By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
By Mike Hughes
"ER," 9 p.m., NBC. The beginning and end of this hour are as good as anything you'll see on TV. The rest is strong, too, making it a superb episode. James Woods plays a brilliant professor, in the final stages of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Only his eye movements remain, enough to propel his wheelchair and his artificial voice. As he crumbles, Abby seems obsessed with keeping him alive — possibly ignoring his wishes. Stick around, because all of this will be explained in flashbacks. Those scenes also let us see the Woods we're used to, swooping through a high-energy life. This is a brilliant, Emmy-worthy performance, on the level of Ray Liotta's guest spot last season. During episodes like this, we're reminded that "ER" is still capable of greatness.
"Survivor," 7 p.m., CBS. Here is the opener of a new round, set in Panama. It splits into four four-person teams: older men, older women, younger men, younger women. (If this were real life, the older-men team would spend its time obsessing on the younger-women team.) There also is an Exile Island twist, with one person temporarily shipped to another island.
"Will & Grace," 7 p.m., NBC. You thought Jack would never win an award? He does tonight, as best local gay talk-show host. While traveling with him, Will again meets James (Taye Diggs), whom he met in the "Sound of Music" episode.
"Four Kings," 7:30 p.m., NBC. While Ben works for a political candidate, Jason clings to a secret.
"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," 8 p.m., CBS. It turns out that two murders, one of them following a car accident, are related.
"My Name is Earl," 8 p.m., NBC. Adam Goldberg guests as a suicidal chap. Earl finds that helping him won't be easy.
"The Office," 8:30 p.m., NBC. Jan is giving females a Women in the Workplace seminar. Naturally, Michael doesn't like to be left out; he leads a male-bonding session.
"Without a Trace," 9 p.m., CBS. A man who was convicted of one rape passes a lineup for another one, then disappears.
TONIGHT ON KHNL NEWS 8
They leave behind their loved ones and put their lives on the line to answer the call of duty. But once they return home how do they get back into a normal routine? Tonight on KHNL News 8 at 6 and 10 we give you a glimpse into the life of a citizen soldier.