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#109 : Nouveaux Choix

Résumé : Le direct vient de se terminer et Cal vient demander à Ron et Ricky ce qu'il s'est passé. L'émission était trop courte d'une trentaine de secondes. Ricky et Ron font les innocents et Cal part énerver. Matt, quant à lui, pense que l'émission était particulièrement mauvaise et ce sans prendre en compte les râtés techniques. Cal se rend vite compte que Ron et Ricky se sont trompés de format pour le script. Au lieu de 40 secondes, ils ont liassés un format sitcom. Lorsqu'il explique la situation à Matt et Danny, ceux-ci se rendent compte qu'ils sont entrain d'écrire un pilote. Ils demandent à Jordan de vérifier leur contrat pour voir s'ils ont une exclusivité ou pas. Jordan apprend alors que le contrat à une clause d'option sur un pilote. Matt le connaît et sait ce qu'il vaut. Leur en voulant toujours, il demande à Jordan de faire jouer l'option.


Titre VO
The Option Period

Titre VF
Nouveaux Choix

Première diffusion
20.11.2006

Première diffusion en France
11.05.2007

Plus de détails

Scénaristes : Aaron Sorkin
Réalisateur : John Fortenberry

Guests : Lucy Davis (Lucy), Columbus Short (Darius) et Ayda Field (Jeannie Whatley)


DANNY
Previously on Studio 60...

HARRIET
I've been asked not to appear at the Women United Through Faith concerts.

JORDAN
You shouldn't be appearing with groups that oppose gay marriage.

KIM [translating]
This woman has brought shame to your company. 

DANNY
Wilson White's ready to blame her if the China deal falls through.

ZHANG
[yelling in Mandarin]

JACK
I wouldn't get too many eggs in Jordan's basket; I don't think she's going to make it through this any more.

DANNY
I want to know what you and Shelly are doing about this latest round of press.

WHITE
Make it stop.

RICKY
Matt, you think there's any chance you might get down off your horse and stop being pissed at us?

MATT
Not a big chance, not.

RICKY
You want us to quit?

MATT
Badly. You think it's going to happen?

RICKY
Not a big chance, no.

TITLE CARD: THE OPTION PERIOD
[Control Room]
CAL
Roll credits!

ASSISTANT
Cal, where are you going? We're still rolling?

CAL
Move!

PA
Here you go.

GUY IN HALL
Hey, Cal.

[Writers' room]
CAL
You know what happened?

RICKY
Man, you get here from the control room fast.

CAL
No, do you know what happened?

RICKY
What?

CAL
I'm asking if you knew what the cause was?

RICKY
Cal, I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.

CAL
Did you watch the show tonight?

RICKY AND RON
Yeah.

CAL
All of it?

RICKY
What the hell is going on?

CAL
We got to the 'goodnights' 37 seconds early; Danny had to have Jessica Simpson fill. Nice girl, nice performer; don't want her to extemporize on her air. She had time to thank her pets, and then she asked us all to pray for peace in the Midwest.

RON
I'm sure she meant Middle East.

CAL
I know she meant Middle East.

RICKY
How is this our fault?

CAL
I'm not saying it's your fault, I'm asking if you know what happened!

RICKY
No!

CAL
Wait. You printed the scripts out in the wrong format. This is half-hour. We do our scripts on 40-second page.

RICKY
The script department prints the scripts --

CAL
Who's the supervisor for the script department, Rick?

RICKY
Look --

CAL
You want me to chew out a bunch of interns who drive 1992 Honda Civics or do you think it should be you two?

RICKY
I vote for the interns.

CAL
Before you leave for the wrap party, stick around and have somebody put together an as-aired script in 40-second page for closed captioning. We also blew a couple of cards in the Visa sketch. Who supervises the cards, Rick? [He leaves.]

RON
We forgot to change formats.

[Matt's office]
OVERHEAD
And we're out. [Matt throws something, narrowly missing Danny coming in.]

MATT
What happened with the blood?

DANNY
I just had a talk with the guy. It was a sub.

MATT
FX was a sub?

DANNY
Yeah.

MATT
What happened?

DANNY
You don't want to know.

MATT
Yes, I do.

DANNY
He said it wasn't realistic.

MATT
What wasn't realistic?

DANNY
He felt the amount of blood you were asking for wasn't realistic.

MATT
I'm going to go out of my mind.

DANNY
I know, that's why I didn't --

MATT
The sketch was called "Quentin Tarentino's Hallmark Movie: Turkey Won't Die." It was about a mortally wounded turkey that won't die, even while being served. Did he find the premise realistic?

DANNY
I made that point.

MATT
If geysers of blood are gushing out, then I get the Tarentino joke, and it's funny. If it's just a realistic amount of blood, then it's extremely disturbing.

DANNY
I made that point as well.

MATT
Fire him.

DANNY
Believe me, I would. If only he worked here.

MATT
He's a sub.

DANNY
Right.

MATT
Damn it.

DANNY
Yeah.

MATT
I want to fire somebody.

DANNY
We'll look around at the party; come on.

MATT
We blew a card in the Visa sketch.

DANNY
Yeah?

MATT
Alex saved it, but not by much.

DANNY
I'll tell you, considering me and half the cast spent most of the day in Pahrump, Nevada, I thought it was a pretty good show.

MATT
Yeah?

DANNY
I did.

MATT
Indiana, Illinois, Missouri. Are rebel forces gathering?

DANNY
No.

MATT
Then why are we praying for peace in the Midwest?

DANNY
Girl's nice to look at.

MATT
Good thing.

DANNY
Week's over. Let's go to the party.

