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Broadcast News (1987) Poster

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (2) | Spoilers (1)
Jack Nicholson was not paid for his role, at his own request.
Albert Brooks revealed that when he first read the script, the scene where Aaron does a weekend broadcast simply noted "Something bad happens to Aaron on the air." Albert was watching CNN when a reporter he'd never seen before (and hasn't seen since) began sweating badly. Albert phoned writer/director James L. Brooks at three in the morning and stated that Aaron HAD to start sweating profusely.
Debra Winger was originally cast as Jane Craig. Holly Hunter was cast two days before shooting was to begin to replace the pregnant Debra Winger, for whom the part had been written.
John Cusack is credited as "Angry Messenger". During the staff firings, a young man yells "sons-a bitches!" and angrily throws a messenger bag to the office floor. We don't see the character's face, but the voice sounds like Cusack's.
James L. Brooks wrote Broadcast News (1987) especially for Debra Winger, but she was forced to turn it down because she was pregnant with her son Noah Hutton. Before casting Holly Hunter as a replacement, Brooks considered Sigourney Weaver, Judy Davis, Elizabeth McGovern, Christine Lahti and Elizabeth Perkins.
Marc Shaiman and Glen Roven, who both play News Theme Writers, are real-life composers, who have also done television jingles. Shaiman, after doing Broadcast News (1987), went on to score major motion picture films, and has since been nominated for five Academy Awards.
Peter Hackes, who plays News Division President Paul Moore, was an NBC News correspondent in Washington until retiring from the network a year before the movie was made.
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Aaron Altman asks Tom Grunick if he Tom name each of the Cabinet members and, when Tom tells him yes, and Aaron asks, "All twelve?" to which Tom replies, "Yes, Aaron, all twelve." And then Brooks condescendingly tells Brooks, "There are only ten." In fact, there were thirteen in 1986: Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation and Treasury. As of 2016, there are fifteen: the thirteen in 1986 plus Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs.
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Actress Holly Hunter won the Silver Bear for Best Actress Award for her performance in this picture at the Berlin Film Festival in 1988.
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Debra Winger was originally cast as Jane Craig.
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Early in the film, Aaron (Albert Brooks) is told a man is waiting for him downstairs for an interview. Tom, (William Hurt), asks if he can come along. There were scenes filmed that showed the interview. The man they interviewed went on to inspire Tom to be a better reporter. Those scenes were cut from the final film.
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The anchor desk and on-air broadcast newsroom scenes were filmed on the backstage area of Wolftrap Farmpark for the Performing Arts, in Vienna, VA, just outside of Washington, D.C.
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Director James L. Brooks hand-picked some real life reporters to appear as guests in the ball scene.
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The film cast includes three Oscar winners: William Hurt, Holly Hunter and Jack Nicholson; and three Oscar nominees: Albert Brooks, Joan Cusack and Marc Shaiman.
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It has often been stated that Jack Nicholson in this film appears in a cameo and is uncredited, but both of these are incorrect, as Nicholson appears a few times in the movie, and is billed for the film, but not in artwork and promotional materials, and not also at the picture's start during the opening credits, but is billed only during the film's closing credits.
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The only ever film and television credit where actor John Cusack has been billed under the name "John Cusak" with this spelling.
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William Hurt, who plays Tom Grunick, is less than eight years younger than actor Stephen Mendillo, who plays his father.
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David Letterman asked Kathleen Turner on his NBC show Late Night with David Letterman (1982) whether Switching Channels (1988) was like Broadcast News (1987) in which Turner replied that it was better than Broadcast News (1987).
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First theatrical feature film in about four years for writer-producer-director James L. Brooks whose first film and previous picture was Terms of Endearment (1983) which won five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Actors Albert Brooks and Jack Nicholson appeared in both Broadcast News (1987) and Terms of Endearment (1983). At least eighteen members of cast and crew worked on both of these pictures. Moreover, both of the movies were both significantly Oscar nominated in numerous categories, with Broadcast News (1987) and Terms of Endearment (1983) receiving seven and eleven Academy Award nominations respectively.
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The film is ranked at the No. #64 spot on the American Film Institute (AFI)'s "100 Years...100 Laughs" list of the Top 100 Funniest Movies in American Cinema.
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The movie was selected to be included in "Time" magazine's Best Films of the 1987 year list.
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The movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture but was unable to win an Oscar in any of these categories with the film therefore not being an Academy Award winner but only a multi-Academy Award nominee.
