The BEST Episodes of Sports Night
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Jan 3, 2020
Network: ABC (US)
Sports Night ran nearly two full seasons on the ABC network in the US during the '98-99 and '99-00 seasons. Smart, fast-paced, witty and featuring a fine ensemble cast, Sports Night struggled in the ratings from the start, particularly during its second season, when it was routinely pre-empted and moved from night to night. Art imitated life imitating art, as the show took on a consultant, was hired to "tweak" the ratings. The show within a show continued to falter, amidst rumors of the imminent sale of its network and the subsequent gutting of its staff, until it, like its parent Sports Night, simply disappeared from the schedule.
#1 - The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee
Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 15, 1998
A southern African American football player and five other students refuse to play at a Tennessee college where the Confederate flag is hung. Luther Sachs the owner of CSC and alumnus of the college sides with the college, but Isaac disagrees and says so on the show. Casey goes on "The View" and takes credit for his wardrobe, which he doesn't deserve and this leads Dan and another staffer to teach him that the show is a team.
#2 - Napoleon's Battle Plan
Season 1 - Episode 22 - Aired Apr 27, 1999
Gordon has proposed to Dana, and Casey is seething, but tells Dan he plans to ""take the high road' and follow Napoleon's Battle Plan: Show up and see what happens next. Dan reminds Casey that Napoleon lost at Waterloo and died in exile, and announces his intention to ""step in"". So Dan tells Natalie about Gordon's fling with Sally. Natalie runs straight to Dana, who confronts Gordon who, in turn, tells Dana about Casey's fling with Sally. Then Dana confronts Sally, who reveals she has been sleeping with Casey for months. Confused? You won't be on the tonight's episode of . . . oh wait, that's another show!
#3 - The Local Weather
Season 2 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 7, 2000
Dan decides to skip therapy and spends an hour in Abby's office telling her so. Jeremy e-mails the porn star he blew off, then decides to tell her in person why he's not going to see her again. Casey decides to bribe the gang with international cuisine to get them to watch a track and field event in the wee hours. Dana decides to seek shelter from a rainstorm in church.
#4 - Sally
Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 23, 1999
When Casey has a one-night stand and does not tell anyone, the entire staff, led by Dan, prods him for details. After Gordon cancels a date with Dana, she questions the status and future of their relationship. Jewish Jeremy, panics when he is set to visit Natalie's parents for a Catholic holiday, he knows nothing of.
#5 - Special Powers
Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Oct 5, 1999
Second Season Opener Isaac returns to the job, but the effects of his stroke appear to be affecting his performance. The 90-day ""cooling off period"" following Dana's canceled wedding is drawing to a close, and Dan encourages Casey to ask Dana out. Natalie and Jeremy fight over a job she's offered in Galveston, TX.
#6 - Dana and the Deep Blue Sea
Season 1 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 9, 1999
Having been rebuffed by Rebecca, Dan turns to Casey for help in dating her. Casey, still wrestling with his feelings for Dana, refuses. Next Dan turns to Jeremy in his efforts to be ""more than friends"" with Rebecca. Meanwhile, Dana agrees to go snorkeling with Gordon even though she is terrified of fish. Casey: ""Sometimes you just stand there -- hip-deep in pie."" Rebecca [to Jeremy]: ""Is everyone who works on your show deranged?""
#7 - The Reunion
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Dec 21, 1999
Dana gets edgy as the arrival of her brother comes close. As part of a Secret Santa, Casey searches for the perfect gift for Isaac. Natalie tells Casey that if his gift isn't cheap and located within two blocks of the building he's getting socks. When Natalie gives Dan a tape to watch of her work as an anchor, he tells her it was great, when it really was just mediocre. The crew struggles to name an athlete of the century. Dan decides to go to midnight mass, even though he's Jewish.
#8 - Mary Pat Shelby
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 20, 1998
Dana is excited to be getting a notorious football player, Christian Patrick on the show. The staff is not when his lawyers force them to not mention the ex-girlfriend he badly abused, Mary Pat Shelby. When Natalie goes to pre interview him, he assaults her. Dana's decision about whether to break the story is a difficult one, and it is not the same as Dan and Casey's. Also Dan wrestles with whether or not to get a goatee and Dana realizes her absence of a sense of humor.
#9 - The Quality of Mercy at 29K
Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 1, 1998
The team broadcasts an Everest climb, the first one since 1954. Jeremy realizes he's got something to live for, Natalie. Casey searches for food, as Dan searches for a charity to give to. Dana takes her niece to see ""The Lion King"", and discovers a love of the theater.
#10 - Dear Louise
Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 10, 1998
Jeremy writes a letter to his deaf sister about his new job at Sports Night. In it he describes the last few days there, including Dan's writer's block and the beating of an 80-year-old Negro League ball player, Archibald Russell. He also talks about his love for Natalie. Isaac's mad that his daughter is dating a Republican and Casey tries to annoy Gordon, Dana's new man.
#11 - Kyle Whitaker's Got Two Sacks
Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Dec 14, 1999
Dana is extremely proud when her brother gets two sacks in a football game. She becomes determined to show others how he did it. Jeremy is nervous about firing Corbin Davis, a cousin of JJ's who is screwing up simple assignments. Jeremy gives him a pep talk and Corbin tells him, that he doesn't take sides when JJ talks bad about this show. Because of a drug scandal involving football players erupts, Casey travels to Ohio to find out the names, Tina fills in. When the names are uncovered, one hits close to home for Dana... literally... her brother.