JORDAN
Hey, good show.

MATT
You saw it.

JORDAN
I saw the end, and I think we should all take a moment to consider the suffering in Des Moines.

DANNY
For reasons I'll get to the bottom of, we came down a little early, and I had to ask Jess to fill.

JORDAN
Well, you put the show in steady hands.

DANNY
I left a message for you.

JORDAN
And I returned that call.

DANNY
And I returned that call.

JORDAN
And I returned that call.

DANNY
And then I left another message for you.

JORDAN
And I returned that call.

DANNY AND JORDAN
What do you need?

MATT
I'm going to make myself a drink and weep.

JORDAN
Let's go to the party.

DANNY
I need to speak to you.

JORDAN
And I need to speak to you. Let's do it at the party.

DANNY
No, I want the party to be a party. Let's do business and get out of here.

JORDAN
Do business? What, am I from the Tartaglia family?

MATT
Are either of you either remotely concerned that I tanked tonight?

DANNY
You didn't tank!

MATT
Yes, I sure did.

DANNY
You didn't.

JORDAN
Hang on, 'cause I'm curious. What if you did tank tonight? What do you think would happen?

MATT
Strangers wouldn't like me, friends wouldn't like me, the network wouldn't like me, the press wouldn't like me, women in general wouldn't like me, and Harriet wouldn't like me.

JORDAN
Is he in therapy?

DANNY
Nah, he's got me.

MATT
Is this important?

JORDAN
What?

MATT
What you need to talk to him about and what you need to talk to her about.

JORDAN AND DANNY
Yes.

[Harriet's dressing room - Harriet enters and begins to take her robe, and then --]
TOM
Harriet --

HARRIET
OH!

TOM
We want to talk to you.

HARRIET
Can we talk at the party when I'm not in my underwear?

TOM
We'd like to talk now.

HARRIET
Why?

SIMON
Because this is an intervention.

[Credits.]

HARRIET
Turn around, turn around. Stay turned around. People knock on closed doors in America.

SIMON
Look --

HARRIET
Were the two of you raised on a farm?

TOM
I was.

SIMON
I was raised over a heroin dealership.

HARRIET
That's no excuse for bad manners.

SIMON
Harry, we've seen you do quick changes every week. We've seen you in your underwear!

HARRIET
That's backstage, that's doing a show! I don't wear my bikini to the grocery store!

TOM
Bet you'd get a good deal on the food.

HARRIET
How'd you even know about the magazine?

TOM
These things are in the air supply, it's show night, people are coming and going, you can't definitively say it was this person or that person --

HARRIET
JEANNIE!

TOM
I tried to keep Jeannie out of it.

SIMON
Well done.

[Jeannie's dressing room]
HARRIET
Open the door, Jeannie. Are you climbing out the window?

JEANNIE
I'm not climbing out the window. I am not a child. I was pretending I wasn't here.

HARRIET
You told Tom and Simon.

JEANNIE
Oh, about the ma --

HARRIET
Yes, and please don't say it out loud.

JEANNIE
Yes, I did.

HARRIET
Why?

JEANNIE
Was I not supposed to do that?

HARRIET
No.

JEANNIE
Then I am at fault.

HARRIET
Yes.

JEANNIE
In fairness, I didn't know it was in confidence.

HARRIET
Except for when I said, "Can I tell you something in confidence?"

JEANNIE
You were talking about this?

HARRIET
Jeannie!

JEANNIE
Oh, please! If you told me "in confidence" that you were about to take a fistful of bear tranquilizers, you don't think that I would tell Simon and Tom?

HARRIET
Okay, before we go any further, please tell me that if my life is ever in jeopardy there will be people you'll call before them!

TOM
What's up?

JEANNIE
Thanks, guys.

TOM
Hey, I've been under arrest most of the day because of you.

SIMON
And my joint's still in Nevada. I'm just saying.

HARRIET
Okay, I'm going in my dressing room now, I'm closing the door, and I'm changing for the party. At the party, pretend you don't know me. You all get one night in the penalty box. I'm Harriet Hayes. The cool people are going to gravitate to me.

SIMON
Harriet, the gay people are going to gravitate to you, and if any of them are cool they're going to gravitate to me. Let's not be delusional.

HARRIET
I could have joined the CIA. They wanted me.

SIMON
Harriet? Harriet! Okay, so the cat's out of the bag. Now let us talk to you!

TOM
Then we at least have to go on the record saying at this point in your career with the kinds of doors that are open to you... it's a mistake to pose for a layout in --

HARRIET
Get in here.

SIMON
As much as I'd pay way more than the newsstand price.

HARRIET
There are people out here!

[Matt's office]
JORDAN
What did you end up deciding with Harriet and the concerts?

MATT
I told her it was up to her, but they ended up telling her they didn't want her.

JORDAN
Oh, you're kidding!

MATT
No.

DANNY
What was this?

MATT
Harriet was scheduled to appear in a bunch of concerts on Monday nights for a group called Women United Through Faith. She's been active in the group since she was little.

DANNY
They didn't like her quote.

MATT
They felt she seemed to be endorsing gay marriage and this wasn't the right time. She's also going to get slammed by Out Magazine for seeming to be against gay marriage, and I really think it takes a special kind of rhetorical talent to say something that draws in ammunition from both of those groups at the same time.

JORDAN
You know what, I came here this afternoon and told her I thought that, with the quote, she shouldn't be doing concerts for groups that are vocal on the opposition, and she didn't care at that moment. They really told her to stay home?

MATT
Yeah.

DANNY
What did you need to talk to us about?

