It seemed like such a good idea at the time: The Chicago publication RedEye thought it would be fun to hold a NCAA tournament-style competition to pick the best character on television. Little did they know it would turn into a serious battle complete with rigged Web browsers.
The craziness apparently started during the Sweet Sixteen round, when Dr. Gregory House took on Veronica Mars. Veronica held the lead until some "House" fans got the memo and started voting the druggie doctor up. House's momentum carried him all the way into the Elite Eight, where he took on another fan favorite: Dwight Schrute of "The Office." "Office" fans aren't the type to let their guy get clobbered, so they posted their own call to action.
Then, well, everything became utter mayhem. Some people apparently rigged their Web browsers to vote hundreds of times per minute by the time voting was scheduled to close yesterday. "We knew you loved your favorite TV characters," the Red Eye staff wrote, "but we didn’t know how far you were willing to go for them."
So — with the exception of Jack Donaghy of "30 Rock" vs. Ari Gold of "Entourage," in which Donaghy won with no evidence of tampering — the polls were reset and the voting reopened. Until 1 p.m. Central time today, you can still vote for the characters you think should advance to the Final Four. But remember: No funny business! To see the matchups,
- Jack Bauer of "24" vs. Sawyer Ford of "Lost"
- Dwight Schrute of "The Office" vs. Dr. Gregory House of "House"
- Capt. Kara Thrace of "Battlestar Galactica" vs. Homer Simpson of "The Simpsons"