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Tonight's TV Hot List: Thursday, March 4, 2010 - Featured

* The Office (9/8c NBC) It's delivery time for an eagerly awaited episode. Baby makes three, and Jim and Pam open a new chapter in their lives, in an expanded hourlong outing. Pam's contractions begin, spurring her and Jim to scramble to the hospital. As for their peers at Dunder Mifflin-turned-Sabre, the staffers try to comfort Pam with food and entertainment, and Michael nervously anticipates the birth. There are goings-on back at the office, too: Andy swells with jealousy when Erin has lunch with Kevin. Linda Purl reprises her role as Helene, Pam's mother and Michael's former flame. * The Marriage Ref (10/9c NBC) Jerry Seinfeld's latest project makes its official debut in its regular time slot. In this comedy series, for which Seinfeld serves as executive producer, married couples air their grievances before a rotating panel of celebrities. After the couples have presented their cases and the celebs have offered their input, host and Marriage Ref Tom Papa makes a call on who's right and who's wrong. Tonight's panel includes Seinfeld, Tina Fey and Eva Longoria Parker. * Grey's Anatomy (9/8c ABC) Following last week's repeat and the flashback episode two weeks ago, it's time to get back to what's happening now, and you can look for newcomers Teddy and Sloan to be front and center tonight. It has been tough for them lately, and Callie and Arizona will try to help. Meanwhile, the Richard-Derek tension didn't go away during the hiatus, and it flares up again when a famous surgeon (Chelcie Ross) arrives as a patient. His name: Harper Avery. Isn't that new doc Jackson's last name, too? * Burn Notice (10/9c USA Network ) Michael really has himself in a pickle this time. Last week's episode ended with the big reveal that Gilroy was just a pawn for an even bigger, bolder baddie: the mysterious Simon. Now Michael has to maneuver his way through Simon's plans, which include potentially detonating a bomb in Miami while also dodging the prying eyes of the FBI. And since this episode is the season finale, viewers can be sure they'll get plenty of intrigue, action and surprises. * The Real Housewives of Orange County (10/9c Bravo ) The drama mamas of Orange County close their fifth season with past and present housewives convening for a summer's-end party. But Tamra's marriage seems to be hitting a crucial crossroads, putting her in no party mood. Conversely, Vicki's relationship seems to be cementing, plus Gretchen and boyfriend Slade Smiley are such an item that they wear coordinating white outfits at the bash. Although this is the finale, leading ladies Vicki, Tamra, Gretchen, Lynne and Alexis return next week in a two-part reunion episode. And the franchise marches on with the Season 3 opener of Real Housewives of New York City, which airs tonight at 11 pm/ET. Source Here

Ratings: Olympics End with a Win, Boost Marriage Ref Premiere

The closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympics gave NBC another ratings win Sunday night, and set up a strong debut for Jerry Seinfeld's new series, The Marriage Ref. The closing ceremonies averaged 23.3 million viewers, a 47 percent improvement over Torino's closing festivities in 2006 among adults 18-to-49. NBC cut from the ceremonies during the last half hour of prime time to premiere The Marriage Ref, which drew 14.5 million viewers. Overall, the 17 days of Winter Games coverage drew 190 million viewers, besting the 2002 Salt Lake City Games (187 million viewers) and placing second only to the 1994 Games in Lillehammer (204 million viewers) . CBS' programming, however, didn't really suffer against the stiff competition. The Amazing Race (10.2 million viewers) was up 10 percent from the previous week. More remarkably, Undercover Boss (15 million viewers) built on Race's audience for the second week in a row and even defeated the Olympic coverage in the demo during Boss' second half hour. Cold Case held steady with 9.9 million viewers. ABC's Desperate Housewives (10.8 million viewers) was down 3 percent in the demo. Brothers & Sisters (8 million viewers) remained off its average, but did improve slightly from the previous week. An Extreme Makeover: Home Edition repeat pulled in 6.7 million viewers. Repeats of Fox's Sunday animation block averaged 4.4 million viewers for the night. Source Here

