Jerry Seinfeld returns to NBC with “The Marriage Ref”

Jerry Seinfeld doesn't need the money. But Seinfeld cannot stay away from the stage, whether it's stand-up comedy or television. NBC announced today that he's coming back to the Peacock Network, creating a comedy/reality show about married couples tentatively called "The Marriage Ref." It'll take real married couples with disputes and have them judged upon by celebs, comedians and athletes.

No word on whether Seinfeld will appear on camera or stay behind the scenes, nor when it'll debut, but it won't air in the 10 p.m. hour. Leno's got that wrapped up. More likely 8 p.m.

Full press release from NBC after the jump…

UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIF. – February 26, 2009 – NBC is proud to announce a
new comedy-reality series created by superstar comedian and producer
Jerry Seinfeld's Columbus 81 Productions. Mr. Seinfeld has partnered
with Ellen Rakieten, a 23-year veteran of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on
this project.

This new series titled "The Marriage Ref" (working title) will
feature opinionated celebrities, comedians and sports stars who will
candidly comment, judge and offer different strategies for real-life
couples in the midst of a classic marital dispute.

The announcement was made today by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.

Describing his new creation, Mr. Seinfeld said, "This is not a
therapy show, it's a comedy show. After nine years of marriage I have
discovered that the comedic potential of this subject is quite rich."

"It will be revealing, edgy, controversial and very, very funny.
Picture well-known people weighing in on a couple's relationship issues
— and deciding who is right and who is wrong — right on the spot,
like a referee," added Ms. Rakieten.

Mr. Seinfeld is thrilled to partner with Ms. Rakieten on "The
Marriage Ref." Rakieten joined "The Oprah Winfrey Show" as a producer
at its inception in 1986, and was a major force in creating the most
dominant program in daytime history.

"There is no better partner for me on this venture than Ellen. She
has had such an amazing experience at Harpo, and our minds seem
perfectly synchronized on the potential of this idea," said Mr.

For two decades Ms. Rakieten's leadership and creativity earned
"The Oprah Winfrey Show" unprecedented ratings. During her long tenure
at Harpo, Ms. Rakieten produced over 3500 hours of television.

"NBC has a long and enormously successful relationship with Jerry
and this great new concept reflects his incredible and unique point of
view," said Silverman. "Viewers will love this highly relatable new

Added Paul Telegdy, Executive Vice President, Alternative
Programming, NBC and Universal Media Studios, "While 'Seinfeld' was a
hilarious look at single life, this new show will focus on the humor of
relationships and marriage. It's a great fit with the slate of
alternative comedy we are building at NBC."

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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