Originally scheduled to air in early September, the news special "Tom Brokaw Reports: In God They Trust" (7 p.m., NBC) was bumped to make way for coverage of Hurricane Katrina. But if it seems dated, it's not simply due to that two-month delay.
Consisting almost entirely of anecdotal evidence, conversations with church leaders and various faithful, this "Report" is short on facts and long on generalizations.
Offering little more than stereotypes of its subject, "Report" focuses on the perceived political clout of evangelicals and the things politicians will say, do or promise to court them. Brokaw has an extended chat with Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. Haggard tells Brokaw that he doesn't call the White House to offer advice, but they call him to seek it.
¢ What would you do to survive a life-threatening situation? The 10-part series "I Shouldn't Be Alive" (8 p.m., Discovery) offers dramatic re-enactments of grim scenarios where participants were faced with life-and-death choices with moral overtones.
Tonight's debut episode relates a tale of a shipwrecked yacht, a lifeboat without food or water surrounded by hostile sharks. Who among the five will live to tell the tale? And what will he or they do to survive?
¢ Showtime introduces a scary new anthology series "Masters of Horror" (9 p.m., Showtime) presenting hourlong features from famous horror directors including Dario Argento, John Carpenter, Larry Cohen, Tobe Hooper, Joe Dante, John Landis and others. Don Coscarelli ("Bubba Ho-Tep," "Phantasm") directs the first shocker "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" about a woman's fight to fend off a deformed attacker.
Tonight's other highlights
¢ A boy and his birth mother, together at last, on "Ghost Whisperer" (7 p.m., CBS).
¢ Scary monsters on "Bernie Mac" (7 p.m., Fox).
¢ Hal fears the family's house is haunted on "Malcolm in the Middle" (7:30 p.m., Fox).
¢ A cargo ship receives strange visitors on the pilot episode of "Threshold" (8 p.m., CBS).
¢ "Movies that Shook the World" (9 p.m., AMC) recalls the "The Exorcist," the 1973 film about an arcane and antiquated ritual that scared the devil out of (or into) America.