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March Madness is an annual NCAA style bracket tournament. Starting in 2018, the tournament has determined a fan-selected director #TheTwoFriends would cover. In 2020, a supplemental bracket was added on the Blank Check: Special Features Patreon to determine a franchise for special features commentaries.

Sample bracket from 2018 (click to enlarge)

Summary

March Madness is an annually recurring event for the show, in which listeners get to vote on a subject for the show to cover in an upcoming miniseries.

Subjects of Blank Check miniseries' have long been a popular topic of speculation by fans of the show. Over the course of the podcast's history many potential blank check directors, film franchises, and even star actors have been bandied about. Mailbag episodes have often featured a number of questions about them, the Blankies subreddit often has message threads about them, and on the podcast itself #TheTwoFriends will themselves sometimes entertain various notions of who or what would be fun to discuss. March Madness is one way for listeners to make their voices heard in a collective action.

The March Madness event pits 32 different miniseries options against each other in head to head matchups until just one winner remains. Over a period of weeks during the month of March, each individual matchup is voted on by fans to determine the winners. Griffin and David also emphasize that every one of the 32 contenders is one that they would enjoy doing a miniseries on -- there are no Whammies in this bunch, no patsies, no fall guys, so vote freely wherever your own conscience leads you!

The winning miniseries is then slotted into the upcoming schedule.

March Madness Rules

  • Polls post on the Blank Check website blankcheckpod.com at or around the same time each day. Prior to 2022 the polls were posted on Twitter @blankcheckpod.
  • Polls are open for 24 hours, new poll daily from 3/1 through 3/31
  • Winner = covered at the next available opportunity!
  • Loser β‰  they never cover them

Tournament History

The tournaments began in 2018 and have grown steadily since then. Generally the winner of the tournament is covered in the fall of that year. After the launch of the Blank Check: Special Features, a corresponding franchise bracket has been part of the tournament available to Patreon subscribers.

March Madness Tournament History 2018-2022
Votes cast per round Total Results
1 2 3 4 5
2018 34,652 20,209 10,970 6,692 3,810 76,333 1. Nancy Meyers
2. David Fincher
2019 54,420 30,557 15,680 9,870 6,240 116,767 1. Jonathan Demme
2. George Miller
2020
Oscars vs. the Razzies
100,747 56,491 39,173 20,801 8,995 226,207 1. Robert Zemeckis
2. Barry Sonnenfeld
2021
Host v. Host v. Producer v. Guests
190,246 86,182 50,579 53,469 35,221 415,697 1. John Carpenter
2. Gore Verbinski
2022
20th Century
122,554 69,021
(nice)
35,470 23,542 15,635 266,222 1. Stanley Kubrick
2. Orson Welles

Special Features Tournament

Beginning in 2020 after the first full year of the Patreon, a corresponding tournament was launched to determine a franchise that would be covered as a commentary series. As with the main bracket, losing franchises still often get covered. Participation in tournament voting has increased over the years, but not at the same rate as with the main bracket. As of 2022, the tournament will remain on Patreon as it did not experience the same controversy as the twitter polls.

Special Features March Madness Tournament History 2020-2022
Votes cast per round Total Results
1 2 3 4 5
2020 48,999 24,648 13,037 6,802 3,657 97,143 1. Mission: Impossible
2. Alien
2021 66,762 32,710 16,540 8,742 4,836 129,590 1. The Twilight Saga
2. The Mummy
2022
20th Century
70,501 34,785 17,336 9,174 5266 137,062 1. Moore Bonds
2. Planet of the Apes

March Madness Episodes

Recaps of the tournament have been appeared on the main feed and the patreon.

# Title Audio Guest(s) Length Date
152 March Madness 2018 Recap - Round 1 πŸ”Š 0:26 3/15/2018
155 March Madness 2018 Recap - Round 3 πŸ”Š 0:17 3/29/2018
-- SPECIAL BLANK CHECK MARCH MADNESS ANNOUNCEMENT! πŸ”Š 0:03 2/26/2022
Special Features
SF009 March Madness 2019 Recap - Round 1 πŸ”Š 0:26 3/10/2019
SF011 March Madness 2019 Recap - Round 2 πŸ”Š Chip Smith 0:18 3/19/2019
SF014 March Madness 2019 Recap - Round 3 πŸ”Š Alex Ross Perry 0:32 3/29/2019
SF051 March Madness 2020 Recap - Round 1 πŸ”Š Chip Smith
Ben Hosley
Angela Ferraguto
0:34 3/9/2020
SF052 March Madness 2020 Recap - Round 2 πŸ”Š 0:58 3/18/2020
SF054 March Madness 2020 Recap - Round 3 πŸ”Š 0:49 3/26/2020
SF056 March Madness 2020 Recap - Round 4 πŸ”Š Chip Smith 0:38 4/2/2020
SF090 March Madness 2021 Recap - Round 1 πŸ”Š Chip Smith
Ben Hosley
Marie Bardi
1:23 3/10/2021
SF092 March Madness 2021 Recap - Round 2 πŸ”Š Ben Hosley
Marie Bardi
54:36 3/17/2021
SF094 March Madness 2021 Recap - Round 3 πŸ”Š Ben Hosley
Marie Bardi
ChipBot
0:50 3/29/2021
SF130 2022 MARCH MADNESS PREVIEW πŸ”Š Ben Hosley
Marie Bardi
1:03 2/25/2022
SF134 2022 MARCH MADNESS UPDATE 1 PRESENTED BY THE CHIP REPORT πŸŒœπŸ”Š Chip Smith
Ben Hosley
Marie Bardi
1:02 3/21/2022
SF136 2022 MARCH MADNESS UPDATE 2 PRESENTED BY THE CHIP REPORT πŸ”ŠπŸŒ› Chip Smith
Ben Hosley
Marie Bardi
0:51 3/29/2022

