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October 24, 2014

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NBC Renews 'Marriage Ref,' 'Minute to Win It,' 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

by Andrew Scott, posted Apr 5th 2010 5:14PM
The Marriage RefNBC is in it to win it -- at least when it comes to reality television.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Peacock network has re-upped its entire unscripted midseason lineup, handing out second seasons to 'The Marriage Ref,' 'Minute to Win It' and 'Who Do You Think You Are?', respectively. NBC will also add three new episodes to 'Ref''s (Thursdays at 10PM) current season, which with DVR numbers has averaged about 7.2 million viewers.

Season 2 will run for 13 episodes and is expected to premiere sometime next season.

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Kirstie Alley Brings the Crazy to 'Marriage Ref' (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 2nd 2010 3:27AM
The Marriage Ref, Kirstie AlleyKirstie Alley takes a lot of flack, but hey, at least she's never boring and always entertaining. She was all of that on last night's episode of 'The Marriage Ref' (10PM ET on NBC).

After Alley got bleeped out for language a few times, Jimmy Fallon decided to add his two bleeping cents, as well. But even funnier was Fallon doing his Jerry Seinfeld impression at the end. You'd swear it was Seinfeld himself.

Watch the video after the jump.

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Lunatics Running The Asylum: 'The Marriage Ref' Could Use a Real Coach

by Mark Wigmore, posted Mar 26th 2010 8:41PM


For nine seasons, NBC and Jerry Seinfeld successfully dominated the ratings with the self-proclaimed show about nothing. According to producers, the rules of the ever-popular and manically-rerun 'Seinfeld' series were simple – no hugging, no learning. Who knew that Seinfeld could accomplish all of these goals all over again with his new series, 'The Marriage Ref'?

Now nearing half a dozen episodes, 'Ref' attempts to solve the little squabbles plaguing married couples, pegging one against the other in a win or lose contest. The show found a home on NBC thanks to the tragedy that was 'The Jay Leno Show,' the 10 pm-slotted experiment that went horribly wrong.

The Seinfeld-produced reality/game show was fast-tracked into the open Thursday position. 'Ref' features stand-up comedian and long-time pal to Jerry, Tom Papa, as the so-called Ref. According to his website bio, he has no experience in the field of couples therapy or any other professional credit in the field. That's why we decided to talk to a real psychotherapist, someone who actually dispenses advice to warring couples.

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Alec Baldwin Boils It Down on 'The Marriage Ref' (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Mar 26th 2010 2:03AM
The Marriage Ref, Alec BaldwinOn 'The Marriage Ref' (Thu., 10PM ET on NBC), Alec Baldwin compared a couple to 'The Royal Tenenbaums,' and he's got a point.

"They've got the Princess and the Pea bed, the motorcycle, the cat squatting on the toilet ... all we need is Gwyneth Paltrow smokin' in the bathtub."

Somehow, if Gwyneth Paltrow was smoking in their bathtub, I doubt they'd be on a show called 'The Marriage Ref.' Maybe more like 'The Twilight Zone.'

Watch the video after the jump.

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The TV Squad Podcast: Tom Papa of 'The Marriage Ref,' 'DWTS,' March Madness, and More!

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 25th 2010 5:11PM
Tom Papa of 'The Marriage Ref'After a few stops and starts, we finally managed to get Tom Papa, host of NBC's 'The Marriage Ref,' to join us on the podcast. He talks with Jason Hughes, Danny Gallagher and me about the new show, who his favorite couple has been so far, managing a panel with Larry David, Ricky Gervais and Madonna, and exactly what he thought of the Leno-Conan debacle that gave his show that Thursday at 10PM ET opening.

Tom joins us about 18 minutes into the podcast and stays with us for about 25 minutes. Before and after, Jason, Danny and I talk about:
  • How March Madness messes with our DVRs and why networks can't send out live DVR updates,
  • The new cast of 'Dancing with the Stars' and the importance of Pam Anderson's breasts this season,
  • Two shows that are finally getting killed off: one good ('Scrubs') one not so good (''Til Death'). We also talk about what shows have been on the "Can't Kill 'Em" list in recent years.
  • Picks of the week, and more.

