Syndicators to observe Sept. 11

Sep 9, 2002  •  Post A Comment

With networks dutifully programming daylong broadcasts to mark the anniversary of Sept. 11 on Wednesday, syndicators are being pre-emptive in their own programming plans. Last year’s terrorist attacks caused a number of series that had only recently debuted to flounder, with several shows forced to relaunch due to the tragedy.
In response to the unusual broadcasts programmed for the 11th, syndicators, including NBC Enterprises, Twentieth Television and Universal, are removing any barter responsibilities from stations due to pre-emptions on Sept. 11. On top of this, several programs are entering the new season with their own plans to mark the anniversary.
NBC Enterprises’ “The John Walsh Show” will debut on the daytime stage Sept. 9 with a special episode honoring the victims and heroes of 9/11. Mr. Walsh will provide an intimate interview with New York Gov. George Pataki at Ground Zero and visits to Shanksville, Pa.-the crash site of Flight 93-and the Pentagon.
Mr. Walsh will also recall his experiences amid the chaos of New York last year and will provide viewers with a helicopter tour, accompanied by police officers for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, for an unusual aerial view of the scene. He then will recount the memories of that day with family members who lost loved ones, including Jamie Hugler, who tells of the loss of her fiance, firefighter Michael Kiefer.
Later in the week, other series will offer their takes. Universal’s “Maury,” airing on either Sept. 10, 11 or 12, depending on the station, will offer a special in which host Maury Povich talks with people who either survived the WTC tragedy, lost someone because of it or had a hand in saving lives that day. There will be updates of stories of guests who appeared on the strip last season.
Paramount’s “Life Moments” will offer a segment on the 11th with the widow of Tom Burnett, who helped lead the passengers of United Flight 93 in their battle against the terrorists. Ms. Burnett will relive her husband’s final phone call and show how she has started a new life in her old hometown.
Although details weren’t available at press time, studio sources said “Live With Regis and Kelly,” “The Wayne Brady Show” and the syndicated newsmagazines will each provide their own brand of memories.