The Restaurant News
Former The Restaurant star Rocco DiSpirito is gearing up for a return to the kitchen via Rocco to the Rescue, a new A&E reality series scheduled for a June debut.
Not with a bang, but a whimper.
In a ruling from the bench on July 27, New York state judicial hearing officer Ira Gammerman held that China Grill Management could bar chef Rocco DiSpirito from his namesake restaurant, Rocco's on 22nd Street, and that China Grill was also free to sell or change the format of the eatery.
Reality TV's nastiest legal battle -- the ownership fight between chef Rocco DiSpirito (owner of Spirit Media) and "money man" Jeffrey Chodorow (owner of China Grill Management) over the ownership of Rocco's on 22nd Street, the restaurant featured on NBC's The Restaurant -- moved on to its next round on Monday, as a court hearing began in Manhattan.
Now that Rocco DiSpirito has been temporarily banished from Rocco's on 22nd Street and convicted felon/financier Jeffrey Chodorow has taken over (for now), potential customers know that they won't have the dining experience featured in NBC's The Restaurant. So how can Rocco's on 22nd Street draw a crowd until the lawsuits end?
The cameras may have stopped filming at Rocco's on 22nd, but the battles between the co-founders and co-owners of the eatery, featured on NBC's The Restaurant, rage on nonetheless.
Is this merely admitting a mistake? Or is it appeasing a superstar producer? Or were there other forces at work behind the scenes?
Apparently all is fair in love, war, and television scheduling as far as NBC is concerned.
NBC has discovered that not everything reality TV uber-producer Mark Burnett touches magically turns to gold.
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.
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