How Television Networks Will Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

·15-min read

2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The nation has continued to process the terrorist event over the past two decades in many ways, including through television specials, documentaries and dramatized retellings. On and before the anniversary, networks will air content unpacking the politics of the event, commemorating the victims, speaking with the survivors and more.

Read a full list of 9/11 programming below. (More programming will be added to the list as networks announce titles.)

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“9/11: Inside The President’s War Room” (Apple TV Plus, currently streaming) – A new special telling the story of 9/11 from the perspective of President George W. Bush and his advisors and cabinet members, including Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell among others. Jeff Daniels narrates the film. Adam Wishart directs, with Simon Finch as creative producer, Neil Grant as executive producer and Serena Kennedy as head of production. The documentary will also be free to non-subscribers on Sept. 11.

“9/11: One Day in America” (National Geographic and Hulu, currently streaming) – National Geographic, in collaboration with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, produced a new docuseries that uses archival footage and new interviews from eyewitnesses to retell the story of the attacks. Though all episodes are streaming on Hulu, the series first premiered on Nat Geo on Aug. 29 and will re-air on the network on Sept. 10 and 11.

“Reporting 9/11 and Why It Still Matters” (Wondrium, currently streaming) – Allison Gilbert and Phil Hirschkorn, co-editors of the book “Covering Catastrophe: Broadcast Journalists Report September 11,” expand on their previous work as executive producers of a two-hour documentary that explores the perspectives and impact of journalists who covered 9/11 as it happened. Forty-five journalists are featured in the film, including Savannah Guthrie, Tom Brokaw, Scotty Pelley, Byron Pitts, Jane Clayson, Bob Pisani and more. The film was produced in collaboration with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.

“Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror” (Netflix, currently streaming) – Brian Knappenberger directs a five-part docuseries contextualizes the Sept. 11 attacks using interviews with officials from multiple U.S. presidential administrations, former CIA members and U.S. military veterans as well as Afghanistan National Army soldiers, Taliban commanders, members of the Afghan government, Afghan warlords and Afghan civilians.

“Intelligence Matters: Remembering 9/11” (CBS Newspath, currently streaming) – Host Michael Morell will continue the podcast’s special limited series, featuring current and former senior U.S. officials who had notable proximity to the tragic events of the day and its immediate aftermath. Morell, who served as President George W. Bush’s daily intelligence briefer and was traveling with the president on the day the planes hit the towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Penn., will share personal reflections and new details about the CIA’s race to provide answers and protect the country from further terror attacks. Listen to the podcast here.

“Fox News Rewind: 9/11” (Fox News Audio, currently streaming) – A seven-part podcast series about the events leading up to 9/11, featuring Fox News contributors Bill Hemmer, Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy and Brit Hume as well as former White House chief of staff and CIA director Leon Panetta and Tunnel to Towers CEO Frank Siller, among others.

“CBS Sunday Morning” (CBS, Sept. 5 at 9 a.m.) – Martha Teichner reports on the legacy of the 9/11 attacks and the impact it had on those who lived through it. John Dickerson will talk with AP photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Drew, who captured an image of a man falling to his death on 9/11 that has become known as “The Falling Man.”

“Face The Nation” (CBS, Sept. 5 at 10:30 a.m.) – Guest moderator Weijia Jiang reports on the continuing fallout of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, while David Martin, who was at the Pentagon on 9/11 and has covered the invasion of Afghanistan and the war in Iraq since both wars began, will contribute a “Reporter’s Notebook” to offer context and perspective.

“Lost Calls of 9/11” (Fox News, Sept. 5 at 10 p.m.) – Anchor Bill Hemmer will present a one-hour special about a Houston man who purchased a piece of used computer equipment without knowing that it contained 103 never-heard-before calls from a trading room floor across the street from the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11.

“9/11 Then & Now” (NBCLX on Peacock, Sept. 6-12) – A collection of more than 25 stories examining how 9/11 has impacted American healthcare, immigration, foreign policy, patriotism, tech, travel, personal freedoms and more.

