The week when we put down our toys

"The Toy Department." That's what the world of sports and entertainment is sometimes called. A place of fun, games, and make-believe.

This week, we stopped playing with our toys for a while. It wasn't fun anymore. TV's Emmy awards, scheduled for Sunday, have been postponed indefinitely. No fashion update, please. The Latin Grammy Awards lost all their salsa and were canceled. Madonna didn't feel like strutting the stage. Broadway theaters went dark. Athletes, from baseball players to PGA golfers, headed back to the dugout or clubhouse.

Our movie critic, David Sterritt, who lives near the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, was out of town at the Toronto International Film Festival. After a few tense hours Tuesday, he learned that his family had safely evacuated the area. Even the Toronto fest, far from New York or Washington, shut down for a time.

ESPN became just one more way to watch ABC News coverage of the disasters. The home-shopping channels wisely took time out from buy, buy, buy.

Meanwhile, the TV networks were deciding when it would make sense to return to regular programming. Next week, as our cover story on the right details, dozens of new shows are set to première. Will we want to watch them? That's what TV executives will be trying to figure out.

Rock star Sting was to have broadcast a live concert on the Internet from Tuscany in Italy. Instead, he decided only to perform his song "Fragile," followed by a minute's silence. The lyrics read in part:

"Perhaps this final act was meant/ To clinch a lifetime's argument/ That nothing comes from violence/ and nothing ever could."

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