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Jerry Seinfeld's wife made the call on 'The Marriage Ref'

January 10, 2010 |  8:56 pm

Jerry Seinfeld is giving the credit for his return to network television to his wife, Jessica.

The comedian said his wife came up with the idea for "The Marriage Ref," a comedic look at the battles between married couples. The show will premiere on NBC Feb. 28 after the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics.

The concept came up during an argument Seinfeld and his wife were having while out at dinner with a friend. When the friend became uncomfortable and tried to leave, the couple persuaded the friend to listen to both sides of the dispute and decide who was right. They agreed to abide by the decision.

"Sports simplicity is what's missing in marriage," Seinfeld said.

Each show will feature three to five couples who will air their disagreement during a filmed segment at their home. A panel of celebrities in a studio will then debate the issues before handing the matter over to comedian Tom Papa -- the Marriage Ref -- who will make the final judgment.

Panelists already signed to appear include Tina Fey, Charles Barkley, Alec Baldwin and Larry David. Seinfeld is expected to appear during the premiere and a few other episodes. 

When asked why his show did not have a panel of experts to guide the couples, Seinfeld quipped, "Experts are helpful. That's not our thing."

-- Greg Braxton