9/11 Specials: 10 shows to watch


In the days leading up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the networks will be rolling out in-depth looks at the lives mourned and lessons learned. In addition to coverage on all the major news shows, here are the 10 commemorative specials most worth watching:

Making the 9/11 Memorial: History, Sept. 11, 8 p.m. What’s happening with the tribute at Ground Zero? This one-hour special goes behind the scenes at the memorial, from conception to installation.

The Twins of the Twin Towers: OWN, Sept. 11, 9 p.m. In a fascinating twist, Twins profiles the more than 40 people who lost their twin in the attacks on the World Trade Center.

9/11: Day That Changed the World: Smithsonian, Sept. 5, 8 p.m. Narrated by Martin Sheen, this documentary features interviews with some of the most powerful people during the 9/11 attacks, including George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Rudy Giuliani.

Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11: CNN, Sept. 8, 11 p.m. Soledad O’Brien spotlights how women — ranging from firefighters and EMS workers to cops — contributed mightily to the relief efforts.

The Love We Make: Showtime, Sept. 10, 9 p.m. Cameras follow Paul McCartney as he makes his way through NYC in the days after the destruction, trying to make sense of what happened and planning the epic benefit show the Concert for New York City.

9/11: 10 Years Later: CBS, Sept. 11, 8 p.m. The minds behind the film 9/11 update their critically acclaimed work with new interviews and Robert De Niro as host.

When Pop Culture Saved America: Bio, Sept. 5, 8 p.m. How did Hollywood react after the attacks? This delves into entertainers’ contributions after the crisis and showcases interviews with Kristin Chenoweth, Denis Leary, Dan Rather, Regis Philbin,and more.

Children of 9/11: NBC, Sept. 5, 10 p.m. More than 3,000 children lost a parent when the towers collapsed. This heartbreaking special gives avoice to a handful of the attacks’ youngest victims.

The Space Between: USA, Sept. 11, 9 p.m. Oscar winner Melissa Leo’s powerful 2010 Tribeca Film Festival entrant — which examines how the attacks brought people together and renewed the American spirit — makes its TV debut.

NOVA: Engineering Ground Zero: PBS, Sept. 7, check local listings This episode of Nova digs into the five years of construction of One World Trade Center and includes interviews with tower architect David Childs, memorial designer Michael Arad, and NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg.

For more on 9/11 specials, check out the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.

Image Credit: Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library/Smithsonian Channel

Read more:
Networks schedule 9/11 anniversary specials
George W. Bush on 9/11: Video from National Geographic special


Comments (101 total) Add your comment
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  • LOL

    When is the special where Bush reads My Pet Goat again?

    • Jillian

      Oh God, that would be awesome to see.

      • asmith

        Find an early reader for your 3’rd grade skills. Try to stay in school!

    • asmith

      You can ask your mama to take you to the library and a storyteller will read a fifth grade book to you.

    • asmith

      ask your mama to read a book to you. Tell her your reading comprehension isn’t good, you just want to look at the pictures. Lol

    • asmith

      get a picture book for 3’rd graders. You’ll love it.

    • ash

      souless asshat libtards. grow up already

    • bary

      After the 10-year mark, it should be required by law that people move the f on!

  • Melissa in CA

    I am a big fan of “I Survived…” on Bio and they’re doing a 9/11 special on 9/6. I think it will be excellent and should be on this list.

    • MC in IN

      I thought I’d see it on the list as well. ‘I survived..’ is a fantastic show and I am awaiting the special Sunday.

  • Meg

    I wish I could watch all these–are any of them going to be released on DVD or re-aired?

  • cj

    The Discovery Channel just finished an excellent, 6-hour commercial-free series on rebuilding the WTC area. Look for it in repeats, and bring lots of tissue.

    • Erin

      I caught a couple of these, and they were very moving. I was surprised EW didn’t include this on the list. Outstanding storytelling, if you get a chance to see it definitely keep the tissues close.

    • Helenann

      Me too! Discovery Channel:The Rising, produced by Spielberg…FABULOUS, and it’s in segments so I was able to digest (as much as possible) without being overloaded….

    • Jamie

      Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero by Steven Spielberg is a series (6 one hour programs) presented commercial free. It’s a fascinating & moving look at the hard work going into rebuilding. I was touched by stories like Jimmy the head plumber who lost his mother in the towers & has been working on the memorial pools to honor her. A truly magnificent series. Discovery SCIENCE channel is re-airing series this Sunday.

    • LoLoBird

      The Rising series is fantastic. Very moving without being too sensational — Spielberg does not disappoint on this one. It will re-air in entirety on Science Channel, as well. *I highly recommend this one.*

    • Barbie

      Very surprised this program is not the top listed on here. By far the best I’ve ever seen on 9/11. I actually tried to watch the pop culture one that is listed here last night, it was absolutely terrible…don’t bother.

  • Anna

    Isn’t Frontline doing something?

    • kit

      9/6/11 @ 9 pm
      Secret America on PBS

  • A

    I wanna see Children of 9/11 sounds interesting!

    • Candayce

      I saw it. It was interesting to see how they all have been doing. Two of the kids were born post-9/11 and never knew their parent. Appears they just want to be normal and stay out of the spot light.

  • Dee Jones

    Can`t believe its been 10 years! I will never forget that day, but I will not be watching any of those shows because its just too much to bare. I don` think I could handle watching those shows.

  • R. Perry

    Do we really need to see all these specials about this tragedy? We’ve seen the footage hundreds of times in the past decade. I think it’s too much and, to be honest, unnecessary. Enough already.

    • Peet

      I think it’s ridiculous that our government actually passed a law making it mandatory to watch at least half of these shows, thus leaving you with no recourse other than complaining that they exist.

      • Erin


      • Liz

        R.Perry go bury your head head in the sand where it belongs

      • Helenann

        Much love to you, Peet. :)

      • steph

        hahahahaha amazing.

    • Mack Hopkins

      Yeah, people need to learn to move on. How can a wound heal when you won’t stop picking at it?

  • Mack Hopkins

    After the tenth anniversary, let’s make a rule that unless you were injured in 9/11, lost someone in 9/11, lost your job because of 9/11, or got cancer because of 9/11, you have to stop acting like a victim. I’m sick of people acting like martyrs even though they didn’t lose anything on 9/11. Just because it happened in America, doesn’t mean you’re a victim. Your “never forget” t-shirts aren’t the same as helping the war on terror, being intolerant of muslims is not the same as being patriotic, and a terrorist attack is not an excuse to act like you’re at a Toby Keith concert. Stop acting like a victim when you aren’t one.

    • wants to beat lol a**

      @ kevin “there dead move on” that isnt point jacka%%! the point is WE SHOULDNT FORGET! IT CAN HAPPEN AGAIN! why dont you tell that to people who lost someone friend ect.. even if you didnt lose someone in 9/11 you still shouldnt forget! you jack%%. @ diane @Mark go put your heads back up your a%% where you keep it! or better yet put it each others!

      • bary

        Go cry in your spaghettio’s, you immature douche. I’m glad to forget it. I’ll never think of it again after the ten-year mark.

    • Jake

      @Mack Hopkins
      Best comment here

  • Kevin

    I was working at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA at the time and the grounds crew I was in were off work for 2 weeks due to the attacks. Even some of us on the west coast were effected in one way or another. How about when we hit the aniversaries of John Lennon, Elvis Presley, and Michael Jackson’s deaths? They’re dead. Move on.

  • Willie

    How about (Loose change) or (Fahrenheit 9/11) ?

    • D

      If fiction is your thing go right ahead. I thought we were talking about documentaries here.

