As a part of its plan to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, History announced today a new 30-minute commercial-free special to air on its cable and satellite H2 channel. 9/11: Relics From The Wreckagedocuments the stories of five objects to be placed in the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in NYC. Specifically, the special examines how the pieces were chosen and what they stand for. 9/11: Relics From The Wreckage evolved out of the long-term relationship that parent company A+E Networks has with the Museum. As well as this new special, History also said Friday that it plans to honor next Wednesday’s anniversary with a heavy slate of encore 9/11 related programming such as 102 Minutes That Changed America on History itself and 9/11 State Of Emergency on H2.
Animal Planet already revealed earlier this summer that it had acquired the one-hour The Hero Dogs Of 9/11 to air on the anniversary. The special first ran on Animal Planet in Canada back in 2011 to mark the attack’s 10th anniversary. We will update as additional 9/11 commemorate programming from the networks and others is announced.
Here is an unexpected vote of support for Best Picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty, a film that probably lost an Oscar nomination for director Kathryn Bigelow because of the cage rattling by three U.S. Senators over what they said was a false impression that the torture depicted in the film led somehow to 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. Here is a release issued by 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims, which was forwarded to me by Sony Pictures. As a New Yorker, I can see their point. While I was having my house built in a new community a dozen years ago, we met a firefighter who right up the block was building his dream house. Construction got delayed and by the time these houses were done, he had perished on 9/11. His family has long since moved away, but each time I drive past that house, I think of him. I also thought of him while I watched Zero Dark Thirty, and while I found the depiction of torture to be upsetting–it seemed to me that Bigelow and Mark Boal presented it in a way that leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether or not it was worthwhile or reprehensible–but the most surprising thing about the way that movie has played is how the heroism of the CIA operatives and the Navy SEALs has gotten little to no recognition … Read More »
No topic is taboo for Fox’s Family Guy, and Seth MacFarlane & Co. proved it again tonight by taking on the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil, the events of September 11, 2001. In the episode, Brian and Stewie use Stewie’s time machine to go back and prevent the 9/11 hijackings. TVLine has details on the storyline but, in short, Brian’s efforts backfire and lead to a Civil War, so he and Stewie keep sending clones of themselves back in time to try to fix the mistake until all they get together to vote whether to stop 9/11 or let it happen. The latter wins, leading to a round of high-fives. Unlike Family Guy‘s infamous abortion episode that didn’t make it to air but was performed live and released on DVD, the 9/11 one squeaked past the Fox standards and practices department but is sure to raise as many eyebrows as it airs two months after the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
Is it mere coincidence that Showtime is unveiling the heavy-duty psychological thriller series Homeland the night of Oct. 2, a scant three weeks after the landmark 10th anniversary of 9/11? In a word, yes, says exec producer Howard Gordon, still recovering from his years helping steer the exhausting ship known as 24 on Fox. “Its timing is accidental, significant and fortuitous,” he stressed today during an early morning breakfast panel at TCA. “It’s a confluence of events. Osama bin Laden was killed while we were filming our second episode. In the collision of the war on terror, the story hasn’t been told of the price of 9/11 to this country — after Abu Ghraib, after Guantanamo, after two wars of questionable merit and the price to us.”
Indeed, from a brief clip shown this morning, Homeland promises to be one of the most intense exercises about the war on terror yet to emerge in any medium. Starring Claire Danes as a CIA officer and Damian Lewis as an imprisoned American soldier, the show features wrenching depictions of torture on Lewis’ ultimately rescued character. “I oddly enjoyed it,” said Lewis, a Brit. “Is that wrong? I’d be two hours in makeup and then lay down on the gritty, sandy, dirty, stony floor of some warehouse just outside Charlotte, North Carolina to have a guy pee on me…I’ve been hung upside-down, beaten in the head…We’re … Read More »
To commemorate the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11, a highly distinguished cast of film, TV & stage actors will gather for a benefit reading of Sarah Tuft’s “110 Stories” on September 8th & 9th at The Skirball Center for the Performing Arts i n Manhattan. The illustrious cast – including, subject to availability: Lauren Ambrose, Andre Braugher, Billy Crudup, Edie Falco, Melissa Leo, Aasif Mandvi, Chris Noth, Vincent Piazza, Andre Royo, Susan Sarandon, Stelio Savante, Pablo Schreiber, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Michael Stuhlbarg, Kathleen Turner, Merritt Wever & others TBA – will share first person accounts of the tragedy.
According to 110 Stories’ Playwright/Creative Producer Sarah Tuft, “It’s the human side of history, without politics & agenda, giving voice to those who experienced 9.11 directly.” A love letter to New York City, the play was most recently performed by an esteemed cast at The Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles in 2010 with proceeds going to LA Red Cross for Haiti relief.
The Tenth Anniversary benefit reading of 110 Stories is Executive Produced by Ryan Heil/LIVEStyle Entertainment & Produced by Samira Qureshi, Stelio Savante & Cori Silberman. Proceeds from the event will go to the New York Says Thank You Foundation.
Former Imagine Entertainment executive Jim Whitaker set up time lapse camera at Ground Zero to chart the physical recovery after 9/11 that could be sandwiched around a movie about the emotional healing of survivors of victims who perished in the terror attack on the World Trade Center. The result is Rebirth, which Oscilloscope Laboratories will open August 26 in Los Angeles and August 31 in New York, on the eve of the 10 year anniversary. Showtime will broadcast it on September 11.
I know it’s fashionable in some political circles to slam Hollywood at every opportunity. But al-Qaida expert Lawrence Wright says America owes a debt of gratitude to screenwriters who helped the CIA imagine Osama Bin Laden scenarios after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That’s right — screenwriters. Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross interviewed Wright because of his 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Looming Tower: Al-Qaida and the Road to 9/11, his one-man play turned 2010 HBO film My Trip To Al-Qaida. But Wright also wrote the 1998 movie The Siege, directed by Ed Zwick, about a secret U.S. abduction of a suspected terrorist and how it leads to a wave of terrorist attacks in New York. Though a box office failure, Wright has claimed it was “the most-rented movie in America after 9/11.” It also drew the attention of the CIA, relevant this week because of the pundit debate over whether the U.S. should have taken Bin Laden dead or alive:
GROSS: How did the reality of [Bin Laden's] demise compare with some of the scenarios you’d imagined?
WRIGHT: Actually, Terry, I think it was in 2006, the CIA came to me to write a scenario, in their words, about what would we do if we got Bin Laden because this has been a subject of concern within the intelligence community. What if we did get him? How would we treat him? Where would we take him? Would it be better to take him alive or dead? And because I had written this movie,