Bryan Cranston to Star in Broadway Production of ‘Network’

Network, the 1976 Paddy Chayefsky film about the TV news business, is heading to Broadway. The National Theatre’s production of Network had been on stage in London.

Bryan Cranston, star of AMC’s Breaking Bad, played Howard Beale, anchor at the UBS network, in the London show, and will play Beale on Broadway too. Cranston said in a statement, in a “post-truth era,” Network “shines a spotlight on today’s society with prescient clarity.”

Peter Finch played Beale in the film. Sidney Lumet directed, working off a script penned by Chayefsky. Ratings at the UBS network take off after Beale’s meltdown on UBS Evening News, where he bellows to the camera, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

Lee Hall and Ivo van Hove are adapting the Broadway play, which will run at the Cort Theatre on West 48 Street. Previews start Nov. 10, with an opening night set up for Dec. 6. Network is scheduled for an 18-week run.

Michelle Dockery starred in the London production, playing producer Diana Christensen, whom Faye Dunaway played in the movie. The London show concluded in March.

Cranston, also a star and executive producer on Sony Crackle series Supermansion, played Lyndon Johnson in both a Broadway production and HBO film called All the Way.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.