert Mailhouse as J.J. (3 episodes)
  10. Bernard Hocke as Dave ("Pilot")
  11. David Graf as Chase ("The Apology")
  12. Aaron Lustig as Gilbert ("The Apology")
  13. Yeardley Smith as Mallory Moss ("Intellectual Property")
  14. Brad Henke as Christian Patrick ("Mary Pat Shelby")
  15. Jon Simmons as Burke ("Mary Pat Shelby")
  16. Felton Perry as a Man ("The Quality of Mercy at 29K")
  17. Janel Moloney as Monica ("The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee")
  18. Joy Behar as Herself ("The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee")
  19. Star Jones as Herself ("The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee")
  20. Debbie Matenopoulos as Herself ("The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee")
  21. Meredith Viera as Herself ("The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee")
  22. Alicia Coppola as Leesa ("Small Town")
  23. Cory Buck as Charlie ("What Kind of Day Has it Been?")
  24. Nina Siemaszko as Holly ("What Kind of Day Has it Been?")
  25. and Ray Wise as Evans ("Mary Pat Shelby")
  26. and Lisa Edelstein as Bobbi Bernstein (2 episodes)


  1. Suzanne Kellogg as Alyson (Multiple episodes)
  2. Amy Powell as Kelly Kirkpatrick (2 episodes)
  3. David Macer as Phil (2 episodes)
  4. Josephine Barnsdale as Celia (3 episodes)
  5. Dennis Hadley as Stuart (2 episodes)
  6. Nina Jane Barry as Claire ("Pilot")
  7. Jolie Jackunas as Stacy ("Dear Louise")
  8. Russell Andrews as Matt McGregor ("Thespis")
  9. James Edson as Mike ("The Quality of Mercy at 29K")
  10. Tawny Moyer as Libby ("The Quality of Mercy at 29K")
  11. Doyle Holmon as Roland Shepard ("The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee")
  12. Lisa Welti as a Redhead ("Small Town")
  13. Brett Barrett as a Waiter ("Small Town")
  14. Katie O'Rourke as Judith ("Rebecca")
  15. Darren Foreman as the Waiter ("Napoleon's Battle Plan")
  16. Laura Elizabeth Ford as the Waitress ("Napoleon's Battle Plan")
  17. Justine Io Shoemaker as Ginger ("What Kind of Day Has it Been?")



  1. Brian Grazer - Executive Producer (23 episodes)
  2. Ron Howard - Executive Producer (23 episodes)
  3. Tony Krantz - Executive Producer (23 episodes)
  4. Aaron Sorkin - Executive Producer (23 episodes)
  5. Rob Scheidlinger - Executive Producer (23 episodes)
  6. Thomas Schlamme - Executive Producer (22 episodes)
  7. Jeff Lowell - Co-executive Producer (4 episodes)
  8. Lynn Siefert - Consulting Producer (11 episodes)
  9. Matt Berry - Consulting Producer (4 episodes)
  10. Ric Swartzlander - Consulting Producer (4 episodes)
  11. Tim Doyle - Consulting Producer (4 episodes)
  12. Tom Brady - Consulting Producer (4 episodes)
  13. Tracey Stern - Producer (22 episodes)
  14. Rachel Sweet - Producer (22 episodes)
  15. John Amodeo - Episodic Producer (23 episodes)
  16. Matt Tarses - Co-producer (22 episodes)
  17. Stephen Putnam - Associate Producer (23 episodes)


  1. Aaron Sorkin - Head Writer (23 episodes)
  2. David Walpert - Executive Story Editor (22 episodes), Writer ("The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee")
  3. Bill Wrubel - Story Editor (22 episodes), Writer (2 episodes)
  4. Paul Redford - Story Editor (9 episodes), Writer (2 episodes)
  5. Matt Tarses - Writer (3 episodes)
  6. Rachel Sweet - Writer (2 episodes)
  7. Tracey Stern - Writer ("Mary Pat Shelby")
  8. David Handelman - Writer ("The Sword of Orion")
  9. Mark McKinney - Writer ("The Sword of Orion")


  1. Thomas Schlamme - 13 episodes
  2. Robert Berlinger - 7 episodes
  3. Dennie Gordon - "Shoe Money Tonight"
  4. Marc Buckland - "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?"
  5. Alex Graves - "Ordnance Tactics"

Other crew

  1. Bonnie Zane - Casting (23 episodes)
  2. Paula Rosenberg - Casting (23 episodes)
  3. Peter Smokler - Director of Photography (23 episodes)
  4. Theo E. Azzari - Production Designer (23 episodes)
  5. Janet Ashikaga - Editor (23 episodes)
  6. Steve Burgess - Unit Production Manager and First Assistant Director ("Pilot")
  7. Bruce Chevillat - Unit Production Manager (22 episodes)
  8. Keri McIntyre - First Assistant Director (22 episodes)
  9. Nicole Burke - Second Assistant Director (22 episodes)
  10. Elena Santaballa - Second Assistant Director ("Pilot")
  11. W.G. Snuffy Walden - Music (23 episodes)