#1 All in the Family vs. #9 The Last Man on Earth
As much as we love Will Forte’s unusual (and oddly heartfelt) apocalypse comedy, this one is kind of a no-brainer as Norman Lear’s masterpiece was revolutionary when it debuted in the early 1970s, and stands up half a century later. Archie and Edith move on to a match-up that pits adjoining boroughs against one another (love it when it works out that way)…
#4 Brooklyn Nine-Nine vs. #5 Modern Family
While Modern Family at its best was everything a sitcom should be, and was at its best as a door-slamming farce, it could also become full of itself or succumb to lazy writing. It’s no surprise that the deftly written cop comedy starring Andy Samberg and one of the best ensembles on television would walk away fairly handily with a second round victory over the Emmy darling. For Mike Schur, this is his seventh “March” Madness win, but can he go 8-for-8 in the first two rounds. Find out below.
#2 Schitt’s Creek vs. #7 Fresh Off the Boat
The genteel-est show in our survey also wins by the widest margin this week as the Roses knock off the Huangs by an 18-vote margin. Dan Levy continued his Emmy run with a nomination for his hosting gig on SNL (which was underrated), but will David and Alexis’ cynical veneer prevail another round up against TV’s truest curmudgeon.
#3 Curb Your Enthusiasm vs. #11 The Dick Van Dyke Show
Larry David got pretty pretty pretty lucky this week as his unscripted show about something(s) won the tiebreaker, barely evading a late vote on this site that would have put Rob Petrie and his friends and fellow writers over the top (we miss you Carl Reiner). Ted Danson moves onto the third round with a third show that he was a major part of (should we have included Becker?).
#1 The Office [US] vs. #9 Barney Miller
Dunder-Mifflin was at threat level midnight earlier this week, but the (American) office comedy that changed the game pulled away by a comfortable margin over the classic office comedy that was one of the best of the 1970s. Barney, Fish, Yamana, Wojo, Harris lose the ensemble battle to Michael Scott, Jim, Pam, Dwight, Andy, Phyllis, Kevin, Darryl, Stanley, Kelly, Toby, Ryan, Meredith, Oscar, dot dot dot, Robert California. How do you beat that? [Insert Michael Scott’s favorite catch phrase here]. And the Schuraverse remains perfect in the tournament.
#4 Veep vs. #5 Newhart
Good night Larry! Good night Brother Darryl! Goodnight Other Brother Darryl! We say so long to the sitcom with arguably the best (or at least the most referenced) ending in history as the more recent comedy–and one with its own memorable ending (Selena, how could you give up your Gary)–wins a close one and gains entry to the next round where it will be lucky enough to face one of the great half-hour comedies of all-time.
#2 30 Rock vs. #7 Soap
Speaking of show’s referencing classic endings (see above), Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy, Tracy Jordan, Jenna Maroney, Kenneth the Page, and the rest of The Girly Show gang does good (Superman does good, you do well, Jason). The sitcom set at Rockefeller Center in NYC moves on to face an even sadder sack than Liz in London.
#6 Fleabag vs. #14 What’s Happening!!
Phobe Waller-Bridge’s darker-than-dark comedy remains on its feet for what might be its first hard match-up next week, taking on Tina Fey’s SNL-hommage sitcom. Speaking of SNL, interesting factoid: every winning program in this post has had at least one person host live from New York on some Saturday night in the past. Along with Waller-Bridge, Dan Levy, Rob Reiner, Tina Fey, Andy Samberg, Ed Helms, Steve Carell, (AND) Rainn Wilson, Alec Baldwin (of course), Tracy Morgan, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus (and I’m sure we’re missing a few) have all taken the stage. Louis-Dreyfus in fact was the first female former cast member ever to host.