Here's The Lifetime Documentary That Inspired 'Anchorman'


anchorman 2 news team

Gemma LaMana / Paramount

"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" is in theaters Wednesday.


Ahead of the film's release, we went back to watch our DVD of the original and started reading through the production notes.

Something you may not know is that the idea for the cult favorite comedy came to Will Ferrell while watching a documentary.

From the "Anchorman" production notes on the DVD:

"Will Ferrell was watching the documentary, which featured interviews with several anchorman of the 1970s, and found some of the interviews with the newsmen to be unintentionally funny."


"'I called Adam [McKay, the director] with an idea to do a script about the petulant male-dominated world of the newsroom and how these men dealt with a woman for the first time, and he said 'great, let's do it.'"

It was one of the men inside the documentary, anchor Mort Crim, who inspired the Ron Burgundy character.

We found the 45 minute documentary, called "Intimate Portrait: Jessica Savitch" that aired on Lifetime.

The documentary tells the story of Savitch, one of the first woman network news anchors who was voted more trusted than journalists Ted Koppel and Peter Jennings by a TV Guide poll in 1982.

She was tragically killed in a car accident at the age of 35.


Essentially, she's the real-life anchor Christina Applegate portrays in the film as Veronica Corningstone, a young woman rising through the ranks as one of the first female anchors.

Here's Savitch:

And here's Applegate in the "Anchorman" sequel:
christina applegate anchorman 2

Gemma LaMana / Paramount

You can start it with the interview of Mort Crim that originally caught Ferrell's eye here.

Otherwise, you can watch the documentary in full below: