Ten years ago, Americans gathered around their TV sets to witness the ghastly and incomprehensible images of 9/11. A decade later, television will mark the anniversary of the terrorist attacks with a massive outpouring of programs.
Network and cable outlets plan to air dozens of specials and documentaries recounting the tragedy, gauging the fallout and detailing the changes that have occurred since Sept. 11, 2001. Along the way, nearly every conceivable angle will be covered — from an Animal Planet entry about the post-tragedy healing power of pets, to Nickelodeon’s forum for children too young to fully understand the meaning of 9/11.
Here’s a look at some notable programs airing in the coming days. Many will be shown repeatedly, so check your listings:
• Sept. 4
“Heroes of the 88th Floor” — Firsthand testimonials of the rescue efforts in the tense moments before the north tower of the World Trade Center fell. (9 p.m. TLC).
• Sept. 5
“9/11: Day That Changed the World” — Martin Sheen narrates this documentary that explores the inside story of Sept. 11 via interviews with Dick Cheney, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Rumsfeld, Laura Bush and others. (8 p.m., Smithsonian Channel).
“Children of 9/11” — Intimate special follows a year in the lives of 11 kids who lost a parent during the terrorist attacks. (10 p.m., NBC).
• Sept. 6
“Top Secret America” — Journalist Dana Priest examines how a decade of fighting terrorism has reshaped the country. (9 p.m., PBS).
“Footnotes of 9/11” — Drew Griffin interviews eight ordinary people mentioned in the footnotes of the 9/11 Commission report and details their actions that fateful day. (11 p.m., CNN).
• Sept. 7
“American Greed: 9/11 Fraud” — Special installment examines the lengths some people will go to steal money at a time of tragedy. (9 p.m., CNBC).
“Engineering Ground Zero” — “NOVA” follows the ongoing construction of the 9/11 Memorial. (9 p.m., PBS).
“Terror in the Dust” — Dr. Sanjay Gupta delves into the health hazards and emotional trauma that Ground Zero rescue workers face. (9 p.m., CNN).
“Saved” — A series about the healing power of animals launches with a look at how the bonds with their pets helped families cope with the tragedy. (9 p.m., Animal Planet).
“Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero” — A re-airing of a “Frontline” report exploring how the attacks affected religious faith. (10 p.m., PBS).
• Sept. 8
“Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11” — Soledad O’Brien profiles the often overlooked female rescue workers who performed heroic duty. (11 p.m., CNN).
• Sept. 9
“9/11: The Days After” — Archival footage and numerous sources document the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. (9 p.m., History).
“Dateline NBC” — Tom Brokaw looks back on the events of 9/11 and revisits some people he interviewed a decade ago. (9 p.m., NBC).
“Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience” — Profiles of 40 people who led and sacrificed in the days and months after the attacks. (11 p.m., CNN).
“9/11: Timeline of Terror” — A special that details how events unfolded in real time. (10 p.m., Fox News Channel).
• Sept. 10:
“On Native Soil” — Kevin Costner and Hilary Swank narrate this documentary that delves into the findings of the 9/11 Commission. (3 p.m., MSNBC).
“Voices From Inside the Towers” — Audio records are used to recount the 102 chaotic minutes before the towers fell. (9 p.m., History).
“The Love We Make” — Uplifting documentary tracks the planning and performance of Paul McCartney’s cathartic benefit concert in Madison Square Garden a few weeks after the terrorist attacks. (9 p.m., Showtime).
“Portraits from Ground Zero” — A photojournalist who had access to Ground Zero following the attacks, reveals the stories behind her photos. (10 p.m., A&E).
• Sept. 11
“The Concert For New York City: Ten Years Later” — A re-airing of the benefit concert that featured performances by Paul McCartney, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Billy Joel and others. (4 p.m., VH1).
“9/11: 10 Years Later” — An encore presentation of the award-winning documentary that contains the only known footage from inside Ground Zero during the attacks. Robert De Niro returns to host the program, which has been updated with fresh interviews. (8 p.m., CBS).
“9/11: In Our Own Words” — NBC News anchors and correspondents recall what they were doing Sept. 11. (8 p.m., MSNBC).
“America Remembers — 9/11” — The “NewsHour” team recaps the day’s observances and examines the impact of the terrorist attacks in different communities. (8 p.m. PBS).
“Making of the 9/11 Memorial” — A behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the memorial, from concept to on-site installation. (8 p.m., History).
“The New York Philharmonic 10th Anniversary Concert for 9/11” — A “Great Performances” presentation of Gustav Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony. (9 p.m., PBS).
“The Space Between” — A movie starring Melissa Leo as a grounded flight attendant traveling cross-country with a 10-year-old boy who fears for the fate of his father, an employee at the World Trade Center. (9 p.m., USA).
“Rebirth” — Documentary tracks the transformations of five people whose lives were forever changed by the terrorist strikes. (9 p.m., Showtime).
“Dan Rather Remembers” — The former CBS anchor who famously shed tears on “Letterman” reports on how the world has changed in 10 years. (9 p.m., HDNet).
“Remembrance and Renewal: Ten Years After the 9/11 Attacks” — “20/20” looks back on the anniversary and aftermath of the attacks. Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters and others report. (10 p.m., ABC).
“Twin Towers” — An Oscar-winning short film about two brothers, a New York City police officer and firefighter, killed Sept. 11. (10:21 p.m., USA).
“From the Ground Up” — Five firefighters’ widows open up about how they are coping with their losses. (10:15 p.m., OWN).