Despite anything that may happen on the TV screen, the "Downton Abbey" duo of Mary and Matthew clearly live on in the hearts of their fans.

For the second straight week, the British lovebirds narrowly stayed alive in our first TV couples tournament. They edged past Beckett and Castle by just two votes and into the Final 8 phase of the competition. They have now won their two tourney matchups by a total of three votes.

Scully and Mulder of "The X Files" had no such difficulty in their second-round battle. They posted a 74 percent margin of victory -- the largest among all the matchups -- and easily vanquished Brenda and Dylan of "Beverly Hills 90210."

Other big winners included Diane and Sam of "Cheers" and Marge and Homer of "The Simpsons." Both couples finished with a 71 percent margin of victory.

But now it's down to crunchtime as we move into Round 3. Here are the intriguing matchups:

  • Mary & Matthew vs. Booth & Brennan ("Bones")

  • Diane & Sam ("Cheer") vs. Clair and Cliff ("The Cosby Show")

  • Scully and Mulder vs. Maddie and David ("Moonlighting")

  • Marge & Homer vs. Cameron & Mitchell ("Modern Family")

    And again, you will decide who wins. Simply use the link at the bottom of this story to vote for your favorite duos. TV couples of the past make up one side of the bracket and present-day couples fill out the other.


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    By voting -- with a click of the mouse -- you'll help us narrow the field. Of course, we'll want you to come back to vote again when the next phase of the tournament begins. Keep in mind that the polls close for third-round voting at 3 p.m., Friday.

    START VOTING HERE!!!!

    Read Chuck Barney's TV blog at http://blogs.mercurynews.com/aei/category/tv and follow him at http://twitter.com/chuckbarney.