Black History Month and pop-culture nostalgia converge on "Way Black When" (10 p.m., TV One), a three-week retrospective organized by decade, with a new host every week. Sinbad will host nightly through Friday, celebrating the 1970s with guest stars Jim Brown, the Emotions, Antonio Fargas, Dick Gregory, The Hues Corporation, Evelyn "Champagne" King and Freda Payne, among others.

Next week's 1980s-themed programming will be hosted by Niecy Nash. Chris "Kid" Reid hosts 1990s week beginning Feb. 14.

•Today's television cooking-show hosts and stars owe everything to PBS superstar Julia Child, celebrated in the 2009 comedy adaptation "Julie & Julia" (8 p.m., Encore), starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. Over the decades, cooking-show hosts have evolved from instructors to full-fledged personalities and entertainers. A good example of the latter can be found on the season-four premiere of "Cake Boss" (9 p.m., TLC), the series that mines sitcom-like laughs from the kitchen shenanigans at Buddy Valastro's Hoboken bakery. You know you've arrived as a celebrity chef when you receive a visit from other celebrity chefs. Tonight, super-annoying daytime fixture Rachael Ray orders a special cake from Buddy's bakery.

In stark contrast to the contrived comedy of "Cake Boss," the new series "Martha Bakes" (11 a.m., Hallmark) seems like a rather gentle throwback to a time when people watched cooking shows to learn something. In today's debut, Martha Stewart shows viewers how to bake her father's favorite yellow cake as well as upside-down fruit cakes and strawberry cupcakes. It's pure Martha, and that means all Martha and only Martha. It's not a comedy; it's a cooking class. You might learn something, and bake something, after watching this.

•The oddly intimate talk show "William Shatner's Raw Nerve" (10 and 10:30 p.m., Biography) returns with back-to-back interviews of Carol Burnett and Marilu Henner. In both conversations, Shatner keeps the focus on the personal and off the show-biz resumes. Burnett was recently seen on an episode of "Glee," and Henner was part of a group profile of a handful of people with a rare ability to remember autobiographical details about every single day of their lives. That should come in handy on a show like this.

Other highlights

•Domestic violence on "Human Target" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14,V).

•A savant (Mena Suvari) seeks revenge on "The Cape" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

•The founder of a social network is found murdered on the season finale of "Lie to Me" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14,V).

•"American Experience" (9 p.m., WHYY-TV 12) presents "The Greely Expedition," the story of an expedition to the Arctic in 1881 that ended in shipwreck and lurid tales of mutiny and cannibalism.

•Faced with eternity, Aidan has problems passing the time on "Being Human" (9 p.m., SyFy, TV-14).

•Danny's former partner is killed on "Hawaii Five-O" (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14,V).

•Harry defends the wrongly convicted on "Harry's Law" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

•A murder suspect seems out of this world on "Castle" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).

•Chris' mother leaves him unsupervised on "Skins" (10 p.m., MTV, TV-MA).

Cult choice

The 2002 documentary "The Tramp and the Dictator" (2 a.m., TCM) examines the peculiar parallels in the lives of Adolf Hitler and Charlie Chaplin.

Series notes

Love conflicts with Ted's company line on "How I Met Your Mother" (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14) ... Timothy Dalton and Linda Hamilton guest star on "Chuck" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-PG) ... Emily unleashed on "90210" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Audrey innovates on "Rules of Engagement" (8:30 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG) ... Allan multitasks on "Two and a Half Men" (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14,D) ... Blair interns at a fashion magazine on "Gossip Girl" (9 p.m., CW, TV-14) ... Carl offers advice on "Mike & Molly" (9:30 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG, D).

Late night

Bill Gates is scheduled on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" (11 p.m., Comedy Central) ... Amy Poehler, Tim & Eric and Randy Rogers Band appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS) ... Justin Bieber, Martha Stewart and Best Coast are booked on "Late Show with David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Adam Sandler, Larry the Cable Guy and Esperanza Spalding on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Julianna Margulies, Matthew Bomer and The JaneDear Girls appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (12:05 a.m., ABC)... Bill Paxton, Adam Scott and Edie Brickell chat on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).

Kevin McDonough can be reached at kmcdonough@unitedmedia.com.

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