Aaron Sorkin refuses ABC's request -- ''Sports Night'' does not feature a squall to promote a Stephen King miniseries, so it will not be aired during sweeps week

By Will Lee
Updated February 12, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

There is no i in corporate synergy. But forgive Sports Night‘s Aaron Sorkin if he can’t spell. The sitcom’s producer-writer says he refused to take part in an ABC sweeps stunt this month — when networks pull out all programming stops to garner high ratings for even higher ad rates — that had most of ABC’s Feb. 16 and 17 shows incorporating some kind of squall into their plots. The idea? To heavily promote ABC’s six-hour Stephen King miniseries Storm of the Century, beginning Feb. 14. ”I thought it was hokey,” says Sorkin. ”I didn’t want to turn my show into a commercial for other ABC products.” So to retaliate, says Sorkin, ABC will air a rerun of Dharma & Greg that features a storm — rather than a new Sports Night. Not that Sorkin is ABC’s first sweeps outlaw: In 1997, Ellen DeGeneres declined to send her Ellen alter ego to Las Vegas during a similar theme night. ABC has no comment on the Sorkin matter. Guess Disney — the network’s parent — can forget about Goofy guest-anchoring Sports Night any time soon.