'Raymond' rules in family feuds

In family squabbles, even the most petty subjects can take on monumental emotional overtones. No TV comedy can better exploit the absence of domestic tranquility than "Everybody Loves Raymond" (8 p.m., CBS). After all, this is the show that turned an argument over a can opener into a battle royal.

In tonight's episode, Marie (Doris Roberts) demands that Debra (Patricia Heaton) return the cookie canister she lent her some time back. After Debra emphatically explains that she already gave it back, Marie does the unthinkable � she apologizes. Debra, Ray and Robert stand awestruck. As Debra observes, "the balance of power has just shifted in my favor." Their joy turns to ashes when they discover that they are still in possession of the sacred relic. What to do? The results are sly, silly and speak volumes about how families "communicate." A standout episode.


AP Photo

Ray Romano stars in "Everybody Loves Raymond," which will be broadcast at 8 p.m. today on CBS.

l How controversial is Ritalin? About 5 million school children are currently taking the small yellow pill to control hyperactivity. "Investigative Reports: Generation Rx: Reading, Writing & Ritalin" (9 p.m., A&E;) profiles students who have thrived after being medicated, and others who have developed a psychotic reaction to the powerful drug.

l People come and go so quickly: The NBC drama "First Years" did not make it to its third week before cancellation. For tonight at least, it will be replaced by, what else, a repeat of "Law & Order."

Look for TV veteran Valerie Bertinelli ("One Day at a Time") to join the cast of "Touched by An Angel." She dons her wings on the April 29 episode. According to a network release, Bertinelli plays a 21st-century angel (whatever that is) who needs a little orientation from Monica (Roma Downey).

l Most science fiction fans consider the 1951 drama "The Day the Earth Stood Still" to be a classic. Who knew that the U.S. Army tried to censor the film's anti-war message? The controversies behind the film emerge on "Backstory: The Day the Earth Stood Still" (9 p.m., AMC).

Tonight's other highlights

l Scheduled on "Dateline" (7 p.m., NBC): crash safety and pickup trucks.

l After the murder of a close friend, a New York prosecutor (Dana Delaney) develops a close relationship with the detective (Billy Burke) assigned to protect her in the 2001 drama "Final Jeopardy" (7 p.m., ABC).

l Hugh Hefner is profiled on "Biography" (7 p.m., A&E;).

l Ally turns to Larry when she discovers the connection between her two suitors on a repeat of "Ally McBeal" (8 p.m., Fox).

l Lynn represents a gay man fighting for child custody on "Family Law" (9 p.m., CBS).

l Ben ignores some dire warning signs on the season finale of "Gideon's Crossing" (9 p.m., ABC).

Cult choice

l Catch Oscar-nominated actress Renee Zellweger ("Nurse Betty") in the 1997 thriller "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation" (2 a.m., Cinemax). With Matthew McConaughey.

Series notes

l "King," "Yes" and "Becker" are new ... Carrie gets hooked on a skin lotion on "King of Queens" (7 p.m., CBS) ... Police scour the halls for a student suspect on "Boston Public" (7 p.m., Fox) ... Frank and Dorian bond on "Moesha" (7 p.m., UPN) ... Eric feels left out on "7th Heaven" (7 p.m., WB).

Kim can't cope on "Yes, Dear" (7:30 p.m., CBS) ... Darryl's biological father (Billy Dee Williams) returns on "The Hughleys" (7:30 p.m., UPN).

A broker's homicide looks like a professional hit on "Law & Order" (8 p.m., NBC) ... A stint on "Blind Date" on "The Parkers" (8 p.m., UPN) ... Dad faints at Christmas dinner on "The Gilmore Girls" (8 p.m., WB).


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