In the 1970s, terrorist violence is the stuff of networks' nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS Television Network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way. We then see how this affects the fortunes of Beale, his coworkers (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen), and the network.
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claimed that one of the reasons he wanted to cast Robert Duvall
was due to his screen image from westerns and war movies. In Lumet's experience many television heads came from the American heartland. See more
After Howard's first on-air meltdown, as Max and the other network executives sample the reaction from other networks, they watch the other newscasts from a bank of three sets, each tuned to a different channel. As Max says he is not surprised each of the other networks is leading with the Beale story, he lowers the volume of each set in turn. The volume drops before Max's hand reaches the dials. See more
This story is about Howard Beale, who was the news anchorman on UBS TV. In his time, Howard Beale had been a mandarin of television, the grand old man of news, with a HUT rating of 16 and a 28 audience share. In 1969, however, his fortunes began to decline. He fell to a 22 share. The following year, his wife died, and he was left a childless widower with an 8 rating and a 12 share. He became morose and isolated, began to drink heavily, and on September 22, 1975, he was fired, ...
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