Tune in Tonight: History recalls Jesse Owens

With the Paris Summer Olympic Games just over a month away, the History Channel recalls one of the Olympics’ most stirring stories.

Broadcast to coincide with Juneteenth, “Triumph: Jesse Owens and the Berlin Olympics” (8 p.m., History, TV-PG) recalls the American track star who not only won races at the 1936 Games but offered a stirring rebuke of the master race theories that had become the official policies of the Games’ host country.

Produced by LeBron James and narrated by Don Cheadle, “Triumph” offers thrilling footage of Owens’s four gold-medal-winning races as well as an examination of his life as a Black American, born in 1913 in segregated Alabama, the son of a sharecropper and the grandson of a slave.

The Olympic Committee had awarded the games to Berlin in 1931, two years before Hitler’s rise to power. By 1936, the Nazi dictator had planned to use the games as propaganda for Germany and a showcase for the physical superiority of his “Aryan” race of purebred Germans. By taking home four gold medals, Owens deflated Hitler’s plans.

“Triumph” presents archival interviews with

Owens and enhances its narrative with animation. It also presents contemporary and historical interviews with family members, journalists, historians and athletes, including Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis.

Owens’ triumphs at the Berlin games took place at the same time that heavyweight boxers Max Schmeling from Germany and Black American Joe Louis were battling in the ring. Schmeling would triumph in 1936 before being knocked out by the “Brown Bomber” in 1938.

Although Americans celebrated these sports triumphs, Black citizens couldn’t help but see the irony of their countrymen criticizing Hitler’s policies while maintaining a law of apartheid in so many American states.

— Two fixtures of broadcast and cable TV collaborate on a three-part PBS series. David E. Kelley, now producing the new “Presumed Innocent” adaptation streaming on Apple TV+, and Andrew Zimmern (“Bizarre Foods America”) present “Hope in the Water” (9 p.m., TV-PG, check local listings).

Over three weeks, “Hope” explores new ways that scientists, fishermen and aqua farmers are developing to feed a hungry world while protecting the oceans.

In tonight’s installment, journalist Baratunde Thurston visits a sustainable diamondback squid fishery in Puerto Rico that was built after the devastation of 2017’s Hurricane Maria. Next week, Martha Stewart chats with the operators of a scallop farm on Maine’s coast. The series concludes with a visit to Santa Barbara, California, where Shailene Woodley spotlights efforts to turn a “zombie” urchin into a gourmet delicacy.

— Netflix streams the 2024 documentary “Black Barbie,” about three women who convinced Mattel of the importance of creating a doll that represented girls of color, leading to the first official non-white Barbie doll in 1980.


— U.S. Olympics Swimming Trials (8 p.m., NBC).

— The new series “Dynamic Planet” (8 p.m., PBS, TV-PG, check local listings) sets out to explore the extremes of every continent.

— The 2009 documentary “This Is It” (8 p.m., VH1) captures Michael Jackson’s exhaustive preparations and rehearsals for a summer tour that never happened. He died suddenly on June 25, 2009.

— A departed tenant plays matchmaker in the 2023 romance “3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Ghost” (9 p.m., Hallmark, TV-G).

— A dockworker vanishes right before his wedding on “Tracker” (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).

— Burglaries shake Atwater’s resolve on “Chicago P.D.” (10 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).


Director Wim Wenders pays tribute to friend and mentor Nicholas Ray in the 1980 documentary “Lightning Over Water” (6:15 p.m., TCM), produced during the last months of Ray’s life. This follows a daylong salute to Ray’s movies, beginning with “They Live by Night” (6:15 a.m., TV-PG), from 1948, and his best-known work, the 1955 teen epic “Rebel Without a Cause” (4:15 p.m., TV-PG), whose star James Dean did not live to see its premiere.


“The Price Is Right at Night” (8 p.m., CBS, TV-G) … “MasterChef” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … On two episodes of “The Conners” (ABC, r, TV-PG): trivial pursuits (8 p.m.); Ben’s midlife crisis (8:30 p.m.) … “Let’s Make a Deal Primetime” (9 p.m., CBS, TV-G) … “Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … Janine launches a career-day initiative on “Abbott Elementary” (9 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG) … Vegan cheese gets the once-over on “Shark Tank” (10 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG).


Cynthia Erivo and Rep. Jamaal Bowman are booked on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” (11:35 p.m., CBS) … Jimmy Fallon welcomes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Luke Newton and Michael Che on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC) … Lupita Nyong’o and Ebon Moss-Bachrach visit “Late Night With Seth Meyers” (12:35 a.m., NBC) … Taylor Tomlinson hosts “After Midnight” (12:35 a.m., CBS).