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  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 22, 1998
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Sports Night Image
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: Sabrina Lloyd, Felicity Huffman, Felicity Huffman
  • Summary: Sports Night ran nearly two full seasons on the ABC network in the US during the '98-99 and '99-00 seasons. Created by Emmy Award winning writer/director, Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin created such movies as, A Few Good Men & The American President before his first venture into television (Sorkin would later create the massively respected & popular The West Wing). 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 (William H. Macy in his first TV role since his stint on ER), 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. Upon its cancellation, several networks, most notably HBO came to Sorkin for a possible move to the respected network, but nothing was ever solidified. Sports Night gained additional exposure through a subsequent syndication on Comedy Central. Expand
  • Genre(s): Comedy, Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. 100
    The pace is fast from start to finish, the situations believable, the actors are obviously enjoying their work, the production is excellent. If there's any justice in the TV business (talk about a reckless assumption), ABC, a network that desperately needs a new hit show, should have one in Sports Night. [22 Sept 1998, p.E-1]
  2. Reviewed by: Barry Garron
    May 5, 2013
    100
    A wonderfully engaging combination of comedy and drama that could succeed simply on the passion of its characters and the strength of the performances. But the show also boasts intelligent dialogue and a willingness to grapple with thorny issues, both personal and professional. [21 Sept 1998]
  3. Reviewed by: Scott D. Pierce
    May 3, 2013
    90
    There isn't another half hour like it on network television right now. It's a 30-minute show, but it isn't a sitcom. As a matter of fact, it's at least as much a drama as it is a comedy. It's also one of the best new shows of the season. [22 Sept 1998, p.TV]
  4. Reviewed by: Ray Richmond
    May 5, 2013
    90
    The most entertaining new comedy premiering in primetime this fall, precisely because it doesn't look or feel like anything else the networks are tossing against the wall. It cleverly defies all of the dreary fall sitcom trends: black people moving into white neighborhoods, single parents struggling to hold housefuls of screaming brats in line, gay men yearning to make sense of a straight world, and young adults basically acting like idiots. [21 Sept 1998, p.44]
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    May 1, 2013
    80
    For a new series, Sports Night already has a nicely developed sense of ensemble and texture. Charles and Krause show a natural chemistry as anchors and friends, and Robert Guillaume has strong presence as the imposing executive producer. The most appealing actor, though, is Huffman, who is dynamic as the committed producer who lives only for airtime. She's got caffeine running through her veins. [22 Sept 1998, p.C1]
  6. Reviewed by: Caryn James
    May 5, 2013
    80
    The series is acted with razorlike timing. [21 Sept 1998, p.E5]
  7. Reviewed by: Manuel Mendoza
    May 3, 2013
    50
    The corny, almost maudlin conclusions, coupled with the show's we-are-family, us-against-the-network motif, is too sincere to swallow. [22 Sept 1998, p.4C]

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Dec 12, 2013
    10
    15 years after this show first aired, and I am still loving it. Watched it when it first came out, it was my must watch show. Now in syndication, the combination of drama and comedy still keeps me entertained and moved. Expand