JORDAN
Does he ever let you breathe and stretch your legs? Does he always have to get right to the point? Does he ever give you the feeling that you're not impeding his path to the more important thing he has to do someplace else?

MATT
Yeah, can you move it along a little? I wouldn't mind getting out of here, either.

JORDAN
The deal in Macau's going to happen.

DANNY
Thanks to me.

JORDAN
How is it thanks to you?

DANNY
I guess it's not.

JORDAN
Yeah. But obviously, as a result, TMG's going to take on some debt.

DANNY
I know what's coming. How much debt?

JORDAN
A professor of mine used to say, "When you owe the bank one hundred dollars, you're in trouble. When you owe the bank one thousand dollars, they're in trouble." We're going to owe the bank eleven billion dollars, and they don't want to be in trouble, so before they give Wilson White their credit card, they're going to want to see budget cuts in every department of division of every property we own.

MATT
Go ahead and get rid of Danny.

JORDAN
I can't get rid of Danny. He's the one who's got to fire 15 below-the-line employees.

DANNY
I'm not firing 15 guys from the crew.

JORDAN
They don't have to be from the crew. They can be from office staff.

DANNY
I'm not firing anybody.

JORDAN
You're willing to take a pay cut?

DANNY
No, but I'm willing to stay at home and watch the show on TV for free?

JORDAN
Do you know anything about debt to equity ratio?

DANNY
Oh, I think I know something.

JORDAN
The measure of a company's finantial leverage calculated by dividing long term debt by stockholder equity?

DANNY
No, I don't know anything.

JORDAN
A high debt-equity ratio generally means a company's been aggressive in financing its growth through borrowing. This can result in volatile earnings from additional interest expense and a lack of -- [Matt mimes shooting himself in the head.] -- a lack of confidence in the stockholders.

MATT
It wasn't a good show tonight.

DANNY
It was fine.

MATT
It wasn't fine.

JORDAN
Excuse me.

DANNY
Yeah?

JORDAN
That's why budgets are being cut here.

DANNY
Here at TMG, but here at Studio 60 our ratings are up. We're responsible for more revenue.

JORDAN
That's why your pattern budget's being reduced by 6%.

DANNY
I can't reduce our pattern budget 6% without laying people off.

JORDAN
That's right, because what you don't want to start thinking about is product placement.

DANNY
I know.

JORDAN
It's the last thing you want to be thinking about.

DANNY
It is.

JORDAN
I was using reverse psychology. You want to start thinking about product placement.

DANNY
Whoa there, nugget.

JORDAN
I'm not talking about anything big, just... "Nokia presents News 60."

DANNY
How about we just put Pennzoil on Simon's forehead?

JORDAN
If that makes you happier.

CAL
Excuse me. Sorry about the timing.

MATT
What happened?

CAL
It was my fault.

MATT
What happened?!

CAL
It was my fault.

MATT
I'm about to go to a party where 17 people will ask me what happened.

CAL
Tell them it was my fault.

MATT
I can't blame other people for the same reason you can't blame other people so I need to blame him. What happened?

CAL
Ricky and Ron didn't switch the format back to 40-second page.

MATT
Why didn't you say so? I'm never so happy as when it's Ricky and Ron.

CAL
That's why I didn't say so.

DANNY
Switch back from what?

CAL
What?

DANNY
Why were they off 40-second page?

CAL
They were working in half-hour format.

DANNY
Why?

MATT
They're writing a pilot script.

DANNY
Do you know anything about this?

MATT
No, do you?

DANNY
No. Do you?

CAL
No.

DANNY
Do you?

JORDAN
Fellas, dance with me all you want, but before you go to the party tonight you're going to identify 15 below-the-line salaries to be cut from your budget.

[Control room -- which is watching a basketball game on the screens]
CAL
Go for three, go for three... yeah!

[Matt's office]
CAL
There's a game in overtime if anybody wants to watch next door.

DANNY
What game?

CAL
NC State and Iowa A&M.

DANNY
Clash of the titans.

CAL
Any game's good in overtime.

MATT
Are they allowed to shop a pilot?

JORDAN
What do you care?

MATT
Aren't they exclusive?

JORDAN
I'm sure they can write whatever they want on spec.

DANNY
Not if they're banking good material instead of giving it to him.

MATT
I don't think Ricky and Ron have a secret treasure trove of good material they've been saving for an occasion.

JORDAN
Then why do you care?

MATT
I don't; I just want to screw with them? How can we find out if they're allowed to do this?

JORDAN
All right. My assistant Kevin is still at the office. If I have him pull the contract and read it, will you two have a serious conversation with me about product placement?

DANNY
What's serious?

JORDAN
You have to listen while I speak.

DANNY
Hmm. No, this I cannot do.

MATT
Call your assistant.

JORDAN
What was it you wanted to talk to me about?

DANNY
Just something Jack said on the way to Nevada.

JORDAN
What?

DANNY
We'll do this first.

JORDAN
I won't be able to concentrate! [on phone] Kevin, it's me. Can you pull the contracts on Richard Tahoe and Ron Oswald? I'm going to hang on. [to Matt and Danny] While I'm thinking of it, are either of you particularly attached to Peripheral Vision Man?

DANNY AND MATT
No.

DANNY
Why?

JORDAN
There's an option on underlying material that expires today. I can renew it for about a hundred dollars if you want.

MATT
Save the money.

DANNY
And now I don't have to fire anybody.

JORDAN
[on phone] Thank you. [to Danny] If 15 people are willing to split 100 dollars. [on phone] Can you search for language about exclusivity and call me back? I'll be on my cell. Thanks. [hangs up] So what was it Jack was saying to you?

