On September 11, 2001 the world stood still as terrorists used four planes as lethal weapons against innocent Americans. The 9/11 Commission was formed to determine how such an attack could happen, and its report documents the trail from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to the tragedy of that autumn morning. The bipartisan commission effort created a comprehensive record of events and provides valuable insight into what must be done to protect the nation in the future.
ABC will present The Path to 9/11, a dramatization of the events detailed in The 9/11 Commission Report and other sources, in an epic miniseries event. The Path to 9/11 will begin on Sunday, September 10 and conclude on Monday, September 11 (8:00-11:00 p.m., both nights). The miniseries will air with limited commercial interruption.
"This film is going to be enormously helpful to those of us who have been working so hard to get the Commission's recommendations implemented," said Governor Thomas H. Kean, Chairman of the 9/11 Commission and senior consultant on the miniseries. "More people will see this film than probably anything else on the subject. Telling the whole story of 9/11 will help people better understand the issues involved and what we need to do nationally and locally to prevent another tragedy."
"When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right," said Steve McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment. "Having Governor Kean, who chaired the 9/11 Commission, as a key advisor on this movie has not only been an honor, it's also been crucial to the project."
Mr. McPherson continued: "ABC is incredibly proud to bring this story to our viewers. By dramatizing the events that ultimately led to the 9/11 attack, the miniseries presents a compelling story of what happened then and what experts say needs to happen now."
Directed by David L. Cunningham (To End All Wars), the project stars acclaimed actor and Oscar nominee Harvey Keitel (Pulp Fiction, The Piano) as FBI agent John O'Neill, an expert on al Qaeda and on Osama bin Laden at the time of the attacks. His co-stars include (in alphabetical order): Michael Benyaer (24) as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), Ramzi Yousef's uncle; Shirley Douglas (A House Divided) as Madeleine Albright; newcomer Mido Hamada as Massoud, one of America's pivotal allies; Emmy winner Patricia Heaton (Everybody Loves Raymond) as Barbara Bodine,
Ambassador to Yemen; Frank John Hughes (Without a Trace) as Bill Miller, DSS agent in Pakistan; Penny Johnson Jerald (24) as Condoleezza Rice; Dan Lauria (Wonder Years) as CIA Director Richard Tenet; Golden Globe winner Amy Madigan (Carnivale) as Patricia Carver, a top CIA analyst who prodded her superiors to take further action against terrorism; Michael Murphy (Tanner on Tanner) as William Cohen, President Clinton's Secretary of Defense; Stephen Root (News Radio) as Richard Clarke, counter-terrorism advisor to four presidents; William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption) as Neil Herman, an FBI Supervisory Special Agent who worked closely with O'Neill; Katy Selverstone (Drew Carey Show) as Nancy Floyd, an agent who cultivated a key informant; Pip Torrens (Pride & Prejudice) as CIA man Paul Kessler; film star Shaun Toub (Crash) as Emad Salem, an FBI informant who helped bring down the Blind Sheikh, and Donnie Wahlberg as "Kirk," an undercover CIA agent.
The miniseries will take viewers behind closed doors at the CIA, the FBI and the White House and into the world of Richard Clarke, Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, Sandy Berger and CIA Director Richard Tenet, among others. Viewers will follow the international manhunt for elusive bomber Ramzi Yousef (Nabile Elouahabi, Eastenders) and meet several key players in the 9/11 saga, including: John O'Neill, the career FBI agent who spent years zealously chasing bin Laden; then-ABC newsman John Miller (portrayed by Barclay Hope, Stargate SG-1), who interviewed bin Laden; Emad Salem and other key Muslim informants who aided the U.S.; and Ahmed Shah Massoud, commander of the Northern Alliance, a crucial American ally and the person bin Laden feared most.
The 9/11 Commission Report instantly became a national bestseller when it was published in July 2004. Writer Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Day Reagan Was Shot) uses this historic document as the basis for a powerful story with action as gripping and far reaching as the source material itself. Shot in Toronto, Morocco, New York and Washington, DC, actors portray the famous and infamous, along with the formerly anonymous and often heroic people thrust onto history's stage. Beginning with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and ending on the morning of 9/11, the miniseries draws on detailed information from the Report and other sources to take viewers on an unforgettable journey through the events that presaged that fateful day -- to understand what went right and wrong, and what can be learned from this crucial eight-year period.
Former ABC News anchor John Miller, now the FBI's Assistant Director of Public Affairs, was also a consultant on the project. His book, The Cell, co-authored with Michael Stone, was optioned by ABC for use in the teleplay. In addition, The Relentless Pursuit by Samuel Katz was also optioned.
This program will carry a TV-14,V parental guideline (both nights).