Thursday, October 9, 2003

Best bets: Whats on TV tonight



Gannett News Service

Season premiere

Frontline, 9 p.m., Channels 48, 16.

When retired Gen. Jay Garner arrived in Baghdad he expected the reconstruction effort to be based in 23 ministry buildings.

He found that 17 had been stripped of wiring, plumbing and insulation. "I knew there would be looting," he says in this documentary, "but I didn't think the looting would have (this) impact."

Officials should have known, says one adviser, Robert Perito. "U.S. military forces ... watched (looters), because they had no instructions to intervene."

Perito, former National Security Council head, says much advice was disregarded. Garner says the State Department had an elaborate report but Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told him to ignore it. "I think it was a mistake that we didn't use that."

The documentary also says officials exaggerated the possibility of weapons of mass destruction.

Even a flawed takeover is laudable, however, says Iraqi exile Kanan Makiya. "The United States (is) an alternative to autocracies."

Must-see

Coupling, 9:30 p.m., Channels 5, 22.

Ever since the passing of Chuckles on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, TV has loved funny funerals.

Last week, ABC's Hope & Faith tapped that and now it's the turn for a fairly good episode of Coupling. Jane wants former boyfriend Steve to sort of be her date at her aunt's funeral. Soon, everyone else comes along with amusing results.

Stick around for the final sight gag as Jeff tries to avoid being nervous during a job interview.

Other shows worth watching

Survivor: Pearl Islands, 8 p.m., Channels 12, 7. It's time to oust the fourth person.

Threat Matrix, 8 p.m., Channels 9, 2. Officials rush to stop the Ebola virus from spreading in the United States.

Friends, 8 p.m., Channels 5, 22. Joey and Rachel fret about their first date while Monica fumes about a snobbish former colleague (Jennifer Coolidge of American Pie) who now has a fake British accent.

Scrubs, 8:30 p.m., Channels 5, 22. Elliott (Sarah Chalke) is determined to win back her former boyfriend, Sean (Scott Foley). Meanwhile, Turk and Carla set their wedding date.

Will & Grace, 9 p.m., Channels 5, 22. Will and Jack visit Will's mother, who's played by Blythe Danner (Gwyneth Paltrow's mom in real life). Meanwhile, Karen plays tennis with frightening ferocity.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, 9 p.m., Channels 12, 7. One case involves an old woman who was locked in a closet. Another involves the death of a bounty hunter.

ER, 10 p.m., Channels 5, 22. Last week's episode - one of the show's best ever - pulled a surprise. Carter learned that Kovac isn't dead, after all. Tonight, Carter stays in Africa and sends a break-up letter to Abby. She has more problems with Romano firing three nurses and the others ready to walk out.




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TELEVISION
Best bets: Whats on TV tonight

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