ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson said his network made the decision to air the $30 million project without commercials or sponsors after all such options appeared inappropriate given the sensitive Sept. 11 material involved, said Daily Variety.
"We looked at different scenarios (and) talked to possible (advertising) partners, and none of it made sense," said the network head. "This is the most respectful way to present this."
In yet another surprise move, ABC has revealed it will also offer both parts of the film as a free online download at Apple's iTunes Music Store and stream the miniseries on its own Web site, ABC.com.
McPherson said the online offerings, which will be paired with a audio broadcast of the film on XM Radio, were created to help inform the public of the findings of the Sept. 11 Commission that acted as the basis of the project.
Daily Variety said that the Harvey Keitel-starred miniseries is set to begin this Sunday with the second half scheduled to air on the fifth anniversary of the tragedy Monday night.