Director Statistics

A green check mark (βœ…) indicates the bracket winner. A white/blue check mark (β˜‘οΈ) indicates they were included in that year's bracket. A gray square indicates they were covered on the podcast and therefore ineligible for the bracket.

Director 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Albert Brooks β˜‘οΈ
Alex Proyas β˜‘οΈ
Alfonso CuarΓ³n β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Alfred Hitchcock (1929-1941) β˜‘οΈ
Alfred Hitchcock (1942-1976) β˜‘οΈ
Amy Heckerling β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Andrei Tarkovsky β˜‘οΈ
Anthony Minghella β˜‘οΈ
The Archers (Powell & Pressburger) β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Barbra Streisand β˜‘οΈ
Barry Sonnenfeld β˜‘οΈ
Baz Luhrmann β˜‘οΈ
Bill Condon β˜‘οΈ
Blake Edwards β˜‘οΈ
Bob Fosse β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Bong Joon-Ho β˜‘οΈ
Buster Keaton β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Carl Th. Dreyer β˜‘οΈ
Charlie Chaplin β˜‘οΈ
Chris Columbus β˜‘οΈ
Coen Brothers β˜‘οΈ
Danny Boyle β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Danny Devito β˜‘οΈ
Darren Aronofsky β˜‘οΈ
David Cronenberg β˜‘οΈ
David Fincher β˜‘οΈ
David Lean β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
David S. Ward β˜‘οΈ
Dennis Dugan β˜‘οΈ
Don Bluth β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Dorothy Arzner β˜‘οΈ
Edward Yang β˜‘οΈ
Elaine May β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Ernest Dickerson β˜‘οΈ
Ernst Lubitsch β˜‘οΈ
F. Gary Gray β˜‘οΈ
F.W. Murnau β˜‘οΈ
Francis Ford Coppola β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
FranΓ§ois Truffaut β˜‘οΈ
Fritz Lang β˜‘οΈ
George Miller β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Gore Verbinski β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Guillermo del Toro β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Gus Van Sant β˜‘οΈ
Guy Ritchie β˜‘οΈ
Hal Ashby β˜‘οΈ
Harmony Korine β˜‘οΈ
Ida Lupino β˜‘οΈ
Jackie Chan β˜‘οΈ
Jacques Tati β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Jane Campion β˜‘οΈ
Jean Cocteau β˜‘οΈ
Joe Dante β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Joe Johnston β˜‘οΈ
John Carpenter β˜‘οΈ βœ…
John Cassavetes β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
John McTiernan β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
John Singleton β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Jonathan Demme βœ…
Karyn Kusama β˜‘οΈ
Kelly Reichardt β˜‘οΈ
Kevin Costner β˜‘οΈ
Luc Besson β˜‘οΈ
Luchino Visconti β˜‘οΈ
Lynne Ramsay β˜‘οΈ
Martin Brest β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Martin Scorcese β˜‘οΈ
Mel Brooks β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Melvin Van Peebles β˜‘οΈ
Michael Bay β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Michael Cimino β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Michael Mann β˜‘οΈ
Mike Judge β˜‘οΈ
Mike Leigh β˜‘οΈ
Mike Nichols β˜‘οΈ
MiloΕ‘ Forman β˜‘οΈ
Nancy Meyers βœ…
Nora Ephron β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Oliver Stone β˜‘οΈ
Orson Welles β˜‘οΈ
Paul Thomas Anderson β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Paul Verhoeven (Dutch) β˜‘οΈ
Paul W.S. Anderson β˜‘οΈ
Penelope Spheeris β˜‘οΈ
Penny Marshall β˜‘οΈ
Peter Farrelly β˜‘οΈ
Peter Jackson β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Peter Weir β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Preston Sturges β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Prince β˜‘οΈ
Robert Altman (1970's) β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Robert Zemeckis βœ…
Sam Raimi β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Sergei Eisenstein β˜‘οΈ
Sofia Coppola β˜‘οΈ
Spike Jonze β˜‘οΈ
Stanley Kubrick βœ…
Steve McQueen β˜‘οΈ
Steven Spielberg (pre-Oscar) β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Sylvester Stallone β˜‘οΈ
Terrence Malick β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Terry Gilliam β˜‘οΈ
Tom Green β˜‘οΈ
Tom Hooper β˜‘οΈ
Tony Scott β˜‘οΈ
Warren Beatty β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Wes Anderson β˜‘οΈ
William Friedkin β˜‘οΈ β˜‘οΈ
Wolfgang Peterson β˜‘οΈ
Wong Kar Wai β˜‘οΈ

References

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