It's hard to believe that it has been almost 17 years since the al-Qaeda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when 19 terrorists hijacked four airliners and caused panic across the land.
Two planes brought down the 110-story Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the towers collapsing as a horrified world watched. The third plane slammed into the Pentagon outside Washington, and the fourth, thanks to the heroic efforts of the passengers, crashed short of its goal in a field southeast of Pittsburgh.
It was believed that the fourth target was either the Capitol or the White House.
The day, which has come to be known as 9/11, killed almost 3,000 people and injured more than 6,000.
The details of the attacks were quickly pieced together in the following days, but for those who were glued to their TV sets that morning, the feelings of chaos and uncertainty will never be forgotten. It would be wise if they never were.
To remind us, 9/11: Day That Changed the World airs at 7 p.m. Saturday on Smithsonian Channel and "tells the behind-the-scenes story of the people whose job was to make decisions that would affect the lives and safety of the nation, and to protect the United States from further attack."
The documentary features interviews with former first lady Laura Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, chief counter-terrorism adviser Richard Clarke and other key officials.
The two-hour film, which first aired in 2011, is narrated by Martin Sheen and covers Sept. 11 from 6 a.m. to midnight as the events unfolded. It was a race to figure out what was going on and formulate a response while America held its breath.
• Paint With Kevin. Oops. I neglected to remind you of the kickoff for Season 4 at 10 a.m. last Saturday on AETN, but better late than never. There will be 13 episodes, so bring out your inner artist and mark your calendar now to catch up.
Kevin is Kevin Hill, an 18-year old California-based artist who learned to paint by watching PBS programming. He specializes in the "wet-on-wet" oil painting technique because you don't have to be an expert to turn out a finished masterpiece in a short time.
Hill's calm, easy-going, step-by-step style will remind many of Bob Ross, the afro-haired artist who hosted PBS' The Joy of Painting from 1983 to 1994. Each Paint With Kevin episode is 30 minutes and he'll have you creating "happy little clouds" and "happy little trees" before you know it.
This coming Saturday's episode, "Spring Day Part 2," picks up where the first episode ended and teaches techniques for painting a detailed springtime landscape.
• The View. Did you notice a new face this week? Former Fox & Friends Weekend co-host Abby Huntsman is the new panelist on The View. She joins Whoopi Goldberg, Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain.
The 32-year-old Huntsman is a new mom and the daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman. McCain is the daughter of the late-Sen. John McCain.
Huntsman replaces Sara Haines, who will join Michael Strahan as co-host of ABC's GMA Day, the new third hour of Good Morning America that premieres at noon Monday.
The View, now in its 22nd season, airs at 10 a.m. weekdays on ABC.
• 20/20. Season 41 -- yes, 41 -- debuts at 9 p.m. Friday on ABC. The hourlong broadcast includes interviews with notable figures from the worlds of news, politics and entertainment.
Hosted by David Muir and Amy Robach, the series features a revolving team of journalists from ABC News who contribute investigative stories.
Trivia: After a panned premiere on June 6, 1978, creator Roone Arledge recruited Hugh Downs as host. Barbara Walters joined the program in 1979 and became co-host in 1984. The duo, who had co-hosted NBC's Today from 1964 to 1971, would co-anchor 20/20 for 15 years.
More trivia. Downs is still with us. He's 97 and lives in Arizona.
• Stand Up to Cancer. The live fundraiser will air at 7 p.m. Friday on two dozen networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. The special, marketed as SU2C, marks 10 years of the entertainment community raising money for cancer research.
Among those on hand to pitch for the cause will be Mahershala Ali, Kathy Bates, Katie Couric, Jennifer Garner, Tony Hale, Marg Helgenberger, Ed Helms and Ken Jeong.
Others include Marlee Matlin, Matthew McConaughey, Maria Menounos, Jillian Michaels, Trevor Noah, Dak Prescott, Italia Ricci, Rob Riggle, Karla Souza, David Spade, Keith Urban and Reese Witherspoon.
The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Email:
Weekend on 09/06/2018
Print Headline: Special looks behind the scenes at horrific 9/11