The Marriage Ref's Jerry Seinfeld on Returning to TV and Breaking New Ground

A lot has changed since Jerry Seinfeld last called network TV home 12 years ago. But despite online video, reality TV, declining ratings and increased competition, the co-creator and star of one of pop culture's most memorable series says he's confident he's chosen the right time to return with The Marriage Ref. "I did feel some energy and some desire to put something else on TV," Seinfeld says of his inspiration, which came on the heels of the reunion of Seinfeld's cast on Curb Your Enthusiasm. "In a weird way, it actually felt like a good moment to put a new show on. I feel like people are really kind of hungry for a new feeling on TV." Executive-produced by Seinfeld, The Marriage Ref helps everyday married couples solve their disputes with help of celebrity panelists and comedian Tom Papa, who is the host of the show and the ultimate marriage ref. Although the show employs classic ingredients of a traditional family sitcom, reality competition series and talk shows, Papa is confident viewers will see something new in The Marriage Ref. "It's fresh," he says. "There's a lot of forms that you've seen that you kind of get tired of. It's kind of nice to think you can tune in and see something new." Veteran sports journalist Marv Albert serves as the show's announcer and Today's Natalie Morales is its "Just the Facts Ma'am," who outlines the salient details of each couple's rift. Upcoming celebrity panelists include Alec Baldwin, Kelly Ripa, Eva Longoria Parker, Larry David and Madonna. "At this point, we're just experimenting with different combinations of people to see the different chemistries of the different panels," Seinfeld says. "We're just inventing it as we go." The Marriage Ref premieres Sunday after the Winter Olympics, at 10:30/9:30c on NBC. Source Here

NBC Sets Friday Night Lights and other Post-Olympics Premieres - Featured

In the event that you haven't been following the Conan O'Brien and/vs. Jay Leno vs. NBC kerfuffle, the one thing that is certain in that still uncertain mess is that The Jay Leno Show will be ending its run come the Winter Olympics on NBC. This means that post-Olympics, the net will have the 10PM slot to fill every night! They've already starting planning for this (though these dates will undoubtedly change 20 times in the near future): In the 10PM slots: Law & Order will air on Mondays, Parenthood will air on Tuesdays (a change from its original Monday slot), Law & Order: Special Victims Unit will air on Wednesdays, Jerry Seinfeld's The Marriage Ref will move to Thursdays at 10 and the always-available Dateline will fill in on Fridays. In the earlier schedule holes that have now opened up due to the 10PM shuffling: Trauma will return Mondays at 9PM in March after Heroes concludes its run. New game shows Who Do You Think You Are? and Minute to Win It will air Fridays and Sundays at 8, respectively. And, perhaps most excitingly, Friday Night Lights finally has an NBC premiere date - and one earlier than initially expected: Friday, April 30th at 8PM. A premiere date has yet to be set for comedy 100 Questions , which at this point pretty much means that the show is a giant stinker! What do you think about all of this NBC schedule craziness? Source

NBC Announces MidSeason Schedule - Featured

From The Hollywood Reporter: NBC announced a midseason schedule Monday that includes plans for new drama Parenthood and reality series The Marriage Ref . Following the network's telecast of the Winter Olympics, NBC plans to debut "Parenthood" on March 1, going into Mondays at 9 p.m. following Chuck , which returns Jan. 11. On Tuesdays, the next cycle of The Biggest Loser boasts the heaviest contestants yet and gets under way Jan. 5. Sundays will have "Dateline" followed by the Jerry Seinfeld-produced reality series "Marriage Ref" and the next round of The Celebrity Apprentice debuting March 14, with the rest of the week continuing unchanged. But what was missing from the schedule promoted as much as buzz as what made the list. Heroes will be off the grid because its season finale will air Feb. 8 thanks to a shortened, 19-episode, no-repeat run this season. Apocalyptic series-turned-miniseries Day One and midseason comedy 100 Questions do not have dates. Friday Night Lights is expected to run in the summer. Don't Forget to check out all of our MidSeason Premiere Dates: SideReel's Midseason Premiere Calendar Source

Now Casting: Jerry Seinfeld's 'The Marriage Ref' on NBC!

Learn more about the upcoming NBC comedy reality show created by Jerry Seinfeld, and learn more about the married couples NBC is looking for to be a part of it! NBC.com Promo: Now Casting - The Marriage Ref Learn more about The Marriage Ref on its official NBC page: NBC.com: The Marriage Ref The Marriage Ref premieres on NBC March 2010.