During the coronavirus shutdown, each day we will bring you a recommendation from The Post’s Peter Botte for a sports movie, TV show or book that perhaps was before your time or somehow slipped between the cracks of your viewing/reading history.
SPORTS NIGHT, 1998-2000 (ABC)
Streaming: Amazon Prime
We wanted to list the acclaimed three-season basketball drama “The White Shadow” (CBS, 1978-81) as our slam-dunk first TV sports recommendation, but inexplicably none of the Big-3 streaming services (Netflix, Amazon or Hulu) presently have it available.
“Sports Night” similarly lasted just a short time on the air (two seasons, 45 episodes), but this excellent Aaron Sorkin-created dramedy about the behind-the-scenes happenings at a “SportsCenter” style highlights show for fictional Continental Sports Channel also provided a scripted weekly fix for diehard sports fans. It also set the template for Sorkin’s subsequent series “The West Wing” and “The Newsroom,” and his hit movies “Moneyball” and “The Social Network.”
Josh Charles (“Dead Poets Society,” “The Good Wife”) and Peter Krause (“Six Feet Under,” “Parenthood”) star as sports anchors Dan Rydell and Casey McCall, inspired by ESPN’s Craig Kilborn and the longtime star pairing of Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick.
The show mostly revolved around their characters’ interactions with executive producer Dana Whitaker, played by Felicity Huffman, who has been in the news recently for pleading guilty over her participation in the 2019 college admissions scandal. Two-time Emmy winner Robert Guillaume (“Soap,” “Benson”) also provides some gravitas as the station’s managing editor Isaac Jaffe.
Quote of Note: “Good evening from New York City. I’m Dan Rydell, alongside Casey McCall. Those stories plus 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.’” – Sports Night anchor Dan Rydell.
Botte Blows: 4.5 out of 5.
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