Friday, May 9

The CDP TV25 Tournament (Series Finale).

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Welcome to the Series Finale of the CDP TV25 Tournament to decide the Greatest Television Show of the Last 25 Years. It's all over but the paperwork, kids.

After 20 full days of voting, stretched out over nearly a month-and-a-half. After 127 total matchups. After the elimination of 127 of the greatest TV shows ever. After nearly four thousand total votes cast. After whining, ranting, complaining, joy, happiness, entitlement, criticism up the ass, passionate campaigning, and finally...acceptance.

We've made it all the way to the end. Only one show stands above the rest.

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The CDP TV25 Tournament has spoken: Breaking Bad is officially the Greatest Television Show of the Last 25 Years.

As a guy who only voted in tiebreaker situations, I can get behind this choice. I think it most represents the voice of the nation. I believe that if this tournament were held on a more massive scale, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Breaking Bad won that one, too. The timing doesn't hurt, either; a lot of people just got through watching the breathtaking 5th Season, or are plowing through it on Netflix as we speak. Would it win a similar tournament 22 years from now? Who knows, but it's a perfectly rational, defensible and most of all, worthy champion for 2014. I tip my cap to you, Breaking Bad.

Now, there are probably going to be quite a few of you who don't agree. I want to first state that if you did not vote, I don't really care what you have to say. You were probably one of the people who were the most grumpy and hyper-critical of the whole experiment from the beginning and didn't even consider participating except to throw in your two cents about not agreeing with anything. Well, good. Let this be a lesson to the kids out there: That is the voice of the Internet. It is the voice that critiques without creating, the voice that stifles any and all creativity and should never be listened to for a second.

Tournament's over. I don't have to be objective anymore. And for the last time, I'm sorry I forgot to include 24. I apologized like, three times, so put a cork in it.

To those who did participate, either every day until the bitter end or even just once, I sincerely thank you. I could not have done this without you. Literally, your votes controlled this entire thing. It was the culmination of over two years of research, organization and worst of all, blurb writing (those weekly recaps were murder on my dumb brain). I had wanted to do a fan participation tournament for a very long time now, and I was overall very pleased to see it take shape and succeed the way it did. I had fun, even though I stayed up past midnight nearly every night for the past month counting votes in an Excel spreadsheet. I've never turned the CDP over to you guys before, and to have almost no control whatsoever regarding a massive Pop Culture tournament was an interesting experience for me to say the least.

I agreed with the majority rule on most matchups. Some of your decisions also baffled me. Here are the Top 5 that left my head shaking:

5. Saved By The Bell defeating Roseanne (Round 1)
4. Friends defeating South Park (Round 4)
3. The Sopranos defeating The Wire (Round 4)
2. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air defeating Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Round 2)
1. Lost defeating Battlestar Galactica (Round 3)

...Okay, just kidding about that last one. That was awesome!

Like most of you, I get very passionate and defensive when someone criticizes a piece of art that I love. Whether we make a conscious effort to do so or not, we attach ourselves emotionally to things that we like (a revelation, I'm sure). They become an extension of who we are, so when they get bullied, we cannot help but take it personally. Books, films, sports teams; it's all the same sort of personal extension. It's why we cheer when they succeed and get depressed when they fail (or merely get canceled). A certain part of their success belongs to us, and as supporters of whatever respective art we choose, we ebb and flow right along with them. Sounds insane when it's spelled out like that, but it's also pretty beautiful.

While it wouldn't look this way to an outside observer, this tournament (and your willingness to participate in it), was an intimate peek into your tastes and personalities. Sometimes things like this tell more about what makes someone tick than hours of conversation. No matter how many essays I write, I usually strike the most personal chord with a stranger when I decide to rattle off lists of my favorite pieces of Pop Culture. Weird how we work, but it's fundamentally true, and I've grown to respect and appreciate the process.

So once again, thank you for participating. I'm never doing this again.

Sound off in the comments section and enjoy your weekend. I'm taking a bit of a belated Spring Break, but I'll be back soon with brand new essays as the 10th Anniversary of the CDP rolls along.

Wednesday, May 7

The CDP TV25 Tournament (Finals).

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Welcome to Day 19 and 20 of the CDP TV25 Tournament to determine the Greatest Television Show of the Last 25 Years. It has all come down to this: Today you will be voting on the TOURNAMENT FINALS. But first, here's a quick recap of yesterday's SEMIFINAL Round.

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(If you wish to view the entire, 128-show bracket (and why wouldn't you?), you can check it out HERE.)

Parks and Recreation vs. 30 Rock
Winner: 30 ROCK

Parks and Recreation beat Shameless, Adventure Time, Modern Family, Community and Seinfeld to reach this point in the tournament; absolutely no easy task whatsoever, especially for a show still airing new episodes. But in the end, they lost out to a show I have absolutely no problem handing the Comedy Bracket Championship title to: the incomparable, instant classic 30 Rock. They now, however, have a major challenge on their hands in the form of perhaps the greatest Drama of all-time.

Breaking Bad vs. The Sopranos
Winner: BREAKING BAD

Maybe it was the fact that the Breaking Bad Series Finale is still fresh in our heads. Maybe it's because we didn't like The Sopranos' Series Finale all that much. Maybe we were angry because The Sopranos eliminated both The Wire and Friday Night Lights. Maybe we just thought Breaking Bad was a true masterpiece of Television. Whatever the reason, Breaking Bad kicked the collective, proverbial ass of The Sopranos, capturing the title of Drama Bracket Champion and easily punching their ticket to today's Finals.