DANNY
We're not there yet. You're speaking, I'm listening, product placement, two minutes.

JORDAN
I'm your boss, I think I'll take as much time as I want.

DANNY
There are two minutes left in overtime, I was talking to Cal. I can see it on the monitor.

JORDAN
We've got a couple too many things going on at once.

DANNY
You've got our undivided attention.

MATT
Not one of those cheerleaders would be interested in going out with me after tonight's show.

DANNY
Matt?

MATT
Yeah, I'm here.

CAL
OH! OH!

[Harriet's dressing room]
TOM
Look, you're a big girl. If you want to do it, I'm not going to stand in your way.

HARRIET
I'm leaving.

TOM
You shouldn't do it.

HARRIET
You guys are acting like I'm posing nude. It's the lingerie spread; it's nothing.

SIMON
You screeched when we saw you in your underwear.

HARRIET
Once again, there is such a thing as context.

TOM
You said you were passing on this; you laughed.

HARRIET
I haven't said yes yet.

TOM
Yes, but you laughed. You said no.

HARRIET
Well, they came back and sweetened the offer.

SIMON
To what?

HARRIET
They said I could choose my own stylist.

SIMON
Well, then, I don't see how you could possibly turn it down.

HARRIET
Look --

SIMON
God knows I'm all for taking your clothes off. I think you should take your clothes off as much as possible. I just want to know what made you change your mind.

HARRIET
I don't need to tell you that.

SIMON
Yeah, but do it anyway.

HARRIET
I'm not your little sister.

SIMON
Yeah, you are, so tell me anyway.

HARRIET
I just... I'm considering it. I'm just considering it.

SIMON
What made you change your mind?

HARRIET
Well, first, I guess... Debra got the movie.

SIMON
I didn't know that.

HARRIET
There was some feedback that it's not that she was sexier, it's that she's thought of as sexier. It's hard to follow that logic, but it all seems to be synonymous with, "We wanted someone sexier than you."

SIMON
Do you know how many movies Tom hasn't gotten because they didn't think he was manly enough?

TOM
It's really going to be like this?

SIMON
You don't see him on the cover of Field and Stream!

HARRIET
I don't see why the two of you are in a lather. What happened to, "You're uptight, Harry. You're repressed."

TOM
I meant that as a compliment.

HARRIET
I'm going to the party.

TOM
I'm not kidding.

HARRIET
Trust me, I'm still repressed.

TOM
There's nothing wrong with sitting for a shoot, in any state of dress, in any magazine you like, and it's not surprising that there would be a general interest in seeing more of you.

HARRIET
You make it sound so hot.

TOM
Listen to me for a second.

HARRIET
I'm going to the party.

TOM
For a second.

HARRIET
You guys are sweet.

SIMON
They want skanky pictures of the church girl, Harry. They want you because you're perceived as pious. They're paying for money shots of the church girl.

HARRIET
They're not objectifying me?

TOM
They are, but not in the way you want.

HARRIET
So this is your point?

SIMON
Yes, and it only took us half an hour to get there.

HARRIET
[looking to the office] What are those guys still doing up there?

TOM
I don't know.

HARRIET
Is there still food in the green room?

TOM
I very much think we should go see.

HARRIET
What's wrong with you?

TOM
I don't know.

SIMON
Let me tell you something: that Quentin Tarentino's turkey was just disturbing.

TOM
I hear that.

[Shift to Balcony]
DANNY
Introducing product placement --

JORDAN
'Cause we're not introducing anything. Product placement is here. Last year the ten most saturated shows displaced 9000 brands. Did you notice them?

DANNY
No.

JORDAN
See?

DANNY
I didn't watch television last year.

JORDAN
What were you doing?

DANNY
Having a healthy feature film career.

JORDAN
Oh, good for you.

DANNY
So, what are you thinking? Simon turns to the camera and says, "After a long night of being satirical, I lace up a pair of Adidas?"

JORDAN
Yeah, that's what I'm thinking, you know why? 'Cause I'm craven and stupid.

DANNY
Just give me an idea of what you're picturing --

JORDAN
I'm trying!

DANNY
-- in terms of practical applications instead of spreadsheets.

JORDAN
If you could shut your bazoo for a second, then I'll tell you what I'm picturing in terms of practical application.

DANNY
Go ahead.

JORDAN
There's Level 1. That's integrating signage into the set.

DANNY
Like at a basketball arena?

JORDAN
Exactly?

DANNY
And you, you know this isn't a basketball arena?

JORDAN
Again, no, because I'm quite daft.

DANNY
These are routine questions.

JORDAN
Level 2, bumpers in and out.

DANNY
"Tonight's musical guest brought to you by the new Universal Pictures release, "Galaxy Gladiators: Avengers of Boldness..."

JORDAN
All right --

DANNY
"2."

JORDAN
The final level is product integration. This is the big prize. Harry uses a Nokia phone, Tom uses an Apple computer, the band plays Gibson guitars.

DANNY
We're going to have a whole band of guitar players?

JORDAN
No, just the guys who play the guitar.

DANNY
Because it seems to me that whatever ad revenue we got from Gibson would be squandered on our electric bill if we've got 14 guys on guitar.

JORDAN
Oh, how I love the Eastern witty boys.

DANNY
I'm not even sure we could plug them all in.

MATT
They've gone into a second overtime.

DANNY
How do you feel about changing the house band?

MATT
To what?

DANNY
14 Gibson guitars.

MATT
Anybody playing them, or...

