Seinfeld back to TV with show about marriage

LOS ANGELES Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:59pm EST

Executive producer Jerry Seinfeld answers questions during a panel for the NBC show ''The Marriage Ref'' at the NBC Universal sessions of the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, California January 10, 2010. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

Executive producer Jerry Seinfeld answers questions during a panel for the NBC show ''The Marriage Ref'' at the NBC Universal sessions of the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, California January 10, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Phil McCarten

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor and stand-up comic Jerry Seinfeld is headed back to U.S. television with a show about marriage that he says is silly and impossible to explain but aimed at making people laugh.

"There is no way here today we are going to be able to explain to you exactly what the show is," the married star of the hit 1990s show "Seinfeld" told reporters on Sunday.

"Our entire drive is to try and make you laugh," he said, describing "The Marriage Ref" as a combination of reality show, game panel and comedy with no big prizes for its feuding contestant couples.

"The Marriage Ref" will be given a sneak preview on NBC on February 28 before starting in its regular Sunday night slot on March 14.

Seinfeld, 55, who has done little TV since "Seinfeld" ended in 1998, is executive producer and will appear in the series as a celebrity panelist.

Actors Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Eva Longoria and Larry David are among other celebrities who will make an appearance -- not fighting with their spouses but helping to decide which spouse should "win" a spat filmed in their own homes.

Stand-up comic Tom Papa will be the "marriage ref" who makes the final decision.

Fights already filmed for the show include a husband who enrages his wife by parking a motorcycle in their living room and a couple who argue about whether to have their dead dog stuffed.

"They want to end their fight ... and the person who wins has to say to the other 'You're right'," Seinfeld said.

Marriage therapy is definitely not part of the format because "experts are helpful. And that is not our thing. This is a comedy show," he said.

Seinfeld said the idea was inspired by his own experiences with his wife Jessica and those of their friends.

"After 10 years of marriage, I have discovered the comedic potential of this subject is quite rich," he quipped.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by John O'Callaghan)

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