Broadcast News script
Synopsis: Intelligent satire of American television news. A highly strung news producer finds herself strangely attracted to a vapid anchorman even through she loathes everything he personifies. To make matters worse, her best friend, a talented but not particularly telegenic news reporter, is secretly in love with her.

FADE IN:

EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

A restaurant supply truck is curbside, near a small

restaurant. GERALD GRUNICK, forty-one, is closing the back

door of his truck, feeling good about the world, a common

state for him. He moves towards the cab of the truck and gets

inside as we SUPER:

KANSAS CITY, MO. - 1963

INT. TRUCK - DAY

As he sits down beaming over his recent good fortune... now we

REVEAL his twelve-year-old son, TOM, seated quietly beside him.

He seems a bit down. Gerald glances at his son.

GERALD:

I don't know a recent Saturday I've

sold more. You didn't think I'd

sell that health restaurant, did you?

TOM:

No. Not even you.

GERALD:

Why so glum?

TOM:

I don't know.

GERALD:

(a beat)

Go ahead.

TOM:

No, nothing. I've got a problem,

I guess.

GERALD:

Were you bothering by those

waitresses making a fuss?

TOM:

No. But, honest. What are you

supposed to say when they keep

talking about your looks? I don't

even know what they mean -- "Beat

them off with a stick."

Gerald stiffs a grin.

GERALD:

You know, Tom, I feel a little

proud when people comment on your

looks. Maybe you should feel that

way.

TOM:

Proud? I'm just embarrassed that

I like when they say those things.

GERALD:

As long as that's your only problem

you're...

TOM:

It's not.

He looks directly at his father and talks quietly, and sincerely.

TOM:

I got my report card. Three Cs,

two Ds and an incomplete.

GERALD:

Oh my. I see you studying so hard,

Tom. What do you think the problem is?

TOM:

I'll just have to try harder. I don't

know. I will.

(talking himself

into it)

I will. I will. I will.

He shakes his head for emphasis, glad he's received this pep

talk from himself -- he hands the card to his father.

TOM:

Thanks, Dad, this talk helped. Will

you sign it, please?

GERALD:

(as he signs)

Would it help if I got you a tutor?

TOM:

(suddenly hopeful)

That would be great.

(worried)

It better help. What can you do with

yourself if all you do is look good?

SUPER THE LEGEND -- "FUTURE NETWORK ANCHORMAN"

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

BOSTON, MASS. - 1965

INT. HIGH SCHOOL - AUDITORIUM - DAY

AARON ALTMAN, looking almost preposterously young in his

graduation gown -- is delivering his valedictory. He is a

rare bread -- a battle-scarred innocent.

AARON:

...and finally to the teachers of

Whitman High School, I don't have the

words to express my gratitude which

may have more to say about the quality

of the English Department here than

my own limitations...

He awaits a laugh and gets only the weird sound of collective

discomfort.

AARON:

...that was, of course, not meant to

be taken seriously. A personal note.

I am frequently asked what the special

difficulties are in being graduated

from High School two months shy of my

fifteenth birthday. I sometimes

think it was the difficulties

themselves which enabled me to do it.

If I'd been appreciated or even tolerated

I wouldn't have been in such a hurry to

graduate. I hope the next student who

comes along and is able to excel isn't

made to feel so much an outcast. But

I'm looking forward to college; this is

the happiest day I've had in a long

time. I thank you and I forgive you.

This is very little applause.

ANGLE ON TEACHERS

MALE TEACHER:

I'm always so confused by Aaron.

Is he brave and earnest or just

a conceited little dick-head?

BACK TO AARON AS WE SUPER: "FUTURE NETWORK NEWS REPORTER"

ANGLE ON STAGE:

As Aaron walks to his seat past three full grown tough looking

semi-literate high school graduates.

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James L. Brooks

James Lawrence "Jim" Brooks is an American director, producer and screenwriter. Growing up in North Bergen, New Jersey, Brooks endured a fractured family life and passed the time by reading and writing. more…

All James L. Brooks scripts | James L. Brooks Books

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"Broadcast News" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 13 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/broadcast_news_334>.

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