DANNY
No, just the guitars.

MATT
Do we have an answer on "Can Ricky and Ron be writing a pilot?"

JORDAN
Kevin hasn't answered my call back yet. It should be any minute.

MATT
All right, watch this. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrring! [He points, and her phone rings.] There it is!

DANNY
Whoa, check it out!

MATT
That is mojo, baby!

DANNY
My boy's got skills!

MATT
Mad skills.

DANNY
That was sick!

MATT
That was some Vulcan mindmeld mojo and I was right in the kitchen!

DANNY
I think you're a prophet.

MATT
How do we find out something like that?

DANNY
Things like this.

MATT
Where was that mojo when I needed it?

DANNY
You had it when you needed it.

MATT
Get the audience back, let me do it again!

JORDAN
Would you shut up?! [on phone] Yeah.

DANNY
I'm going to take you on tour with that phone thing you can do.

MATT
Once the show gets out there you cannot get it back. You cannot unring a bell.

DANNY
It was a good sh --

MATT
Stop saying it was a good show!

JORDAN
Shhh!

DANNY
We're talking quietly.

JORDAN
They're exclusive.

MATT
Well, I don't know what that was about, then.

JORDAN
Wait. They have an exception.

MATT
For what?

JORDAN
You're kidding.

DANNY
For what?

JORDAN
They have an option for Peripheral Vision Man. Thanks, Kevin.

DANNY
When's the option up?

JORDAN
In about an hour and a half.

CAL
It's tied again.

MATT
Are Ricky and Ron still here?

CAL
They're supervising the as-aired script. What's going on?

DANNY
We're pretty sure the co-execs are going to quit tonight.

CAL
Huh, well.

[Writers' room.]
RICKY
You understand, right?

LUCY
I'm sorry?

RICKY
You understand?

LUCY
Of course.

RICKY
I've gotta take care of the more senior guys.

LUCY
Is "satellite" spelled with two "l"s?

RON
Yeah.

LUCY
Darius?

DARIUS
Yeah.

RICKY
Matt would have fired the more senior guys, Lucy, as soon as their contracts were up. You're good looking and you have a British accent; he's not going to let you go anywhere.

LUCY
Why, Richard, that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said about my writing.

RON
Come on, Lucy.

MATT
Guys --

RICKY
You haven't gone to the party yet?

MATT
No. Lucy, Darius, can you give us the room a second? [They leave.] What's going on with Peripheral Vision Man?

RICKY
You know, maybe it'd be better if we let the agents do their jobs at this point.

MATT
Okay. [He goes to leave.]

RON
No, wait. Hold on. Ricky --

RICKY
We set Peripheral Vision Man up at FOX. They ordered six half-hours for midseason, Ron and I are going to run it, we weren't allowed to say anything because --

MATT
You weren't allowed?

RICKY
You know how it is.

MATT
I don't, actually.

RICKY
NBS Studios has the option until midnight, so --

MATT
You left final draft in half hour format instead of 40-second page! That's why we got a plea for peace in Indiana from Jessica Simpson!

RON
We know, we're sorry about that.

RICKY
I'll tell you what, we thought you'd be thrilled.

MATT
Yeah?

RICKY
You get us out of here without having to eat our contracts!

MATT
Peripheral Vision Man isn't any good, Ricky. And Studio 60 is a brand, and so am I, and people are going to assume that I had something to do with it!

RICKY
Why isn't it good, Matt? Because you didn't write it?

MATT
It isn't good because it isn't good.

RICKY
Then have McDeere tie up the option again; she'll do whatever the cool guys tell her to do.

MATT
That's the first time anyone's accused me of being cool. And I don't think you know Jordan McDeere very well, because she has yet to do anything that anyone has told her to do. "Matt, Danny, we have this opportunity to do this thing at FOX. Will you help us out?" That's how a man talks. Do you care that we didn't do a very good show tonight?

RICKY
I thought it was fine, Matt. But I'm sorry if your ego can't sustain a week of not being called a genius.

MATT
[looking at script] Descent is spelled with a "s".

RON
Are you going to let us have it?

MATT
I don't know. Without the "s" it's "decent."

[Green room. Note the "Bartlet for America" poster on the wall.]
HARRIET
It's sexy that I'm devout?

TOM
Yeah.

HARRIET
That's counter-intuitive.

TOM
Not really. Take the East German figure skaters. There was a sexiness added value before the Berlin Wall came down.

HARRIET
Like Jackie Kennedy.

TOM
What'd she do?

HARRIET
Larry Flint saved Hustler by running pictures of Jackie Kennedy sunbathing in Greece. You're saying it's like that.

TOM
It's more like Jessica Hahn.

HARRIET
With Gary Hart on the boat?

TOM
That was Donna Rice. Jessica Hahn was on the cover of Playboy for being a church secretary who had an affair with Jim Baker.

HARRIET
Then who's von Hall?

TOM
Oliver North.

HARRIET
And you think, 15 years from now, my name will be part of this conversation?

SIMON
I'm still working on the added value of Communist ice skaters, but he's making a good point.

HARRIET
They're fetishizing that I worship.

SIMON
Yes.

HARRIET
Well, okay. They're exploiting me, and I'm exploiting them.

TOM
Well, they're getting the better end of the deal.

HARRIET
Why?

TOM
Because they're enhancing themselves and you're diminishing yourself.

HARRIET
How am I diminishing myself --

SIMON
Knock it off Harry, okay? You know what we're talking about. Don't put yourself in the bargain bin because Debra Messing got a movie.

