By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
"Andy Richter Controls the Universe," premiere, 7:30 p.m., Fox. Like many recent situation comedies, this toys with reality. We see both the real life and the fantasy world of our hero. The difference is that this one is quick and funny, with an ideal central character. That's Andy, played (logically) by Andy Richter, the former Conan O'Brien sidekick. He's a gentle office-dweller, someone who could be Dilbert's soul mate. In his mind, Andy is a great writer and a smooth guy with the women, including his boss (Paget Brewster) and the sexy receptionist (Irene Molloy). In truth, he writes technical manuals, and a stranger has just moved into his office. He also has to work much harder than his handsome friend Keith played with ease by James Patrick Stuart. These are clever situations, told with an erratic but pleasant wit.
"Mysterious Ways," 7 p.m., Pax TV. Declan keeps thinking he sees his boyhood friend, Mike Hughes. The result is bittersweet. It's not one of the better ones for this first-rate series, but it has its moments.
"Watching Ellie," 7:30 p.m., NBC. This Julia Louis-Dreyfus comedy, portraying 22 minutes in the character's life, tries something ambitious: An earthquake shakes the apartment building.
"NYPD Blue," 8 p.m., ABC. The angry boyfriend of a rape victim endangers the cops.
"Grand Ole Opry: An American Tradition," 7 p.m., A&E. Here's a rerun of a documentary tracing the Opry from its early days. The result is richly researched and filled with strong human moments.
"Scrubs," 8:30 p.m., NBC. Here's a rerun of a good episode in which J.D. bonds with an elderly patient.
"Philly," 9 p.m., ABC. There's trouble after Chris Maguire (Jason Gedrick) claims he bribed a judge.