Citytv takes its vows with The Marriage Ref

Jerry Seinfeld returns to television as exec producer for a reality TV-meets-gameshow series that will feature popular celebrities as marital dispute referees.

Citytv is replacing Jay Leno on Thursday nights with an even bigger name in comedy – and no, it’s not Coco. Jerry Seinfeld likely has a bigger cult following than both talkshow hosts combined. Seinfeld is the executive producer of a comedy series titled The Marriage Ref, launching March 4 on Citytv, the network announced yesterday. It is his first attachment to a series since the brazen, self-titled sitcom Seinfeld.

Featuring married couples in the midst of a post-honeymoon dispute, the one-hour Marriage Ref is an unusual combination of a gameshow, celebrity stunts and reality TV. Citytv will promote the program with radio advertising in its urban markets, with media buy handled by OMD. Comedian Tom Papa will act as referee to determine the winner of each couple spat. But The Marriage Ref is no Newlywed Game remake – targeting adults aged 25 to 54, the show also features opinionated A-list celebrities, comedians and sports personalities who will offer comments and advice on how to improve the troubled relationships. The ref will make his call based on each week’s panel of relationship ‘experts.’

As those couples move away from the honeymoon phase, one popular reality TV match is ready to start theirs. Citytv is airing the much blogged about wedding ceremony between Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney, who met on The Bachelor. Airing Monday, March 8 at 8 p.m. The Bachelor: Jason and Molly’s Wedding is a story of requited love because Mesnick actually picked another contestant before crawling back to Malaney.