List of entertainment affected by the September 11 attacks
The September 11 attacks in the United States in 2001 had an important impact on broadcast and venue entertainment businesses, prompting cancellations, postponements, and changes in content. In the United States and the United Kingdom, planned television screenings of films and fictional programs where terrorism, plane crashes, bombs, or other related disaster were the primary subject were postponed or cancelled.
- 1 Films
- 2 Television
- 3 Music and radio
- 4 Theme parks
- 5 Sports
- 6 Video games
- 7 Other
- 8 References
Numerous films were cancelled that were in production, and many films were edited. The most common way of editing was to delete or obscure shots of the World Trade Center. There were various reasons given for the alterations, including keeping material up-to-date, as a gesture of respect for those who died, and to avoid trauma for those emotionally affected by the attack. There are also many films which notably did not edit their films.
In all, roughly 45 films were edited or postponed because of the 9/11 attacks.
With the World Trade Center removed
- Trailers for the film Spider-Man were edited so a scene (not in the film) showing Spider-Man capturing a helicopter between the towers was deleted. In the actual film, a shot of the World Trade Center was deleted. The scene of Spider-Man hanging onto a flagpole with a large American flag, seen in later trailers and at the end of the film, was added in response to the attacks.
- In the film Zoolander, the WTC was digitally deleted.
- The WTC was removed from the poster for Sidewalks of New York, though the buildings were kept in the film.
- Shots of the WTC in Serendipity were digitally removed.
- In the 2001 film Spy Game, the level of smoke shown following a bombing was reduced because of its similarity to the smoking WTC wreckage.
- The 2002 film Men in Black II featured a climax that included the World Trade Center. The building was changed to the Statue of Liberty.
- A scene in The Time Machine, in which debris from the moon crashes into a building, was edited for its resemblance to the towers.
- Shots of the WTC in Kissing Jessica Stein were removed before its release.
- The ending to the 2002 animated film Lilo and Stitch was edited from Stitch taking a 747 on a joyride and swerving around buildings, to Stitch taking a spaceship on a joyride and swerving around mountains. The original ending was included on the special edition DVD.
- The 2002 film The Bourne Identity was extensively reshot due to the fear of the CIA as the antagonist being wrongly interpreted as anti-americanism. Due to the insistence of Matt Damon and Doug Liman, the footage wasn't included. On the special edition DVD are descriptions of how and why the film was changed.
- Scenes of the WTC were removed from People I Know.
- Early versions of the 2004 film The Incredibles featured a scene where a frustrated Mr. Incredible vents his emotions on an abandoned building, but ends up accidentally damaging a neighboring building as well. This was considered too reminiscent of the World Trade Center collapse, and was replaced with a scene where Mr. Incredible and Frozone rescue trapped civilians from a burning building.
- When the 1998 movie Armageddon premiered on ABC around April 2002, the scene in which the World Trade Center gets hit by meteors and catches on fire was edited out because of its similarity to the September 11 attacks.
- The 2002 film Igby Goes Down has several shots of the WTC towers, apparently there were other more prominent shots that were edited out.
- The 1992 film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York features a scene atop the WTC, which was edited out on several television channels.
With the World Trade Center added
Some filmmakers have added the World Trade Center to films and television series that are set during periods when the buildings were still standing.
- The 2002 TV film It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie features the twin towers in an alternate reality where an angel shows Kermit the Frog what the world would be like had he never been born.
- The 2003 American miniseries Angels in America, set in 1985, had the WTC towers digitally re-inserted for historical accuracy.
- The 2004 film Miracle, set in 1980, has a digital World Trade Center on the New York skyline.
- The 2005 film Munich, set in 1972, features a computer-generated World Trade Center.
- The 2005 film Rent, set in 1989 and 1990, includes a shot of the World Trade Center.
- World Trade Center and United 93 (2006) take place on the day of the attacks and feature the buildings, with real footage of the second World Trade Center impact in United 93.
- Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) contains a segment when the animals arrive in New York City, and the original World Trade Center twin towers are seen in the distance.
- The 2008 film The Wackness concludes with a scene depicting the Twin Towers in 1994.
- The 2009 film Watchmen, which takes place in the mid-1980s, features the twin towers in several of the scenes. Ironically the towers are depicted as two of the only buildings still standing after a scene featuring the destruction of New York City.
- The 2010 film Remember Me, which has an ending that takes place on September 11, 2001, shows digitally re-built World Trade Center towers in the last scene of the film.
- The episode "Adrift" from the ABC series Lost added the World Trade Center in the second airing of the episode in order to establish the timeframe of the flashback.
- The ABC series Life On Mars, with a storyline that took place in 1973, showed a digitally inserted World Trade Center in several episodes.
- The Fox series Fringe depicted an intact World Trade Center in a parallel universe. The buildings were revealed in the finale of season one. Season two explains that in the parallel universe, the 9/11 attacks resulted in damage to the White House instead of the towers.
- The 2014 movie A Most Violent Year set in 1981 shows the World Trade Center in the background of several shots.
- The 2015 movie The Walk set in 1974 depicted the World Trade Center where Philippe Petit performed illegally on a high wire.
- The 2001 movie Monsters, Inc. originally depicted a building exploding as part of a decontamination effort, but was replaced with a plasma effect. The crew describe the decision to alter the film in the DVD "round-table discussion" feature.
- The release of View from the Top was originally scheduled for Christmas 2001, but due to the fact that the story revolves around a flight attendant on numerous planes, the release was pushed back to March 21, 2003.
- The release of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Collateral Damage was postponed for four months. The film featured a terrorist bombing in front of an L.A. building.
- The 2002 version of The Time Machine was held back three months because of a scene where a meteor shower destroys New York. This scene was also removed.
- The film Big Trouble was postponed seven months because it involved a nuclear bomb being smuggled on board an aircraft.
- The 2002 action-comedy film Bad Company had its release date pushed back several months because the plot involved a criminal mastermind planning to detonate a bomb in the Grand Central Terminal.
- A Jackie Chan film called Nosebleed, about a window washer on the WTC who foils a terrorist plot, was said to have been cancelled due to the attacks, but the veracity of the claim has been questioned.
Some films kept scenes of the World Trade Center in them.
- In Vanilla Sky, producers wanted director Cameron Crowe to remove shots of the WTC. He did not, and they remain in the film.
- In Donnie Darko, which was released a month after the attacks, parts of a plane fall from the sky. It's suggested that the darker themes of the film were responsible for its poor box office, but it nonetheless went on to become a cult classic in the years following.
- In A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, released less than three months before the attacks, a scene set thousands of years in the future prominently featuring a badly damaged World Trade Center (albeit half submerged in water), was not edited for its video release.
- Gangs of New York, released December 2002, ended in a shot of the contemporary New York City skyline containing the twin towers. The filmmakers had filmed the shot before the 9/11 attacks and later debated whether to remove the World Trade Center, have the towers dissolve out from the shot to signify their disappearance, or remove the sequence entirely. They ultimately decided to keep the towers as originally intended.
- The film Corky Romano did not have the World Trade Center removed despite being released in October 2001.
- Both Changing Lanes and World Traveler retained the buildings.
- The 2002 film Empire did not have the World Trade Center removed, despite being released in December 2002.
- The shot of the World Trade Center was kept in Death to Smoochy.
- The 2002 film City by the Sea kept the World Trade Center in it. The film was released on September 6, 2002, five days before the 1st anniversary of the attacks.
- Mariah Carey's Glitter was released 2 weeks after 9/11 happened. The shots of the World Trade Center were kept in the film.
- The 2002 romantic comedy film You Stupid Man kept the shots of the World Trade Center.
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Television coverage of the September 11 attacks and their aftermath was the longest uninterrupted news event in the history of U.S. television, as the major U.S. broadcast networks were on the air for 93 continuous hours. From the moment the networks broadcast the news that the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center, all programs and commercials were suspended, with all four networks broadcasting uninterrupted news coverage. This was the first time since the advent of cable and satellite television that a vast number of cable networks would suspend programming to air live news coverage of events. Programming on the cable and satellite channels were also altered in the immediate aftermath, as only appropriate re-runs were aired, and commercials were either changed, or suspended, and were replaced by PSA messaging to help victims. Millions of television viewers, watching live broadcasts of the attacks unfolding, would see the second plane hit the South Tower and both towers collapse.
This was the first time since the assassination of John F. Kennedy that TV networks announced that there would be no television commercials or programs for an indefinite period of several days after the attacks, as it was widely felt that it was an inappropriate time for "fun and entertainment" programs to be shown when so much death and destruction was being seen live on television. During the week of the attacks, evening news broadcasts for the networks nearly doubled its average viewership audience, and it was also estimated that American adults watched an average of eight (8) hours of television, a day, again nearly double the average viewership audience. In order to keep up with the constant flood of information, at 10:49 a.m. EDT (14:49 UTC), Fox News Channel began running continuous updates in the form of a news ticker that crawled along the bottom of the screen. This was so well received by viewers that it became a permanent feature on the channel and was adopted by many other news channels worldwide.
During the day of the attacks, and in the days following, news broadcasters scrambled to report accurate information. Occasionally erroneous information was broadcast. An examination of CNN's coverage of September 11, 2001 (which was replayed online, virtually in its entirety, on the fifth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2006) reveals that following the attack on the Pentagon, CNN also reported a fire had broken out on the National Mall and that according to a wire report, a car bomb had exploded in front of the State Department. It also broadcast an interview with a witness to the Pentagon attack who said it was a helicopter that hit the building, not a plane. CNN was not alone in airing these or similar inaccurate reports, as subsequent examination of coverage by other networks has shown.
Reaction of various networks
- The major broadcast networks; ABC, CBS, and NBC, were in the last half-hour of airing their morning programs live in the Eastern and Central time zones: Good Morning America (ABC), The Early Show (CBS), and Today (NBC) respectively, at the time of the first attack. During the second attack, the networks had already suspended programming, in all time zones, to air special coverage from their respective news divisions: ABC News, CBS News, and NBC News. As Fox did not have a network morning program, many Fox affiliates began airing local news telecasts with coverage from Fox News Channel. ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC would air commercial free, live news coverage until September 15. Some affiliates broke away from network news coverage at certain times to air their regularly-scheduled local newscasts.
- The major television stations in New York City provided local coverage of the World Trade Center attacks, though they also had to deal with the additional hamstring of their transmission facilities atop the World Trade Center being destroyed, along with six station engineers at WTC being killed in the attacks; outside WCBS-TV and Univision flagship WXTV (which maintained backup Empire State Building facilities), the other major New York English commercial stations hastily made arrangements with other full-power and low-power stations in the market not based at the World Trade Center to continue broadcasting their coverage over-the-air (coverage over cable television was for the most part not affected due to direct fiber connections from stations to Time Warner Cable and Cablevision). WXTV relayed news in both Spanish and English in order to provide information to over-the-air viewers.
- One station in Washington, D.C. (CBS affiliate WUSA) broadcast local coverage of the attack on the Pentagon, to some criticism that the global scale of the story was too overwhelming for WUSA to cover as a strictly local news event and they should have deferred to CBS News instead.
- Smaller broadcast networks also altered their schedules. Most affiliates of The WB simulcast coverage transmitted at the network level from CNN. In general, the majority of UPN affiliates also carried CBS News' coverage of the events, though nine of the 10 UPN stations owned by Fox Television Stations Group, including KCOP in Los Angeles, along with other UPN affiliates that did not carry CBS News coverage, deferred to sister operation Fox News Channel, with Secaucus, New Jersey-based WWOR-TV continuing New York-based local coverage; UPN resumed normal programming on September 13. PAX TV (later i: Independent Television, now ION Television) aired coverage from NBC News, which had a close relationship with many of the network's affiliates at the time through news share agreements with local NBC affiliates. The All News Channel continued their usual "news wheel" format updated when needed, albeit with the full half-hour devoted to the attacks rather than its usual format. Most independent stations also suspended normal programming, but some independent stations continued to show normal programming.
- CNN was the first cable network to break the news of the first attack at 8:49 a.m. EDT, followed by MSNBC at 8:50, and FNC at 8:54. The other major cable and satellite television networks in the United States reacted in three ways during the attacks:
- Some networks suspended their program lineup and simulcast the news coverage of their affiliated broadcast networks. ESPN, ESPN2, and SoapNet aired coverage from ABC News. MTV, VH1, CMT, BET, and TNN, aired coverage from CBS News (VH1 itself simulcast WCBS-TV at several times through the week). TBS, TNT, Shop at Home, Court TV, CNNfn, and CNNSI aired CNN coverage. FX, some regional Fox Sports Net channels, The Health Network, Speedvision, and Fox Family aired Fox News Channel's coverage. CNBC, periodically with its own business-impact coverage, simulcast sister network MSNBC. The Home Shopping Network simulcast coverage from the CBC's U.S. cable news channel NewsWorld International (which itself simulcast CBC at several times throughout the week; HSN and NWI were then under the same ownership). TLC and BBC America aired coverage from BBC World News. Tribune Broadcasting's Superstation WGN simulcast coverage from their New York sister station WPIX-TV. In addition, some local cable news channels, as well as C-SPAN, also simulcast coverage from all of the major national cable news networks (in the New York metropolitan area, NY1 and News 12 provided local coverage).
- Other networks stopped airing programs altogether, with a still card expressing sympathies being placed on screen; these included Food Network, HGTV, DIY, Lifetime, Oxygen, QVC, and Shop at Home (Food Network and Oxygen were then based in lower Manhattan, requiring them to halt all operations; Oxygen would redirect their satellite feed to NY1).
- Other outlets continued their regular programming including; Comedy Central, A&E, The History Channel, Game Show Network, Sci Fi Channel, and Bravo. The Weather Channel also continued their regular programming, albeit with extra coverage of items of interest to their audience such as airport issues and ground travel delays due to the FAA's full-stop of all air operations. Children's cable networks, including Nickelodeon, Noggin, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Toon Disney, and Boomerang retained their usual programming schedules, with some episode removals due to violent or bomb-related imagery. Premium channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz and their associated networks also retained their usual schedules, though triggering films with extreme violence and disaster films were quickly substituted with lighter fare.
- Several PBS member stations and networks, such as Wisconsin Public Television, decided to go with an all-PBS Kids lineup, even in primetime, outside of The NewsHour and other regular public affairs programming to provide children a safe harbor from continuous news coverage of the attacks. Other PBS member stations and some non-commercial independent stations continued showing normal programming, though with some extended coverage if they carried foreign newscasts. Two New York area non-commercial stations with transmitter facilities away from the World Trade Center broadcast coverage from WTC-based commercial stations to allow those news operations to continue to broadcast; WLIW (with their transmitter in Plainview, Long Island) simulcast coverage from WNBC, while the city-owned WNYE (transmitting then from the Empire State Building) simulcast coverage from WABC.
- In Canada, CBC Newsworld broke into regular programming at 8:52 AM EDT to carry the first report of the attacks. CBC, Citytv, Global, and CTV provided English-language coverage of the attacks and its aftermath, including Operation Yellow Ribbon, while SRC provided French-language coverage of the attacks. In the United Kingdom, the BBC and ITV suspended their programming for in-depth coverage of the attacks. In Australia, the ABC, along with the Seven, Nine and Ten Networks carried live coverage from their American partner networks for several days after the attacks. Broadcasters in several countries throughout South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and also suspended normal programming to air coverage of the attacks.
Use of pictures
When asked for her thoughts on the attacks, First Lady Laura Bush stated that "we need to be very careful about our children". She warned parents not to let their children see the frightening images of destruction over and over, recommending that parents turn off the television and do something constructive, reassuring and calming with their kids.
Long-term television and radio transmitter damage
The transmitter facilities of WPIX as well as six other New York City television stations and several radio stations were destroyed as the WTC collapsed, and as mentioned above, six engineers for WABC, WCBS, WNBC, WNET and WPIX lost their lives while maintaining broadcasting operations despite the circumstances. WPIX's satellite feed froze midway into the live footage; the image remained on the screen for much of the day, broadcasting continent-wide, until WPIX was able to set up alternate transmission facilities; as mentioned above, Superstation WGN was used to provide a national outlet for the station's programming when transmission resumed. Eventually, adequate analog broadcast transmissions resumed several weeks later as the FCC allowed extraordinary license moves and construction permits to the Armstrong Tower along the New Jersey Palisades and the Empire State Building, returning the latter to being the main transmission site in the Tri-State area; the transmitter atop 4 Times Square (then the Condé Nast Building), originally planned as only an FM backup site before the attacks, soon became a primary transmitter for several FM and television stations. However, the advent of digital television, which used New York market as one of its flagship test markets, suffered a large setback, and many stations would not build their new digital facilities until 2005 or 2006, and networks and stations across the country in turn had to push back many deadlines both locally and nationally regarding high definition on-air operations while New York's shuffle of transmission facilities took place.
In the United States, the start of the 2001-2002 television season was put on hold due to the extensive news coverage (several series, such as NBC's Crossing Jordan, were originally scheduled to debut on September 11), with mid-September premieres delayed until later in the month. Late night talk shows such as The Tonight Show and Late Show with David Letterman were also off the air; Letterman was already dark for the week for a pre-season vacation. Even after regular programming resumed, several talk shows remained off the air for several more days as writers and hosts determined how best to approach the sensitive situation. David Letterman was quoted on CNN as questioning whether he would even continue hosting his show. Ultimately, Letterman, Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, and other talk show hosts based in New York and Los Angeles returned to the airwaves with emotional initial broadcasts, with Letterman punctuating his thoughts by asking his audience how the attacks "made any goddamn sense."
Several TV series, most notably The West Wing and Third Watch, produced special episodes addressing the attacks. Law & Order began its fall season premiere with a tribute to the victims. Shows such as the military based JAG and Third Watch (a series about New York City first responders) made major changes to their ongoing storylines in order to incorporate the event's aftermath.
On Politically Incorrect's September 17, 2001 show, Maher's guest Dinesh D'Souza disputed President Bush's label of the terrorists being "cowards", saying the terrorists were warriors. Maher agreed, and according to a transcript replied "We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it's not cowardly". The show was cancelled the following June, which Maher and many others saw as a result of the controversy, although ABC denied that the controversy was a factor, and said the program was cancelled due to declining ratings. Maher said that the show struggled for advertisers in its final months.
Delayed or cancelled entertainment awards shows
- The 53rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, scheduled for September 16, were delayed to October 7. However, the U.S. began to bomb Afghanistan on that day, and the Emmy Awards were again postponed. They finally aired on November 4, with a somewhat somber atmosphere after surviving rumors of cancellation. Due to the delay, the event was relocated from the originally scheduled Shrine Auditorium venue to the smaller Shubert Theatre.
- The 2nd annual Latin Grammy Awards, scheduled for September 11, never aired. The awards were presented in an October 30, 2001, press conference. Some of the winners were acknowledged at the 44th Grammy Awards. Furthermore, the attacks influenced the NARAS to hold the 2003 ceremony in New York as part of the "healing process".
The postponements and cancellations of various entertainment programs sparked rumors that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were postponing or even canceling the 74th Academy Awards ceremony. However, in a written statement released by president Frank Pierson, he denied any rumors that the attacks would affect the scheduling of the awards presentation saying that "the terrorists will have won" if they cancelled it. Nevertheless, the show went on as planned on March 24, 2002. The security was much tighter than in previous years, and the show had a more somber tone. According to New York Magazine, there were 26 references to the attacks during the telecast. On October 16, 2006, the awards event itself was designated a National Special Security Event by the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Reflecting the significant and enduring impact of September 11th on popular culture, months and years after the attacks, events were still impacted, with the 2003 Grammy Awards being held at Madison Square Garden instead of Staples Center as planned. Blockbuster Entertainment terminated their awards ceremony permanently shortly after the second delay of the Emmys.
- On the TV series Friends, in episode 8x03 ("The One Where Rachel Tells..."), Chandler and Monica could not get on their flight for their honeymoon because Chandler joked about a bombing in the airport. After the attacks, the story was rewritten and re-shot. Additionally, as the show was set in New York, a screen reading "Dedicated to the People of New York City" was added to the end of episode 8x01 ("The One After 'I Do'"), which was the first episode of the series to be broadcast after the attacks.
- In the opening credits of The Sopranos, a shot of the twin towers visible in Tony Soprano's rearview mirror was deleted.
- New material was quickly added to Sesame Street following the attacks addressing issues raised. The first episode of the season involved a grease fire at Hooper's Store which traumatized Elmo until he meets some real life firefighters. Big Bird has to deal with his pen pal Gulliver, who does not believe birds should be friendly to other species.
- The syndicated version of the Married... with Children episode "Get Outta Dodge" featured a scene of two Arabs with a ticking bomb at the front door of Al Bundy's house offering to buy his Dodge for $40 and asking for directions to the Sears Tower. The scene was cut from the syndicated re-airings of the episode after 9/11. The episode is intact on DVD releases.
- The television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit originally included an image of the World Trade Center which was removed for the start of the third season three weeks later.
- An episode of The Simpsons entitled "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson", which was partially set at the World Trade Center, was pulled from syndication by some carriers, though many are now showing it again. Some individual stations or networks removed the World Trade Center scenes via their own cuts, while 20th Television still releases the episode in full for syndication, including for cable syndication on FXX.
- An episode of SpongeBob SquarePants entitled "Just One Bite", when originally aired on October 5, featured a scene in which Squidward Tentacles tries to get to the Patty Vault but it was guarded by a bucket of gas and a match eventually burns him. The footage was removed after broadcast, though it remains distributed internally among the fanbase.
- KCPT in Kansas City skipped an airing of an episode of the children's show Jay Jay The Jet Plane depicting the after effects of a plane crash.
- Power Rangers Time Force had a number of changes:
- The episode "Ransik Lives" was edited to remove Ransik's television broadcast due to its similarity to Osama Bin Laden's speeches.
- The show's opening titles were altered to remove a shot of the "Time Shadow Megazord" standing on top of two towers.
- Some of the show's building destruction sequences were removed from select episodes following the attacks, as they were very similar to the World Trade Center collapse.
- Two episodes of Pokémon were temporarily taken off the air:
- The episode "Tentacool and Tentacruel", due to scenes where a giant Tentacruel destroys a town called Porta Vista. Interestingly, a scene of the giant Tentacruel smashing a skyscraper was never removed from the opening credits of the first season, though it seems likely it was because that the season had already ended and the anime had already advanced by more than three seasons.
- The other is "The Tower of Terror", an episode where Ash, Misty, and Brock are in Lavender Town in order to catch a Ghost-type Pokémon so that Ash would have an advantage over Saffron City's Gym Leader, Sabrina, who uses Psychic-type Pokémon. While no explanation has been given, it most likely had something to do with the name.
- An episode of Mobile Suit Gundam was skipped on September 11 but aired as scheduled the next day, though shortly after, Cartoon Network and other networks began to edit and remove episodes for war-related content, including Mobile Suit Gundam. However the final episode aired on New Year's Eve that same year and the rest of the series aired in reruns in 2002. Cartoon took an episode of Cowboy Bebop that dealt with terrorist bombings ("Cowboy Funk") out of the Adult Swim lineup for nearly a year afterwards.
- George Carlin's 2001 HBO comedy special, Complaints and Grievances, had a working title of I Kinda Like It When A Lot Of People Die which was changed shortly after the attacks.
- The airing of the third season of Survivor was delayed and the planned location of the fourth season was changed.
- The "Door To Door" episode of Invader Zim was delayed from airing in the United States and edited to remove some scenes of a burning city post Irken invasion. The unedited version of the episode was aired in Australia, while only the edited version has been released on DVD. There were various other edits and changes made to the series after 9/11, like changing the colors of explosions.
- Jeopardy!'s episodes that were intended to air from September 11th to the 14th were not seen nationally outside of a few select markets where stations were independent, had no news department, and/or were carried in overnight periods, until GSN aired them in 2005. Additionally, Jeopardy!'s sister show, Wheel of Fortune's episodes from the same time frame were also not shown outside the same exceptions, and never aired on GSN. Neither series had those episodes cycled into summer or weekend rerun cycles the next season. Even if they didn't air in a contestant's local market however, due to standards and practices, all participating contestants still received their winnings despite the episodes not airing.
- Episode 2 of the first season of The Amazing Race was not aired on the evening of September 12 as scheduled. The rest of the season after the first episode the week before was delayed one week.
- During the second season of Big Brother in the US, the show's schedule was delayed for a week for priority of news coverage of the events. This marks the first time that outside news has been given to the Houseguests, due to one of the contestants, Monica Bailey, that had a cousin, Tamitha, who worked in one of the World Trade Centers at the time. The host, Julie Chen, gave her condolences on the episode that aired days after the attacks had happened.
- The NBC reality series Lost ended up with a truncated run as the second episode of the show was to air on the night of the 11th and subsequently edited down from six to five episodes airing in December 2001, with copious editing done due to the show's finish line being shot at the Statue of Liberty before the attacks. The program subsequently was cancelled.
- New syndicated series Power of Attorney and the 2001 version of Card Sharks were heavily affected by pre-emptions on their premiere weeks and never had any momentum to build ratings, being quietly cancelled at the start of 2002.
- The first airing of Full Metal Panic! was delayed because the first episode involved a terrorist hijacking a plane.
- Transformers: Robots in Disguise was heavily affected by the attacks, and many of its episodes were held back, re-edited, removed from re-run schedules, aired late or didn't air at all in the United States and Canada. The entire run of episodes was aired on Fox Kids in the UK. These episodes are:
- "Battle Protocol" was never re-aired in the U.S. after its premiere due to a scene of Megatron smashing through a skyscraper in claw mode.
- The opening scene of "Secret of the Ruins" featured buildings being destroyed and a reference to terrorism, and the episode was held back to be redubbed. The scene in question was recreated using footage from "Battle Protocol!". Eventually, the episode aired between "Ultra Magnus" and "Ultra Magnus: Forced Fusion". It is the episode in which Doctor Onishi's microchip is introduced, so its removal left something of a hole in the series. The original version of the episode has never been broadcast, and for international syndication, only the altered redubbed version was used.
- "Attack From Outer Space", "Landfill" and "Sky-Byte Saves the Day" did not air in the US. "Attack" would go on to air in Canada, and all three would subsequently air in the UK. All three episodes featured buildings being destroyed, and the plot of "Sky-Byte Rampage" revolved around stopping a tower from falling over. However, this is the first episode to put focus on the O-Parts, and its removal from the lineup disrupted the continuity of the show.
- "Spy Changers To The Rescue": There were two versions of this episode aired before and after 9/11. The pre-9/11 episode contained references to the generator possibly exploding and a scene with Prowl's jet-claw. The post 9/11 episode had the jet-claw edited out and the possibilities of "explosions" were changed to possibilities of "circuit corrosion" along with other minor dialogue changes.
Music and radio
- Like television, almost all radio stations across the United States put a halt on all programs and commercials to simulcast affiliated news coverage of the attacks from ABC News Radio and CBS Radio News, or taking an audio simulcast of a television news operation, be it local or national, while national morning shows hosted by personalities such as Rick Dees or Howard Stern focused on providing both information about the attacks and call-in forums for listeners to express sympathies. Local New York all-news radio operations WINS and WCBS, along with Washington's WTOP carried locally based coverage that was simulcast on those sister FM stations without operations destroyed at the World Trade Center as AM operations with transmitters on the outskirts of metropolitan areas were unaffected outside of security concerns for studio and transmitter facilities.
- XM Radio, a subscription-based satellite radio service headquartered in Washington, D.C., was scheduled to launch on September 12, 2001. As a direct result of the attacks, the launch was delayed until September 25 when the service debuted on a limited basis in San Diego and Dallas.
- Program directors from a number of radio stations throughout the US retooled their playlists in response to the attacks. Common changes included the heavy rotation of songs such as "God Bless the USA" by Lee Greenwood and Whitney Houston's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" from Super Bowl XXV. Meanwhile, songs such as U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and Dave Matthews Band's "Crash Into Me" were commonly deleted. Additionally, Clear Channel (now known as iHeartMedia) came under scrutiny for distributing a list of 150 potentially sensitive songs that were not recommended for broadcast immediately after the attacks.
- German heavy metal band Rammstein was to debut their video for the song "Ich Will" which depicted scenes of one band member dressed as a suicide bomber. After the attacks, the video was removed from television airplay before it premiered.
- Christian metal band P.O.D. released their album Satellite that day, which spiked sales for the album because of its uplifting message. Their single "Alive" became the anthem of the year.
- New Zealand rock band Shihad changed their name to Pacifier in response to American audiences comparing "Shihad" with "Jihad." They have since resumed using their original name.
- According to Arrogant Worms band member Trevor Strong, the song "Worst Seat on the Plane" was never performed live due to Idiot Road, the album it was featured on, being released on September 18, 2001, one week after the terrorist attacks.
- American alternative rock band Jimmy Eat World voluntarily changed the name of their now platinum certified fourth studio release Bleed American, which was released on July 18, 2001, out of concern that the title may be misinterpreted. The album was re-released as the eponymous Jimmy Eat World. In addition, the title track was renamed "Salt Sweat Sugar." In 2008, a deluxe version of the album was released, reverting both the album and song to their original Bleed American title.
- American pop-punk band Blink 182 re-filmed the video for their song "Stay Together for the Kids." The original video was filmed on September 10–11 and depicted the band playing in an abandoned house which, during the course of the video, was struck repeatedly by a wrecking ball and eventually destroyed. The attacks occurred following the wrapping of filming. Both the band and director Samuel Bayer felt that the images portrayed in the video were too similar to the attacks on the World Trade Center and opted to re-shoot the video. The original video for the song is available on some of the band's DVD releases as well as on YouTube.
- American rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars reshot the cover art for their self-titled debut album that originally featured a fighter pilot ejecting from an exploding plane. The band explained that they never saw it as a violent image, but felt that it was inappropriate in the wake of the events.
- Michael Jackson, along with other musicians, performed the songs "What More Can I Give" and "Man in the Mirror" at the United We Stand benefit concert held at the RFK Memorial Stadium on October 21, 2001 as a tribute to the victims of the attacks.
- The Hungarian composer Robert Gulya, who was living in the USA from 2000 to 2002, started to work on a guitar concerto in autumn 2001, shortly after the September 11 attacks. Gulya chose a theme for the concerto's first movement, which reminds of the terror attacks. The world premiere of this concerto was filmed and released on the DVD Live in Budapest by the Austria guitarist Johanna Beisteiner.
- Ben Folds was giving an interview about his album "Rockin' the Suburbs" (released on September 11) but was cut short, due to the plane crashes.
- The song "New York City Cops" was replaced with "When it Started" on the U.S. version of The Strokes' debut album Is This It.
- Hip hop band The Coup were originally set to release their album Party Music early in the month. The original cover art depicted band members Boots Riley and Pam the Funkstress blowing up the buildings with a mocked-up detonator and crossed drumsticks. Despite Riley's protests to keep the original album art, releasing label 75 Ark changed the art to a more generic image of a held martini glass filled with burning gasoline (a gasoline can is seen in the background), and released it on November 6.
- Dream Theater's Live Album Live Scenes from New York, released on September 11, 2001, had an album cover that depicted the skyline of New York City in flames. The album was recalled and later re-released, with a different cover.
- English rock band Bush changed the name of the lead single off their 2001 album Golden State from "Speed Kills" to "The People That We Love". Also changed was the original cover art for the album, which featured a commercial airplane.
- The tribute concert Come Together: A Night for John Lennon's Words and Music, a fundraiser for the Robin Hood Foundation dedicated to the music of John Lennon, took place in early October 2001 in New York. Due to its timing, much of the concert also became a tribute to the city of New York and particularly its emergency services.
- Singer Madonna postponed a concert performance in Los Angeles, California.
- Rock band Aerosmith cancelled three shows originally scheduled for September 11th, 13th, and 15th, all on the Eastern Seaboard, during their Just Push Play Tour. They resumed their tour on September 17 in Atlanta.
- The San Francisco Symphony continued with a previously planned program of Mahler's 6th Symphony, the "Tragic," on September 12–15. The subsequent recording was highly acclaimed and garnered the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance.
- Janet Jackson postponed a concert in Tampa, Florida, scheduled for the day. She also cancelled the entire European leg of her All for You Tour due to travel concerns after the attacks.
- Digital cable channel MTVX, which showed mainly hard rock and heavy metal music videos, was replaced on May 1, 2002 with the hip hop-based MTV Jams, due to not only hip hop's growing mainstream presence, but the editing of rock radio station playlists or complete change in format to them post-9/11 to remove aggressive and violent songs that were inappropriate for play and a plunge in viewer requests for the network. A good number of radio stations switched to more neutral classic rock or adult album alternative formats in the aftermath.
- Stations began to start all-Christmas music formats and playlists through Christmas Day earlier (usually between Halloween and Thanksgiving) to provide a respite to listeners who looked for more calming dial choices, a trend that continues to the present day.
- The Walt Disney World attraction The Timekeeper, a 360-degree film presentation that features a panoramic view of New York City, including the Twin Towers, closed on September 11, 2001 and updated the scene of New York City so that the titular character was sent to 2000, a year prior to the attacks. The attraction closed five years later.
- Movie World on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia, immediately after the attack, (which was late evening in Australia time wise), received word from the CEO of Village Roadshow Pictures (the company that owned the park), that he wanted all attractions and video games that were "gun based" shutdown or removed before they opened the park the following morning. Several coin op shooting games such as Point Blank were removed from the video game section and the old timey shooting gallery from the western area was removed too. Gun based video games have now made a reappearance several years later; however, the western shooting gallery is gone for good.
Major sporting events cancelled in the North America included:
- Major League Baseball (MLB): Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig called off games for one day, extending cancellations for three days, then all games through September 16 were postponed. The games were tacked onto the end of the regular season, delaying the postseason until October 4. As a result, the 2001 World Series became the first to ever extend into November. This was the third time in MLB history that games were cancelled due to war or national security reasons. Games were cancelled on D-Day, and the 1918 season was shortened due to World War I.
- Minor League Baseball (MiLB): All championship series were cancelled. Teams that had led their respective series were awarded league championships, or teams which were scheduled to play in such series were awarded co-championships.
- The National Football League (NFL) postponed its weekly schedule of football games on September 16 and the Monday night game the following night. Those games and the playoffs were pushed back at the end of the regular season. Super Bowl XXXVI was then moved to February 3, the first time the game had been played in that month. The following year, Super Bowl XXXVII was held at the end of January, but the Super Bowl was moved back to February (to place it within that month's sweeps period for television's Nielsen ratings system) the following year and has been held in that month ever since. In addition, the logo for Super Bowl XXXVI was changed from one reflecting its host city, New Orleans, to a patriotic design.
- Major League Soccer (MLS): The final two weeks of the 2001 season were cancelled, with some teams only playing 26 or 27 matches instead of the planned 28. The playoffs, whose spots were already clinched, were played as scheduled beginning on September 20 and ending with the MLS Cup on October 21.
- The remaining 3 matches of the 2001 Women's U.S. Cup, featuring the United States women's national soccer team were cancelled.
- NASCAR postponed the September 16 Winston Cup New Hampshire 300 race at Loudon until November 23. Qualifying for the race was cancelled outright, and the starting grid was based on owner points as of September 10.
- The IRL Chevy 500 at Texas Motor Speedway was moved from September 16 to October 6.
- NCAA Division I college football games originally scheduled to be played on September 13 and 15 were called off. This was not an insignificant decision; in 1988, Syracuse University was severely criticized for allowing a basketball game be played hours after 35 of its students were killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. Some games were played in early December; others were cancelled outright; other games were added as a result of teams being unable to find makeup dates.
- The PGA golf tour cancelled the World Golf Championships at the Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. This was the first time in five years the PGA cancelled a tournament. In 1996, the PGA Tour cancelled the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am because of weather conditions, and subsequently added a new rule that a tournament would not be official unless 54 holes were played. This event was not made up and purse monies were donated to charities.
- USA Cycling cancelled the BMC Software Tour of Houston scheduled for September 16, which was a key event in that year's Pro Cycling Tour, involving elite domestic and international cyclists. The decision was made despite the fact that athletes, staff, and equipment were actively en route to Houston from the inaugural San Francisco Grand Prix, which had been held on September 9, 2001.
- The Army Ten-Miler road race at The Pentagon scheduled for October was cancelled.
- The Canadian Football League (CFL) scrapped all games for the ensuing week, which were rescheduled for the final week of the season. This did not affect the 89th Grey Cup, which was scheduled for November 25.
- WWE, then known as the World Wrestling Federation, cancelled the taping of its wrestling program SmackDown as it was originally supposed to be taped on the day of the attacks. Two days later on September 13, a special tribute show was held in Houston and was broadcast live on UPN. The special contained wrestling matches and interviews with wrestlers who were deeply affected by the attacks.
The following overseas sports events were delayed:
- UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup matches which were scheduled for September 12 and 13 were postponed, by almost a month to October 10 for the Champions League and a week to 20 September for the UEFA Cup. Matches scheduled on the 11th went ahead for logistical reasons, with a minute's silence observed at all matches; A.S. Roma and Real Madrid wore black armbands during their match in Rome.
- The 2001 Ryder Cup of golf, held at The Belfry in England, was postponed a year. Subsequent Ryder Cup tournaments were moved from odd-numbered to even-numbered years to retain the two-year gap between stagings. The Presidents Cup and Solheim Cup, staged in off-years of the Ryder Cup, were moved from even-numbered to odd-numbered years beginning in 2003.
- The video game Grand Theft Auto III, released in October 2001, was delayed almost a month to make last-minute changes, since the producers' offices were near Ground Zero, and since the game was set in a city loosely based on New York City. The paint scheme of the city's police cars was also changed from a blue-and-white NYPD design to a black-and-white LAPD design during game development. One mission which referenced terrorists was completely removed. Other changes which were relatively minor included altering the flight path of an AI plane that went near skyscrapers, and removing a few lines of pedestrian dialogue and talk radio.
- The video game Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was released as scheduled in November 2001 despite the plot centering on terrorists in New York City and a scene in which a giant battleship crashes into Federal Hall; however, a scene in which Arsenal Gear, a futuristic mobile fortress, destroys the Statue of Liberty and much of Manhattan's Financial District was removed, as was live-action footage of the Twin Towers originally slated to be used in the ending.
- Microsoft removed the World Trade Center from Microsoft Flight Simulator beginning with the 2002 edition. Also, Microsoft removed Crash Damage from the games. That meant that when a plane crashed, it did not catch alight. There were however third-party mods bringing crash damage back.
- The 2000 computer game Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, depicting an alternate history where the Soviet Union launches an invasion of the United States, changed its box art after the attacks. The original art was a fold-out cover. The inside depicted the New York skyline on fire including a ruined Twin Towers with flames and smoke emitting out. The cover depicted a Soviet soldier who was wearing an eyepiece with crosshairs on the American flag. The altered cover merely depicted the Soviet soldier wearing the eyepiece with crosshairs on a nuclear bomb explosion. The release of its 2001 expansion pack, Command & Conquer: Yuri's Revenge, was postponed because of this. Controversial in-game levels, including ones where players had to destroy the Pentagon and attack the World Trade Center area, were not changed, however the landmarks and level names like "Operation: Big Apple" were no longer mentioned in walkthroughs on the game's website.
- The Dreamcast game Propeller Arena was cancelled. It was an air combat game which featured modern-day dog fighting with planes in cities that had skyscraper buildings. A leaked and completed version has since made it to the Internet.
- The PlayStation 2 game Mobile Suit Gundam: Journey to Jaburo's release date in the United States was delayed due to the opening scene where a space colony was dropped on a city that resembles New York.
- The PlayStation 2 game Shinobi originally had a scene in which the main character jumps out of a helicopter and sticks his sword into the side of a skyscraper to slow his fall. When this character hit the ground, the building was supposed to shatter. The scene was removed.
- The PlayStation game Syphon Filter 3's cover art was changed before release. It originally had Gabe Logan, viewed from an angle, pointing a gun at the camera with a look of anger while Lian swung into frame guns ablazing. The American flag was prominently displayed as well. It was changed to a generic head-view of Gabe and Lian looking serious. A level in the game that takes place in Kabul, Afghanistan (albeit in the 1980s when it was under Soviet occupation) remained.
- The PlayStation game Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro's final level was changed. Originally it was a showdown between Spider-Man and Electro atop the World Trade Center. This was changed to the top of another generic skyscraper. The New York City skyline was also obscured by a storm so that the World Trade Center was not visible.
- NPR weekly news quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! did not broadcast on September 15.
- In comics, The Adventures of Superman issue #596, released around the time of the attacks, was recalled due to its depiction (apparently coincidental) of damaged twin towers.
- The 2001 Boshears Skyfest was cancelled due to closed airspace following the attacks.
- Broadway theater did no shows at all until September 13, when they resumed with dimmed marquees.
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