“Hoy Día” (Noticias Telemundo, Sept. 6 at 7 a.m.)Arantxa Loizaga will anchor a special edition live from New York.

“Ten Steps to Disaster: Twin Towers” (Smithsonian Channel, Sept. 6 at 9 p.m.) – The series premiere of “Ten Steps to Disaster” lays out 10 oversights or mistakes within the government that led toward the Sept. 11 attacks using interviews and declassified documents.

“Stories from the Stage: Changed Forever 9/11” (World Channel, Sept. 6 at 9:30 p.m.) – Season 5 of “Stories from the Stage” will premiere with a special following three people’s experiences of 9/11: Journalist David Filipov, who lost his father in the attacks; psychology professor Michael Sargent, who confronted his own prejudices flying on a plane a few days after the attacks; and therapist Jude Treder-Wolff, who supported 9/11 survivors, first responders and victims’ loved ones.

“The Missing Evidence: 9/11 Secret Explosions in the Towers” (Smithsonian Channel, Sept. 6 at 10 p.m.) – This episode of “The Missing Evidence,” which looks for holes in the stories of historic mysteries, investigates a theory that a sprinkler system may have been responsible for the physical collapse of the Twin Towers.

“Frontline: America After 9/11” (PBS, Sept. 7 at 9 p.m.) – “Frontline” filmmaker Michael Kirk examines the U.S. response to 9/11 and consequences throughout the following presidential administrations, up through the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“Air Disasters: The Pentagon Attack” (Smithsonian Channel, Sept. 7 at 10 p.m.) – Witness accounts, interviews with investigators and reenactments are used to examine the attack on the Pentagon and how it altered air travel today.

“Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11” (MSNBC and Peacock, Sept. 8 at 10 p.m.) – 9/11 eyewitnesses share their testimonies in a small video booth in the months following the attacks, then come back after 20 years to reflect. David Belton and Bjørn Johnson direct, with Hugo Godwin and Elizabeth Fischer producing and Rashida Jones, Amanda Spain, Noah Oppenheim, Liz Cole, Elizabeth Fischer and Molly O’Brien executive producing. Afterwards, at 11:30 p.m., MSNBC host Jonathan Capehart will moderate a special panel discussion with Belton, Johnson, Claire McCaskill and others. Additionally, Dr. Jeffrey Gardere, a clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine will join for a discussion on mental health.

“Crowning New York” (Smithsonian Channel, Sept. 8 at 10 p.m.) – A documentary chronicling the decision-making and dangerous construction behind One World Trade Center, the main building that replaced the pit where the Twin Towers once stood.

“The 26th Street Garage: The FBI’s Untold Story (Paramount Plus, Sept. 9) – Narrated by Tom Selleck, the documentary follows the FBI as they evacuate their New York headquarters and transform its parking garage into a new command center for the organization’s most complex and important investigation in U.S. history.

“First Ladies Revealed: In Times of War” (Smithsonian Channel, Sept. 9 at 10 p.m.) An exploration of the impact that first ladies have had during wartime, including Laura Bush’s role in post-9/11 America.

“Come From Away” (Apple TV Plus, Sept. 10) – “Come From Away” follows the lives of 7,000 people stranded in the small town of Canada’s Gander after all flights were grounded following the 9/11 attacks. The Newfoundland community welcomed stranded passengers, who were struggling to process what happened while also finding love, laughter and new hope. This filmed version of the stage show was produced during the pandemic, directed by Chrisopher Ashley and written by Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Producers are Jennifer Todd, Bill Condon, Nick Meyer and Mark Gordon with Laurel Thomson, Irene Sankoff, David Hein, Meredith Bennett, Jon Kamen and Dave Sirulnick serving as executive producers.

MSNBC’s Sept. 10 Coverage (MSNBC, Sept. 10) – “Morning Joe” hosts Mika Brzezinski, Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist will begin special coverage at 6 a.m., with Geist live from Ground Zero. Former secretary of homeland security Jeh Johnson will also join the conversation. Stephanie Ruhle will anchor from Ground Zero beginning at 9 a.m., Hallie Jackson will anchor from Washington, D.C. at 10 a.m. and Craig Melvin will anchor from Shanksville, Pennsylvania at 11 a.m.

