The New York Post spilled a lot of ink (well, for them, at least) today, examining why exactly NBC gave the green light to Jerry Seinfeld’s reality show The Marriage Ref, which — though it’s doing okay ratings-wise so far — has been critically panned. The Post claims that NBC was so desperate to make a ratings and publicity comeback, they were willing to take whatever Seinfeld had to offer, so much so that the network didn’t bother to put the show through the typical testing process; it went “from pitch to green light to production.”
“His arrival with a new idea that he was excited about was like the second coming,” said a network TV executive “familiar with the pitch.” “Jerry could have walked in the door with a show based on a guy sitting with a paper bag over his head and it would have been green-lighted. His name and fame is golden, and the network needs all the help it can get.”
Searching for understanding, the Post then reached out to Mike Costanza, a former pal of Seinfeld’s, and asked why Seinfeld would go ahead with a show that has generated such an extent of “negative press and comments by viewers.” Costanza’s answer? “Ego, pure ego.”
“[Seinfeld is one of those people] who need to know that they can do it again. They had this one unbelievable success and they need to feel that they can do it again. That it wasn’t just luck,” he said.
Costanza, in case you’re wondering, is now a Long Island real-estate agent.