Guide to September 11 Anniversary Documentaries and Specials

As the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks approaches, there is a wealth of documentary programming looking back on the event and its aftermath.

by | August 31, 2021 | Comments

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Spike Lee

(Photo by Courtesy HBO)

There have been plenty of documentaries examining the events of September 11, 2001 in the two decades since the terror attacks, but the 20th anniversary has brought with it a slew of educational programming not only examining the events of the day and its aftermath, but also the effect the tragedy has had on children, first responders, and the loved ones of victims.

Spike Lee’s HBO docuseries NYC EPICENTERS 9/11➔2021½ will air Sundays ahead of the anniversary, while National Geographic’s six-part docuseries 9/11: One Day In America airs over four nights in the last week of August. Apple TV+ is set to premiere a filmed version of the Broadway musical Come From Away, about the Canadian town that housed grounded travelers on September 11, and many more documentaries and other programming is set to premiere over the next few weeks.

Read on to find out when it all premieres and where it is available to watch and stream.


Sunday, Aug. 22

NYC Epicenters: Season 1 (2021) 8 p.m., HBO
This four-part documentary essay produced and directed by acclaimed director Spike Lee is a rich tapestry of New York City in the 21st century, weaving together the stories, memories and insights of those who were eyewitnesses to New York’s greatest challenges.

Sunday, Aug. 29

NYC Epicenters: Season 1 (2021) 8 p.m., HBO
9/11: One Day in America: Season 1 (2021)  9 p.m., National Geographic Channel
This immersive docuseries told in first-person narrative chronicles, at times minute-by-minute, the events of that day from the perspectives of first responders and survivors who were there.

Monday, Aug. 30

9/11: One Day in America: Season 1 (2021)  9 p.m., National Geographic Channel

Tuesday, Aug. 31

9/11: One Day in America: Season 1 (2021)  9 p.m., National Geographic Channel

Wednesday, Sept. 1

9/11: Inside the President’s War Room, Apple TV+
9/11: One Day in America: Season 1 (2021)  9 p.m., National Geographic Channel

Sunday, Sept. 5

NYC Epicenters: Season 1 (2021) 8 p.m., HBO

Tuesday, Sept. 7

Rebuilding Hope: The Children of 9/11, Discovery+
Frontline: America After 9/11, 9 p.m., PBS

Wednesday, Sept. 8

Vice Versa: Too Soon: Comedy After 9/11, 9 p.m., VICE TV
Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11, 10 p.m., MSNBC (Followed by Memory Box: The Conversation)

Thursday, Sept. 9

No Responders Left Behind, Discovery+

Friday, Sept. 10

Come From Away (2021) Apple TV+
When 7,000 people are stranded in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland after all flights into the US are grounded on September 11, 2001, the people of Newfoundland graciously welcome the “come from aways” into their community in the aftermath. The passengers and locals alike process what’s happened while finding love, laughter, and new hope in the unlikely and lasting bonds that they forge. Note, this is a filmed staging of the Tony-winning musical.

9/11: The Legacy, 7 p.m., History Channel
The Race Against Time: The CIA and 9/11, 8 p.m., CBS
Rise And Fall: The World Trade Center, 8 p.m., History Channel

Saturday, Sept. 11

NYC Epicenters: Season 1 (2021)  10 p.m., HBO

9/11: Four Flights, 8 p.m., History Channel
9/11: I Was There, 10 p.m., History Channel

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