On a night when its competitors are planning conventional news coverage, NBC is taking a different approach to marking the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The Peacock has announced that first lady Laura Bush will join NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw for the Concert for America, a prime-time special paying tribute to the heroes of the tragedy and to those who lost their lives.

Bush said in a statement she's hoping the two-hour "musical and performing arts" tribute (airing from 9 to 11 p.m.) "will allow us to use the arts to soothe our emotions as we remember those whose lives were tragically cut short."

Brokaw told reporters Wednesday there were many questions about how to proceed. Yet, ultimately, he said, "it's important not to just hit the emotional button but to try to advance the understanding of everyone in this story."

NBC's coverage actually will begin September 10, with the Dateline special America Remembers. NBC, ABC and CBS all plan to air expanded versions of their morning news programs on September 11.

Meanwhile, ABC will air continuous news throughout the day, and in prime-time, CBS is planning to air special 9/11-related editions of 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes II, the latter will feature the only September 11-related interview featuring President Bush. The network also plans to reair its 9-11 documentary, which first ran in March. And Fox plans to air its own two-hour special, titled The Day America Changed.

Still, NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker said it's been difficult to gauge how, specifically, viewers will want to reflect on the one-year anniversary.

"All Americans are searching for an appropriate way to commemorate September 11, to honor those who died and to celebrate the country's renewed resolve," Zucker said in a statement. "We believe Concert for America will provide an opportunity for our viewers to relfect on the day through powerful expression of leading artists and performers."

Aside from the National Symphony Orchestra, it's still not clear exactly who will be performing at the NBC concert. The Associated Press, however, reports that Gloria Estefan, Alan Jackson, Placido Domingo and poet Maya Angelou are expected to attend the event.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share