“Marriage Ref” to get prime post-Olympics spot


NBC has picked a new comedy panel series executive produced by Jerry Seinfeld for a “sneak peek” on Sunday, February 28th for the primo time slot following the network’s coverage of the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. If everything is on schedule, “The Marriage Ref” will air 10:30-11:00 pm ET.

Comedian/actor Tom Papa has been personally selected by Seinfeld to host and serve as the “marriage ref.” In “The Marriage Ref,” married life takes center stage as disputes between real-life couples are revealed, examined — and ultimately judged on who is right and who is wrong. For the first time, these couples will get something they’ve always wanted and never had, an undisputed winner ending their ongoing rift once and for all. These marital tiffs will run the gamut of disagreements — quirky, funny, revealing, relatable, classic — all in the signature Seinfeld tone.”

“Tom brings so much to the table that he is just the perfect fit to be the ‘marriage ref.’ In fact, having toured with him for over eight years, he was really the only person I considered when I was formulating the show. My feeling is that when you take a subject matter as rich and universal as marital disputes, and throw Tom Papa into the mix, the end result is bound to be refreshing and hilarious. Viewers are going to love him,” said Seinfeld.

“Utilizing the Winter Olympics as a platform for introducing this show provides an extraordinary opportunity. We’ve wanted to be in business with Tom Papa for some time and we think this is the perfect vehicle to bring him on board,” said NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin.

“The Marriage Ref” is produced by Seinfeld’s Columbus 81 Productions and Ellen Rakieten Entertainment. Seinfeld, Ellen Rakieten, Shed Media’s Nick Emmerson and Jennifer O’Connell, Al Berman, Howard West and George Shapiro serve as executive producers. Beth McCarthy-Miller is the director. International distribution is by Endemol.