“Fox & Friends” (Fox News, Sept. 10 at 6 a.m.) – Pete Hegseth, a former infantry captain in the Army National Guard, will report live from lower Manhattan overlooking the National September 11th Memorial at Ground Zero.

“America’s Newsroom” (Fox News, Sept. 10 at 9 a.m.) – Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer will anchor live from lower Manhattan.

“The Faulkner Focus” (Fox News, Sept. 10 at 11 a.m.) – Harris Faulkner will anchor a special edition featuring the perspectives of New York Police Department Officers.

“Andrea Mitchell Reports” (MSNBC, Sept. 10 at 12 p.m.) – In this special edition, Mitchell will reflect on her own reporting from 9/11, joined by former New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly, former New York City Fire Department commissioner Thomas Von Essen and former White House chief of staff Andy Card. Mitchell will also discuss America’s fight with Al Qaeda and the nation’s intelligence operations with retired U.S. Army general Barry McCaffrey, 9/11 commissioners Tom Kean and Jamie Gorelick and FealGood Foundation president John Feal.

“NBC News Now Live with Aaron Gilchrist and Morgan Radford” (NBC, Sept. 10 at 12 p.m.) – Live from Ground Zero, the show will feature in-depth coverage and first-person perspectives from the people who experienced the tragedy and its aftermath.

“The Story” (Fox News, Sept. 10 at 3 p.m.) – Executive editor Martha MacCallum will anchor live from lower Manhattan with contributions from correspondents Eric Shawn from the National September 11th Memorial at Ground Zero, Jennifer Griffin at the Pentagon and Peter Doocy from the White House.

“The News with Shepard Smith” (CNBC, Sept. 10 at 4 p.m.) – A special edition live from lower Manhattan with interviews focusing on the impact of 9/11 and reporting on recovered pieces of the tower, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and more.

“CBS Evening News With Norah O’Donnell” (CBS, Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m.)Norah O’Donnell will speak with former National Security advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to reflect on 9/11 and discuss how threats have evolved with time. O’Donnell will also interview Air National Guard fighter pilots who were activated to secure the skies on 9/11. Catherine Herridge will be reporting on victims’ families’ fight to unseal federal documents on how much the Saudi government knew about the attacks, with CBS News chief medical correspondent Jon LaPook looking at how many first responders are still coping with trauma. Jeff Pegues will be speaking with secret service agents who were with President George Bush during the attacks, with Holly Williams reporting from Saudi Arabia.

“Never Forgotten 9/11: 20 Years Later” (CBS, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.)WCBS-TV in New York City will produce all its newscasts from a location near Ground Zero for this one-hour special, with coverage also streaming live on CBS New York.

“Fireside History with Michael Beschloss: From 9/11 to War” (The Choice from MSNBC, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.) – NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss will host the first installment of a new series that tells stories using historical footage and live interviews from NBC News Archives.

“The CIA: Race Against Time — The True Story of The CIA and 9/11” (CBS, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m.) The two-hour documentary features interviews from top CIA officials and elite operatives, who give first-person accounts (many for the first time) of their efforts to warn the U.S. about the potential of an attack orchestrated by Osama Bin Laden.

“The Hunt for Bin Laden” (Smithsonian Channel, Sept. 10 at 9 p.m.) – Former White House counter-terrorism advisor Richard A. Clarke, former director of the CIA Counterterrorism Center Cofer Black, several FBI agents and others are featured in this documentary about the 20 year search for Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, who was assassinated in 2011.

“Dateline” (NBC, Sept. 10 at 10 p.m.) – Anchored by Lester Holt, this special edition of “Dateline” will feature interviews with the family members of United Airlines Flight 93’s passengers and crew members.

“9/11/01: The First Night” (MSNBC, Sept. 11 at 12 a.m.) – A re-air of select NBC News coverage from the attacks in 2001.

