THE NETWORK NEBULA

 

                    SCRIPT

                 scenes 26-39    

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CREDITS


PADDY CHAYEFSKY

SIDNEY LUMET

PETER FINCH

NED BEATTY

CINDY GROVER

WILLIAM HOLDEN

FAYE DUNNAWAY

OTHER CREDITS

NETWORK SCRIPT

Scenes 1-2

Scenes 3-11

Scenes 12-17

Scenes 18-25

Scenes 26-39

Scenes 40-46

Scenes 47-59

SOUND OFF?

CHAT

LETTERS - current

LETTERS - archived

ESSAYS - current

ESSAYS - archived

POLLS - current

POLLS - archived

CURRENT
  PROBLEMS

 Better to light a candle than curse in the dark.

 

TERRORISM

Zarqawi Killed

MIDDLE EAST WAR

TAX REFORM

NATIONAL DEBT

MEDICAL CARE

 SOCIAL SECURITY

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

OVER POPULATION

 

UNEMPLOYMENT

COST OF LIVING

GLOBALISM

POLITICAL DIVISIVENESS

ENERGY SOURCES

OTHER PROBLEMS

THERSITES REPORTS

 

RAMBO GRANNY

and other Droll  Stories

POPULATION CONTROL

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Return to Scenes
 
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. --
 
              HARRY HUNTER
              (on phone, leans back
              to call into HOWARD'S
              office)
       Howard -- I've got Max on four,
       would you pick up? --
 
 
27.   INT. HOWARD'S OFFICE
 
              HOWARD
              (picking up phone)
       Listen, Max, I'd like another
       shot --
 
 
28.   INT. SCREENING ROOM 7
 
The silent footage of the frenetic bank robbery is
still going on in b.g.
 
              MAX
              (on phone)
       Oh, come on, Howard --
 
 
29.   INT. HOWARD'S OFFICE
 
              HOWARD
              (on phone)
       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.
 
              HARRY HUNTER
              (on phone)
       -- I think it'll take the strain
       off the show, Max.  How much time
       do you want, Howard?
 
              HOWARD
              (in b.g., on phone)
       A minute forty-five, maybe two
 
              HARRY HUNTER
       All right, I'll give you two on
       the top, then we'll go to Jack
       Snowden with the Kissinger UN
       speech --
 
 
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 --
 
              MAX
              (on phone)
       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
 
              HOWARD
              (on phone)
       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 
typewriter --
 
              PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
       You all right, Mr. Beale?
              (BEALE nods)
       You want me to close your door,
       Mr. Beale?
              (HOWARD nods, types away,
              GRUNTS, GROWLS)
 
The PRODUCTION ASSISTANT closes the door.
 
 
34.   INT. 14TH FLOOR - UBS BUILDING - ELEVATOR 
       AREA 
 
DIANA and HERRON come out of one of the 
elevators and turn left to the glass doors marked:  
DEPARTMENT OF PROGRAMMING.  They continue 
into --
 
 
35.   INT. PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT - RECEPTION 
      AREA
 
(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
       offices --
 
              DIANA
       George, can you come in my office
       for a minute?
 
She and HERRON continue on, turn into --
 
 
37.   INT. PROGRAMMING DEPARTMENT - COMMON 
      ROOM
 
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 --
 
              DIANA
       Barbara, is Tommy around anywhere?
 
              BARBARA (in b.g.)
       I think so.
 
              DIANA
       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 --
 
              DIANA
              (introducing)
       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.
 
              PELLEGRINO
       A series out of what? What're
       we talking about?
 
              DIANA
       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,
       assassinating ambassadors.
       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.
 
              BOSCH
       A series about a bunch of bank-
       robbing guerillas?
 
              SCHLESINGER
       What're we going to call it --
       the Mao Tse Tung Hour?
 
              DIANA
       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?
              (apparently not)
       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
       anti-establishment.
 
She closes the door.
 
              DIANA
       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
       clear?
              (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?
 
              HERRON
       Sure.
 
                        Continue to Scenes 40-46.

 

 

 

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