#1 I Love Lucy vs. #16 It’s Garry Shandling Show
As in real life, Garry Shandling’s unique and meta-to-the-hilt show was not loved by this tournament, or more accurately it went up against one of TV history’s GOATs. If you frame it that way, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show held its own. More accurately it lost and Lucy’s home in the second round
#8 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air vs. #9 Barry
Noho Hank fans rejoice as the darkest comedy currently on basic cable moves on to the next round by a single vote. It’s also the show with the first of three of Hollywood’s kindest soul Henry Winkler’s iconic characters. Our most soulful serial killer will likely never find redemption or equal the score (how could he at this point?!), but he will get to face his natural enemy, Lucille Ball, in the second round.
And this is a comedy!
#2 The Larry Sanders Show vs. #15 Strangers with Candy
Win some, lose some. This one came surprisingly close to becoming our biggest upset yet. Amy Sedaris’ signature show featuring a raucous, wisecracking 46-year-old high school freshman may be peak Sedaris, which also makes it polarizing. Garry Shandling narrowly avoids losing twice in the first round as his less meta but still somewhat meta fake talk show with real guests poking fun at themselves moves on along to face…
#7 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt vs. #10 Malcolm in the Middle
She’s alive, dammit! It’s a miracle! Actually not really a miracle, but it was relatively close and Kimmy, Titus, Lillian, Jacqueline, Kimmy’s talking backpack and the rest of its motley universe of NYC weirdos live to fight another day. Down a pinot noir (or a peeno noir if that’s your thing) as Malcolm is in the middle of packing his bags home.
#3 Atlanta vs. #14 Peep Show
Earn, Darius, and Paper Boi ease their way into the second round of this megatournament, beating the BBC4’s longest running comedy in its history. David Mitchell and Robert Webb’s neuroses were no match for Donald Glover, Brian Tyree Henry, and Lakeith Stanfield’s soul searchng hustles in the Georgia capital. In the Round of 64, it will face…
#6 Superstore vs. #11 The Adventures of Pete & Pete
The employees and management of the St. Louis Cloud 9 box store can rejoice as they eke out a close victory over a childhood favorite of many. Whlle the genial but razor sharp network show lost by quite a lot on GBOAT, it roared back once the mail-in votes were counted. Now maybe Amy will wear her own nametag.
#4 WKRP in Cincinnati vs. #13 Everybody Hates Chris
Baby, if you ever wondered, wondered if WKRP would make it out of the first round–well, you probably shouldn’t have. The classic program about a midwest radio station trying to find its audience with the help of rock and/or roll music had the easiest win of the week, outpacing Chris Rock’s childhood memoir by an over 7:1 margin. It’s less that everyone hated Chris, but more about how much we like the lovable misfits of WKRP and in the Round of 64, they play…
#5 The IT Crowd vs. #12 NewsRadio
Did someone email us about a fire? The wacky misadventures of Roy, Moss, and Jen lost in the GBOAT tally, but roared back in our online voting here. We almost had a matchup between radio stations WKRP and WNYX, but the antics at the latter NYC radio station fell short, and it’s the delightfully silly show that Graham Linehan writes almost exclusively by himself wins the day. By the way, did you know they did a pilot of an American version with Richard Ayoade’s uber-nerd Moss carried over with Joel McHale as Roy.