If not for the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, Thursday would be the first full day of NCAA men’s basketball tournament March Madness action (following the First Four Tuesday and Wednesday). Last year’s Thursday first round games started at 12:15 p.m. Eastern on CBS and ran late into the night across CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, and that continued with first round games Friday. Second-round games Saturday and Sunday weren’t all as encompassing, but CBS still aired games from 12:10 p.m. Eastern until the early evening both days, with TNT and TBS airing games beginning at 6:10 and 7:10 p.m. Eastern respectively each day.
But with this year’s tournament canceled, what do these networks’ schedules look like now? Well, it’s a lot of reruns and movies in most cases. But CBS will be showing classic NCAA tournament games Saturday and Sunday. Here’s a combined schedule for all four networks through Sunday sans original March Madness (you can also click here to see it in a larger window), constructed via OnTVTonight.com and John Ourand’s tweets about CBS airing old games:
There are some obvious themes here, from CBS rerunning a lot of their procedurals to TBS and TNT going to their usual reruns of comedies they have the rights to and reruns of movies to truTV showing a whole lot of Impractical Jokers. (An interesting side note there is that both Friday and Sunday have Impractical Jokers “March Madness Bracket Breakdown” and “March Madness Bracket Attack” specials in the listings; it’s unclear if that will just turn into regular Impractical Jokers reruns or not.) But hey, it seems likely the regular numbers of people trying to find truTV will be down this year, unless they’re really, really into Impractical Jokers.