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Both William Hurt and Holly Hunter share the same birth date of the 20th of March. Hurt was born in 1950 whilst Hunter was born in 1958. Both have also won Academy Awards for acting in leading roles.
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Jack Nicholson appears briefly in this James L. Brooks film after having also acted in a supporting role in Brooks' earlier Terms of Endearment (1983) in a part which had been turned-down by Hollywood super star Burt Reynolds. After Broadcast News (1987), another television comedy movie was produced by Hollywood, Switching Channels (1988), with Reynolds starring in one of the picture's leading roles.
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The name of the award that reporter Aaron Altman (Albert Brooks) had won for writing was the Pulitzer Prize.
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Second of four pictures that star Jack Nicholson has made with writer-producer-director James L. Brooks with the others being _How Do You Know', _As Good As It Gets_, and Terms of Endearment (1983). The latter two bagged acting Oscars for Nicholson, for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively. Two of Nicholson's three Academy Awards have been won for acting in films written and directed by Brooks. Nicholson's other Oscar win was for a non-Brooks film for Best Actor for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).
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This motion picture's closing credits declare that the film was "shot entirely on location".
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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Jack Nicholson has appeared in every James Burrows movie: Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News, and As Good As It Gets
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James L. Brooks performed a number of roles on this major motion picture. Brooks was the flick's main producer, the film's screenwriter, and the movie's director.
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Both of the film's two leading actors, Holly Hunter and William Hurt, have both won best acting Oscars, Hunter won the Best Actress Academy Award for The Piano (1993), whilst Hurt won the Best Actor Academy Award for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985).
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Lead actress Holly Hunter has the same first name as Holly Holmberg Brooks who is the wife of the film's writer-producer-director James L. Brooks.
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Star William Hurt had previously starred in another film about television media called Eyewitness (1981) which had been made and released around six years earlier. Both major motion pictures were produced by the 20th Century Fox film studio.
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Brother and sister John Cusack and Joan Cusack are both listed in the film's cast list for the picture. The film is one of ten cinema movie collaborations of the sibling actors [to date, June 2015].
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Switching Channels (1988) was made and released following on the heels of this multi-Academy Award nominated and more successful motion picture which had been released just a few months earlier.
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One of three cinema movies first released in 1987 that featured actor Jack Nicholson who appears in this movie as evening news anchorman Bill Rorish. The other films were the lead role as Francis Phelan in Ironweed (1987) and as the devil Daryl Van Horne in The Witches of Eastwick (1987).
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The film's two top stars, Holly Hunter and William Hurt, around twenty-six years later, both appeared in the two-part television mini-series, Bonnie & Clyde (2013), as Emma Parker and Frank Hamer respectively [See: Bonnie & Clyde: Part 1 (2013) and Bonnie & Clyde: Part 2 (2013)].
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Both Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter went on to appear in films for Pixar Animation Studios: Brooks portrayed "Marlin", Nemo's father, in Finding Nemo (2003) and Hunter "Helen Parr / Elastigirl" in The Incredibles (2004).
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The office building where the network's DC offices are located is 1001 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, a 1986 building where occupants were still moving in the year before the movie was aired, and a block away from the Old Post Office Building, where a new Trump Hotel is in the process of being erected.
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Cameo 

Marc Shaiman: The Emmy Award winning music composer as a News Theme Writer.
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Glen Roven: The Emmy Award winning music composer as a News Theme Writer.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The director said he was open to who Jane would end up with at the end. He told Premiere magazine: "After principal photography I got the idea for a cab ride at the end, and I set it up so that Holly didn't know Bill was on the set. Bill was prepared, but no dialogue. All he'd know is that he couldn't get on that plane and that he goes back and gets in that cab with her. I knew I'd get one take, and I knew that Holly wouldn't break character, and I'd get, who knows. ... So you can imagine the excitement built up to this. It's ready, and a guy on the crew gave it away by saying 'Bill' just before we started to roll, and it ruined it, and I had an out-of-body experience. (Hurt and Hunter) saw that scene later, and they both thought I should end the movie that way. But it just wasn't right."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/features/dcmovies/broadcastnews.htm

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