The computer in the command center is made up from components of an actual IBM AN/FSQ-7 Combat Direction Central, built in 1954 to protect the US from Soviet bomber attack. It was the largest and heaviest computer system ever built, the full system weighing 6000 tons and taking up an entire floor of a bomb-proof blockhouse. Components of decommissioned systems were sold for scrap and bought by film and television production companies who wanted futuristic looking computers, despite the fact they were built in the 1950s. The components used in this film were previously used in 'The Time Tunnel (1966)', 'The Towering Inferno (1974)' and 'Independence Day (1996)' amongst many others.
During the live broadcast a tape of the last dress rehearsal was available for broadcast just in case some technical problem interrupted the live performance so that there would be no interruption of the broadcast.