TOM
You're a singer who stared on Broadway, a recording artist. And you're a world-class comedienne; you might be the only woman who has transcended sketch comedy to become a serious actress.

SIMON
And these all happened at just the right times. Right now you're a classy get. Do this other thing, and you're K-mart!

HARRIET
Well, I'll have to live with that.

SIMON
You will have to live with that.

HARRIET
They don't think that I'm sexy, Simon!

SIMON
They will if you show them you're sexy! They won't if you show them your ass!

HARRIET
What, did you get that off a fortune cookie?

TOM
What about the show?

HARRIET
What about it?

TOM
Forget about you for a second, let's talk about the show.

HARRIET
You think a cast member doing a layout like this would be bad for a late-night show?

TOM
Not for the ratings.

HARRIET
Good, because I can't pass a bus stop without seeing Jeannie in a bra and panties.

SIMON
That's Jeannie! We're not looking to Jeannie for cover!

HARRIET
What's cover?

TOM
Every time we poke fun at the religious right, we can blunt the reaction by pointing to you.

HARRIET
God, Tommy.

TOM
That sounded a little more crass than I would have liked it to.

HARRIET
Yeah?

TOM
Harry --

HARRIET
Pay me.

TOM
What?

HARRIET
Pay me. These readers want me to pose so their readers can get off on a Jesus freak, and you want to hide behind one so you can make your red state jokes. At least they're paying me.

SIMON
You get paid here, too.

HARRIET
To be funny! The figure skaters really became less appealing after the cold war ended?

SIMON
That's him. I guess me, too.

TOM
Thank you.

HARRIET
Shut up.

[Matt's office]
DANNY
Studio 60 doesn't cost the network money, Jordan, it makes the network money.

JORDAN
I understand.

DANNY
You want to know how much? [While this goes on, there's a hilarious bit that involves Danny trying to get a candy bar out of a vending machine. A Snickers with Almonds or a Butterfingers, if you're interested in the sake of product placement.] Our licence fee is $2 million per show, we're clearing $120,000 for a 20-second spot, we air 26 minutes of commercials. Now, 5 of those minutes are network promos and bumpers, 8 are local. That's revenue, but we'll only deal with the 13 minutes left over. 13 minutes of commercials, at $120,000 for 30 seconds, times 22 shows, minus the license fee is a hard dollar profit $24,640,000 per season, so tell me again why we have to lay off 15 people?

JORDAN
Because NBS and TMG can't just take the money they need for food and run, that's not what a publicly held company does, and you know that! I am here, trying to work within the rules of the market for a creative solution that would both --

DANNY
Reducing Studio 60 to an extended commercial for iPods is a solution that would be calamitous.

JORDAN
Calamitous, Danny?

DANNY
It's a carefully cultivated audience that knows when --

JORDAN
Excuse me, Danny, but the carefully cultivated audience isn't the mezzanine section of La Scala. They like iPods, and so do I.

DANNY
The show's existed for 20 years to satirize the establishment. We can't do that if we are the establishment.

JORDAN
We already run commercials.

DANNY
And it's understood. It's part of the vocabulary of television. This other thing is endorsement. Moreover, Sony and Samsung aren't credible critics of American culture and politics.

JORDAN
Then don't go with Sony and Samsung.

DANNY
I can't go with anybody --

JORDAN
I understand. Then give me the names of the 15 people who just lost their jobs so you can feel superior.

MATT
Yeah, it's all true.

JORDAN
What?

MATT
They've got a set-up at FOX for midseason. It's a put pilot with six on the air. You didn't know about any of this?

JORDAN
Business affairs asked me if I wanted to hold on to the option and I asked you.

MATT
With an hour and a half left.

JORDAN
I really didn't anticipate anyone wanting to do Peripheral Vision Man as a series.

MATT
Nether did I, but I also didn't anticipate FOX airing a contest of strength between an elephant and a group of dwarfs.

JORDAN
That one caught us all by surprise. Hey, lighten up, Matt. You've been wanting to get rid of these guys since you got here.

MATT
It's going to cut into work time if I have to go door-to-door to everyone in America and explain to them that I didn't write Peripheral Vision Man. The show is making a massive comeback. This is the world's stupidest time to have an ugly stepchild out there!

JORDAN
You want me to pick up the option?

MATT
Yes, please. Lock up the option and shut the thing down.

JORDAN
You ever going to tell me what you and Jack talked about on the plane?

DANNY
You're about to get fired.

CAL
They're still tied at the end of the third overtime.

DANNY
He was in a pretty bad mood at the end of the day.

JORDAN
Jack.

DANNY
He had been a errand boy for Zhang Tao, he was like a publicist's assistant for his daughter, he's got to get Tommy out of jail, he's getting yukked with by the judge...

JORDAN
And I'm in the papers again.

DANNY
Yeah.

JORDAN
He said he wants to fire me?

DANNY
No, he said the exact opposite, actually. He likes you. He made that clear when he was yelling at Zhang.

JORDAN
Why was he yelling at Zhang?

DANNY
Zhang's daughter incorrectly translated some Mandarin.

JORDAN
Well, why wasn't he yelling at Zhang's daughter? Wait, why was he yelling at anybody?

DANNY
The kid reads the gossip columns, she saw the thing, she showed it to her father, her father called your ex-husband dishonorable, but the kid thought he was saying... doesn't matter.

JORDAN
It's just my life.

DANNY
It's the board of TMG. They don't like your style. They don't like the gossip, they don't like the way you dealt with the Christian right, they don't like your ex-husband --

JORDAN
I don't like my ex-husband, either --

DANNY
They don't like the noise.

JORDAN
He told you that.

