By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
"The American Embassy," 8 p.m., Fox. Few shows have offered the roller-coaster extremes of "Embassy." Last week's pilot was mostly bubbly. Arija Bareikis offered a wonderful portrait of a sweet-spirited Ohio woman, detouring her life with an embassy job in London. Then the hour made a bizarre mood shift with a fatal bombing. That episode was filmed before Sept. 11. Later, producers decided they had to stay serious. That explains tonight's hour, which deals with the grieving process. Viewers will miss the sweetness of the opener. Still, Bareikis injects rich warmth. In tragedy or romance we can't help rooting for her.
"Boston Public," 7 p.m., Fox. A teenager's crime troubles are juxtaposed with the substance problems of a baseball star.
"King of Queens," 7 p.m., CBS. Gavin MacLeod, the old "Love Boat" captain, guests as an uncle who might finance Doug's sandwich shop.
"Baby Bob," 7:30 p.m., CBS. Inexplicably, CBS has decided its wittiest show ("Everybody Loves Raymond") should be preceded by a talking-baby comedy. More inexplicably, the talented Adam Arkin and Joely Fisher agreed to star. Well, George Clooney once was a "Baby Talk" regular. He got over it.
"Everybody Loves Raymond," 8 p.m., CBS. Ray thinks he has to explain the facts of life to his daughter. Instead, she wants to know about the meaning of life.
"Becker," 8:30 p.m., CBS. Tom Poston plays a man who gets a machine to help him speak and doesn't use it wisely.
"Once and Again," 9 p.m., ABC. Last week's superb episode had key moments for the teen girls. Grace learned her favorite teacher isn't gay. Jessie learned her friend is gay and embraced her for a warm kiss. Tonight, the focus is on the grownups as Jake struggles with his new fatherhood.