NBC Renews 'Marriage Ref' and Two Other Shows You Don't Care About
by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 5th 2010 5:31PM
To paraphrase a Jerry Seinfeld routine, what's the deal with NBC? Here's the latest: they have given the green light to another season of three new shows: the celeb-filled 'Marriage Ref,' the Guy Fieri game show 'Minute To Win It,' and Lisa Kudrow's genealogy reality show 'Who Do You Think You Are?' Yup, all three shows will be back on your TV come this fall.
Is it too late to ask Jay Leno to come back to the 10PM slot?
While 'Minute To Win It' and 'Who Do You Think You Are?' are 8PM shows and NBC has said for a couple of years now that the earlier time slots are ripe for reality shows, 'The Marriage Ref' is a 10PM show, and when Leno went back to 'The Tonight Show' we all thought that it would open up 10PM for scripted dramas.
Sure, it's only on one night a week (Thursdays after '30 Rock'), but what happened to the great NBC Thursday night at 10 dramas like 'ER?' Is 'The Marriage Ref' a show that will actually build its audience in season two, or are we looking at something that is a curio in season one because people wanted to see how Seinfeld and Madonna and Tina Fey and Ricky Gervais were going to be as marriage counselors? Not that the show was getting gangbuster ratings anyway.
I can imagine how this news is going to be greeted by TV fans. People who don't badmouth NBC might start doing it and the people who seem to have part-time jobs in saying things about the network's moves the past few years are going to go ballistic.
NBC must see something here, business-wise, that regular TV fans just don't see. All the crazy, money-driven executive decision-making stuff we see on '30 Rock' (and saw on 'Studio 60')? That seems to be more accurate than anyone realizes. I know, I know, it's "a business decision," but I think it's a short-sighted one. Now this time next year NBC will introduce some more shows like this and will justify their renewals too, long after 'Who Do You Think You Are?' is barely remembered by anyone.
Maybe 'The Marriage Ref' is a show that just can't fail. NBC put a lot of promotion behind it, it's Jerry Seinfeld's big return to the network, and the ratings weren't so bad that they absolutely had to can it. I just wish the show was...better. But I can understand the renewal.
The renewals of 'Minute To Win It' and 'Who Do You Think You Are?' Having a harder time figuring out those. I love game shows, but Fieri's show does nothing for me. And Kudrow's show seems like something that should just be a summer show or a series of specials, not something they're going to devote a lot of time to.