DANNY
Yeah.

JORDAN
Why would he tell you?

DANNY
Honestly, I think he wanted me to tell you.

JORDAN
Why?

DANNY
In the hope that you'd do something about it.

JORDAN
In the press.

DANNY
Yeah.

JORDAN
Like what?

DANNY
Charm offensive.

JORDAN
Those two words don't really go together, do they?

DANNY
Look --

JORDAN
Like jumbo shirmp or real artificial butter.

DANNY
I think you should... I think he's got a point.

JORDAN
Yeah?

DANNY
I think you should sit down with him and Shelly Green and --

JORDAN
No.

DANNY
-- whoever else you like and trust and --

JORDAN
What was I doing?

DANNY
Jordan.

JORDAN
What was I doing?

MATT
You were calling to tie up the option.

JORDAN
Yeah.

MATT
Wait.

JORDAN
What?

MATT
This just doesn't feel right. How much time can you give me?

JORDAN
The option's up in an hour and 13 minutes, so I can give you about an hour.

MATT
All right, I'll be back in a few minutes.

DANNY
Where are you going?

MATT
Just walking around.

DANNY
Listen --

JORDAN
No.

[Green room.]
TOM
None of this.

HARRIET
I understand.

TOM
Just to be clear.

HARRIET
You're clear.

TOM
None of this should take away from the fact that we are in favor of women in their underwear.

SIMON
True story.

HARRIET
I know.

TOM
We are pro-female nudity, that can't be said enough times.

HARRIET
You're testing that theory, but again, I understand. I'll meet you at the party?

TOM
Sure.

[Set]
MATT
"Man getteth himself into danger legitimately so that he mayeth be legitimately rescued."

HARRIET
What are you still doing here?

MATT
Just some stuff upstairs?

HARRIET
And what did you just say?

MATT
Aha! I was quoting the Bible. "Man getteth himself into danger legitimately so that he mayeth be legitimately rescued."

HARRIET
Yeah, that's not the Bible, that's Robert Frost.

MATT
Yeah?

HARRIET
Yes.

MATT
Well, I'm sure he liked Jesus.

HARRIET
Yeah, pro... [cracking up] probably.

MATT
I am psyched for this photoshoot of yours.

HARRIET
I want to commission a scientific study on how news travels in this building.

MATT
Hey, I'm not even sure there's an internet; it might just be Jeannie telling people stuff.

HARRIET
What do you think?

MATT
Me?

HARRIET
Yeah.

MATT
I think if you want to put on La Perla and pose for a great photographer then it's Christmas morning for me.

HARRIET
Thank you.

MATT
Except you don't want to. You're doing it to get back at Women United Through Faith.

HARRIET
They were wrong to disinvite me.

MATT
You should tell them that.

HARRIET
I worked hard for them. I raised money for them, awareness...

MATT
Tell them that.

HARRIET
You don't even like them.

MATT
You do. And if there were more people like you in organizations like that, I would like them more. Just call them.

HARRIET
I don't have anything to say to them.

MATT
You don't have anything to say to them tonight. That's fine. Tonight, get drunk at the wrap party and pretend to get back at them by doing a lingerie shoot. If you want, you can even describe your vengeance to me very slowly.

HARRIET
Young girls look up to me, Matt. You know, in the same way young boys don't care about you at all.

MATT
Mmm, well, do this layout and both boys and girls will be looking up to you at a car wash.

HARRIET
People getting their cars washed need... you know. And airport travellers. 15-year-old boys whose moms won't let them buy real porn.

MATT
All good causes. You want to write them a check and I'll match it?

HARRIET
You know --

MATT
Your relationship is supposed to be with God, not Women United Through Faith. Just call them and work it out. If you can't, start your own group, but don't be vengeful. You never are. That's what people love about you. Just call 'em. "Be not afraid of who you are." That's not in the Bible, either, but see how I made it sound how it was?

HARRIET
Yes.

MATT
It's the result of proper training.

HARRIET
You going to go to the party?

MATT
Yes, in a few minutes. I'll see you there?

HARRIET
Okay.

MATT
You know, nothing says you can't do the pictures and then in a limited release sort of --

HARRIET
Oh, shut it, shut it down.

MATT
Special release kind of thing.

HARRIET
Shut it all the way down.

MATT
All right.

[Writers' room.]
LUCY
I am finished.

RICKY
It's done.

LUCY
I meant my career.

RICKY
That is just not true. Plus, if things don't work out for you here, you can always go back and write Benny Hill.

LUCY
Bite me.

RICKY
Give me a kiss.

LUCY
Don't think so.

MATT
Hi. [Lucy stand up and snogs him.]

LUCY
[to Ricky] That was to be mean to you. Goodbye.

MATT
[to Darius] You just keep on walking.

DARIUS
Yes, sir.

MATT
I think you both put up with a lot of crap and humiliation from me, and I'm going to let you go.

RON
Really?

MATT
Yeah, but I don't think you should.

RICKY
Why not?

MATT
Because Peripheral Vision Man isn't going to be good. It'll get canceled, you'll be out of work, and I won't be able to hire you back here.

RICKY
I knew it. You couldn't let us out of the door without a handshake.

MATT
Rick, I'm not talking... I'm not talking about old stuff. I'm telling you this writer to writer. You're going to get killed and you're taking him with you.

RICKY
He is a grown man who makes up his own mind. And he's not the only one I'm taking with me.

MATT
Who else?

RICKY
Everybody.

MATT
Yeah?

RICKY
You get Lucy and the new guy.

MATT
Darius.

RICKY
Yeah.

