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26. INT. THE NIGHTLY NEWS ROOM - ROOM 517
HARRY HUNTER, on phone, is using an empty desk in
the main room. Normal news room activity in b.g. --
(on phone, leans back
to call into HOWARD'S
Howard -- I've got Max on four,
would you pick up? --
27. INT. HOWARD'S OFFICE
(picking up phone)
Listen, Max, I'd like another
28. INT. SCREENING ROOM 7
The silent footage of the frenetic bank robbery is
still going on in b.g.
Oh, come on, Howard --
29. INT. HOWARD'S OFFICE
I don't mean the whole show.
I'd just like to come on, make
some kind of brief farewell
statement and then turn the
show over to Jack Snowden. I
have eleven years at this
network, Max. I have some
standing in this industry.
I don't want to go out like a
clown. It'll be simple and
dignified. You and Harry
can check the copy
30. INT. NIGHTLY NEWS ROOM
ACROSS HARRY HUNTER on phone, looking through
the open door of HOWARD's office to HOWARD at his
desk in b.g.
-- I think it'll take the strain
off the show, Max. How much time
do you want, Howard?
(in b.g., on phone)
A minute forty-five, maybe two
All right, I'll give you two on
the top, then we'll go to Jack
Snowden with the Kissinger UN
31. INT. SCREENING ROOM 7
The show is over, the room lights are on. In b.g.,
DIANA and HERRON stand, murmur to each other --
And no booze today, Howard --
In b.g., DIANA and HERRON move for the door, wave
good-byes. MAX waves slackly in return. He can't
help noticing as DIANA leaves that she has the most
beautiful ass ever seen on a VP Programs --
32. INT. HOWARD'S OFFICE
No booze --
And hangs up. For a moment, he just sits, scowling
and making curious little grimaces. Then he stands,
removes his jacket, dumps it on a chair. He rolls his
sleeves up and suddenly makes a strange little GRUNT.
He sits behind his desk, fits a piece of paper into
the machine and then, again, suddenly, he makes a
strange little GROWL --
33. INT. NIGHTLY NEWS ROOM
Our PRODUCTION ASSISTANT, remembered perhaps
from the control room scene, passes HOWARD's open
door and is given pause by the strange little noises
coming from HOWARD's office. She stands in the
doorway a moment watching HOWARD GRUNTING,
GROWLING and SNARLING as he CLACKS away at the
You all right, Mr. Beale?
You want me to close your door,
(HOWARD nods, types away,
The PRODUCTION ASSISTANT closes the door.
34. INT. 14TH FLOOR - UBS BUILDING - ELEVATOR
DIANA and HERRON come out of one of the
elevators and turn left to the glass doors marked:
DEPARTMENT OF PROGRAMMING. They continue
35. INT. PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT - RECEPTION
(Needless to say, there is no one at the receptionist's
desk.) DIANA and HERRON head down --
36. INT. PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT - CORRIDOR
DIANA pauses en route to lean into one of the
George, can you come in my office
for a minute?
She and HERRON continue on, turn into --
37. INT. PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT - COMMON
Where the SECRETARIES are all slaving away, reading
magazines and chatting among themselves. An
occasional PHONE RINGS. At the far end of the room, a
chunky WOMAN in her late 30's is instructing her
SECRETARY in something. DIANA hails her --
Barbara, is Tommy around anywhere?
BARBARA (in b.g.)
I think so.
I'd like to see the two of you
for a moment --
She leads HERRON now into --
38. INT. DIANA'S SECRETARY'S OFFICE
The SECRETARY hands a sheaf of telephone messages
to DIANA which she carries with her into --
39. INT. DIANA'S OFFICE
DIANA enters, followed by HERRON. She sits, skims
through her messages. The office is executive-size,
windows looking out on the canyons of glass and stone
skyscrapers on Sixth Avenue, desk piled high with
scripts. GEORGE BOSCH (VP Program Development
East Coast), a slight, balding man of 39, enters the
office, nods to HERRON, takes a seat; and is
immediately followed by BARBARA SCHLESINGER
(Head of the Story Department), the chunky lady just
called in by DIANA, and TOMMY PELLEGRINO (Assistant
VP Programs), 36, swarthy, coifed and mustachioed.
They find seats on the chairs, the small couch.
HERRON remains standing --
This is Bill Herron from our
West Coast Special Programs
Department -- Barbara Schlesinger
-- George Bosch -- Tommy
Pellegrino -- Look, I just saw
some rough footage of a special
Bill's doing on the revolutionary
underground. Most of it's
tedious stuff of Laureen Hobbs
and four fatigue jackets muttering
mutilated Marxism. But he's got
about eight minutes of a bank
robbery that is absolutely
sensational. Authentic stuff.
Actually shot while the robbery
was going on. Remember the Mary
Ann Gifford kidnapping? Well,
it's that bunch of nuts. She's
in the film shooting off machine
guns. Really terrific footage.
I think we can get a hell of a
movie of the week out of it,
maybe even a series.
A series out of what? What're
we talking about?
Look, we've got a bunch of
hobgoblin radicals called the
Ecumenical Liberation Army who
go around taking home movies
of themselves robbing banks.
Maybe they'll take movies of
themselves kidnapping heiresses,
hijacking 747's, bombing bridges,
We'd open each week's segment
with that authentic footage,
hire a couple of writers to
write some story behind that
footage, and we've got
ourselves a series.
A series about a bunch of bank-
What're we going to call it --
the Mao Tse Tung Hour?
Why not? They've got Strike
Force, Task Force, SWAT -- why
not Che Guevara and his own
little mod squad? Listen, I
sent you all a concept analysis
report yesterday. Did any of
you read it?
Well, in a nutshell, it said the
American people are turning sullen.
They've been clobbered on all
sides by Vietnam, Watergate, the
inflation, the depression.
They've turned off, shot up,
and they've fucked themselves
limp. And nothing helps. Evil
still triumphs over all, Christ
is a dope-dealing pimp, even sin
turned out to be impotent. The
whole world seems to be going
nuts and flipping off into space
like an abandoned balloon. So
-- this concept analysis report
concludes -- the American people
want somebody to articulate their
rage for them. I've been telling
you people since I took this job
six months ago that I want angry
shows. I don't want conventional
programming on this network. I
want counter-culture. I want
She closes the door.
Now, I don't want to play butch
boss with you people. But when
I took over this department,
it had the worst programming
record in television history.
This network hasn't one show in
the top twenty. This network is
an industry joke. We better
start putting together one winner
for next September. I want a
show developed, based on the
activities of a terrorist group.
Joseph Stalin and his merry band
of Bolsheviks. I want ideas from
you people. And, by the way,
the next time I send an audience
research report around, you all
better read it, or I'll sack the
fucking lot of you, is that
(apparently, it is.
She turns to HERRON)
I'll be out on the coast in four
weeks. Can you set up a meeting
with Laureen Hobbs for me?
Continue to Scenes 40-46.