A lot of people were upset with NBC's decision to break away from the closing ceremonies of the winter Olympics so it could air the special 30 minute preview of The Marriage Ref. NBC did ultimately air the missing coverage, but not until 11:30 p.m. Our friend Aaron Barnhart summarizes the feelings of many:
I mean, stupid stupid stupid WOW.
Is there any doubt, after last night, that NBC is the worst-run television network since ABC in the pre-Silverman years? (Fred, not Ben Silverman.)
Is there any doubt that Jerry Seinfeld's decision to disappear from TV in 1998 was the right one?
Is there any doubt that NBC executives think their viewers are idiots who will watch anything?
Aaron goes on to compare it to the 1968 "Heidi Bowl" disaster (also on NBC) where they broke away from the game with hardly anytime left with the Jets leading the Raiders 32-29 to show the movie Heidi at 7pm. The Raiders went on to score twice in nine seconds and win the game.
These days the Raiders and NBC seem to have a lot in common. As a sports fan, I can't really compare the Heidi Bowl to last night's breakaway. I mean the closing ceremonies were tape delayed anyway here in California.
Unfortunately for the haters, so far it looks from a ratings perspective like NBC made a good call. How many people watch The Marriage Ref on Thursday will be far more telling though. How good the critics think it is (or in this case, how awful in most cases) won't matter a lick to NBC if the ratings are decent.
I can't speak to the show's quality because I didn't watch it. It's a concept that isn't for me. If I run into a married couple who has stories like the people on The Marriage Ref, I don't try to mock them, I try to avoid them. But if there are millions of adults 18-49 who'd prefer to laugh at these people, that's fine with me. Whether those millions exist for The Marriage Ref, is another story. We'll know more on Friday morning.