The NBA lockout is nearing the end of its fifth month, and there is no end in sight. This sucks for players, who will miss paychecks; it sucks for fans, who will be forced to find other ways to occupy their winter nights; it really, really sucks for TV networks that carry local NBA games and now have to account for three and a half hours of replacement programming. With that in mind, we present to you the first edition of The Shit Replacing Basketball On TV Tonight. We'll check back in on the miserable television listings soon.
(Note: As the current NBA schedule no longer has start times listed, we're assuming an 8 p.m. Eastern tip-off.)
Blazers at Bobcats
Instead of seeing the Blazers visit Time Warner Cable Arena, basketball fans in Charlotte will be treated to back-to-back Law and Order: SVU episodes, followed by a Tyler Perry's House of Payne doubleheader, all on WMYT. CSN Northwest, Portland's home network, appears to have given up and does not have any programming listed online past 5 a.m. This is either a sign of the apocalypse or of lots of infomercials.
Nets at Warriors
Fear not, basketball fans in the Bay Area! Tonight's Warriors-Nets game on CSN Bay Area will be replaced by the finals of the Paradise Jam preseason tournament, which pits No. 16 Marquette against unranked Norfolk State. In the tri-state area, the YES Network is filling their Nets void with an episode of Arsenal 360, which I've deduced is just 30 minutes of highlights from the English soccer team, followed by a repeat of Saturday's Arsenal-Norwich City match. This is only slightly more awful than showing an actual Nets game.
Timberwolves at Rockets
Instead of the scheduled Wolves-Rockets game, Fox Sports North is showing a college basketball game (yet to be determined). That'll be followed up by UFC Countdown. Fox Sports Houston, apparently already running out of options, has opted to show a repeat of the Texas-Missouri football game from two weeks ago. (Missouri won, 17-5. Sorry to spoil it for you, but it already happened.)
Thunder at Spurs
Oklahoma City-San Antonio was supposed to be televised nationally on NBA TV tonight. This would have been a really fun Western Conference game to watch, but it no longer exists. NBA TV is filling the void with Game 2 of the 1988 Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Hawks and Celtics, which is a part of Old School Monday, which is somehow different from Old School Every Other Night Of The Week.
Bulls at Jazz
In a perfect world—one without labor disputes—WGN America would air the Bulls-Jazz game. This is not that world, and so WGN America is going to air three straight hours of America's Funniest Home Videos. That's three hours of Tom Bergeron we're talking about. Kill me. In Utah, Root Sports will also televise the Paradise Jam finals, followed by a rerun of Oscar De La Hoya's Fight Night Club.
Knicks at Kings
CSN California, the Kings' network, is showing the Best of World Class Championship Boxing, followed by kickboxing and something called Fight Sports: Breaking, Weapons, Freestyle. (Based on title alone, this is by far the best alternative viewing experience on television tonight.) MSG is taking a night off from the 1994 Knicks season, and is instead showing episodes of Islanders in 60 and Boomer & Carton in 60.
Tuck in, everybody. It's going to be a long winter.