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Switching Channels (1988)

PG | | Comedy, Crime | 4 March 1988 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer
A television news chief courts his anchorwoman ex-wife with an eleventh-hour story.


Ted Kotcheff


Ben Hecht (play), Charles MacArthur (play) | 1 more credit »
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathleen Turner ... Christy Colleran
Burt Reynolds ... John L. Sullivan IV
Christopher Reeve ... Blaine Bingham
Ned Beatty ... Roy Ridnitz
Henry Gibson ... Ike Roscoe
George Newbern ... Siegenthaler
Al Waxman ... Berger
Ken James Ken James ... Warden Terwilliger
Barry Flatman ... Zaks
Ted Simonett Ted Simonett ... Tillinger
Anthony Sherwood ... Carvalho
Joe Silver ... Mordsini
Charles Kimbrough ... The Governor
Monica Parker ... Jessica
Allan Royal ... Obregon


Sully is the producer of a cable news network program. Christy is his ex-wife and best reporter. Her desire to quit the news business and marry Blaine, a sporting goods manufacturer comes as an innocent man is about to be executed. Sully's attempts to keep her in town and break up her upcoming marriage happen against the backdrop of a botched execution, a prison break and a possible pardon. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Tonight's News. Romance. Scandal. Intrigue. And that's just behind the camera!


Comedy | Crime


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In his biography, Christopher Reeve claims this film's failure, along with Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987), The Aviator (1985), and Street Smart (1987), knocked him off the A-list in Hollywood and he would have to audition for major roles for the rest of his career. See more »


Several times during the movie, the name of the network that Christina and Sully work for is mentioned. Sometimes it's Satellite Network News, other times it's Satellite News Network. See more »


John L. Sullivan IV: Siegenthaler! Kick satellite 11 for Christ's sakes!
[kicks satellite]
John L. Sullivan IV: Again!
[kicks again]
John L. Sullivan IV: Perfect!
See more »


References North by Northwest (1959) See more »

User Reviews

CHEER! - (8 stars out of 10)
26 November 2019 | by Front-Row-ReviewsSee all my reviews

The stage curtains open ...

In the tradition of comedic melodramas comes this hidden gem starring Kathleen Turner, Burt Reynolds and Christopher Reeve. "Switching Channels" is a re-make of 1931's "The Front Page" and 1940's "His Girl Friday". Madcap humor, witty and quick dialogue, and a few over-the-top moments make this a movie worth watching.

When news reporter, Christy Colleran (Turner), goes on a much needed vacation, she meets and becomes engaged to a sporting goods mogul (Reeve). After she returns to the news station and informs the news director (Reynolds), who also happens to be her ex-husband, that she is quitting to get married, he does everything in his power to break them up and keep her reporting the news. Because Christy IS the news and without her, their ratings would plummet. The story is set against the execution of an innocent man who they are trying to get the Governor to pardon. Things get hilariously crazy leading to the film's climactic finish.

This movie was reviewed badly, was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards, was considered to be a box office bomb, and Kathleen Turner and Burt Reynolds literally grew to hate each other because of this movie. So why did I like it so much? It made me laugh. This is definitely what I would call a guilty pleasure. It is so wrong that they got it right - for example the desperation of a news reporter and the lengths they would go to just to get the scoop on a hot story.

I loved "Switching Channels". All the bad stuff aside, what is left is a very funny movie. I recommend this one for anyone who doesn't take anything too seriously. 8 stars out of 10.

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Release Date:

4 March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Switching Channels See more »

Filming Locations:

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada See more »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,121,752, 6 March 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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