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NBC's 'The Restaurant' struggles in second season premiere, draws only 6.5 million viewers

By Reality TV World staff, 04/26/2004 

The food at chef Rocco DiSpirito's poor service-plagued "Rocco's on 22nd Street" restaurant might finally be hot, but if the initial ratings are any indication, the NBC show chronicling the establishment's happenings doesn't appear to be, having premiered to only 6.5 million overall viewers on Monday, April 19 at 10PM ET/PT.

The second season premiere of NBC's The Restaurant, which follows Rocco's attempt to launch his new New York City restaurant, did do well enough to finish second its time period, but considering that the struggling ABC Network is the only other over-the-air "Big 6" network broadcasting during the hour, that isn't saying much.

The Restaurant premiere, which launched a season in which Rocco's legal battles with financial partner Geoffrey Chodorow will be prominently featured, also only drew a disappointing 3.4/9 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic, indicating that viewers might have little interest in watching two unlikeable millionaires squabble over an establishment that, by all accounts, has been a disaster from the beginning.

Whatever the reason, The Restaurant's second season premiere numbers were down significantly from those of last summer's initial season of the show, when, during the historically slower summer viewing season, its six-episode run averaged 7.8 million viewers in the Sundays at 10PM ET/PT time period.

The Restaurant's ratings performance was also well below that of the reality show that previously occupied NBC's Mondays 10PM ET/PT timeslot, its Average Joe franchise. Premiering in November, Average Joe aired three different installments in the time period. The editions, all of which were considered successfully, premiered to anywhere between 9.6 million and 11.2 million viewers.

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