This film takes place in a 24 hour span. The events of the film follows different characters and their experiences throughout their entire day. The film was produced by Brian Grazer who also produced the hit television show, "24", which also similarly follows different characters over a 24 hour span.
Mike Sheehan was the perfect choice to play the character of New York Detective Ritchie, a police source for Randy Quaid's character Michael McDougal. Sheehan was the key detective in the Central Park Case of 1989 in which five African-American and Latino-American teens from Harlem were wrongfully accused of attempted murder and rape of a 28-year-old white woman jogging in Central Park. Despite the overturn of the Central Park Five's conviction in 2002, Sheehan remains confident that the teens committed the crime. In the film, Sheehan's character Ritchie--when pressed by MacDougal and Keaton's character Henry Hackett about whether the two teenage African-American boys are NYPD scape goats for the killing of white businessmen in Brooklyn--gives the quote/headline for the newspaper: "They didn't do it!"
The radio broadcast heard during the opening credits of the film was originally intended to be a segment from Don Imus' "Imus in the Morning" program that was recorded live during an on-air interview with director Ron Howard. A portion of the segment appears as Michael Keaton walks through the newsroom.
Referring to the supposed inexperience of photojournalist Robin, Alicia says, "Robin is only 14." In reality, Amelia Campbell the actress who portrayed Robin was 29 years old at the time of the filming.