June 28, 2000
"Tonight, a new baby leaves Aaron feeling barren. And the witty Casey has struck out with Dana for the last time, as ABC says RIP to the best sitcom on TV. That leaves the network's line score at one good run, with (alas) no hit and one big error. " Or so the patter might have gone had Sports Night, one of the finest TV shows never to find an audience, done the lead-in to the news of its own demise. In the show's invigorating two-year run, writer Aaron Sorkin proved that it's possible for work of edgy wit and unpredictable feeling to find a home on network TV. Just not a permanent one. It seems people eating roasted rat on a deserted isle draws bigger ratings than three-dimensional characters who laugh, argue, love and (in a sitcom rarity)
June 22, 2000 |
A multimillion-dollar deal to keep "Sports Night" in first-run production, despite its cancellation by ABC last month, collapsed when the show's creator concluded he would not be able to continue working on it. Aaron Sorkin, who created the critically acclaimed series and was one of its executive producers, said that the Showtime pay-cable channel had made "an extraordinary offer for 44 episodes, two seasons of shows. " At $850,000 per episode, the deal would have been worth more than $37 million, he said.
March 9, 1999 |
Move over, Ally McBeal. Say hi to Dana Whitaker. Time magazine lamented last year that the emergence of Ally - ditzy, incompetent, adrift - as a TV icon was the signal of the death of feminism. If feminism died with Ally, it has been resurrected a year later with Dana - skillful, committed, effective - an extraordinary central character on an extraordinary TV show called Sports Night. Television has evolved from housewife Lucy Ricardo ("Don't you dare go to the club!")
September 22, 1998 |
TV's "premiere week" takes a break tonight in its depressing death march, with three new shows that demonstrate why everybody used to love the little box, and give hope to those of us who still do. They are ABC's The Hughleys (8:30 p.m.) and Sports Night (9:30), and NBC's heretofore extremely mysterious Encore! Encore! (8:30). Each has a different personality - astounding in a season when most new shows have none at all - and one, to judge by its first two episodes, could wind up listed among the finest TV series of the decade.
May 17, 2000 |
Hooray! Hooray! Felicity will get a chance to grow her hair below her shoulders, and the sublime Andre Braugher will team again with the creator of Homicide: Life on the Street - this time, in a medical show. Fie! and Fooey! Sports Night goes night-night, and Dr. Braugher's ABC show will air opposite TV's longest-running drama, the popular Law & Order, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on NBC. Show me the Money! With a new Wednesday episode, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire expands to four nights a week.
September 19, 2008 |
Peter Krause, who helped to make Six Feet Under and Sports Night among the best TV shows of the last decade, is back in top form in ABC's Dirty Sexy Money, a superb satirical dramedy about wealth and celebrity in America. The 10-episode first season, which was cut short by the writers' strike, this week was released on DVD (http://abctvstore.seenon.com; $39.99; not rated). A comedy of (bad) manners, Dirty stars Krause as Nick George, a socially conscious do-gooder lawyer whose life takes a turn when New York's wealthiest family, the Darlings, asks him to take over his late father's position as their family's attorney.
September 22, 1999 |
Leo McGarry is on his way to work. "Nice morning, Mr. McGarry," says the guard in the lobby. "We'll take care of that," says Leo, as he passes inside, through a corridor, an office, another office, a corridor, an office, five corridors, an office, a corridor, an office, a corridor, two offices, a corridor and two more offices, before settling behind his desk, 3 minutes and 26 seconds later. The camera is with him all the way, as he has 12 separate conversations, and 133 people (maybe more - they go so quickly)
January 21, 1999 |
Byko's Birthdays Actress Geena Davis stretches 42. Golfer Jack Nicklaus birdies 59. '70s heartthrob Robby Benson is a mature 43. Is it us, or is Sean Penn just buggin'? Feeling dissed, the "Thin Red Line" star whipped off a letter to the top muckety-mucks at 20th Century Fox - Fox chief Rupert Murdoch in particular - because he wasn't afforded a private jet to fly to Houston for a screening. "As I have two movies, two children and [- as each woman is at least two people]
April 11, 2000 |
Television: Hotbed of originality. Tonight a not-so-delightful situation comedy takes a bow before the audience starts throwing the old tomatoes and stale eggs. I believe it's the 6,247th one about life at a radio station. And the 38,906th one about a woman who has trouble with men. It knocks off Sports Night, a model of originality that attracted a rabidly loyal audience of Not Big Enough. Sunday night, Walter Cronkite announced on CBS: "Television is taking a giant step.
May 20, 1998 |
A year ago, ABC executives announced a schedule for this past fall that included 10 new series. Bet you can't name more than two. (Sorry. "Hiller and Diller" count as one.) That's probably just one reason that "Dharma & Greg" will be the only survivor of the wreckage that was the 1997-98 season on ABC. The network yesterday announced it would move "Home Improvement" to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and add five sitcoms, three dramas and a third night of "20/20" to its lineup. And if that's not scary enough, they're bringing back the Olsen twins.