Forum Communications Co. report

DULUTH , Minn. - A promo for "The Marriage Ref," the new television show to be produced by Jerry Seinfeld, has hit the airwaves, and it's set in Duluth.

Or at least that's what viewers are led to believe, even though the piece actually was shot on Rice Lake in neighboring Canosia Township.

The advertisement begins with the camera panning across the desolate windswept surface of the frozen lake to Seinfeld and the show's host, Tom Papa, who are seated in folding chairs by an ice fishing shack in the middle of what looks to be nowhere.

Seinfeld launches into his introduction, saying, "I thought, 'What physical place do I see that is evidence of how difficult marriage is?' And whenever I see those guys that go fishing on frozen lakes in these shacks, I think, 'God, how bad is that guy's marriage, that that's preferable to being at home?'"

Cut to city slickers Seinfeld and Papa trudging across the ice wearing long dress coats and slippery dress shoes, fumbling to open a hole in the ice and sitting in a windowless shack staring at motionless rods.

"This is a really good time," says Papa unconvincingly.

Seinfeld asks what the new show is all about.

Papa replies: "The show is a show that shows real people in their real lives having real fights. And then we decide who's the winner -- the husband or the wife."

The viewer is treated to a few scenes of amusing marital strife. Then Seinfeld returns and boasts: "We're trying to shorten the fights of American marriages all over the country."

The program will air on Thursday nights on NBC, following coverage of the Olympics.

See the promo spot at

The Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune is owned by Forum Communications Co.