Thursday TV: ‘Black Power Mixtape,’ Return to ‘Swamp’

America’s 1960s upheaval attracted coverage from around the world, and Swedish footage recently found in storage for 30 years, featuring rare or long unseen footage of Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton and Angela Davis, left, make up “The Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975,” premiering tonight on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings).

To modernize the footage (and justify the mixtape moniker), filmmaker Goran Olsson adds contemporary voices of Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and several professors. There are surprises in the presentation, a highlight for black history month. Among them: The Black Panther Party’s focus on free breakfasts and that U.S. dropped diplomatic relations with Sweden in 1972. Here’s a longer review of it I wrote for Salon.

Another Black History Month documentary tonight, “On the Shoulders of Giants” (Showtime, 8:30 p.m.), produced by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,  focuses on the winning  all-African-American basketball team that formed 1923, New York Renaissance, also known as the Harlem Rens. Jamie Foxx narrates.

It’s alligator hunting season once more as “Swamp People” (History, 9 p.m.) returns for its third season.

The problem with Hollywood Week on “American Idol” (Fox, 8 p.m.) is that they started with 309 singers – way too many to get to hear. Like last year, only a handful will get their attention, and they will almost always will be the ones to eventually advance.

It’s a one hour Valentine’s Day episode for “30 Rock” (NBC, 8 p.m.), with Mary Steenburgen guest starring as Jack’s mother-in-law. They celebrate, too, on “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC, 9 p.m.), but probably do heart surgery for the occasion. But is there really a need for a Valentine’s Day-themed “Wipeout” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

Valentine’s Day is a likely tie in for the special “Love at First Byte: The Secret Science of Online Dating” (CNBC, 9 p.m.).

Steve Carell talks about his approach to humor in the third episode of “Inside Comedy” (Showtime, 11 p.m.) with David Steinberg. The other interview guest is his co-star on “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” Jane Lynch.

Pam returns from maternity leave on “The Office” (NBC, 9 p.m.). “Archer” (FX, 10 p.m.) gets a new spy car.

“The Snake Man of Appalachia” (Animal Planet, 9 p.m.) deals with the dropout situation.

Sportswear is the challenge on “Project Runway All Stars” (Lifetime, 9 p.m.).

The Oscar-winning documentary “Man on a Wire” (Sundance, 8 p.m.), about the tightrope walker Philippe Petit, gets a replay.

There’s a formal dance at Klaus’ house on “The Vampire Diaries” (The CW, 8 p.m.).

The bratty kid who calls himself Astro should have been tossed from “The X Factor” the moment he got mouthy. Instead, he’s getting roles on TV dramas, such as tonight’s “Person of Interest” (CBS, 9 p.m.).

The Oscar movies on Turner Classic Movies mess with Texas: “Red River” (8 p.m.), “Written on the Wind” (10:30 p.m.), “Pigskin Parade” (12:30 a.m.), “San Antonio” (2:30 a.m.) and “Boom Town” (4:30 a.m.).

NBA action includes Lakers at Celtics (TNT, 8 p.m.) and Thunder at Kings (TNT, 10:30 p.m.).

In college hoops, it’s Mississippi at Mississippi State (ESPN2, 7 p.m.), North Carolina State at Georgia Tech (ESPNU, 7 p.m.), Wisconsin at Minnesota (ESPN, 7 p.m.), Virginia Tech at Miami (ESPN2, 9 p.m.), Colorado at Arizona (ESPN, 9 p.m.), Iowa at Northwestern (ESPNU, 9 p.m.), Santa Clara at San Francisco (ESPNU, 11 p.m.) and  Saint Mary’s (Calif.) at Gonzaga (ESPN2, 11 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: Ryan Reynolds, Sammi Giancola, Deena Cortese, Jerry O’Connell. The View: Viola Davis, Cris Comerford. The Talk: Will Arnett, Steven Van Zandt, NeNe Leakes. Ellen DeGeneres: Channing Tatum. Wendy Williams: David Frei, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Hulk Hogan. Rosie O’Donnell: Ali Wentworth.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Nicolas Cage, Michelle Dockery, the Kills. Jay Leno: Denzel Washington, Octavia Spencer, Estelle. Jimmy Kimmel: Courteney Cox, Mario Manningham & Ahmad Bradshaw, Tony Bennett. Jimmy Fallon: Zooey Deschanel, Chris Hardwick, Primus. Craig Ferguson: Lisa Kudrow, “Weird Al” Yankovic. Tavis Smiley: Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer. Carson Daly: Gina Carano, Dee Rees, Milow. Jon Stewart: Brad Pitt (rerun). Stephen Colbert: Ameena Matthews (rerun). Conan O’Brien: Carol Burnett, Jon Glaser, Graffiti6. Chelsea Handler: LeAnn Rimes, Bobby Lee, Fortune Feimster, Ryan Stout.

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