World's top sport takes back seat to NBA


Here's one difference between America and the rest of the world. In this country, the fifth game of the NBA finals is broadcast live over a major network, while the opening games of the World Cup are relegated to lesser-viewed sports cable channels. In most other countries, soccer athletes, not pro basketball teams, would be the Ready For Prime Time Players.

* "The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr." (8-9 p.m., WBFF, Channel 45, and WTTG, Channel 5) -- A nice Western twist on a standard Agatha Christie plot has all the big bounty hunters gathering at a convention -- then being picked off, one by one, by a mysterious murderer. The same thing's happening to "Brisco" after tonight, when it leaves the schedule, but this time the culprit is obvious. Who killed "Brisco County, Jr."? The Fox executives did. Fox.

* "NBA Finals" (9 p.m.-conclusion, WMAR, Channel 2) -- Are there good vibes at Madison Square Garden these days, or what? First the Rangers win the Stanley Cup on Tuesday, then the Knicks come back on Wednesday and even up their series against the Houston Rockets at two games apiece. Tonight's Game 5 takes place at the same place -- and this is one occasion where, to New Yorkers at least, MSG is a major and desired ingredient. NBC.


* "World Cup Soccer: Bolivia vs. Germany" (2:55 p.m.-conclusion, ESPN) -- Germany, the defending champion of World Cup Soccer, starts a quest to repeat its 1990 triumph by facing Bolivia, which has had no previous World Cup appearances to Germany's 12. Think of it as the soccer equivalent of a Harlem Globe trotters game, but enjoy it anyway.

* "Love Potion No. 9" (3-4:35 p.m., MAX) -- Sandra Bullock, co-star of the new action hit "Speed," starred in this lame little comedy two years ago, in which she and Tate Donovan play school nerds transformed into objects of desire after imbibing a magic potion. The freshest and wittiest part of this comedy is the theme song, which is 35 years old.

* "World Cup Soccer: South Korea vs. Spain" (7:25 p.m.-conclusion, ESPN2) -- This match is broadcast live on ESPN2, and repeated after midnight (at 12:25 a.m., to be precise) on ESPN.

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