By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
"ER," 9 p.m., NBC. One of television's great characters departs tonight. For eight years, Dr. Mark Greene has been the heart and soul of "ER." Battered physically and emotionally, he has remained a diligent doctor and a caring person. Now Anthony Edwards, who plays him, is leaving. Writers have given Greene a final tragedy, an inoperable brain tumor. He has retreated to Hawai'i, where he spent part of his boyhood when his dad was a Navy officer. Greene, often driven and intense, tries to slow down and connect with his troubled teen daughter. Even now, that might not be possible.
"Gulag," 9 p.m., The Learning Channel. It seemed like a miracle when the impoverished, agrarian Russians became an industrial power. Now we learn how it was done: To get free labor, the Stalin government arbitrarily arrested as many as 20 million people and forced them to work as laborers. Some were released after 10 years. Some were killed. This documentary is filled with haunting testimony from the survivors and from officials groping for excuses.
"Friends," 7 and 7:30 p.m., NBC. With her baby overdue by a week, Rachel grasps for a solution. Meanwhile, Joey can only invite one friend to the premiere of his movie. A rerun that shows how the pregnancy started follows. Ross has a videotape of his night with Rachel.
"Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" (1999), 7 p.m., Fox. One week before "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones" opens, here's your chance to catch the last "Star Wars" film that goes back to the beginning of director George Lucas' epic saga. On a big screen, this was salvaged by its stunning visuals. On TV, we might start to notice its so-so story. Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor star as sturdy warriors.
"Survivor: Marquesas," 7 p.m., CBS. Tonight, the show trims to five people.
"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," 8 p.m., CBS. Next season, CBS plans to have a spin-off series set in Miami. Here's the episode that sets it up. Catherine and Warrick follow a high-profile case to Florida where they meet the head of Miami's unit played by David Caruso of "NYPD Blue" fame.
"Frontline: The Muslims," 9 p.m., PBS. This documentary looks at the worldwide resurgence of the Islam religion and at how it influences lives.