Ugly Americans running rampant overseas

Tonight's television offers us two different perspectives on Americans abroad.

The gang on "Amazing Race 4" (7 p.m., CBS) continues to stumble through far-flung tourist attractions, panting under the weight of their backpacks and shouting at foreigners (in English) for help with their contrived game of capture the flag. Call me cranky, but they behave like the worst stereotypes of rude American tourists.

"Frontline/World" (8 p.m., PBS) presents a quirky and unsettling example of popular anti-American sentiment. Correspondent Arun Rath ventures to India to catch a performance of a popular opera about Osama bin Laden and the events of Sept. 11, 2001. After receiving a warm welcome from the cast and the show's producers, Rath is horrified to discover that the play presents bin Laden in a sympathetic light, a sentiment shared by much of the audience. Other "Frontline/World" segments look at SARS, as well as the political and economic chaos in Venezuela. That nation's embattled president, Hugo Chavez, sits down for an interview.

  • Crime writer Patricia Cornwell joins Diane Sawyer on a "PrimeTime" (9 p.m., ABC) investigation of a serial killer's murderous path through southern Louisiana. Cornwell examines the forensics evidence and investigates the detectives assigned to the case, and offers several suggestions as to where they might have drawn misleading conclusions about the possible killer. She also discusses a little-known problem with the use of DNA evidence.

Tonight's other highlights

  • "That's Incredible: The Reunion" (7 p.m., ABC) revisits the granddaddy of reality TV.
  • The former director of the Columbus Zoo lists the best places on Earth to observe dangerous animals on "Jack Hanna's Top Ten" (7 p.m., Travel).
  • Jim Belushi and Rick Fox appear on "Primetime Glick" (7:30 p.m., Comedy Central).
  • A bird's nest holds grisly evidence of a murder on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).
  • Shepherd Smith is host of "The Pulse" (8 p.m., Fox).
  • Climbers compete on "Global Extremes: Mount Everest" (8 p.m., ABC). Who knew that Sir Edmund Hillary's icy summit would become so crowded?

Series notes

Phoebe fabricates a love life on "Friends" (7 p.m., NBC) ... "Stupid Behavior Caught on Tape" (7 p.m., Fox) ... Competitive surgery on "Scrubs" (7:30 p.m., NBC) ... Amateur acts, delivered with dispatch, on "30 Seconds to Fame" (7:30 p.m., Fox) ... Barry blossoms on "Will & Grace" (8 p.m., NBC).

Late night

Harrison Ford and Annie Lennox appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Jennifer Aniston, Tyler Florence and Sugar Ray on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).

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