All this time while I was charting the brackets challenges in the Chicago Tribune and in the Florida Times-Union, the News & Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina was holding its own challenge. But whereas the contest in Chicago was for the best of the current TV Characters, and the Times-Union was searching for the greatest ever Sitcom Character, the News & Observer wanted to find the greatest TV character of all time. And to do so, they allowed not only dramatic characters, sitcom characters and those from the Tooniverse, but also from the world of daytime drama as well.
As such, Erica Kane of 'All My Children' made it into the Elite Eight!
One of my friends and a frequent commenter here, Jaia, alerted me to this new challenge... just in time to read the final results. Who knows? Maybe had "Inner Toob" been able to report on the action just a little bit sooner, the outcome might have been different....
Here's how their tent city of Bracketsville was first constructed in Raleigh:
WOMEN'S DIVISION (COMEDY)
Lucy Ricardo vs. Joy Turner Florence Johnston vs. Suzanne Sugarbaker
Murphy Brown vs. Raven Baxter Betty Suarez vs. Gabrielle Solis
Rachel Green vs. Dorothy Zbornak Roseanne Conner vs. Samantha Stevens
Laverne DeFazio vs. Carrie Bradshaw Mary Richards vs. Julia Baker
MEN'S DIVISION (COMEDY)
Barney Fife vs. Robert Barone Alex Keaton vs. Sam Malone
Gilligan vs. Jed Clampett Heathcliff Huxtable vs. George Costanza
Fred Sanford vs. Fonzie Archie Bunker vs. Arnold Jackson
Hawkeye Pierce vs. JJ Evans Homer Simpson vs. Jack McFarland
WOMEN'S DIVISION (DRAMA)
Erica Kane vs. Kelly Garrett Lt. Anita Van Buren vs. Dr. Michaela Quinn
Lt. Colleen McMurphy vs. Capt. Kathryn Janeway Dana Scully vs. Sydney Barstow
Alexis Carrington vs. Brenda Walsh Buffy Summers vs. Catherine Willows
Mary Beth Lacey vs. Olivia Benson Dr. Miranda Bailey vs. Grace Van Owen
MEN'S DIVISION (DRAMA)
Jack Bauer vs. Ricardo Tubbs Marshall Matt Dillon vs. James Rockford
Thomas Magnum vs. Capt. Frank Furillo Capt. James T. Kirk vs. Col. Steve Austin
Dr. Gregory House vs. Sgt. Andy Sipowicz JR Ewing vs. Hiro Nakamura
President Josiah Bartlet vs. BA Baracus Tony Soprano vs. Dr. Jack Shepherd
Pretty powerful lineup. Just off the top of my head though - where are Sgt. Chip Saunders, CJ Cregg, Sawyer or Hurley, Mr. Ed, Jeannie, Uncle Fester, Granny Clampett, Luke Spencer, Victor Newman? Was it one character per show? And where are the British characters? Emma Peel and the Doctor?
So that list got winnowed down to the following:
Lucy Ricardo vs. Florence Johnston Murphy Brown vs. Betty Suarez
Rachel Green vs. Samantha Stevens Carrie Bradshaw vs. Mary Richards
Barney Fife vs. Alex Keaton Gilligan vs. Dr. Huxtable
Fred Sanford vs. Archie Bunker Hawkeye Pierce vs. Homer Simpson
Erica Kane vs. Dr. Quinn Lt. McMurphy vs Dana Scully
Alexis Carrington vs. Buffy Summers Mary Beth Lacey vs. Dr. Bailey
Jack Bauer vs. James Rockford Thomas Magnum vs. Captain Kirk
Dr. House vs. JR Ewing President Bartlet vs. Tony Soprano
Then it was on to the Sweet Sixteen (if I'm doing my math correctly).....
Lucy Ricardo vs. Murphy Brown Rachel Green vs. Mary Richards
Barney Fife vs. Dr. Huxtable Archie Bunker vs. Homer Simpson
Erica Kane vs. Dana Scully Buffy Summers vs. Dr. Bailey
Jack Bauer vs. Captain Kirk Dr. House vs. Tony Soprano
(I liked that match-up between the two Jersey Boys. The cane could have been the deciding factor - to the back of the head!)
THE ELITE EIGHT!
Lucy Ricardo vs. Mary Richards
Barney Fife vs. Homer Simpson
Erica Kane vs. Dr. Miranda Bailey
Jack Bauer vs. Dr. House
And then... the Final Four:
Lucy Ricardo vs. Barney Fife
Dr. Bailey vs. Jack Bauer
The final match-up was a classic battle of the sexes and of comedy vs. drama:
Jack Bauer vs. Lucy Ricardo
You'd think ol' Barn would have had hometown advantage, this being a Raleigh-based competition. But surprisingly, Lucy went on to face the King of Pain and she was ultimately crowned the Queen.
According to staff writer Matt Ehlers, one particular entrant had an interesting fan base. The TV Crossover Hall of Fame inductee for February of 2007, Florence Johnston, garnered only two votes - one from a prisoner in Central Prison and the other from Clay Aiken.
Ehlers didn't know what to make of that, but he figured there was a "Movin' On Up" joke in there somewhere.
It makes me wonder now if there were other newspapers around the country who engaged in a Bracketsville-type competition like this for TV characters.
But I'll be bleeped if I'm going to type up all those bracket entries again!