Run time is 1:13:08.

You can listen to the podcast below, or download from here or by subscribing to our RSS podcast feed. It is also available via iTunes. Feel free to leave us feedback in the comments or drop us a line at tvsquadpodcast [at] gmail [dot] com.

As always, the music at the beginning and end of the podcast is "Life" by Justin Trawick.

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Martha Stewart Talks Pepper Mill Thieves on 'The Marriage Ref' (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Mar 19th 2010 3:24AM
The Marriage Ref, Martha StewartDon't mess with Martha Stewart. That's the message loud and clear from her appearance on 'The Marriage Ref' (Thu., 10PM ET on NBC).

When the panel started talking about whether they'd been the victim of thieves, Stewart revealed that a dinner guest once stole a pepper mill from her. Really? You're a guest in Martha Stewart's home and the best you can do is a pepper mill? Must have been some pepper mill.

She made them bring it back, though. She probably picked up a few scare tactics in prison.

Watch the video after the jump.

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Thanks to Larry David, Last Night's 'Marriage Ref' Was (Almost) Good

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 12th 2010 2:02PM
Larry David, Madonna, and Ricky Gervais on 'The Marriage Ref'
I don't know why I keep watching 'The Marriage Ref.' I hated the smugness and the idiocy of the premiere, and the second episode, with Tina Fey, Eva Longoria and Jerry Seinfeld passing judgment on couples' arguments, was even more painful to watch. But I wanted to watch last night's episode before I dismissed the show completely.

Why? Maybe I like rubbernecking when I see smoking wrecks like this, whether they're on the highway or on my TV. Maybe I'm a masochist. But I'd like to think that my patience with this show was due to the high-powered panel that Seinfeld had coming up for the show's third episode: none other than Ricky Gervais, Larry David and Madonna.

My patience was rewarded... somewhat. What this episode showed me was that, with the right panel, the show can be entertaining and the smugness level can be tolerable, especially if the celebrities spend as much time ripping on each other as they do the hapless couples on the show. And with the self-loathing David around, you knew that there was a pretty good shot of that happening.

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Ricky Gervais on 'The Marriage Ref': 'The Weirdest Show I've Ever Been On' (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Mar 12th 2010 3:46AM
The Marriage Ref, Ricky GervaisYou have to admit, a panel of Larry David, Madonna and Ricky Gervais on a show called 'The Marriage Ref' (Thu., 10PM ET on NBC) is definitely one of the stranger pop culture phenoms at the moment.

Gervais agrees, noting, "I feel like someone's put crack in my drank! What is going on? This is the weirdest show I've ever been on."

Ever quick to respond, host Tom Papa shoots back, "Oh, and like every show you're on is sooooo normal."

Watch the video after the jump.

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What to Watch: March 11

by Kim Potts, posted Mar 11th 2010 6:00AM
'The Marriage Ref' (10PM, NBC)
Alright, we won't front: the Jerry Seinfeld-produced series has so far failed to tickle our funny bone ... and marital advice from the likes of Alec Baldwin? There is something wrong with that, Jerry. But there's hope of, at least, a few chuckles from tonight's installment, which brings together a versatile trio of A-listers for the judges' panel: Ricky Gervais, Madonna and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' and 'Seinfeld' genius Larry David. True, neither Madonna nor David are exactly experts in making marriage last, but Gervais alone would warrant tuning in. The unlikely meeting of these three pop culture superstars? It constitutes must-see viewing.

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NBC Ratings Still Good After Olympics

by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 8th 2010 8:00PM
The NBC logoSure the wall-to-wall Winter Olympics left a lot of people wondering why they should give half-a-crap about ice dancing, but NBC has bounced back with its post-Olympic lineup.

NBC's two new prime time series, 'Parenthood' and 'The Marriage Ref,' won the ratings game against their competitors, and even Jay Leno's triumphant return to 'The Tonight Show' beat David Letterman's 'Late Show.'

