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The Marriage Ref

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Show Details

Broadcaster: DStv 
Show Genre: Reality
Series Premiere: Sunday, May 01, 2011

Show Summary

The Marriage Ref is an American reality television game show hosted by comedian Tom Papa and created and produced by Jerry Seinfeld, in which a rotating panel of celebrities decides the winners of real-life marital disputes.

The series premiered in the USA on NBC on 28 February, 2010.

The Marriage Ref premiered in South Africa on DStv's Sony Entertainment Television (SONY) channel on Sunday 1 May 2011, at 19h00. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.

Season 2 premiered on SONY on Sunday 9 October 2011, at 19h45. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are 10 episodes in the second season.


Jerry Seinfeld is back and in the producer's chair for a funny and revealing comedy panel series about the unpredictable and hilarious institution commonly known as marriage. Seinfeld describes it as "a comedy about situations in reality."

The iconic sitcom Seinfeld was the title star's exploration of the single life. In The Marriage Ref, married life takes centre stage as disputes between real-life couples are revealed, examined - and ultimately judged.

For the first time, audiences will be able to look at these fights, analyze them and declare a winner.

These marital tiffs will run the gamut of disagreements - quirky, funny, relatable - all with the signature Seinfeld tone.

"After 10 years of marriage, I realized the comedic potential of this topic is quite rich. This is the way marriage should be; everybody needs a ref," said Seinfeld. "I wanted to bring the sports simplicity to your complicated, endlessly difficult personal life."

At the centre of the action and making "the call," is comedian Tom Papa. Papa serves as the actual Marriage Ref and has the final say in determining the victor of each spat.

The couples that present their problems are given a call by the Ref, just like in sports. Wife is right, husband is wrong. Wife wins the prize.

Advising and influencing the Ref's decision is a rotating panel of "experts" comprised of top celebrities, comedians and sports stars who weigh in and offer their own wit, wisdom and unique opinions.

The Marriage Ref is produced by Seinfeld's Columbus 81 Productions. Seinfeld, Ellen Rakieten, Nick Emmerson and Jennifer O'Connell and Al Berman serve as executive producers.

International distribution is by Endemol.


Series exclusive to SONY

Season 1 (12 episodes)

Premiere: 1 May 2011 | Finale: 10 July 2011 | Sundays, 19h30

Season 2 (10 episodes)

Premiere: 9 October 2011 | Finale: 11 December 2011 | Sundays, 19h45

Main Cast

(For full cast and characters, click Seasons tab at top of page)
Tom Papa

Related Links

- Reality Forum
- Official Site

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