In 'Network,' a weathered news anchor has had enough. He's sick of being the robot behind the news and only having that to live for. He's sick of being alone, and once he loses his job -- his only reason for living -- he's also sick of being alive. At first, he takes his firing like he takes the stunning news that rolls across the screen -- casually and calmly. But that soon changes. Having nothing left to live for, and nothing left to lose, Howard Beale decides to be honest with the viewers.
While the control room busies itself with commercials and the technological aspects of the news program, Beale sits calmly in his chair, announces that he's been canned, and that when his last broadcast airs, he will shoot himself on national television. At first, the higher-ups have no idea what's going on. When they do, they're ready to fire him early, to keep him off the television. But one woman -- Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway) -- sees the potential in Beale's craziness and wants to milk it for all its worth.
And she does, setting the stage for a film that would earn ten Academy nominations, four wins and be just as relevant today as it was back in 1976, when it hit screens for the first time.