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9/11 footage will fill airwaves, as will somber specials

No doubt you've already been seeing news stories and special reports about the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But beginning tonight and going through Sunday, the airwaves will be filled with documentaries and news specials about that dark day in American history. Beginning Friday evening, most of the networks will be broadcasting from ground zero for their news and morning shows. And on the actual anniversary, channels such as MSNBC and the History Channel will have nonstop coverage in prime time.

Here are some of the highlights of the special programming planned.

Today

NOVA: Engineering Ground Zero, 9 p.m. PBS: Architects and engineers plan the construction of One World Trade Center and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Frontline: Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero, 10 p.m., PBS: This report, which first aired in 2002, visited the former World Trade Center site to find out how people's faith had changed since the terrorist attacks.

Thursday

Frontline: Top Secret America, 9 p.m., PBS: How the fight against terrorism affects the safety of the United States.

Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11, 11 p.m. CNN (encore 8 p.m. Sunday): Some of the female heroes tell of their present-day struggles and determination.

Friday

Dateline, 9 p.m. NBC: This two-hour special edition features Tom Brokaw, who spent more than 100 hours at the anchor desk the first week.

9/11: The Days After, 9 p.m. History: An examination of the texture of life in the post-9/11 world and oft-forgotten consequences.

Fox News Reporting: 9/11: Timeline of Terror, 10 p.m. FNC: A real-time chronicle of the attacks includes interviews with survivors, rescuers and former White House personnel: Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, press secretary Ari Fleischer. First aired in 2009.

Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience: 11 p.m. CNN (encore at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday): This documentary features untold stories drawn from 40 women and men who led and sacrificed for America in the hours, days and months that followed the attacks.

Saturday

Nine Innings From Ground Zero, 8 a.m. HBO: This documentary focuses on the 2001 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Played barely a month after Sept. 11, it played an important role in helping the city return to a sense of normality. First aired in 2004.

The Love We Make, 9 p.m. Showtime: This documentary chronicles Paul McCartney's journey through the streets of New York City after the attacks. It also traces the planning and performance of the monumental benefit concert at Madison Square Garden, "the Concert for New York City," which took place less than six weeks after the attacks.

Voices From Inside the Towers, 9 p.m., History: This film brings an "inside" perspective through phone calls made by some who later died and some who survived.

Portraits from Ground Zero, 10 p.m. A&E: This documentary highlights the work of Andrea Booher, one of only a few photojournalists given full 24-hour access to ground zero after 9/11. This special will feature the subjects of Booher's photographs, including a firefighter searching for the body of his lifelong friend; a teenage girl mourning her stepfather; a Franciscan friar ministering to the dead; and the future fire chief worrying about a potential building collapse. She uses the battered green notebook she carried at the World Trade Center to track down people in nearly a dozen pictures and so they can tell, for the first time, the stories behind the photographs.

Beyond: Messages from 9/11, 10 p.m. BIO: Families of 9/11 victims share their stories of the messages they received from beyond.

Sunday

In Memoriam: New York City, 7:15 a.m. HBO: Originally aired in 2002, this film follows then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and his staff members on the day of the tragedy.

9/11: America Remembers, 8 a.m., CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX: The networks all report live from the services and remembrances at ground zero.

102 Minutes That Changed America, 8:46 a.m., A&E, BIO, History: All A&E networks will broadcast this 2008 documentary at the exact time when, 10 years ago, the attacks began. It includes films, photos and recordings from unique and rarely seen or heard archives that chronicle the attack.

60 Minutes, 7 p.m., CBS: The entire broadcast is devoted to 9/11 coverage.

9/11: 10 Years Later, 8 p.m. CBS: The network and filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet and James Hanlon will present an update of the film 9/11.

Making the 9/11 Memorial, 8 p.m. History: In this documentary filmed over the course of the past year, History presents a behind-the-scenes view of the memorial, Reflecting Absence, from conception to on-site installation at ground zero.

America Remembers 9/11, 8 p.m. PBS: The PBS Newshour team files reports from across the country. Hari Sreenivasan will narrate an account of the three major memorial observances at ground zero in New York City, at the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., and in rural Shanksville, Pa. Jeffrey Brown will speak with several contributors to a new book, Legacy Letters. Ray Suarez will explore the attitudes of American Muslims, their efforts to get beyond the deep mistrust caused by the attacks and their perspectives on what the future looks like for them. Judy Woodruff introduces viewers to a generation of young Americans who know only a post-9/11 world and visits a small town in California that has made extraordinary contributions, in terms of young lives lost, to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gwen Ifill will explore a decade of war and its impact on hundreds of thousands of soldiers and their families and the nation's efforts to care for them.

FOX News Reporting: Rise of Freedom With Shepard Smith, 9 p.m. FNC: The building of the new World Trade Center and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Rebirth, 9 p.m. Showtime: The Sundance Film Festival hit is a decadelong account of five people's lives that were forever altered on 9/11.

Twins of the Twin Towers, 9 p.m. OWN: This special explores the personal stories of 40 sets of twins where one twin was killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Great Performances: A Concert for New York, 9 p.m. PBS: The New York Philharmonic performs Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 to honor the victims of Sept. 11. With Dorothea Röschmann, Michelle DeYoung and the New York Choral Artists.

A Special Edition of 20/20 — Remembrance and Renewal: 10 Years After the 9/11 Attacks, 10 p.m. ABC: The newsmagazine airs its own special about the attacks.

From the Ground Up, 10:15 p.m. OWN: The story of five widows of firefighters killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Twin Towers, 10:21 p.m. USA: This Academy Award-winning short documentary film tells the true story of the courage of two brothers, a New York City police officer and a firefighter.

9/11 footage will fill airwaves, as will somber specials 09/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 9:41pm]

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