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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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."