Thursday, October 2, 2003

Best bets: What's on TV tonight

Gannett News Service

Must see

ER, 10 p.m., Channels 5, 22. Last week's season-opener struck a brutal blow. The quiet newcomer (Parminder Nagra) repeated the phone message that Kovac had been killed in the Congo. She had no idea how deeply people felt about him.

Now Carter heads to Africa to retrieve his body. He meets frustrated bureaucrats and a beautiful Red Cross worker (Mary McCormack). Gradually, he learns the story - shown to us in compelling flashbacks - of what happened.

Beautifully filmed and sharply written, this will be remembered as a classic ER.

Season premieres

Scrubs, 8:30 p.m., Channels 5, 22. In the season-opener, Elliott (Sarah Chalke) bumps into her former boyfriend, Sean (Scott Foley), and decides she's stagnating. She creates a drastic makeover of her look and her life.

Other shows worth watching

Threat Matrix, 8 p.m., Channels 9, 2. Marina Sirtis (who played Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation) plays a chemical-weapons expert from Iraq. When she escapes, the agency fears a major attack.

Friends, 8 p.m., Channels 5, 22. Ross is trying to seem calm about the fact that his true love, Rachel, is dating his friend, Joey; tonight, he drinks and crumbles. Meanwhile, Phoebe's brother says he just can't handle the triplets any more.

Will & Grace, 9 p.m., Channels 5, 22. Leo's ex (Mira Sorvino) visits. That leads to an uncomfortable dinner party that turns worse when it's learned that she's the one female who has had sex with Will.

The Blues: Godfathers and Sons, 9 p.m., Channels 48, 54, 16. Back in the 1950s and '60s, two Polish-immigrant brothers, Leonard and Phil Chess, recognized the immense power of Chicago blues. Their Chess Records became a powerful force. Tonight's film by Marc Levin offers vintage clips of Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley, Sonny Boy Williamson and more. Beyond that, it captures a fresh historic process. Hip-hop stars Chuck D and Common organize a recording project at the old studios, with Lonnie Brooks, Otis Rush and the powerhouse Koko Taylor.

Coupling, 9:30 p.m., Channels 5, 22. Susan invites Steve to her place for dinner. Naturally, this sparks a discussion on whether "dinner" implies "dinner and sex."

Without a Trace, 10 p.m., Channels 12, 7. Hector Elizondo (Chicago Hope) guest stars as a priest who has disappeared.

Junk man salvages a family

Dido wants to thank record buyers a second time
Oscars ban 'screening' tapes
Gangstas love this gangster
CSO guest conductor likes to tout amazing music
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Best bets: What's on TV tonight

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