Former 'Buffy' co-star gets shot at own series

An attractive, if slightly unstable, woman played by a supporting actress from another popular show works in a morgue as a way to deal with long-simmering anger arising from her mother's murder. Sound familiar? It should. It's a capsule description of the NBC drama "Crossing Jordan," starring "Law & Order" veteran Jill Hennessy. It also sums up the new supernatural drama "Tru Calling" (7 p.m., Fox), starring "Buffy" castmate Eliza Dushku.

Unlike Jordan Cavanaugh, Tru Davies (Dushku) doesn't only try to solve crimes -- she can prevent them. Blessed with an odd extrasensory power, Tru can hear the requests of recently murdered victims and go back one day in time to try to undo the events that led to their untimely deaths. The results are confusing for just about everybody.

On "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS), the death of a man dressed as a woodland creature leads Grissom's team to the quirky demimonde of "plushies" -- people who get their kicks from dressing up in furry costumes.

"Railroaded in Texas" (9 p.m., Court TV) examines the scandalous case of a massive drug sweep in the small town of Tulia, Texas. Based on contradictory and unsubstantiated evidence from only one source, 46 men and women, comprising a significant percentage of Tulia's minority population, were arrested and convicted on drug charges and received sentences of up to 300 years in prison. Only after concerted effort by newspaper columnists and NAACP lawyers were the verdicts overturned.

Tonight's other highlights

  • The rules change on "Survivor: Pearl Islands" (7 p.m., CBS).
  • Scientists study "stray" children on "Wild Child: The Story of Feral Children" (8 p.m., Discovery).
  • "Bloodlines: The Dracula Family Tree" (8 p.m., History) traces the descendants of the legendary Vlad the Impaler.
  • A feisty new nurse (Linda Cardellini, "Freaks and Geeks") joins the staff on "ER" (8:59 p.m., NBC). Bob Newhart guest stars in the next several episodes.
  • A new case seems very familiar to Malone on "Without a Trace" (9 p.m., CBS).
  • Scheduled on "PrimeTime" (9 p.m., ABC): Author Patricia Cornwell investigates the death of Princess Diana.
  • Scott Foley guest stars on "Scrubs" (8:30 p.m., NBC).

Cult choice

An awkward outcast (Sissy Spacek) lashes out at her high school tormentors in director Brian DePalma's 1976 shocker "Carrie" (8 p.m., USA).

Late night

Eric McCormack and Dante Hall appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS).

Chuck Palahniuk chats on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Tim Robbins is booked on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (11:37 p.m., CBS).

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