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Viewers Drawn to Flight 93 Docudrama

The Flight That Fought Back, Discovery Channel’s Sept. 11 special on Flight 93, was cable's top-rated original program last week, second only to a Colts-Ravens game on ESPN that day. The two-hour, commercial-free special averaged 7 million total viewers Sunday night at 9 p.m.

Flight chronicled the Sept. 11, 2001 hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93 and profiled the heroic efforts of its 33 passengers and seven crew members who fought the hijackers.

Discovery Communications, which owns the channel, is supporting and fundraising for the Flight 93 National Memorial by running a national PSA campaign and contributing all revenue from the documentary’s DVD sales to the Flight 93 National Memorial fund. The company is also donating a percentage of the retail revenue from any Discovery product purchased between Sept. 11 and Sept. 17.

Discovery Channel averaged 978,000 total viewers in prime this summer. Information on how to contribute to the memorial fund can be found at its web site (

Taking third in the cable programming ratings for the week ending Sept. 11 was the finale of The Closer on TNT, which averaged 6.39 million total viewers on Sept. 5 at 9 p.m.

The episode helped make TNT the most-viewed network for the week with an average 3.2 million total viewers in prime. Fox News took second with 2.65 million total viewers and ESPN was third with 2.61 million.