Sports Night/Kafelnikov

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Season 2, Episode 5
Airdate November 2, 1999
Production Number N-328
Written by Matt Tarses
and Bill Wrubel
Directed by Robert Berlinger
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Sports NightSeason Two

Kafelnikov is the fifth episode of the second season of Sports Night, and the twenty-eighth episode overall.

Dan meets a girl in a bar, Jeremy wages war on the Y2K bug, and Casey needs a new chair.

Starring: Josh Charles (Dan Rydell), Peter Krause (Casey McCall), Felicity Huffman (Dana Whitaker), Joshua Malina (Jeremy Goodwin), Sabrina Lloyd (Natalie Hurley) and Robert Guillaume (Isaac Jaffe)

Guest Starring: Kayla Blake (Kim), Greg Baker (Elliott), Jayne Brook (Abby), Timothy Davis-Reed (Chris), Jeff Mooring (Dave), Ron Ostrow (Will)

Co-Starring: Suzanne Kellogg (Alyson), Mary Ostrow (Female Patient)


Plot Overview

Dan sits at the bar, talking to a woman named Abby, who gives him her card and tells him to call her. Casey and Dana sit in a booth - Dana asks Casey for answers to the crossword, while Casey argues against the dating plan. They are joined by Natalie and Jeremy; Jeremy has a plan to beat the Y2K bug, and intends to test it the next day.

Everyone assembles in the studio for Jeremy's test. Dan and Casey are not in show clothes, and their 'on-air' comments grow progressively more ridiculous. While 'off-air', they talk about Danny's upcoming date. Casey notices that Abby is a 'head-shrink' and goes on to tease Danny about his mental health.

The test goes well. As they approach the final hurdle, Jeremy makes a triumphant proclamation, and insists on pressing the button himself. When he does, all the screens switch to static. The control room is down.

Casey and Dan are in their office, still discussing Dan's mental health, or lack thereof. Natalie brings messages, including one from Sam (who is in Detroit, and does not appear in this episode) telling them it was a good show. She also says that Jeremy should have the problem just about fixed - then the lights go out.

Later, Jeremy is still trying to fix things. Dana walks through the darkened offices. She tells Natalie to prepare Studio B, and announces this to the room. She then has to check if anyone is actually there.

Dan is sitting in the waiting room at Abby's office. He attempts to make polite conversation with the woman leaving, but she rebuffs him. When he goes into Abby's office, he asks if she thinks he's there for a date or for therapy; Abby asks what Dan wants it to be. They agree it should be a date, but then Dan makes a verbal mis-step and they end up sitting down to talk.

Back at the studio, Dana attempts to have 'a moment' with Casey, complimenting how he looks by candlelight. Casey messes it up. Dan comes in, and is unusually terse and quiet; he says meeting Abby was "good" but doesn't tell Casey it wasn't a date.

In the control room, Jeremy is making frantic suggestions about what might have gone wrong. Apparently he is worried about the new millennium, and so is Casey. Isaac reminds them all of the progress that has been made through the twentieth century, and says he is looking forward to the future.

Dana realises that the control panel has been re-wired but not re-labeled, and so the button that Jeremy pushed was actually the 'panic button'. In seconds, the studio is back up and running, and they don't have to go to Studio B.


Arc Advancement


  • Dan meets Abby.


  • Dan has a tense relationship with his family, and his mental health is called into question.



The Show

  • The music playing at the opening of the episode is "Sweet Destiny" by Todd Thibaud.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • The "Menlo Park monogram" that Casey answers with "T. A. E." refers to Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor who was sometimes known as "the wizard of Menlo Park."
  • The Y2K bug originated with the fear that computers world-wide would fail to recognize the new year of 2000 because they could only parse years as two-digit numbers. This would supposedly lead to catastrophic failures in infrastructure.
  • Luciano Pavarotti is a famous Italian opera tenor.
  • "Hitting for the cycle" is an unusual baseball accomplishment, when a player hits a single, double, triple and a home run in the same game.
  • Martina Hingis is a professional tennis player with several Grand Slam titles. No, No, Nanette is a musical comedy from England which originally opened in 1925.
  • Zamfir is a famous Romanian pan flautist.
  • KY is a brand of personal lubricant.

Memorable Moments

  • A crew member walks in front of Casey's camera, prompting a look and off-camera laughing.
  • Casey needs a new chair.
  • Everyone is in the dark.


