As incredible as it may seem, this year marks the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that forever changed America and the world. The 9/11 15th anniversary will undoubtedly be marked in a number of ways, including with TV specials and documentaries that range from a look at the attacks on the Pentagon, to a chronicle of the triumphant rise of Freedom Tower on the site of the New York attack.
Each year there are always notable TV programs that remember that tragic day, but given that this is the 9/11 15th anniversary, there is a particular increase in documentaries and other programming. Here are some of the highlights airing in the days and weeks leading up to Sept. 11, 2016 (the list will be updated as we hear more).
9/11 15th Anniversary TV Programming (All Times Eastern) (Updated 9/9/16 9:37am CT)
Ground Zero Rising: Freedom vs. Fear — Sept. 1 at 10pm and Sept. 11 at 10pm on CNBC. CNBC anchor Jim Cramer reports in this one-hour documentary that tells the story of the revitalization of the 16-acre site of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, which has emerged as a place reborn. Taking more than six years and nearly $4 billion to complete, One World Trade Center is the most expensive skyscraper in the world, and stands as proof of American tenacity and resilience.
15 Septembers Later — Sept. 5 at 9pm on History. This new special leads History’s week of 9/11 commemorative programming, which also includes two other original primetime documentaries and a series of digital shorts. This program examines 9/11 through the lens of stories and information uncovered over the last 15 years, offering a new perspective on the historic events of that day. The program features recently declassified materials and new interviews with a number of individuals who played key roles in the events of that day, some telling their stories for the first time. John Lehman, a former member of the 9/11 Commission, speaks to the 28 pages from the 9/11 report which were only declassified this summer that allege that some of the “hijackers were in contact with and received support or assistance from individuals connected with the Saudi government.” Major Heather Penney, the F-16 pilot who was assigned the impossible task of intercepting United Airlines Flight 93, recounts her story for the first time. We hear from Ben Sliney, who on his first day as the new FAA National Operations Manager made the decision to clear American airspace and led the effort to land every non-military plane over the U.S. Also interviewed is White House photographer Eric Draper whose recently declassified photos capturing the White House response to the attack are featured. 15 Septembers Later also includes a new, rare interview with President George W. Bush, as well as new interviews with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, Andrew Card, Leon Panetta, Senator Chuck Schumer, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor George Pataki, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, and other government officials, journalists and eyewitnesses.
CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin: 9/11 Town Hall: Coming of Age in the Age of Terror — Sept. 6-8 at 2pm on CNN. Part 1 of this three-part town hall that airs over three days includes interviews with children and young adults who lost a parent on 9/11. Part 2 takes a look at how the children are remembering their parents, and the town hall concludes on Thursday by examining the important role that terrorism plays in the current presidential election.
9/11 Inside the Pentagon — Sept. 6 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings). This hourlong documentary reveals new, firsthand accounts of the attack that took place at the heart of the United States’ military headquarters, during which nearly 200 people from inside the building and onboard American Airlines Flight 77 perished.
9/11: As We Watched — Sept. 6 at 10pm on American Heroes Channel. Produced with ABC News, this special recounts Sept. 11, 2001, through the eyes of that news organization, as the late, legendary Peter Jennings, along with Diane Sawyer, George Stephanopoulos and dozens of journalists rushed to the scene of the chaos and embarked upon what would be 83 hours of live coverage.
Capturing Bin Laden — Sept. 7 at 10pm on American Heroes Channel. This documentary tracks the rise and fall of the man who spent the decade following the 9/11 attacks at the top of America’s Most Wanted list. Drawing on extensive archives from ABC News’ in-depth and award-winning reporting on the emergence of Osama bin Laden, this all-new special chronicles his rise—from a shadowy figure financing international terrorist attacks, to the intelligence that identified him as the 9/11 mastermind—and fall, culminating with SEAL Team Six’s heroic and harrowing confrontation with at a safe-house in Pakistan that ended the 10 year cat-and mouse game to capture the world’s most deadly terrorist.
The Timeline: “September 11th” — Sept. 9 at 8pm on NFL Network. The second season of the Emmy-nominated documentary series from NFL Films returns with this installment reflecting on how the NFL reacted to the crisis of Sept. 11, 2001, and the deep and lasting impact of the day’s events. Among the topics discussed are the NFL’s decision to cancel games following the attacks; how members of the New York Giants and Washington Redskins were affected by the events; former New England Patriots’ offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi’s connection to the New York City Fire Department; and the story of Giants fan Tony Sichenzio, who attended the Giants’ game in Denver on Sept. 10 and was not at his office on the 104th floor of One World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
FOX News Channel 9/11 15th Anniversary coverage — Sept. 11 beginning at 6am on FOX News Channel. FNC will present special live programming to commemorate the 15-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, beginning with FOX and Friends Sunday and continuing through primetime. Hosted by weekday co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade, FOX and Friends Sunday (6-10am) will present the yearly “Flashback 9/11: As It Happened” package, as well as take the moment of silence at 8:46am, marking the time when the first plane hit. At 10am, anchor Jon Scott will present a two-hour special entitled 9/11: 15 Years Later to reflect on the changes and challenges Americans have faced since that tragic day over a decade ago. FNC’s Maria Bartiromo will anchor a live hour of Sunday Morning Futures at 12pm, followed by America’s Election Headquarters at 1pm, anchored by Shannon Bream & Leland Vittert. At 2pm, Chris Wallace will anchor FOX News Sunday, followed by another edition of America’s Election Headquarters anchored by Eric Shawn and Arthel Neville from 3-5pm and 6pm. At 5pm, FNC will present a special hour of MediaBuzz, hosted by Howard Kurtz, followed by FOX Report Sunday, anchored by Harris Faulkner, at 7pm. Additionally, chief political anchor Bret Baier will debut a special edition of Special Report at 8pm, which will run each Sunday in primetime through the election.
