NBC ANNOUNCES NEW PRIMETIME COMEDY-REALITY SERIES CREATED BY JERRY SEINFELD MARKING THE ICONIC COMEDIAN'S FIRST TELEVISION SERIES SINCE 'SEINFELD'
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. Seinfeld.
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 comedy."
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."
The deal was brokered by Jeanne Newman.