Backstory

In his notebooks, [Paddy] Chayefsky wrote year-by-year biographies for his characters. [Max] Schumacher doggedly worked his way up through the army’s Stars and Stripes newspaper, local papers, radio, NBC morning news, See It Now, CBS Reports, and network documentary and news departments to become the president of his division. Diana [Christensen], by contrast, had just five previous television credits—at a children’s show, in audience research, and in daytime programming—before she reached her own vice president post. He drafted for himself a twenty-three-person roster of nonexistent executives at the fictional network he called UBS…, from its chairman of the board down to its vice presidents of programming, legal affairs, public relations for the news, and public relations for the network. He drew up a seven-night programming grid for UBS, inventing every show that aired from Monday through Sunday, 6:00 P.M. to 1:00 A.M., with such evocative and snidely reductive titles as Surgeon’s Hospital, Pedro and the Putz, Celebrity Canasta (paired on Wednesday evenings with Celebrity Mah-jongg), Lady Cop, and Death Squad. None of this information would make it into the screenplay [of Network].

—Dave Itzkoff, Mad As Hell:The Making of ‘Network’ and the Fateful Vision of the Angriest Man in Movies, p. 49
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