Tuesday’s devastating terrorist attacks against the United States shut down
the entertainment industry, closing major Hollywood studios, canceling awards
shows and shutting down both Disney theme parks.
As before with tragic events that reach across the country ? most notably President Kennedy's assassination in 1963 ? Americans turned to live TV coverage to try to sort through the shocking news. All regular network programming was suspended throughout Tuesday and most of Wednesday. The major television networks ABC, CBS, NBC featured non-stop
coverage of the assault and its aftermath. MTV and VH1 replaced its regular
programming with reports from CBS News, and QVC halted all shopping, opting
instead to post a message urging viewers to donate blood.
Behind the scenes, the networks debated whether to push back the premieres of some of their fall shows this week. At press time, CBS had not officially announced if Wednesday night's premiere of Wolf Lake would go ahead as planned. According to Variety, several feature films with terrorist-related plots have been pulled from the network schedules in the next couple of days. These include ABC's planned Saturday showing of The Peacemaker and Fox's Sunday night screening of Independence Day in which explosions rock both the White House and the Empire State Building.
Organizers of the 2nd annual Latin Grammy Awards swiftly canceled Tuesday
night’s planned telecast. Meanwhile, the 53rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards
scheduled to air Sunday was postponed indefinitely.
Hollywood’s big studios including Warner Bros., Sony and Universal
shut their doors Tuesday in reaction to the assault on New York’s World
Trade Center and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. They were expected to reopen
All Major League Baseball games were cancelled both Tuesday and Wednesday. NFL spokesman Joe Browne released a statement on Tuesday saying "Regarding Sunday's games, we will make no decision today [Tuesday]. We'll gather information and speak to several parties within the next 24 to 48 hours."
In addition, the television community
was mourning the loss of regular news commentator Barbara Olson and Frasier
co-creator David Angell both of whom were on board two of the hijacked
Olson an attorney who has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News and CNN
was on board American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the
Pentagon. During the hijacking, she placed two phone calls from the plane to
her husband, asking him, "What should I tell the pilots to do?" Angell, a
writer-producer who along with partners Peter Casey and David Lee created
Frasier and Wings, was aboard American Airlines Flight 11 which crashed into
the north tower of the World Trade Center. His wife was a passenger as well.
Angell’s credits also include writing Cheers during much of the NBC comedy’s
"David Angell was not only our partner, but also our friend for the past 16
years," Casey and Lee said in a statement. "He was a kind and gentle man with
a quiet exterior that masked one of the sharpest comedy minds ever to write
for television. We join their family and other friends in mourning their
Pop superstar Madonna canceled her sold-out Tuesday night concert at the Los
Angeles Staples Center. "We’re in lock-down mode and on high security,"
Staples center operations exec Lee Zeidman told Reuters.
The Toronto International Film Festival came to a screeching halt on Tuesday
as well, but activities were expected to resume Wednesday amid tighter security.
One of many somber reminders of the tragic and unprecedented turn of events
that unfolded Tuesday: The street outside of NBC’s Today show’s Rockefeller
Center studio usually packed with hundreds of spectators every day
was eerily empty Wednesday morning.