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NBC's second season of 'The Restaurant' to premiere April 19


By Reality TV World staff, 03/18/2004 

NBC has announced that the second season of celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito's The Restaurant series will premiere on Monday, April 19 at 10 PM ET/PT.

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"This show and its star Rocco were clearly one of NBC's break-out hits this past season," said Jeff Gaspin, Executive Vice President, NBC Entertainment. "We feel our viewers are hungry to find out what has happened to Rocco, his beloved Mama and their colorful staff."

The second season of The Restaurant will pick up six months after the first season finale as viewers will discover what happened to Rocco and his restaurant, "Rocco's on 22nd", after the frenetic and emotional opening. A major storyline running throughout the six-episode season will be the real-life dramatic conflict between Rocco and his financier Geoffrey Chodorow (China Grill Management) as Chodorow seizes control of the restaurant accusing Rocco and his staff of financial mismanagement - a real-life "storyline" that Reality TV World reported on back in February and has left the two partners in court.

Rocco will encounter these and other pitfalls throughout the series and viewers will see if he can rise to the occasion and turn things back in his favor. The season will begin with a major focus on improving the quality of the food and the hiring of a new chef, a colleague of Rocco's from Italy. Viewers will also meet the new staff members as they work alongside returning staff including everyone's favorite, Mama DiSpirito, General Manager Laurent, Captain's Uzay and Emily, Waiter's Carrie and Al and Chef Tony. Also present will be The Restaurant itself -- as executive producer Mark Burnett's cameras once again document the activities of the colorful patrons who came to eat at "Rocco's on 22nd" during filming.

Last summer's initial run of The Restaurant dominated its time period, winning or tying for first among adults 18-49 with all six telecasts. The Restaurant averaged a 3.6 rating, 10 share among adults 18-49, making it a top-15 show for the summer in this key ratings category. In overall total viewers, The Restaurant averaged 7.8 million viewers.

As it was last summer, The Restaurant continues to be the only unscripted drama that literally caters to the viewing public. Anyone at any time can call for a reservation during filming or just show up during dinner hours and try to get a walk-in table. The reservation hotline is 212-353-0500.

"I always considered season one of The Restaurant a six episode pilot. So many great dramas come back season after season and there is no reason why unscripted dramas cannot continue this trend," said Burnett. "It is simply great storytelling incorporating captivating characters with Rocco, our leading man, front and center."

"Rocco is an amazing chef and unique television personality. We are thrilled to watch him continue his journey of trying to please the most discerning diners in the world," added Ben Silverman, another executive producer of the series.

The Restaurant is executive produced by Reveille's Ben Silverman, Mark Burnett of Mark Burnett Productions, and Robert Riesenberg on behalf of Magna Global Entertainment.

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