Fox, NBC and HBO Will Not Air 9/11 Specials on Sunday
All three channels cite prior commitments that precluded airing programming related to the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001 will be commemorated on Sunday with a variety of documentaries and specials on virtually every channel, but with three major exceptions. NBC, Fox and HBO will not be airing any 9/11-themed programming that night.
According to the New York Times, more than 75 total hours of programming will be devoted to looking back on the terrorist attacks of a decade ago. However, NBC is planning to air an NFL game between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets. Fox will air an NFL game in the afternoon, followed by its traditional Sunday animation block of The Simpsons and Family Guy and HBO will be airing the season finales of True Blood and Curb Your Enthusiasm, along with the series finale of Entourage.
When reached for comment, Michael Lombardo, president for programming at HBO, said, "We didn't, obviously, choose to have our finales hit on 9/11." He went on to point out the number of documentaries on the subject the channel has aired over the years.
STORY: 9/11 Anniversary: What the TV Networks Are Planning
Meanwhile, NBC and Fox both cited pre-existing contracts with the NFL that required them to air the games and pointed to their sister channels -- MSNBC and Fox News Channel, respectively -- that would be covering the anniversary throughout the day.
Among the more notable 9/11 plans: CBS will air a Robert DeNiro-hosted special, 9/11: 10 Years Later. ABC will air a special edition of its newsmagazine 20/20 titled Remembrance and Renewal: 10 Years After the 9/11 Attacks. And the Science Channel will air an encore broadcast of Steven Spielberg's six-hour documentary The Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero.