www.whyville.net Sep 5, 2002 Weekly Issue

Staff Writer

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This is a week of intense introspection worldwide about the events of September 11, 2001 in New York and Washington. Broadcasters have prepared a wide range of programs related to the on the subject, including several which focus on the technical and scientific aspects of the tragedy. There are also ones in which students express their ideas and feelings about what happened. For those of us interested in the ever-present Canadian-American connection, check out Stranded Yanks on Tuesday.

I've taken this opportunity to share a number of these very meaningful shows with you. I hope you'll forgive me for the limited amount of "light" material this week.

Watch the shows and tell me what you think. Email me, the new MediaWiz of Whyville!

Click here for an index of this week's shows. And now, the Media Menu!

Thursday, September 5

"Airport: On Alert" (Travel Channel, 9-10 pm E/P) This is a documentary about the behind-the scenes activity at San Francisco International airport on September 11, 2001 and the days, weeks and months following that day. The Travel Channel was already on location, filming a previously planned documentary. So cameras captured the confusion as emergency plans went into effect. (The program is rated PG.) Woven through this special are newly filmed interviews with aviation security experts.

Friday, September 6

"Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius" (Nickelodeon, 8:30-9 pm E/P) The saga of this boy genius who invents gadgets and lives in a town called "Retroville". Originated as an Oscar-nominated animated feature film, now it's an animated TV series on Friday nights with re-runs Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 am E/P. In this premiere episode, Jimmy finds himself subjected to a kind of peer pressure many of you have experienced at school. As he expresses it, ''Being smart can be hard on a guy." His particular reaction is to invent a machine that reduces his awesome brain power. The resulting "normal Jimmy" is a simple yet happy soul. Then comes the moral of the story: When a disaster threatens the town, who can save the day by inventing a solution?

"NOW With Bill Moyers" (PBS, 9-10 pm E/P) The feature story in this investigative news-magazine is about technology gone awry. One of the biggest civil engineering projects in U.S. history -- the building of flood-control levies all along the Mississippi River -- has resulted in bringing the nation to the brink of what could be the most costly environmental disaster in history.

Saturday, September 7

"Teen Summit " (BET Network, 1-1:30 pm E/P) Teen correspondents from across the U.S. highlight the influence of 9-11 on youth, including whether they think their country should go to war in response. You can register your opinions by logging on to www.bet.com/teensummit/main.htm.

Sunday, September 8

"Hans Christian Anderson: My Life As A Fairy Tale" (Hallmark Channel, 6-10 pm E/P) This is a broadcast of parts 1 and 2 of a biographical movie about a man whose very name is a synonym for "children's story" -- but his actual life, as you'll see, was nothing sugar-coated. Born into a wretchedly poor rural Danish family, he lived in a fantasy world of his own devising. (Literally. He hand-carved his own toys and puppets.) His ability to turn all he sees into entertaining tales eventually brings him to the attention of a publisher -- and a wealthy girl in Copenhagen. Ask your school librarian to show you some of his books. In them, you'll see what he did with characters he encountered in his real life.

Monday, September 9

"Reflections From Ground Zero" (Showtime, 8-9:30 p.m. E/P) Nine student filmmakers from New York University made short films dealing with the impact of September 11 on their city. Examples: Deena Lombardi's film about iron workers from NYC Local 40 who ran to the site of the wreckage that day and worked 24/7 until rescues were complete and the site cleared. Serguel Bassins' short animation film, made in collaboration with 14 year-old writer Leda Rodis, is the very personal story of a woman trapped in the World Trade Center on the day of the attack. Rachel Zabar's film is about the person behind one of the photos of the victims, David Harlow Rice, and the effect that losing him had on his family and friends. Janet McIntyre and Amy Wendel document the daily life of Muslim-American girls in New York. And Brad Barnes' short dramatic film is about what happens in September when a seven year old girl, Sam, is convinced by her 'talking' toy fire engine , Rusty, that he's needed as a reinforcement at the scene of the disaster. Spike Lee hosts this broadcast.

Tuesday, September 10

"Stranded Yanks" (PBS, 9-10 pm E/P) This is a documentary about events immediately following the terrorist attacks of 9-11 when 252 international flights carrying 44,000 dazed and frightened passengers -- most of them Americans traveling home -- were suddenly grounded in Canada. A testament to human compassion and the power of friendship, the film show how the Canadians opened their hearts and home to those in need. It combines TV footage from those five harrowing days with detailed personal accounts, compelling photos and powerful reunions. Rated TV-PG

"Report From Ground Zero" (ABC, 9-11 pm E/P) This documentary chronicles the events of 9/11 through the personal testimonies of more than 40 of the 'first responders' -- emergency service personnel who arrived at the scene of the tragedy in its first minutes and hours. Through a series of interconnecting stories, the program also looks back at when the World Trade Towers were first being designed and built, reflecting the 'rescue culture' of that era.

Wednesday, September 11

On this day, at 8:46 am ET, several cable channels will suspend regular programming and, in the following hour and 43 minutes, show a continuous scroll of the names of the attack victims. Other channels, during this time period, will show a series of images and words and music intended to inspire quiet reflection. The Discovery networks plan to air commercial-free programming. At evening hours in all time-zones, the major broadcast networks will air documentaries and memorial concerts appropriate for this date. I want to repeat my recommendation about "Faith And Doubt At Ground Zero", an outstanding PBS documentary, which I initially recommended when it aired last week, and is being encored 8-10 pm on the anniversary day of the event it explores so movingly.

Thursday, September 12

"Lathe Of Heaven" (A&E Network, 9-11 pm E/P) This movie, rated TV-PG, is based on Ursula K. LeGuin's classic science fiction novel about a man whose dreams come true -- I mean, what he dreams about subsequently happens in the real world. And his doctor tries to manipulate these dream patterns for selfish ends. Cast includes James Caan, Lukas Haas and Lisa Bonet.


Thursday, September 5
    Airport: On Alert

Friday, September 6
    Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius
    NOW with Bill Moyers

Saturday, September 7
    Teen Summit

Sunday, September 8
    Hans Christian Anderson: My Life As A Fairy Tale

Monday, September 9
    Reflections from Ground Zero

Tuesday, September 10
    Stranded Yanks
    Report From Ground Zero

Wednesday, September 11
    Faith And Doubt At Ground Zero

Thursday, September 12
    Lathe Of Heaven


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