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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Did You Know?
and Sidney Lumet
made it clear to Faye Dunaway
that they wanted a cold-blooded, soulless characterization with no sympathetic shadings. "I know the first thing you're going to ask me", Lumet told her. "Where's her vulnerability? Don't ask it. She has none. If you try to sneak it in, I'll get rid of it in the editing room, so it'll be a wasted effort." Dunaway's then-husband Peter Wolf
warned her that she could risk typecasting in such a role, but Dunaway plunged ahead fearlessly. See more
In 1976, the three major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) sent out its network newscast live at 6:30 PM Eastern Time, and, barring any breaking news, aired them on tape delay at 7:00 PM Eastern, and thereafter. So unless UBS re-staged its newscast for each time zone, it would have been impractical for the network to have wall clocks on its news set. 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, ...
Referenced in The Making of 'The Verdict'