Thursday, September 18, 2003

Best Bets: What's on television tonight

What's new

Threat Matrix, 8 p.m., Channels 9, 2. This series focuses on an elite task force working on homeland security. There's lots of high-tech, high-energy work, much of it only moderately involving. In the final minutes, when the section chief (James Denton) discovers that his ex-wife (Kelly Rutherford) has been captured, Threat Matrix finally shows it has the potential to stir us.

Season premiere

Survivor: Pearl Islands, 8-9:30 p.m., Channels 12, 7. TV's best-made reality show returns - this time in Panama.

The 16 competitors range in age from 22 to 51; they range in look from hard-bodied to large and scary. One (Nicole Delma) is a massage therapist, which could be needed; another (Darrah Johnson) is a mortician, which, one hopes, won't.

Unlike previous rounds, contestants on this show didn't get to pack. Tonight, they walk the plank with the clothes on their backs. Viewers might start to miss the old bikini days.

Extreme Makeover, 9 p.m., Channels 9, 2. Starting its first full season, this show includes identical twins who choose different procedures.

Other shows worth watching

Paul McCartney in Red Square, 9-11 p.m., A&E. When the Beatles soared, they were a joyous contrast to the Soviet mood. Russians were dazzled.

Some reflect on that in this special. Even the Russian defense minister recalls his joy when he got a complete set of Beatles albums.

Some of those interviews become overstated. Fortunately, the special soon bounces back to another song. Beautifully shot (with 26 cameras) the concert has a brisk, buoyant, Beatles kind of feel.

Friends, 8-9:15 p.m., Channels 5, 22. Here's a rerun of the extra-long season finale. All the friends are in the Caribbean, where Ross has a lecture and the woman he's drawn to still lusts for Joey. Some of this works well, but the whole Phoebe-Mike-David triangle is so-so.

Mavericks, Miracles & Medicine, 8 p.m., History Channel. For centuries, doctors were mostly ignorant about what happens in the human brain. This documentary looks at bizarre misinformation in the past. It juxtaposes that with a man whose epilepsy requires complex surgery.

Will & Grace, 9:15-10 p.m., Channels 5, 22. The expanded season finale reruns with a jealousy theme. Karen confronts her late husband's mistress (Minnie Driver); Grace fumes about Leo's sexy co-worker (Nicolette Sheridan).

C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation, 9:30-11 p.m., Channels 12, 7. In a rerun of an extra-long episode, a murder at a foam party may be related to another in an apartment.

ER, 10 p.m., Channels 5, 22. This reruns the terrific season finale, which has Carter joining Kovac in the Congo.

Will our Scoutmaster survive?
Join the fun: Enter our 'Survivor' contest
Jenna's plan pays $1 million
Producers hope to bring 'reality' to pageant
Help Dave with Daddyhood
Ch. 64 picks anchor
Best Bets: What's on television tonight

Show was free, but 'Queens' lost their head

Beauty and variety pack nature trails

Opera to stage 'Carmen,' 'Maids'
'Harry Potter' illustrator does artwork
Acting tempts Beyonce
The Early Word
King merits Book honor
Top 10s

On third try, Blass tradition continues
Fashion photos from Spring 2004 show in N.Y.

Get to it