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Not a basketball fan? Here are 5 things to watch instead of March Madness

 Jake Gyllenhaal as Dalton in Road House.
Jake Gyllenhaal as Dalton in Road House.

The 2024 NCAA Tournament, a.k.a. March Madness, is a very exciting time for TV watchers...at least, for those who like college basketball. For the rest of us, it can be a bit boring seeing those cable TV schedules dominated by the annual sports tournament, which will determine the college basketball national champions in both the men's and women's brackets.

But don't worry: if you'd rather not have to watch athletes playing hoops for hours on end, there are plenty of non-March Madness TV options to enjoy this weekend. Whether your viewing tastes lean more towards Oscar contenders like Past Lives, star-studded miniseries like Palm Royale, and '80s classics like Ghostbusters and Road House, here are five great titles that will keep you happily distracted from all of that b-ball stuff.

5 things to watch besides March Madness

1. Road House (Prime Video)

Fresh on the Prime Video platform as of Thursday, March 21, this reimagining of the 1989 film of the same name stars Jack Gyllenhaal as troubled former UFC fighter Elwood Dalton, who takes the job of head bouncer at an unruly roadhouse in the Florida Keys. If you've seen the Patrick Swayze-led original, you already know what to expect from this one—namely, a whole lot of jabs, hooks and the punchy like. Joining Gyllenhaal in the cast are Daniela Melchior, J. D. Pardo, Arturo Castro, Billy Magnussen and real-life UFC champion Conor McGregor in his feature film debut.

2. Past Lives (Showtime)

This weekend sees the cable TV premiere of Past Lives, the wistful A24 drama that won over critics and audiences alike with its bittersweet depiction of two childhood friends who reconnect in New York City after two decades. Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Celine Song and featuring tremendous performances by Greta Lee, Teo Yoo, and John Magaro, the film earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The romantic drama will air on Showtime on Sunday, March 24, at 8pm Eastern, and will be available to stream on Paramount Plus.

3. Ghostbusters (The CW) and Ghostbusters: Afterlife (FX)

There's a bit of a Ghostbusters theme on TV this weekend and for good reason: the latest film in the supernatural comedy franchise, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, hit theaters beginning Friday, March 22.

But before you see that sequel, you can check out its predecessor, 2021's Ghostbusters: Afterlife—which stars Paul Rudd, Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard and Mckenna Grace—on FX on Saturday, March 23 at 8pm ET. And if you'd rather hang out with O.G. ghostbusters like Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, the original 1984 Ghostbusters movie will be airing on The CW on Sunday, March 24 at 7pm ET. Both films are also available to stream on Hulu.

4. Palm Royale (Apple TV+)

The first three episodes of this period-piece miniseries dropped on Apple TV+ on Wednesday, March 20 and immediately transported viewers to Palm Beach high society in the late 1960s. Kristen Wiig leads an incredibly star-studded cast—which includes Laura Dern, Allison Janney, Josh Lucas, Leslie Bibb, Ricky Martin, Kaia Gerber and the legendary Carol Burnett, to name just a few—as Max Simmons, an ambitious woman looking to break into the exclusive and elitist Florida community.

5. World Figure Skating Championships (NBC)

Just because we don't want to watch basketball doesn't mean we're ruling out sports entirely this weekend. Airing live from Montreal's Bell Centre on NBC, USA Network and Peacock through Sunday, March 24, the 2024 World Figure Skating Championships will finish off with the men's free skate on Saturday night at 8pm Eastern. But just because the competition portion is ending doesn't mean that there won't be more world-class skating on Sunday: there's the fan-favorite Exhibition Gala happening from 2pm to 4:30pm ET on Peacock, featuring all medalists from the men’s, women’s, pair and ice dance events.