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9/11: TV Offers a Look Back 10 Years Later

8/22/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Click here to see a list of some of the cable shows commemorating the 10th anniversary of the terrorist tragedy.

Nearly a decade ago, millions of Americans watched
the horrific events of Sept. 11,
2001, play out live, on their TV
screens. The stark images of destruction
from planes crashing
into New York’s World Trade Center and the
Pentagon in Washington, D.C., will forever
be etched in viewers’ minds.

With the 10th anniversary approaching,
viewers again are expected to tune in to a
procession of images and interviews, on cable
documentaries and news specials, as the
country looks to both remember what happened
on that tragic day that claimed nearly
3,000 Americans live, as well as look forward
to the future of the site.

Cable networks will offer more than 30
9/11-themed programs over the next three
weeks that will look to chronicle what happened
that day and how the country responded
in the days, weeks and years after,
including what has transpired in America’s
continuing fight against terrorism.

Cover_Story_Image_08/22The broadcast networks will also offer a
slate of 9/11-themed programming to complete
television’s 10th anniversary remembrance
of that fateful day.

The shows will also highlight innumerable
stories of the many lives that have been
forever altered by the attacks. And the coverage
of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist
attacks will almost certainly stir emotions
among those willing to watch.

Viewers can see the innocent but misinformed
musings of children who believe the
attacks never happened as chronicled in
Nickelodeon’s special Nick News: What Happened?
The Story of September 11, 2001, or the
first in-depth recollections of that day from
then President George W. Bush as part of National
Geographic Channel’s special George
W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview
. Steven Spielberg
produced a Discovery documentary chronicling
the rebuilding at Ground Zero.

“This is the most important global event of
our lifetime,” Michael Cascio, senior vice president
of production for National Geographic
Channel, said. Next week, his network will
devote its primetime schedule to 9/11-related
programming. “I think it’s still a very sensitive
topic for anybody that remembers it and
has lived through it — it’s been 10 years, but for
many it still seems like yesterday.”

News and history/documentary-focused
networks like CNN, Fox News Channel, History,
Discovery Channel and Nat Geo, which
have chronicled the terror attacks and their
aftermath over the past decade, will be
joined this year by entertainment services
like USA Network, TLC, Showtime, OWN
and A&E Network, which are offering 9/11
features befitting their respective brands
and audiences.

USA will offer one of the few scripted 9/11 specials
in The Space Between, which tells the story
of a flight attendant and a 10-year old Pakistani-
American boy’s trek to New York from Texas after
their plane was grounded on the morning of
9/11. TLC’s Heroes of the 88th Floor centers on
the efforts of two men who sacrificed their own
lives to save more than 70 people in the World
Trade Center’s North Tower.

“This moment in time was so life-changing
for pretty much everybody, so we knew
we wanted to do something in this space that
would be a great brand fit for us,” TLC general
manager Amy Winter said. “When we
found [Heroes], it resonated because it’s the
story of two very ordinary men who, in the
midst of the biggest crisis that has ever hit,
really rose to the occasion and sacrificed
their lives to save 77 people.”

Some observers undoubtedly will say that
television’s extensive 9/11 anniversary coverage
will prove a bit overwhelming for Americans
still licking its wounds from that horrific
day. But cable-network executives are unapologetic
about their contributions to the 10th
anniversary of one of the most important and
sobering events in American history.

“It is our duty to preserve and honor the
memories of all who perished and all who
continue to secure our freedom,” said Nancy Dubuc,
president and general manager of History.

Click here to see a list of some of the cable shows commemorating the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

September