'Survivor' kicks into final four mode

Only two nights and five finalists remain on "Survivor: Pearl Islands" (7 p.m., CBS). Five will become four tonight before Sunday's two-hour finale. One could go broke trying to predict the outcome of these contrived shenanigans, but it's a safe bet that Jon, the obnoxious art consultant, will not be eliminated tonight. Everybody wants him to face the jury of his ticked-off peers when it comes down to the big vote.

The atmosphere on "Survivor" has always reminded me an exaggerated version of very dysfunctional office politics -- particularly this season. Like any badly run business, we've seen the levelheaded (Andrew) and the hard-working (Rupert and Christa) eliminated as the clueless (Lil), the scheming (Jon) and the lazy (Burton) get promoted way beyond their abilities.

It might take more than a coconut blow to the head to wake Lil up to the nefarious nature of her male allies. I'd hate to see a Boy Scout jamboree run by this wing nut. I will go out on a snake-infested limb and predict that Burton gets the boot tonight. As for the final winner, it's anybody's guess, and here's mine: As much as I want the outspoken Sandra to take home the loot, I predict that the Darrah, the mumbling Mississippi mortician, will fly in under the radar.

  • "Biography" (7 p.m., A&E;) glances back at the year's "survivors," including Jessica Lynch, Elizabeth Smart and the elusive Saddam Hussein. But no list of 2003 survivors would be complete without Aron Ralston. He's the unfortunate mountain climber who decided to amputate his own arm with a penknife rather than face starvation after being trapped by a falling boulder.

Tonight's other highlights

  • Vegas tourists may be carrying the Ebola virus on "Threat Matrix" (7 p.m., ABC).
  • A novelty song from the mid-1980s inspires the hourlong 2001 animated special "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" (7 p.m. WB).
  • After a hotel bombing, the wife of a pop musician is found murdered on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).
  • A brain surgeon vanishes while jogging in the park on "Without a Trace" (9 p.m., CBS).
  • Carter finds a possible love interest in the Congo on "ER" (9 p.m., NBC).
  • Scheduled on "PrimeTime" (9 p.m., ABC): A man obsessed with Icelandic pop singer Bjork sends her a bomb in the mail.

Late night

Julia Roberts and Rod Stewart appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno greets Keanu Reeves and Sting on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).


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