Well, here we finally are. 128 shows. Over FIVE WEEKS of your voting has led us to this point. The CDP TV25 Tournament FINALS to determine the Greatest Television Show of the Last 25 Years. Now then, today's Championship matchup is:

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30 Rock
7 Seasons/138 Episodes

Tournament Victories:
Pushing Daisies, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Freaks and Geeks, The Office, Friends, Parks and Recreation

Accolades:
'Comedy Series of the Decade' by Newsweek in 2009
'7th Greatest Sitcom of All-Time' by 60 Minutes in 2012
'One of the Best-Written Television Series of All-Time' by the Writers Guild of America in 2013

Emmy Awards:
11 Emmy Awards, including Best Comedy Series 3 years in a row

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Breaking Bad
5 Seasons/62 Episodes

Tournament Victories:
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Sons of Anarchy, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The X-Files, The Sopranos

Accolades:
Top 10 Television Series of '08, '10, '11, '12 and '13 by the American Film Institute
Highest-Rated Television Series of All-Time (Season 5), by the Guinness Book of World Records
'99 out of 100' by Metacritic (Highest rating ever for a Television series)

Emmy Awards:
7 Emmy Awards, including Best Actor In A Drama (Bryan Cranston) 3 years in a row

30 Rock vs. Breaking Bad

1. Voting for this portion of the tournament begins today at 12:01am CT and ends today at 11:59pm CT.

2. You may submit your votes one of three ways:
A. In the comments section below.
B. Through Facebook.
C. Through Twitter.

3. Vote only once per matchup, please.

Questions, comments or concerns? Want to make an argument for a show and sway some opinions? Sound off in the comments section and let your voice be heard. Tomorrow is an off-day as I tally the votes and prepare for Friday's finale, where the Greatest Television Show of the Last 25 Years will be crowned. Vote now and come back Friday, as the CDP TV25 tournament draws to a close.

Vote!

Tuesday, May 6

The CDP TV25 Tournament (Semifinals).

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Welcome to Day 18 of the CDP TV25 Tournament to determine the Greatest Television Show of the Last 25 Years. Today you will be voting on the SEMIFINALS. But first, here's a quick recap of yesterday's QUARTERFINAL Round.

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Seinfeld vs. Parks and Recreation
Winner: PARKS AND RECREATION

Wow. Bulldozing their way past the likes of Family Matters, NewsRadio, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and even The Simpsons, the NBC classic Seinfeld could not advance past the current Must-See Thursday powerhouse Parks and Recreation. Leslie Knope and the fine employees of Indiana state government have officially earned their way into the Semifinals, where they will meet a worthy (and familiar) opponent.

30 Rock vs. Friends
Winner: 30 ROCK

After knocking out Hey Arnold!, Daria, Boy Meets World and South Park from the tournament, iconic 90's staple Friends finally runs into a buzzsaw named 30 Rock. And hey, no arguments from this guy; 30 Rock is as close to sitcom perfection as it gets. Tina Fey and company punch their well-deserved ticket to the Semifinals.

The X-Files vs. Breaking Bad
Winner: BREAKING BAD

The X-Files didn't exactly have an easy road to the Quarterfinals. Scoring victories over Homicide, NYPD Blue, My So-Called Life and The Wonder Years, the sci-fi masterpiece met their match when they finally crossed paths with the instant AMC classic Breaking Bad. Now, the Vince Gilligan-penned epic has just one more hurdle before advancing to the Finals.

Friday Night Lights vs. The Sopranos
Winner: THE SOPRANOS

The Cinderella story of the tournament, Friday Night Lights, has come to a bittersweet end in the Quarterfinals. After close wins against the likes of True Blood, Veronica Mars, Mad Men and yes, Lost, the Taylor Family was bested by the torch-bearer of the Modern Golden Age of Television, HBO's The Sopranos. Now, Tony and crew have themselves matched up against Breaking Bad in the Semifinals, in what is possibly the two greatest TV narratives ever told.

Now then, today's matchups are:

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Parks and Recreation vs. 30 Rock

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Breaking Bad vs. The Sopranos

1. Voting for this portion of the tournament begins today at 12:01am CT and ends today at 11:59pm CT.

2. You may submit your votes one of three ways:
A. In the comments section below.
B. Through Facebook.
C. Through Twitter.

3. Vote only once per matchup, please.

Questions, comments or concerns? Want to make an argument for a show and sway some opinions? Sound off in the comments section and let your voice be heard. Tomorrow, we will begin voting for the FINALS. Vote now and come back tomorrow, as we work our way through the tournament!

Monday, May 5

The CDP TV25 Tournament (Quarterfinals).

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Welcome to Day 17 of the CDP TV25 Tournament to determine the Greatest Television Show of the Last 25 Years. Today you will be voting on the QUARTERFINALS.

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Out of 128 shows, it has all come down to this. Today’s matchups are:

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Seinfeld vs. Parks and Recreation

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30 Rock vs. Friends

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The X-Files vs. Breaking Bad

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Friday Night Lights vs. The Sopranos

1. Voting for this portion of the tournament begins today at 12:01am CT and ends today at 11:59pm CT.

2. You may submit your votes one of three ways:
A. In the comments section below.
B. Through Facebook.
C. Through Twitter.

3. Vote only once per matchup, please.

Questions, comments or concerns? Want to make an argument for a show and sway some opinions? Sound off in the comments section and let your voice be heard. Tomorrow, we will begin voting for the SEMIFINALS. Vote now and come back tomorrow, as we work our way through the tournament!