Jerry Seinfield’s ‘Marriage Ref’ Draws Audience, Criticism

More than 14 million people welcomed comedian Jerry Seinfield back to primetime television, even as the debut of the his new comedy series “The Marriage Ref” received flak from critics and viewers alike. The show, which tackles arguments between couples, was described by Time magazine’s James Poniewozik as a “God-awful mishmash of a comedy-variety show with a corny, low-rent feel.”

“The Marriage Ref” is Seinfield’s first major foray into television since his self-titled show ended in 1998. The comedy is also one of the shows that will replace the 10 pm slot vacated by Jay Leno, who returns to hosting late-night TV’s “The Tonight Show.”

Despite the scathing criticisms, some people were willing to give “The Marriage Ref” a chance, with Daily Variety calling it a timely show that can provide silliness at a time when everything else appears grim. Audiences were also excited with the prospect of seeing such big name stars as Eva Longoria-Parker, Madonna, and Tina Fey in future episodes.