Docs

History slates four 9/11 documentaries ahead of 20th anniversary

On the 10th anniversary of the raid that found and captured Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, A+E Networks’ History is debuting a new documentary about the ordeal. Co-produced ...
April 12, 2021

On the 10th anniversary of the raid that found and captured Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted terrorist, A+E Networks’ History is debuting a new documentary about the ordeal.

Co-produced by the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden is set to premiere early next month – May 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT – to mark a decade since the killing of bin Laden by U.S. forces during a raid on an al-Qaeda compound. Bin Laden was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center that killed almost 3,000 people and injured 25,000 others.

It’s the first of four 20th anniversary 9/11 documentaries exclusively commissioned by the A+E Networks channel on the tragedy that shook the world.

While the bin Laden documentary launches in early May, six hours of new programming will follow on Sept. 10 and 11 with the two-hour documentaries 9/11: Four Flights and Rise and Fall: The World Trade Center and 9/11: From the Ground Up.

In a statement, Eli Lehrer, EVP and head of programming for History, said that chronicling and commemorating the tragic events of 9/11 was a priority for the channel.

“The History Channel has been committed to never forgetting the events of September 11 that changed this world forever by honoring the heroic individuals who perished or played an important role in that tragic time in our history.

“Our mission as archivists of history is to continue to offer powerful documentaries with untold, poignant stories that provide a different perspective to that horrific day.”

Abbottabad, Pakistan was home to the mysterious compound where the U.S. military finally found Osama bin Laden, and Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden offers interviews with then U.S. President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary Robert Gates, CIA Director Leon Panetta, Admiral William McRaven, unnamed intelligence officers, military planners and SEAL operators who carried out the raid.

Executive producers include Clifford Chanon, head of museum programs, and Jessica Chen, senior director of pubic and professional programs, for The 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Zachary Behr and Lehrer executive produce for History.

For co-producer Northern Light Productions, Andrew Kukura is the director and producer and Jen Mackie Young serves as co-producer.

9/11: Four Flights will focus on the four doomed jetliners – American 11, United 175, Ameican 77 and United 93 – boarded by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001.

In the two-hour film, viewers will learn of the human stories of those on board through the narratives of family and friends, as well as the passengers’ final phone calls. Viewers will hear accounts of the bravery of the passengers, crew and air traffic controllers who tried in vain to intercept the hijackers and the airliners through flight tracks.

Rise and Fall: The World Trade Center, meanwhile, offers a chronological look at the conception, construction and destruction of the towers through an architectural and engineering lens.

From recounting the story behind the individuals who planned and built these symbolic towers to the three terrorist attacks that targeted the Center – there was a 1993 terrorist bombing prior to the 2001 attacks – the 120-minute documentary covers the buildings’ historic timeline with graphics, expert interviews and first-hand testimonies of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Both 9/11: Four Flights and Rise and Fall: The World Trade Center are produced by Left/Right with executive producers Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver and co-executive producers Jon Meyersohn and Mike Mezaros. Mike Stiller and Mary E. Donahue serve as executive producers for History.

Finally, 9/11: From the Ground Up (w/t) focuses on bystanders who happened to pick up their video cameras on that day to capture the events of Sept. 11. This chronicle features previously unseen video and unheard audio told without commentary.

The film is produced by Brook Lapping Productions in co-production with ITV and France Télévisions. Greg Sanderson and Karen Edwards are the executive producers for Brook Lapping Productions, while Behr and Brad Holcman EP for History.

The exact broadcast times and dates have not been set for 9/11: Four FlightsRise and Fall: The World Trade Center and 9/11: From The Ground Up (w/t).

In addition, History, in partnership with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, will create original short-form content that tells the stories about those who lost love ones during the tragedy.

The “Save Our History” Initiative will also highlight important artifacts in the museum’s collection and disseminate educational content and virtual events for teachers and students.

Watch the the trailer for Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden below:

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.

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