DIANA: Yes, I think we should put Beale back on the air tonight and keep him On. Did you see the Times this morning? Did you see the News? We’ve got press coverage on this you couldn’t buy for a million dollars. Frank, that dumb show jumped five rating points in one night! Tonight’s show has got to be at least fifteen! We just increased our audience by twenty or thirty million people in one night. You’re not going to get something like this dumped in your lap for the rest of your days, and you just can’t piss it away! Howard Beale got up there last night and said what every American feels. That he’s tired of all the bulls—. He’s articulating the popular rage. I want that show, Frank. I can turn that show into the biggest smash in television.
I see Howard Beale as a latter-day prophet, a magnificent messianic figure, inveighing against the hypocrisies of our times, a strip Savonarola, Monday through Friday. I tell you, Frank, that could just go through the roof. And I’m talking about a six dollar cost per thousand show! I’m talking about a hundred, a hundred thirty thousand dollar minutes! Do you want to figure out the revenues of a strip show that sells for a hundred thousand bucks a minute? One show like that could pull this whole network right out of the hole! Now, Frank, it’s being handed to us on a plate; let’s not blow it!
*For the version that was done in the Broadway play starring Bryan Cranston, click here.