Split Decision

The Restaurant

NBC

Rocco DiSpirito, The Restaurant
Image credit: The Restaurant: Eric Liebowitz

See if ''The Restaurant'' is a winner or a loser

VIEWERS 7.8 million

WHAT HAPPENED We learned that opening a Manhattan restaurant is really, really hard, as celeb chef Rocco DiSpirito launched an Italian eatery before our eyes -- and then whined about it in all those American Express ads.

WHY WE'RE SPLIT ''We weren't being salacious, weren't asking people to choose between the gay one and the straight one,'' executive producer Ben Silverman says. Even so, we got fires in the kitchen, staff sex in the bathroom, and flambeed tempers. Ratings were lukewarm, but producers say they're negotiating for a second season.

LASTING CONTRIBUTION TO THE GENRE Drama with nary an elimination ceremony -- unless you count all those firings.

Originally posted Sep 16, 2003