  • Dan: What happens is you become someone who relies on the love of three or four million total strangers watching you on television.
    Abby: What happens when they go away?
    Dan: Well, I try to avoid that.
  • Dan: I'm Dan Rydell, by the way.
    Abby: I know who you are.
    Dan: Thanks.
    Abby: Did I just give you a compliment?
    Dan: I just assumed...
  • Dana: Casey, the longer you wait, the longer you wait. Know what I'm saying?
  • Jeremy: I am victorious and... basically, that's all I had to say. I am victorious.
    Dana: Excellent!
    Natalie: Jeremy fixed the KY thing.
    Jeremy: Y2K!
  • Jeremy: I've done nothing less than face down the millennium and show it who's in charge!
    Dana: Well, did you use a manual or something?
  • (After Dana has called Jeremy a nerd.)
    Jeremy: Tomorrow night at six, I'll recalibrate the computers to believe that it is January 1st, 2000, and you'll see that we're Y2K compatible, and that I am facing the future as the servant of no master! And, you'll also take back that "nerd" thing.
  • Jeremy: Natalie, a shot and a beer!
    Natalie: OK!
    Jeremy: Or if they have, a Mountain Dew.
  • (Preparing for the Y2K test)
    Dana: There's no way we're broadcasting this preposterous exercise?
    Natalie: No.
    Elliott: We're just simulating this preposterous exercise.
  • (Fake headlines for the Y2K test)
    Dan: Luciano Pavarotti shocks the track world by running the 100 meters in six seconds! My mother hits for the cycle! And Martina Hingis sings selections from "No, No, Nanette!"
  • Jeremy: Sandbags on the levee, some plywood on the windows, a little thing called human endeavor.
    Dana: Are you almost finished?
    Jeremy: I'm just saying we have nothing to fear.
    Dana: And I'm just saying you must have gotten beat up a lot in high school.
    Jeremy: Yeah.
  • Dan: (re: Abby) We talked for quite a while.
    Casey: Yeah, and then she went home with another guy.
  • (More fake headlines)
    Casey: Zamfir, master of the pan flute, was 26 for 32 in passing...
  • Dan: (re: Abby) Wow, she's a doctor!
    Casey: Of psychology.
    Dan: A doctor!
    Casey: (emphatically) In the area... of mental... health.
  • Casey: We're just getting started on "Dan and Casey's Dance Fever!"
  • Jeremy: At the press of this button, the Y2K problem will officially cry "Uncle!" And I'll say, "Yeah? Who's your daddy? I am! That's right, say it! Jeremy's your daddy!"
  • Natalie: Jeremy's got it just about fixed, so--
    (CLICK! Total blackout in the offices. Long pause.)
    Dan: I'm not crazy, right? The lights did just go out?
  • (Dan has learned that Abby the therapist is herself in therapy.)
    Dan: I just assumed that someone who needed a therapist would want someone with, y'know, a full supply of marbles.
    Abby: Danny?
    Dan: Yeah?
    Abby: I have roughly the same number of marbles as everyone else.
    Dan: I'm sure.
    Abby: So do you.
    Dan: I have, actually, an excess of marbles.
  • Abby: You're a nice guy, and you're a smart guy.
    Dan: Thank you.
    Abby: So why doesn't you father like you?
    Dan: What?
    Abby: I believe in cutting through the first six months and getting to the stuff.
  • Dan: Why did you ask me about my father?
    Abby: Did you go to school to get good at what you do?
    Dan: Yeah.
    Abby: Me too.
  • Dan: My father likes me. She likes me just fine.
    Abby: She?
    Dan: What?
    Abby: You said "She likes me just fine."
    Dan: ...No, I didn't.
    Abby: OK.
    Dan: I didn't!
    Abby: Let's get a hamburger.
    Dan: Abby?
    Abby: Yeah?
    Dan: (seriously) Why did I say that?
    Abby: I don't know.
  • Dana: (to Casey) You know, you can squeeze the life out of a moment like nobody I've ever met.
  • Natalie: (to Jeremy) You weren't here the first year. On the list of the top ten things we screwed up, knocking the power out with a Y2K test wouldn't have made the cut!
  • Natalie: Dana, tell Jeremy not to fear the new milennium.
    Dana: Don't fear the new milennium.
    Natalie: Do it better than that.
    Dana: There is nothing to fear from the new milennium.
    Natalie: (to Jeremy) You see?
    Dana: Though I suspect you'll be spending a good part of it looking for a job.
  • Natalie: You really think things are gonna be that different in the next millennium?
    Casey: I think Dana and I still won't have gone on our first date yet, if that's what you're asking.
    Natalie: It was.
  • Isaac: The next millennium will be spectacular! It will be. I'm managing editor of Sports Night and a hundred years ago, I wasn't allowed to vote. The future's just fine with me. And I have to say that I find it vaguely amusing that a computer that can calculate the quadratic equation in a nanosecond hits the panic button when it's asked to count to 2000? Huh huh! I'll see you upstairs.
  • Dana: There's no question that there's a way to look at this where... it's my fault.
    Jeremy: What's another way to look at it?
    Dana: There's no other way to look at it.
  • Dana: Jeremy, I am honestly sorry.
    Jeremy: There's no point in assigning blame.
    Elliott: (entering) What happened?
    Jeremy: (happily) It was Dana's fault!
  • Jeremy: I am reinvigorated! You may have won the battle, but there's a war still to be waged, my foe!
    Natalie: Honey, when you talk to the computers, you don't ever hear them talk back, do you?