MSNBC’s Sept. 11 Coverage (MSNBC, Sept. 11) – Beginning at 5 a.m., Alex Witt, Lindsey Reiser and Kendis Gibson will anchor live coverage from Ground Zero. Live coverage of the annual commemoration ceremony will air beginning at 8 a.m. with anchors Ali Velshi and Stephanie Ruhle from Ground Zero, Hallie Jackson and Andrea Mitchell from Washington, D.C and Geoff Bennett from Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Beginning at 12 p.m., Nicolle Wallace and Brian Williams will continue anchoring coverage from Ground Zero. NBC News White House correspondent Mike Memoli will also join live coverage throughout the day from the White House.

“Fox & Friends Weekend” (Fox News, Sept. 11 at 6 a.m.) – A special edition live from lower Manhattan.

“Today” (NBC, Sept. 11 at 7 a.m.) – Anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb anchor a special edition from Ground Zero. They will be joined by “Today” news anchor Craig Melvin from New York; “Meet the Press” moderator and NBC News senior political director Chuck Todd, NBC News chief Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell and NBC News chief White House correspondent Peter Alexander from Washington, D.C.; NBC News senior national correspondent Tom Llamas and NBC News White House correspondent Geoff Bennett from Shanksville, Pennsylvania; NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Garrett Haake from Capitol Hill; and NBC News White House correspondent Monica Alba from the White House.

“CBS This Morning” (CBS, Sept. 11 at 7 a.m.) – Co-host Jeff Glor will speak to two brothers who decided to fulfill a life-long dream of resurrecting Feltman’s Hot Dogs — a pledge they made with their brother before he was killed on 9/11. Catherine Herridge will speak with general Raymond Thomas, who was on the call with the White House situation room when the Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden. Senior culture correspondent Anthony Mason will speak with Elvis Perkins, who lost his mother on 9/11, and Perkins will also perform songs from his album for “Saturday Sessions” in tribute.

“20 Years Later: We’ll Never Forget” (Noticias Telemundo, Sept. 11 8 a.m.) – José Díaz-Balart and Arantxa Loizaga will anchor a three-hour news special live from Ground Zero. They will be joined by senior Washington correspondent Cristina Londono, New York correspondent Karla Amezola and Washington correspondent Javier Vega. The special will also feature reports from anchors Julio Vaqueiro and Nacho Lozano and correspondents Rebeka Smyth, Edgar Munoz and Maria Vargas-Pion, among others.

“NBC Special News Report” (NBC, Sept. 11 at 8:30 a.m.) – Lester Holt anchors with Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb from Ground Zero, including a moment of silence for 9/11 victims and their families. The special coverage will also stream on NBC News NOW.

“Cavuto Live” (Fox News, Sept. 11 at 11 a.m.) – A special edition live from lower Manhattan.

“NBC Nightly News” (NBC, Sept. 11 at 3:30 p.m.) – Lester Holt will anchor from Ground Zero.

“The Five” (Fox News, Sept. 11 at 5 p.m.) – The roundtable program will air live from Citi Field and feature guests including former Mets’ manager Bobby Valentine and retired Mets’ player Mike Piazza, both of whom were with the team in 2001.

“CBS Weekend News” (CBS, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m.) – David Martin will share stories of survival and heroism at the Pentagon on 9/11. Martin will speak to three people who were at the Pentagon, including a survivor and a first responder who rescued her.

“CBS Sunday Morning” (CBS, Sept. 12 at 9 a.m.) – Luke Burbank interviews Wilma Melville, an 88-year-old grandmother who has built a multimillion-dollar facility that turns rescue dogs into elite search and rescue canines. Lee Cowan looks at what’s become of “Ground Zero” 20 years later. Also, John Dickerson sits down with journalist Chris Wallace about Wallace’s new book about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.

“60 Minutes” (CBS, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m.) – The 54th season premiere of “60 Minutes” will be dedicated to the heroism of 9/11. In this hour, many of the FDNY brass who were at Ground Zero discuss their experience with Scott Pelley.

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