Sports Night

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Fandom
Name: Sports Night
Abbreviation(s): SN
Creator: Aaron Sorkin
Date(s): September 22, 1998 - May 16, 2000
Medium: television
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: IMDB,

Wikipedia


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Sports Night is a half-hour dramedy[1] about a sports news show (also called Sports Night). The show was character-driven, centering around the two anchors, Dan Rydell and Casey McCall, with a strong supporting cast that made the show into an ensemble.

Created and to a large extent written by Aaron Sorkin, it has many of the trademarks of other Sorkin-created shows: scripts with rapid fire, often witty, dialogue; a strong ensemble cast; the use of many "walk and talk" tracking shots that explore the fictional space and increase the onscreen movement of the characters; a core relationship between the two main male leads that is long-standing, complicated, and very close.

Sports Night was a critical success, but suffered from low ratings and poor marketing. After ABC cancelled the show, Sorkin made no real attempt to keep it alive on a different network, preferring to focus on The West Wing instead. This sparked some bitterness among Sports Night fans, who felt that their show had been orphaned by its creator.

The show has been available on DVD since 2002, and is occasionally rerun on tv, both in the US and elsewhere (e.g., Australia and the UK).

Fanfiction

Dan/Casey are the dominant slash pairing of the fandom; certain episodes, most notably "Thespis" and "April is the Cruelest Month", lend this relationship an almost-canon credibility. Both have also been slashed with Jeremy, and with a variety of original male characters. In addition to the vast preponderance of slash, Sports Night fandom has produced a fair amount of gen fic, as well as het fic referencing the canon pairings of Casey and Dana, Jeremy and Natalie, and Dan and Rebecca, and also non-canon pairings such as Dan and Natalie. Femslash for the series in general focuses on Dana/Natalie. There is a trend in the fanfiction to stylistically mirror the show's writing, with the result that Sports Night stories often have a lot of dialogue. Some are nothing but dialogue, essentially written in script form. Others are more traditionally written and focus on the spirit of the show rather than attempting to mimic Sorkinesque speech patterns.

Vids

Perhaps because of the small number of sets and relative lack of action, there are very few SN vids, either gen, het or slash. One example is Goodnight, Hollywood Boulevard, by Barkley.[2] The summary says it's about Dan, Casey, and a bit of Dana.

History of the Fandom

While the show was on the air in its first run, the fandom was not large, but it was active and prolific. Fan discussion and fanfiction posting took place on eGroups mailing lists, which eventually moved to Yahoo!; there were both slash and general lists.[3] Slashsn was started in January 2000 and moderated by Mona Ramsey, with Cori Lannam stepping in later as the new moderator.[4]

Cori also acted as the archivist on the Sports Night Archive, which was located on Trickster. Although an excellent and comprehensive resource, this site was plagued by server difficulties throughout its life. The archive was substantially revamped and improved in October 2000. In early 2003, the site went down. On February 14, 2004, a 'grand re-opening' of the archive was announced. On January 5, 2005, a message was posted to slashsn stating that trickster.org had gone down and the archive would shortly be moved. It has never been resurrected, although random pages can sometimes be found via The Wayback Machine.

Similarly, Our Boys was set up as an archive and recommendation site for fanfiction for both of Aaron Sorkin's shows (Sports Night & The West Wing), and some works from the early years of Sorkinfic were archived exclusively there. Unfortunately again, this archive went down in 2008 when the domain name lapsed, and the files were lost, although some can be recovered via archive.org's Wayback Machine.

In the early '00s, Sports Night fandom emerged on Livejournal, with the creation of communities such as inthetallgrass (May 2003), for Sports Night, West Wing, and more recently, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip fanfic[5], and sn100 (August 2003, created by michellek), for weekly (or bi-weekly) drabble prompts and posts[6]. In October 2005, in an attempt to create a Livejournal-based alternative to the missing Trickster archive, snarchive was created[7]

Currently, In The Tall Grass and The Sports Night Fanfiction Archive are the primary archives of Sports Night fiction, though much of what was archived in the Slash Archive and Our Boys came and went prior to the creation of this LJ community and are therefore lost to the ages. Older fanfiction can, with a little effort, be found in old posts on the Yahoo list.

Notable Fanfiction

Resources

References & Notes

  1. "Dramedy -- The TV IV". Link accessed January, 2009
  2. Goodnight, Hollywood Boulevard at Barkley's vid site, accessed November 12, 2008.
  3. slashsn Yahoo!group, Sports Night Fanfiction Yahoo!group Last accessed October, 2008.
  4. Email from Mona as slashsn-owner as of January 20, 2000; email announcing Cori as new moderator on August 31, 2000. Slashsn Yahoo!group Accessed October, 2008
  5. inthetallgrass community profile.
  6. sn100 community profile.
  7. snarchive community profile.
  8. Two-Player Game by Bone.
  9. Djibouti at Fox's squidge.org website. Djibouti at Caroline's old tripod website (archive link).
  10. SN fic index for catwalksalone.
  11. Charlemagne's (Synchronik's) fanfiction site; the Sports Night stories are at the bottom of the page. (Accessed April 2009.)
  12. Helen's Sports Night fanfiction page. (Accessed 3 April 2010)
  13. k's Sports Night fanfiction page. (Accessed April 2009.)
  14. Fic page for A. S. Lawrence (phoebesmum).
  15. Fic list for laylee.
  16. MiniSN profile.
  17. lordessrenegade's fic page.
  18. Kickoff by Merry.
  19. AO3 Profile for out_there.
  20. This Year's Prom Theme by Pares.
  21. Where Have You Gone, Tom Glavine? by Sab
  22. Decatur by Scrunchy.
  23. sinead's fiction on A03. (Accessed April 2009.)
  24. Friday Night by Te.