  • diana oneal

    We talk like we are so sad and grieving so much ,yet now we DISHONOR THEIR MEMORY EVERYDAY. We are forced to tolerate and accept THE VERY ONES WHO COMMITTED THESE AWFUL CRIMES.They hate us and always will,they will kill more if they can.I HATE IT FOR THE ONES WHO DIED ,THE INNOCENT ON 9/11 AND THEIR FAMILIES, BUT STOP DISHONERING THEM BY LICKING THEIR BUTTS.

    • Lindsey

      You are so ignorant it’s painful.

    • Anonymous

      You disgust me, troll. We are forced to tolerate and accept them? How? You’re obviously one of those idiots who think all Muslims are evil. Your hate is repulsive.

    • c

      Oh, but all those impressive capital letters make the message so much more credible than anyone else’s

  • Kevin Powers

    Or if you would like to know the truth about what happened that day you might prefer to watch these movies: Loose Change, 9/11: Press for Truth, 9/11: In Plane sight.

    • Lisa

      Hmm .. If I truly believed that the government had something to do with it, I would do a whole lot more then talk about it on internet comment sections… Which is the only only thing 99% of the conspiracy theorist do. Heck, I would not even want to live in a country where our leaders would do something like that.

      • m

        literally every piece of scientific evidence points to there being something other than planes.

        planes don’t cause buildings to perfectly fall.

        heck jet fuel doesn’t even burn through aluminum

      • J

        m learned science from Rosie O’Donnell and Charlie Sheen.

      • Toxigal

        A question I’ve always wanted to ask conspiracy theorists who say there were no planes…

        If four planes did not crash that day, where are the passengers that were on those planes?

      • @Toxigal

        There were definitely planes, but what I’ve heard is that there weren’t any passengers on those planes. One of my roommates worked at LAX and she said that there were no friends or family members waiting for that plane that was headed to Los Angeles. Don’t you think it is a bit odd that NO ONE was waiting for a passenger from that plane???

      • bary

        Wow… The public schools have failed Toxigal. Yay for retardation.

    • Truther Forlife

      Thank You Kevin. Unfortunately the rest of the country are drooling morons. 911 Truth Now!!

    • Nunyaz

      Just watched those last night. Of course some mainstream media site isn’t going to recommend them. The government was definitely behind 9/11.

      • Barbie

        lol…wow…people really buy into that doc…I watched the entire thing and felt like I should sue the filmakers since I’m sure I lost IQ points while watching…rigoddamndiculous.

    • jay

      hard to believe that ppl can be so stupid.. you saw the planes hit, right? You also saw Osama Bin Laden take credit for the attacks, right? You think the U.S.A and O.B.L are in cohoots?? All of you anti-american conspirists can suck an egg.

      • Ms. Wisdom

        why do we have to be Anti-American simply because we don’t completely believe what the government is telling us? The reality is that Bush was doing all kinds of shady s*** with the Bin Ladens, and he probably pissed them off and that’s why they hijacked those planes. Soemething shady went down, that’s a fact.

        I don’t know about those looney conspiracies about the planes being illusions and such, but I can tell you that this was not just a random act of terrorism.

    • Fridge

      When people start spouting off that 9/11 was somehow engineered by the government I get so incredibly sad. You’re saying that 343 firefighters died because of a government conspiracy? You’re saying that thousands of people died becasue of something the goverment cooked up? Maybe you should think before saying something like that. You want to talk disrespectful? There it is right there.

  • Louise

    Not sure I can watch these 9/1 memorial shows/programs. It’s so sad and and I remember too well my feelings that day. I’m not sure I want t dredge that up. I was scared we live 35 min. from the pentagon it’s still too hard to look back. I know I should and maybe I will. But what i do hope is now that we are the 10 year anniversary let’s not do this every year maybe every 20, 30 etc. years. we need to move on.

  • wants to beat lol a**

    @ LOL shut your damn mouth! your loser a$$ isnt funny!

    • Kevin

      I thought it was funny.

    • bary

      Yeah, it was pretty funny.

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