Of course, this is just the premiere week for these shows and it's not known if they can retain the numbers that have helped them back into first place for the first time in a good long while. At least the executives can breathe a little easier and Jeff Zucker can rest assured that he won't be losing his job anytime soon as opposed to maybe losing his job by some kind of divine intervention.

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Tina Fey, Eva Longoria Weigh In on 'The Marriage Ref' (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Mar 5th 2010 2:28AM
The Marriage Ref, Tina Fey, Eva LongoriaIs flossing in bed – or anywhere other than the bathroom – gross? Yes! And the panel on 'The Marriage Ref' (Thu., 10PM ET on NBC) agrees with us!

We're glad to know that Jerry Seinfeld, Tina Fey and Eva Longoria Parker all agree that not only is flossing in bed just plain wrong, the whole segment was downright disgusting.

Marriage partners, take note -- never, ever floss in bed! Case closed, let's move on.

Watch the video after the jump.

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'The Marriage Ref' Would Be Funnier Without the Celebrities

by Joel Keller, posted Mar 1st 2010 11:29AM
The Marriage Ref
'The Marriage Ref' is a strange beast. After watching last night's post-Olympic sneak preview of the show, which moves to its Thursday at 10PM ET slot on March 4, it feels like a '60s-style celebrity panel game show joined to a TLC marriage show.

It's a pretty straightforward idea: a married couple is depicted having an argument over a specific issue. In the pilot, for instance, one husband wanted to get his recently-deceased dog stuffed and display the mutt in the living room, over his wife's vehement objections.

The celebrity panel, who in the premiere consisted of Kelly Ripa, Alec Baldwin and executive producer Jerry Seinfeld, talk and joke about the situation, coming down one one side or the other. The final decision is rendered by the ref, host Tom Papa, who tells the couple via satellite feed.

But the pilot made me want to see much more of the couples having their funny conflicts than the celebrities yukking it up over those conflicts. And that's a problem.

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What to Watch: March 1 - 7

by Stephanie Earp, posted Mar 1st 2010 2:02AM


The Academy Awards - Sunday March 7, 8 pm, CTV/ABC


Most years, there are five best picture nominees and I've usually seen one or none of them. This is due in part to the fact that the noms are usually released in theatres about five minutes before the ceremony, and the fact that I'm a lazy bum who never goes to theatres. But this year there are ten nominees in this category. Guess what? I've seen one of them. Go 'Inglourious Basterds'! As far as I know, you are totally the best picture!

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Alec Baldwin and Stuffed Dogs on 'The Marriage Ref' (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Mar 1st 2010 1:25AM
The Marriage Ref, Alec BaldwinWould you want your best dog pal stuffed so you could be near it the rest of your life? That's just totally creepy. We're with the wife on this one. But at least it made for a few laughs on 'The Marriage Ref' (Sun., 7PM ET on NBC).

"I think if you're gonna stuff your dog, you should stuff it in either a useful or attractive position," said Alec Baldwin. "Women come and go, but a stuffed dog is forever."

And should we comment on the irony of Baldwin being on a show called 'The Marriage Ref'? Sure, why not.

Watch the video after the jump.

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What to Watch: February 27-28

by Kim Potts, posted Feb 27th 2010 6:00AM
'The Marriage Ref' (Sun., 10:30PM, NBC) series premiere
At first glance, you might say to yourself, 'Who are Madonna, Larry David or Alec Baldwin to be dispensing marital advice?' Good point, you. But sometimes the biggest lessons are learned by those who fail miserably at something, so let's hear what those celebs, and their fellow A-listers, have to say to warring marrieds in this new reality series, created and produced by Jerry Seinfeld. Comedian Tom Papa hosts the show and Seinfeld and his famous pals are among the celeb panelists who will advise couples who butt heads over issues like stripper poles, teeth flossing and a woman who keeps her ex-husband's prosthetic leg in her new hubby's closet. We have to say, that doesn't sound like a problem you need to pull a Tina Fey or Ricky Gervais (both future 'Marriage Ref' judges) into the mix for; that faux leg needs to get the boot.

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