9/11 Anniversary Remembrance Specials Air on TV Networks

On the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, broadcasters offer solemn looks back.
Getty Images

Even in the midst of a heated presidential election, broadcasters and politicians alike are spending at least part of the day paying respect to the lives lost during the attacks on September 11, 2001.

While local broadcasters in New York spent the morning airing the annual memorial service at Ground Zero, where the Twin Towers once stood, the rest of the nation received the normal programming, with a break-in at 8:46 AM EST for a moment of silence. ABC and CBS interrupted their Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, while NBC kept The Today Show running straight through.

On cable, MSNBC aired the the entirety of the frenetic, scrambling Today Show that covered the attacks as they occured. It was all hands on deck, as Tom Brokaw, Matt Lauer and Katie Couric anchored the coverage, which included a live broadcast of the Twin Towers crumbling to the ground.

The History Channel has prepared an entire slate of primetime programming about the attacks: Hotel Ground Zero, about the miraculous escape of the guests and staff of a Marriot within the World Trade Center; 102 Minutes that Changed America, a special that uses unseen and unheard footage from broadcasters, and footage from dispatchers and rescue workers; and The Man Who Predicted 9/11, about a WTC Morgan Stanley employee who, convinced that Osama bin Laden would attack the buildings, developed an escape plan that saved 3,000 lives.

The Discovery Channel will air a documentary called The Remarkable Untold Story of the 9/11 Surfer, about a man who glided on debris down the side of the wrecked towers to safety.

As for cable news networks, Fox News aired a special called Timeline of Terror sporadically over the weekend, as well as a segment called "As it Happened" Tuesday morning on Fox and Friends.