Saturday, September 11, 2004
In the months and years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the families of the victims have attempted to retrieve items belonging to their loved ones. "W.T.C. 9-11: Stories from the Ruins" (9 p.m. today, Discovery Channel) recalls the Herculean task of carting, sorting and examining the debris from ground zero.
Beginning on Sept. 12 of that year, the first truckloads of debris arrived at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island. Thousands of trucks and millions of tons would follow. At first, the site was declared a crime scene, and forensics experts sifted for evidence of a terrorist plot. But after the criminal case was made, workers continued to sift the rubble for personal effects -- jewelry, key chains, belts, etc., -- and, when possible, returned the relics to the families of the fallen. "Stories" includes interviews with relatives of the deceased who have found solace in these grim artifacts.
- The late Hume Cronyn makes his last screen appearance in the new adaptation of John Knowles acclaimed novel "A Separate Peace" (6:30 p.m. Sunday, Showtime), about the affections and rivalries among students at an elite prep school during World War II.
- Mixing period art, filmed re-enactments and interviews, "First Invasion: The War of 1812" (8 p.m. Sunday, History) offers insights into a war often forgotten or skimmed over in history class.
"Invasion" recalls how the ragtag American militia, confronted by a battle-hardened British army, faced a series of stinging defeats. These setbacks culminated in the burning of the White House. This would be the last time a hostile enemy attacked Washington, D.C., until a jet flew into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
Tonight's other highlights
- The women's finals of the U.S. Open (7 p.m., CBS).
- On back-to-back episodes of "Cops" (Fox), boozy in the Crescent City (7 p.m.), a Florida felony (7:30 p.m.). This opens the 17th season.
- Boston College meets Penn State on football field (7 p.m., ABC).
- "Saturday Night Live" (10:30 p.m., NBC) recycles the best of Jon Lovitz.
Sunday's other highlights
- Fox should have a pretty good excuse to pre-empt "The Simpsons." The 1999 Rob Schneider comedy "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo" (7 p.m., Fox) does not come close to being a good excuse.
- Damon Wayans and Tom Bergeron are hosts for "Play for a Billion" (7 p.m., ABC). It has something to do with soda pop.
- As "Charmed" (7 p.m., WB) enters a new season, Nick Lachey joins the cast.