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Ultimate Emmys Bracket: Can Fleabag Best the Athletes of American Ninja Warrior?

Also: Comedy legends square off in the battle between Better Call Saul and Schitt's Creek.
  • (Photos: Amazon/BBC and NBC)
    (Photos: Amazon/BBC and NBC)

    In the days leading up to the 2019 Emmy Awards, we're pitting the 26 shows with the most nominatations against each other to determine Primetimer readers' favorite Emmy-nominated series of the year. Full details in our kick-off post. 

    On to the next set of match-ups in round one... (Seed number appears before show title)

    Round 1, Match 3

    (Photos: BBC/Amazon, NBC)

    Fleabag
    Network: Amazon Prime
    Nominations: 11, including Outstanding Comedy Series

    Let’s raise a Marks & Spencer’s pre-mixed gin and tonic can to Phoebe Waller-Bridge for the triumphant second season of Fleabag, which somehow managed to be perfect from start to finish. After dominating at the TCA Awards last month, can Phoebe Waller-Bridge replicate that success at the Emmys? In the acting categories, she is joined by recent Oscar-winner Olivia Colman (who is looking to add to her EGOT tally), scene-stealer Sian Clifford as Fleabag's sister, as well as Fiona Shaw and Kristin Scott Thomas in the guest category. The (Hot) Priest (Andrew Scott) told us this love would pass, I’m not sure he is right.

    American Ninja Warrior
    Network: NBC
    Nominations: 2, including Outstanding Reality Competition
    This is a fourth Outstanding Reality Competition nomination for American Ninja Warrior, a show that began life on the now-defunct G4 network. This season saw the introduction of new obstacles with bold names including the Ring Turn and Slippery Summit. It is also another year in which no finalist triumphed over the Ultimate Cliffhanger, but can the reality competition finally triumph against previous winners Ru Paul’s Drag Race, The Voice, and The Amazing Race?

    The Matchup: Despite a more modest nomination tally, Fleabag has been one of THE stories of this Emmy season, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge a shining new talent. But American Ninja Warrior has been a beloved reality show that doesn't always get the respect it deserves, and that might motivate its fans to smash that vote button.

    Vote now for who should advance to Round 2:

     

    Round 1, Match 4

    (Photos: AMC, CBC/Pop)

    Better Call Saul
    Network: AMC
    Nominations: 9, including Outstanding Drama Series

    Four seasons in and Better Call Saul still hasn’t replicated Breaking Bad’s winning formula at the Emmys, but maybe the fourth time’s the charm. Bob Odenkirk’s only Emmy win comes courtesy of his first nomination for writing on Saturday Night Live back in 1989, but it's time for this Gilligan-created drama to receive some acting recognition. Odenkirk isn't the only one deserving of attention, as both Jonathan Banks and Giancarlo Esposito have been nominated for playing these characters, losing out to Aaron Paul. Now they face off against a mostly Game of Thrones line-up.

    Schitt’s Creek
    Network: Pop
    Nominations: 4, including Outstanding Comedy Series

    As with Bob Odenkirk, nominees Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara have previously only won Emmys for writing (both for SCTV), but now they're both recognized for their roles as Johnny and Moira Rose. Awards is Moira’s favorite season and while her movie, The Crows Have Eyes III: The Crowening got unceremoniously shelved at the end of the season, O’Hara could win for this role within a role. Despite this failed comeback for the Rose matriarch, Season 5 features a number of personal triumphs, not to mention a Bob Fosse-worthy production of Cabaret.

    The Matchup: Odenkirk, Levy, and O'Hara are some of the giants in North American comedy, and they've all got their ardent fans. Better Call Saul hasn't aired new episodes in quite a long time, which could give Schitt's Creek enough room to maneuver an upset.

    Vote now for who should advance to Round 2:

    Watch for more matches in the coming days (and follow us on Twitter and/or like us on Facebook for direct access to the polls as they're released). 

    Emma Fraser has wanted to write about TV since she first watched My So-Called Life in the mid-90s, finally getting her wish over a decade later. Follow her on Twitter at @frazbelina

    TOPICS: 71st Primetime Emmy Awards, American Ninja Warrior, Better Call Saul, Fleabag, Schitt's Creek, Emmys Bracket