Thursday TV: Electric Cars and ‘Kathy’

There were few corporate turns as shocking as General Motors’ course in 2006, which after introducing an electric car, the EV1, that environmentalist minded consumers loved, they recalled as many as they could – up to 5,000 – and crushed them.

Chris Paine caught it in “Who Killed the Electric Car” and the filmmaker returned to cover the aftermath, when several teams vie to introduce an electric auto to answer consumer demand and environmental concerns.

In the new “Revenge of the Electric Car,” making its debut on “Independent Lens” (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings) GM has supposedly changed its tune and is gangbusters on the Chevy Volt, despite some bad press.

But there is competition – Nissan is fully committed, the Silicon Valley based Tesla Motors is in the game despite some high-profile falterings, and there’s a guy working in a California garage retooling old cars into fully electric operation.

Even with all this activity, there’s a long way to go until we’re plugging in instead of gassing up, according to the film. But developments are moving so fast, it almost can’t be covered in a documentary. If you’ve been involved in a car accident while working, you will want to speak with a lawyer to learn how the law applies to your personal situation.

Leaving her reality show behind but not her wine box-drinking mother, Kathy Griffin starts her own talk show titled “Kathy” (Bravo, 10 p.m.) in which she does what she usually does – skewers celebrities and welcomes guests.  (Don’t you wish it was hosted by the comic strip star Cathy instead? Ack!).

Back with new episodes and the campaign heating up, “Parks and Recreation” (NBC, 9:30 p.m.) features Bradley Whitford as a local councilman Leslie befriends. It’s the second “West Wing” cast injection, following Rob Lowe.

Kris Allen and LMFAO perform on “American Idol” (Fox, 8 p.m.), and someone is eliminated with no hope of being saved.

Andy doesn’t really get along with the new manager played by Catherine Tate on “The Office” (NBC, 9 p.m.).

Tyler returns to “The Vampire Diaries” (The CW, 8 p.m.).

On the new “The Great American Manhunt” (National Geographic Channel, 9 p.m.) a team of experts go after the criminally elusive.

After hosting a big dinner party on “Mad Men” Sunday, Alison Brie’s other character Annie hangs with Danny Pudi’s Abed on a new “Community” (NBC, 8 p.m.).

Jack tries to set Liz up on a blind date and Will Forte returns on a new “30 Rock” (NBC, 8:30 p.m.).

The Frankie Avalon-Annette Funicello wing of the Spring Break movie genre is featured tonight on Turner Classic Movies with “Beach Party” (8 p.m.), “Muscle Beach Party” (10 p.m.), “Bikini Beach” (11:45 p.m.), “Beach Blanket Bingo” (1:30 a.m.), “Pajama Party” (2:15 a.m.) and “Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine” (5 a.m.).

In the Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s Bruins at Capitals (NBC Sports, 7:30 p.m.), Coyotes at Blackhawks (CNBC, 8 p.m.) and Blues at Sharks (NBC Sports, 10:30 p.m.).

NBA action includes Bulls at Heat (TNT, 8 p.m.) and Clippers at Suns (TNT, 10:30 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly Ripa: Zac Efron, Ana Gasteyer, Seth Meyers. The View: John Cusack, Rashida Jones. The Talk: Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos, Anne Burrell. Ellen DeGeneres: Wanda Sykes, Bon Iver.

Late Talk

David Letterman:Will Ferrell, Jon Bernthal (rerun). Jay Leno: Taylor Swift, Michael Clarke Duncan, Cesar Rosas and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Robert Randolph, Chris Layton (rerun). Jimmy Kimmel: Gabourey Sidibe, Kasabian. Jimmy Fallon: Tina Fey, John Slattery, David Chang (rerun). Craig Ferguson: Kelly Preston, Joel Stein. Tavis Smiley: Annie Potts. Carson Daly: Jamal Simmons, Angus Wall, Kirk Baxter, Young the Giant (rerun). Jon Stewart: Judy Smith. Stephen Colbert: Tavis Smiley & Cornel West. Conan O’Brien: Kunal Nayyar, Regina Hall, Emeli Sande. Chelsea Handler: Gabrielle Union, Greg Fitzsimmons, Fortune Feimster, Gary Valentine.

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