#12 - Eli's Coming
Season 1 - Episode 19 - Aired Mar 30, 1999
Dan's day is not shaping up to be a good one as Bobbi Bernstein returns to the broadcast, and he discovers Rebecca's husband hasn't quite reached ""ex"" status. Meanwhile, Casey and Dana's bickering escalates until news that Isaac has suffered a stroke reaches the staff.
#13 - Shane
Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Dec 7, 1999
Natalie obsesses over the loss of hell. In a nod to real-life racist John Rocker, Casey interviews an old friend, Shane McArnold, who heaps disdain on his new home city of New York and all its inhabitants. Casey promises to ""fix it"" out of loyalty, but Dana knows it's good television and leaves it as is. Meanwhile, Dan's therapist Abby is opening up Dan's true feelings about his family, making him more and more dysfunctional.
#14 - And the Crowd Goes Wild
Season 2 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 8, 2000
Jeremy and Natalie's break-up ripples through the show after Jeremy asks for his ""stuff"" back. Casey's dilated pupils provide comic relief for Dan and the crew. Dana deals with Sam's imminent departure. A riot breaks out at Madison Square Garden and Natalie questions turning over the show's filmed coverage of the event to the police.
#15 - The Cut Man Cometh
Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 18, 2000
While prepping to cover a major fight, Dana and Casey duke it out over their stalled fling, and Dan's dad, Jay, hits town for a tense visit. But after the match goes south, the CSC staff bands together to knock out a killer show, including an hour's worth of coverage of a fight that lasted under a minute and a correspondent who only will respond to being called "the cut man", calls Dan; Casey, and Casey; Dan. He also shows he has no idea what he is talking about, when he talks about the last winner of the Miss America pageant, Miss Rochester.
#16 - When Something Wicked This Way Comes
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Oct 12, 1999
Rumors abound that a "ratings guy" is being brought in to raise the show from its third place status. To Dana's suprise, Isaac announces the rumors are true. Dana has an "epiphany" that she and Casey should date other people for six months. Dan is invited to a Hillary Clinton fundraiser, and in his efforts to impress the First Lady, confuses secular with non-secular in a conversation about schools. This causes him no end of distress, and he proceeds to obsess about it to Casey.
#17 - Ordnance Tactics
Season 1 - Episode 20 - Aired Apr 6, 1999
Isaac's in the hospital, the network brass is all over Dana, Jeremy wants to break up with Natalie, Rebecca may go back to her husband and Casey continues to see Sally -- something's bound to explode -- let's hope it's not a bomb in the building!
#18 - Louise Revisited
Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 26, 1999
Jeremy becomes concerned when he finds out Natalie is writing to his deaf sister Louise. Dan and Casey become, very competitive about an Internet poll, over whose cooler. Casey convinces Jeremy to rig the computer to vote for him 2,000 times a minute. When Dana goes out with an old friend from high school, Cab Calloway, Casey is angry. Dana as a spur of the moment action takes off her underwear during the meal.
#19 - The Apology
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 29, 1998
Dan is misunderstood on his opinion over marijuana and the law. When Luther Sachs reads this, he demands an on-air apology; Isaac seconds it, as does Dana. But no one will answer as to whom he should be apologizing to. Casey worries about why he is not considered ""cool"" like Dan is. Dan is stalked by one of the CSC fitness show stars.
#20 - A Girl Named Pixley
Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 28, 1999
Dana worries when Casey goes out on a date. Jeremy's optimism about his award nomination fades.
#21 - Quo Vadimus
Season 2 - Episode 22 - Aired May 16, 2000
Bidders drop out of the auction for Continental Corp., which causes concern for the future of the "Sports Night" team. Meanwhile, Casey prepares to look for new work without Dan, who is reunited with a familiar face from his past.
#22 - Rebecca
Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired Jan 26, 1999
Rumors spread about Isaac's job status when the Wall Street Journal reports the recent trouble between Luther Sachs and Sports Night. J.J. begs Isaac to let him forward messages to Luther instead of Isaac doing it himself. This leads Isaac to realize that J.J. is the only one to gain if there is turmoil between the show and company. Maybe J.J. is starting trouble? Dana is nervous that Gordon is going to dump her because she is so preoccupied with work. Dan feels he should apologize for not calling Rebecca after he met her in the elevator. She doesn't remember him, though.
#23 - How Are Things in Glocca Morra?
Season 1 - Episode 17 - Aired Mar 9, 1999
A televised tennis match heads into overtime, delaying the start of Sports Night and forcing Dana to choose between canceling a date with Gordon and handing the show over to Sally. Meanwhile, Jeremy uses the delay to write to Louise; and Dan's charms are beginning to work on Rebecca.
#24 - Draft Day: Part II - The Fall of Ryan O'Brian
Season 2 - Episode 18 - Aired Mar 21, 2000
As NFL draft day unfolds, relationships unravel. Jeremy anguishes over Jenny's visit to the studio, where she and Natalie discover common ground and she and Jeremy come apart. After giving him a talking-to behind closed doors, Casey is stunned when Dan humiliates him in front of millions.
#25 - The Sweet Smell of Air
Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 25, 2000
The crew is excited when they get a chance to interview Michael Jordan; that is until the strings began to be attached. First they find a paper in the press packet, that coaches Michael how to steer away from sports questions, next they are told to only talk about his new cologne, and then they get a request for total editorial control to Michael. They drop the interview when they discover that they were picked because of their ratings vulnerability. Sam returns and sets Dana into a frenzy, he later meets Sally. Casey frets over what to do in front of Charlie's class, when he is invited to show and tell.