Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's Almost Marriage Ref Time

posted by Michele Olson
This Sunday NBC is giving us a look at the much publicized “The Marriage Ref” program, from executive producer Jerry Seinfeld. This Sunday provides a half hour “appetizer” if you will with the regular hour long format hitting the airwaves on Thursdays starting March 4th.

Because the show is hosted by comedian Tom Papa (pictured) it should be clear that this program is about entertainment, not serious marriage advice. The previews do make it look like a good time. Placing it right after the highly viewed Olympics also tells us that NBC has high hopes for the future of the show.

The idea started when Jerry was having a disagreement with his own wife. A friend was visiting, and offered to leave. Jerry asked her to stay and referee the argument. He invited her to make a decision and they would abide by it. Jerry said his side, his wife said her side, and the visitor sided with Jerry’s wife. Jerry felt that no matter the outcome, the disagreement had a very short duration and was resolved. That’s the part that he loved and wanted to do a show about.

Each episode shows candid video of a couple having an argument, probably one that they have had many times before. The topics vary, but they are not the kinds of things that would end in divorce or be hurtful. It’s obvious from the previews that the show is looking for quirky, whimsical things to center on. Heavy topics will not be the focus. The topics fall more into the “toothpaste tube squeeze and how you put the toilet paper on the roller” categories.

During the show, the viewing audience along with a panel of celebrities watches the previously taped argument. Keep in mind these are celebrities there to say funny things, not necessarily couples who have had long lasting relationships themselves. The celebrities who initially do include Jerry Seinfeld weigh in on the argument with their opinions. Papa makes the final call as to who wins the argument. The winning spouse then gets a prize.

Check the show out and see if it makes you laugh, because that is the point. For actual encouragement and resources for your marriage, tune into Since none of us will have a comic relief referee showing up at our marital disagreements, sticking to learning communication and conflict resolution skills is probably a good idea.

From the NBC casting site…want to be on the show?
The Marriage Ref" casting team is searching the country for outgoing and opinionated couples in long-term relationships, willing to appear on national television, who have a long standing argument or issue that must be resolved. No problem is too small!

* Is there an object, a person, or a habit (e.g. computer, pet, a friend, the remote control) that is a third wheel in your relationship and causes a problem?

* Does your partner have an annoying obnoxious habit or item that causes fights?

* Does your partner do things like withhold sex after a fight?

Whether you argue about parenting, pets, fashion, money, in-laws, weight, housework, chores, communication, neatness, jealousy, past history, friends, sex... Whatever you argue about, we want to hear from you. Tell us why you absolutely NEED a MARRIAGE REF to weigh in and decide who is RIGHT and who is WRONG.

Couples across America ... we want to hear what absolutely makes you nuts when it comes to your partner! Tell us your beef and you might just get the chance to state your case on TV. Wouldn't it be great to settle the issue once and for all?!

If this sounds like you or someone you know, please contact the Casting Team IMMEDIATELY (BEFORE we arrive in town) at the hotline number: 877.304.4040 and email:

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