Washington Journal: Remembering 9/11 — Sept. 11 at 7am on CSPAN.
Sunday TODAY — Sept. 11 at 8am on NBC. A look at children of police officers and firefighters lost on 9/11 who are now following in their parents’ footsteps.
White House Moment of Silence for 9/11 — Sept. 11 at 8:30am on CSPAN.
9/11 Ceremony in New York City — Live — Sept. 11 at 8:35am on CSPAN.
9/11 Ceremony at the Pentagon — Live — Sept. 11 at 9:30am on CSPAN.
9/11 Ceremony in Shanksville, PA — Live — Sept. 11 at 10am on CSPAN.
9/11 Ceremony in New York City — Live — Sept. 11 at 10:30am on CSPAN.
Objects and Memory — Sept. 11 on PBS (check local listings). Guided by Frank Langella’s narration and set to the music of Philip Glass, this documentary examines items recovered or offered in response to 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing and the Vietnam War, along with stories of people who find them important. Taken together, images of the objects, the stories they evoke and the stories of their collection lead viewers on a journey where the commonplace is transformed into the remarkable, and where the stuff of history is highly personalized. The program will air on PBS stations across the country on Sept. 11; check your local affiliate for time. In the New York metropolitan area, it will be broadcast at 1:30pm on WNET/Thirteen, and at 10pm on WLIW/21.
Giuliani’s 9/11 — Sept. 11 at 12pm on NGC. Encore airing.
CIA Confidential: Hunt for Bin Laden — Sept. 11 at 1pm on NGC. Encore airing.
CIA Confidential: 9/11 Mastermind — Sept. 11 at 2pm on NGC. Encore airing.
9/11: Day That Changed the World — Sept. 11 at 2pm and 8pm on Smithsonian Channel. Encore airing.
Witness: D.C. 9/11 — Sept. 11 at 3pm on NGC. Encore airing.
9/11: The Firemen’s Story — Sept. 11 at 4pm on NGC. Encore airing.
Crowning New York — Sept. 11 at 4pm on Smithsonian Channel. A one-hour look at the engineering and construction behind One World Trade Center.
Inside 9/11: The War Continues — Sept. 11 at 5pm on NGC. Encore airing.
The Missing Evidence: 9/11 Secret Explosions in the Towers — Sept. 11 at 5pm on Smithsonian Channel. Scientists tackle conspiracy theories about how and why the Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11.
Inside 9/11: War on America — Sept. 11 at 6pm on NGC. Encore airing.
9/11: Stories in Fragments — Sept. 11 at 6pm on Smithsonian Channel. Encore airing.
9/11: The Heartland Tapes — Sept. 11 at 7pm on Smithsonian Channel. Encore airing.
CNN Films Presents 9/11 Fifteen Years Later — Sept. 11 at 8pm and 11pm on CNN; Sept. 11 at 6am, 3pm and 8pm on CNN International. CNN has acquired and is co-producing this updated version of the Peabody and Emmy award-winning documentary 9/11. The film is directed, filmed, and executive produced by Gédéon and Jules Naudet, French-born filmmakers and brothers, and by retired Manhattan firefighter James Hanlon. CNN Films is working with the team to update the film for this 2016 edition. Denis Leary will introduce the new anniversary edition of the film, reflecting upon the heroism of the firefighters who responded that day. From the site of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City that commemorates the fallen, including 343 members of the New York City Fire Department, Leary will recall the bravery and emotions of the events in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, and beyond. CNN will air the two-hour film with limited commercial interruption in back-to-back broadcasts.
George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview — Sept. 11 at 8pm on NGC. Encore airing.
102 Minutes That Changed America: 15th Anniversary — Sept. 11 at 8pm on History. This is an updated edition of the Emmy-winning documentary 102 Minutes That Changed America. The program chronicles the terror of 9/11 in real-time, providing a minute by minute account of the catastrophe as it unfolded. The anniversary edition includes added interviews from those featured in the original film.
9/11: The Longest War — Sept. 11 at 9pm on NGC. This new two-hour special provides a comprehensive look at the past 15 years — from the buildup to the attacks as the devastating events unfolded, to the military response in the years that followed — leading up to the present day. 9/11: The Longest War draws from a wide range of sources, including over 40 original National Geographic interviews with survivors, first responders, experts, journalists, politicians and military leaders; news footage and eyewitness videos culled from a rarely seen 400-hour archive; and chilling audio recordings from on board the doomed planes and inside air traffic control.
America’s 9/11 Flag: Rise From the Ashes — Sept. 11 at 10:30pm on History. Featuring best-selling author and HISTORY host Brad Meltzer, this program looks at the mystery surrounding the iconic American flag that was raised by three New York City firefighters shortly after the 9/11 attack only to then disappear.