RON
Guys, let's not end it like this.

RICKY
I don't care how we end it, as long as we end it.

MATT
Rick --

RICKY
Listen --

MATT
Rick! The primetime landscape isn't the same as when we were coming up. There are maybe half as many jobs for comedy writers now as there were then. Stop being mad at me.

RICKY
We should stop being mad at you? We could write the greatest sketch in the world, we could write the damn 2000 year old man, and you wouldn't recognize it because it came from us!

MATT
Maybe, but that's not why I'm telling you this. You're two of our guys, you have a history here, and I'm looking out for you.

RICKY
I'm moved. That is so typically --

RON
Ricky --

RICKY
-- condescending of you, you narcissistic horse's ass! When Harry realizes she's already found the man of her dreams, I hope she screws him right in front of you.

RON
Rick! Enough!

RICKY
The writers all have options to come work with me on this. You can keep them here with a salary and title bump. The show sucked tonight, and no, I don't care.

RON
I've been his partner my whole career. You know, it's like you and Danny.

MATT
Ron --

RON
And nobody noticed he got dropped on his head when you guys came here. In the press, in the network... in this building, Matt. Nobody noticed in this building. I'll see you.

MATT
Ronny?

RON
Yeah?

MATT
You're using voiceover?

RON
We need it for the exposition.

MATT
Voiceover's going to kill you. Use a sidekick, a character you introduce in the beginning of the first episode. Colorblind Boy, Cataract Kid... give him somebody to talk to.

RON
That's a good note. I appreciate it.

MATT
Don't tell him it came from me.

LUCY
Are we going to be fired?

MATT
Nope, you're just going to wish you'd been.

[Matt's office]
JORDAN
When I took the job, I decided I wanted to pretend I only had a year to live. Seriously, I mean, what would you do if you had my job and you only had a year to live and no one knew it? You ever play that game?

DANNY
No.

JORDAN
Well, if what you're saying is true --

DANNY
Just fix the press.

JORDAN
-- then maybe I don't have to pretend any more.

DANNY
Pretend what?

JORDAN
That I only have a year to live. I don't have to pretend.

DANNY
Fix the press.

JORDAN
I would be completely untethered.

DANNY
You're heading in the right direction.

JORDAN
I'd have to get the network pregnant fast, I'd have to fix a slate of new shows and I'd have to... some writers agents are about to have a good week. We'll give them all colossal deals so that we can't afford to dump them until they've done 13.

DANNY
Listen to me, you're very winning. Not to me, but to everyone else. People who have met you, like you. It's only the ones who don't know you who have a problem. Go out there and control your own press.

JORDAN
Oh, man. Danny, would you go around to get people to like you?

DANNY
No. [Cal knocks. Danny meets him on the balcony.]

CAL
I'm going to show you something and I don't think it's stupid. It comes from a creative place but it also doesn't bother me and it might help solve a problem, since most of those 15 people would come from my departments.

DANNY
I followed only some of that.

CAL
In 20 years of the show, what's been your home base?

DANNY
What do you mean?

CAL
Your home set? Your favorite home base, since the show went on the air?

DANNY
None of them.

CAL
That's right, we've never found it.

DANNY
We're working on it.

CAL
The Hollywood sign.

DANNY
It's the most viewed sign in the world, it beats the Eiffel Tower. And don't say the Santa Monica pier.

CAL
Downtown.

DANNY
Downtown isn't where L.A. is.

CAL
It's not. L.A.'s on Sunset between Doheny and Highland. It's the Sunset Strip, and Wes knew that because he put that right in the title.

DANNY
Hey, I would love to do the Strip, but if you think about it, it's made up almost entirely... of billboard ads. [Cal shows him a sketch.] This is both good and profitable.

CAL
Yeah.

DANNY
You know how that confuses me.

CAL
I do.

MATT
We've, uh, we've entered into a new condition.

DANNY
Look at this.

MATT
Where the hell has this been?

DANNY
Let's tell her. 

[Matt's office]
DANNY
You should set up meetings for us right away with reps who want to place products on our show.

JORDAN
You're kidding.

DANNY
No, but I have to tell you, it's going to be a very strange screening process.

JORDAN
Based on what?

DANNY
The aesthetic of their logo and the sense of Americana it provokes.

JORDAN
Yeah, usually we just ask them "cash or check?" but you're saying you'll consider it?

DANNY
We'll consider it for now. Can we keep the 15 jobs?

JORDAN
I'll consider it for now.

DANNY
Room in the budget, words I love.

MATT
Actually, there's going to be a lot more room in the budget than you think for a while.

JORDAN
Why?

MATT
Let the rights go. Let Ricky and Ron go, too.

DANNY
You sure?

MATT
Yeah. And we're going to be letting most of the writing staff go with them.

DANNY
How many is most?

MATT
Everyone except Lucy and Darius.

DANNY
Lucy's never had a sketch on and Darius has been working here 5 days.

MATT
We'll staff back up.

DANNY
Until we do it'll just be you and two freshman writers.

MATT
That's two more than I had before. It's going to be fine.

JORDAN
You see? You see what happens?

MATT
What's she talking about?

DANNY
She's becoming untethered.

CAL
You'll get used to it.

DANNY
Are we going to this party?

JORDAN
Great, let's go.

MATT
I'd kind of like to watch tape, see if I can figure out where I went wrong with the show tonight.

JORDAN
I'm sure you're being crazy and it was a good show.

DANNY
All right, one more hour, and then we go?

JORDAN
Sure.

MATT
Yeah.

CAL
Let's check out the tape.

Kikavu ?

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