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NBC Renews 'Marriage Ref' and Two Other Shows You Don't Care About

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 5th 2010 5:31PM
Marriage Ref
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.

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I actually do care about the show, "Who Do You Think You Are?" I think it's a really good show.

April 06 2010 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think 'Who Do You Think You Are' is a good show. With families growing more isolated and disjointed from each other, family history and respect of the past gets lost along the way. I think this show could spark more interest in finding out who came before you and made their mark on history.

April 06 2010 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am super excited to see that Who Do Think You Are? has been renewed. I have fallen in love with that show & look forward to see who else gets to research their family tree. Emmit Smith's episode was my favorite so far.

April 06 2010 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm shocked that no one has mentioned how this could affect Chuck yet... Good job folks!

April 05 2010 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Maybe NBC is going with the British model of shorter run shows to keep costs down. Maybe they don't want to build the next Law & Order franchise, which would send costs higher in a few years. Larger amounts of advertising dollars only make sense if its growth outpaces the cost of producing the shows. I'd like to see more American shows that are set to run for only a few seasons. It gives the writers enough time to properly end the show.

April 05 2010 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As somebody who has done a lot of family tree research over the last decade, I find Who Do You Think You Are really really interesting. I do roll my eyes at how dramatic and emotional they get over people who died hundreds of years ago, but aside from that one peeve, I hope it sticks around another season or so.

April 05 2010 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Once Jerry starts repeating celebs the show will be gone. All three will be lucky if they get a season three.

April 05 2010 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only bit about the marriage ref that works is the insane couples and the panel being funny about them. The game element of it and the host are just dire.

April 05 2010 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really enjoy The Marriage Ref! What I don't think people understand is that it's supposed to be mindless entertainment; something to unwind with.

April 05 2010 at 6:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched the last two episodes of Who Do You Think You Are (Matthew Broderick and Brooke Shields) and thought it was pretty good.

April 05 2010 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jim's comment
Brent McKee

I agree about "Who Do You Think You Are?" - an interesting diversion for a Friday night. Stolen from a British original of course, which has run for eight seasons and is still going. Last Friday's episode was a good one... who knew that Brooke Shields was quite literally descended from a saint?

April 05 2010 at 6:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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