Network is a 1976 American satirical drama film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, released by United Artists, written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet. It is about a fictional television network, the Union Broadcasting System (UBS), and its struggle with poor ratings. The film stars Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch (in his final film role), Robert Duvall, Wesley Addy, Ned Beatty, and Beatrice Straight.


Howard Beale, the longtime anchor for the UBS Evening News, learns from friend and news division president Max Schumacher that he has just two more weeks on the air because of declining ratings. The following night, Beale announces to his audience that he will commit suicide on next Tuesday's newscast. UBS tries to immediately fire Beale, but Schumacher intervenes so that he can have a dignified farewell. Beale promises to apologize for his outburst, but once on the air, he launches into a rant about life being "bullshit." Beale's outburst causes ratings to spike, and much to Schumacher's dismay, UBS executives decide to exploit the situation. When Beale's ratings soon top out, programming chief Diana Christensen reaches out to Schumacher with an offer to help "develop" Beale's show. He declines the professional proposal but accepts her more personal pitch; the two begin an affair.