News is so frantic and often dire, it’s an odd time to break in with a new eight-part documentary series “The History of Comedy” (CNN, 10 p.m.). But maybe that’s exactly what we need. At any rate, the history begins with the battle over censorship, and so of course includes Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor and George Carlin. Among the interviewed are Sarah Silverman, Samantha Bee, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Judd Apatow, Al Franken and Patton Oswalt.
The cast of “Girls” goes “Inside the Actors Studio” (Bravo, 8 p.m.) in advance of that show’s final season Sunday.
The junior edition of “MasterChef” (Fox, 8 p.m.) begins with 16 eager contestants. Meanwhile, adults on “Top Chef” (Bravo, 9 p.m.) work with mystery partners.
On a new “Nashville” (CMT, 9 p.m.), Rayna and Deacon work on their collaborative album.
A winner is named among the three finalists on “Alone” (History, 9 p.m.), followed by a reunion special at 10.
Chris Hayes looks at violence in the Windy City in the special “Chicago in the Crosshairs” (MSNBC, 8 p.m.).
Maggie’s mother visits “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 8 p.m.).
On “The Great Indoors” (CBS, 8:30 p.m.), Jack insults Brooke’s finance at the couple’s re-engagement party.
Another national crisis breaks out on “Scandal” (ABC, 9 p.m.).
Penny and Amy take Bernadette for a night out on “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS, 8 p.m.).
A new charge is leveled against Annalise on “How to Get Away with Murder” (ABC, 10 p.m.).
“Superstore” (NBC, 8 p.m.) and “Life in Pieces” (CBS, 9:30 p.m.) celebrate Valentine’s Day.
The intent is fine, but the format of “The Messy Truth with Van Jones” (CNN, 9 p.m.) just doesn’t work. A studio audience?
Betty revives the school paper on “Riverdale” (The CW, 9 p.m.). Good for Betty.
Muammar Gaddafi’s guard makes an appearance on “Training Day” (CBS, 10 p.m.).
Bonnie meets a stranger on “Mom” (CBS, 9 p.m.).
Kelly Osbourne hosts “My Kitchen Rules” (Fox, 9 p.m.).
Sam tries to fine a powerful family of witches on “Supernatural” (The CW, 8 p.m.).
“Impractical Jokers” (truTV, 10 p.m.) begins its sixth season.
An 8-year-old cancer patient wants to give up on “Chicago Med” (NBC, 9 p.m.).
“Powerless” (NBC, 8:30 p.m.) gets immersed in a Fantasy Super Hero League.
Tom looks into his own past on “The Blacklist” (NBC, 10 p.m.).
Sarah Hyland and DeAndre Jordan compete on “Lip Sync Battle” (Spike, 10 p.m.).
“Project Runway Junior” (Lifetime, 9 p.m.) gets inspired by street art.
“G” movies on Turner Classic Movies’ alphabetical 31 Days of Oscars begins, of course, with “‘G’ Men” (6:15 a.m.) and continues with the timely “Gaslight” (7:45 a.m.), “The Gay Divorcee” (7:45 a.m.), “The Gazebo” (11:45 a.m.), “General Spanky” (1:30 p.m.), “George Washington Slept Here” (2:45 p.m.), “Giant” (4:30 p.m.), “Gigi” (8 p.m.), “Gold Diggers of 1933” (10:15 p.m.), “Gone with the Wind” (midnight) and “The Good Earth” (4 a.m.).
Men’s college hoops include Belmont at Jacksonville State (CBS Sports, 7 p.m.), Purdue at Indiana (ESPN2, 7 p.m.), Winthrop at North Carolina Asheville (ESPNU, 7 p.m.), North Carolina at Duke (ESPN, 8 p.m.), Missouri State at Wichita State (CBS Sports, 9 p.m.), SMU at Temple (ESPN2, 9 p.m.), Oregon at UCLA (ESPN, 10 p.m.), Washington at Colorado (Fox Sports 1, 10 p.m.) and BYU at Pepperdine (ESPNU, 11 p.m.).
NBA action has Cleveland at Oklahoma City (TNT, 8 p.m.) and Boston at Portland (THT, 10:30 p.m.).
Hockey includes Islanders at Philadelphia (NBC Sports, 7 p.m.).
Kelly Ripa: Will Arnett, Zosia Mamet, Jeffrey Dean Morgan. The View: Will Arnett, Priyanka Chopra. The Talk: James Corden, Piers Morgan, Maren Morris. Harry Connick: Ricky Gervais, Justice Smith. Ellen DeGeneres: Nicole Kidman. Wendy Williams: Hot Topics. The Real: Anthony Anderson, Remy Ma.
Stephen Colbert: David Oyelowo, Taran Killam, Rae Sremmurd. Jimmy Kimmel: Kerry Washington, Alicia Keys. Jimmy Fallon: Alec Baldwin, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Future Islands, Nathan East. Seth Meyers: Joe Rogan, Viet Thanh Nguyen. James Corden: Jim Parsons, America Ferrera, Glass Animals (rerun). Carson Daly: Bella heathcote, Triptides, Raoul Peck. Trevor Noah: Laura Jane Grace. Conan O’Brien: Lester Holt, Kat Dennings, Aaron Lee Tasjan.