By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
By Mike Hughes
"Survivor" season-opener, 7 p.m., CBS. Before airing, this show had already stirred controversy. Word spread that it had divided its teams by race — black, white, Hispanic and Asian. The result could be awful, but host Jeff Probst insists we should stick around. "This is the most fresh, diverse, interesting group we've had since Year One," he says. It's also going to spark some controversy. We'll soon see.
"The Underground" debut, 7 p.m., Showtime. Damon Wayans found sketch-comedy greatness in "In Living Color." Now he's producer and star of this new show. Yes, there are wonderful moments. In next week's episode, Wayans is wonderful as a dictatorial airport security guard. Tonight, Aries Spears shines as club-goer in a taxi. There are also flaws. One notion — the outrageous party guest — is repeated at monotonous length in each of the first two episodes. Each also has a bit requiring prolonged views of people's private parts. There are weak or overwrought moments, but the sharp ones are worth waiting for.
"Where Did It Come From: Ancient Rome: The Rise of Apartments," 5 p.m., History Channel. Yes, this hour says the Romans developed the first luxury apartments. It says they also developed state-of-the art health clubs — and a dry-cleaning method, using ammonia distilled from urine.
"Grey's Anatomy," 7 and 8 p.m., ABC. In both episodes, Denny deteriorates as the search continues for a heart to transplant. The first hour also faces the issue of overworked interns. An intern falls asleep while driving home, sending people to the hospital.
"My Name is Earl," 7 and 7:40 p.m., NBC. Two key episodes are rerun here in "supersized" form. One is the delightful pilot film in which Earl gets his money and his mission. The other has him losing all of it, at least temporarily.
" 'Til Death," 7 p.m., Fox. The newlyweds have a clear-cut relationship, this episode says: He gets sex and she gets to choose the furniture. That arrangement doesn't seem to work for the veteran couple.
"Happy Hour," 7:30 p.m., Fox. Henry learns a secret about Larry's past.
"The Office," 8:20 p.m., NBC. Michael throws a casino party.
"ER," 9 p.m., NBC. Here's a rerun of the season finale. Gallant's grief-stricken parents (Ernie Hudson and Sheryl Lee Ralph) are there as things fall apart. There are gunmen in the hospital, turning increasingly desperate. Soon, Abby and Kovac are in danger.