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Flight 93 TV Movie Highlights Weekend

(Posted September 9, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

They weren't going down without a fight. The 33 passengers and seven-member crew on United Airlines Flight 93 displayed rare bravery by defying the plan of four terrorists who meant to plunge the jetliner in the midst of Washington, D.C.

"The Flight That Fought Back," a stirring film premiering on Discovery Channel, blends dramatic reconstructions from that flight of Sept. 11, 2001, with on-camera recollections of family members, friends and others its heroes left behind. Kiefer Sutherland narrates.

The jetliner left Newark International Airport headed for San Francisco, but the four Al-Qaida members who had boarded it soon stormed the cockpit and, after killing the pilot and co-pilot, redirected the flight east, aiming for the nation's capital.

Minute by minute, the film chronicles how 40 strangers, surmising something was terribly wrong, pieced together the terrorists' scheme, took a vote among themselves, then devised a plan to fight back. The film also puts these events in context as the three other terrorist hijackings were in progress.

Shortly after 10 a.m., Flight 93 crashed into an open field near Shanksville, Pa., killing all aboard but sparing the lives of countless more, just 15 minutes' flying time away in Washington.

"I think about it very often: How wonderful it would be to, at one moment, be horrified and found out you're being victimized, and the next moment to realize you still have an opportunity to take action and really make a difference."

Those are the words of one of the heroes' proud survivors. The stirring 90-minute film, aired without commercial interruption, tells their tale.

"The Flight That Fought Back" airs 9 p.m. EDT Sunday the fourth anniversary followed by a special hosted by NBC News' Tom Brokaw, who interviews families of Flight 93 passengers to discuss their loved ones, their loss and their lives since that fateful day.

Other shows to look out for:

_ A videotape claiming that a terrorist attack will happen within days at a shopping mall is sent to a major news outlet. How does that organization respond? Who should get involved the FBI, the CIA? How much or little should the public know? These and other questions are explored in a two-part series from Fred Friendly Seminars examining the political, economic, health and safety issues posed by a terrorist threat. Moderated by Cynthia McFadden of ABC News, a diverse panel explores the kinds of choices that the media, public officials, health care workers, law enforcement authorities and citizens may all have to confront. Targeted for September (National Preparedness Month) "In the Balance: Bioattack" airs 10 p.m. Monday, and "In the Balance: City Under Siege," which examines a dirty bomb attack, airs Sept. 19 on PBS (check local listings).

_ New York's Rikers Island Prison is the site of the city's most extreme high school. Two thousand teenagers, jailed for crimes that range from jumping subway turnstiles to armed robbery, attend Austin MacCormack Island Academy part of the city's school system. Besides an academic curriculum, the school offers poetry workshops, barbershop training and varsity sports, all behind eight rows of ribbon fence in one of the country's largest, most infamous jails. Currently, eight of every 10 teen inmates are re-arrested within a year of their release, but the hope of this unusual school is that education will reduce the recidivism. Filmed during a semester at the Island Academy, "Rikers High" focuses on three talented teenagers, examining whether their creativity can help them beat the odds in jail and on the streets. It premieres 8:30 p.m. Thursday on Showtime.

_ An inventive new reality series, "Made in the USA" lets America's undiscovered inventors compete for a chance to pitch their creation for a year on Home Shopping Network. Contestants participate in real-life challenges that inventors typically deal with getting their product into the marketplace. Each week, one product and one inventor team is eliminated. Judges include Nolan Bushnell (inventor of the video game Pong), industrial-design expert Karim Rashid and "mom-to-millionaire" Joy Mangano, who has sold millions of her Miracle Mops and Huggable Hangers on HSN. With Todd Newton as host, the six-episode weekly series premieres 10 p.m. Wednesday on USA.

_ The Sultan of Snarkiness, David Spade, plies his snide skills for a worthy cause uncovering show business as Comedy Central unveils "The Showbiz Show." Featuring guest stars and comic-correspondents, it promises to cut through industry hype. The host is Spade, late of the sitcom "Just Shoot Me" and, as a "Saturday Night Live" regular, author of the immortal catch phrase, "Buh-BYE." It premieres 10:30 p.m. Thursday.


EDITOR'S NOTE Frazier Moore can be reached at fmoore(at)ap

Source: Yahoo! News

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