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Auds’ reservations about ‘Restaurant’

NBC skein not on viewers' menu

HOLLYWOOD — Viewers gave Sunday’s debut of “The Restaurant” mixed-to-poor reviews.

Despite an avalanche of advance hype, NBC’s reality sudser scored a so-so 3.0 rating/9 share among adults 18-49 and an average aud of 7.7 million viewers, according to prelim national data from Nielsen. Skein finished in second behind a CBS repeat of “CSI.”

While Peacock execs took comfort in a healthy half-hour to half-hour ratings bump, and a first place finish with viewers 18-34, “The Restaurant” didn’t exactly pop with viewers — and actually did worse than the show it replaced, Dick Wolf’s “Crime & Punishment.”

“The Restaurant” dipped 6% below the second season-to-date adults 18-49 average for “C&P” and was off 11% in viewers. While its 88% retention of its “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” lead-in was healthy, “C&P” has been retaining an even more impressive 94% of its lead-in (not surprising considering the latter skein is billed as the “real life ‘Law & Order’ “).

Perf was better with the reality-loving 18-34 demo, however. “The Restaurant” built on its “L&O” lead-in by 12% to average a 2.9 rating in the demo.

‘CSI’ repeat scores

Eye smartly skedded a “CSI” repeat in the 10 p.m. slot, easily winning the hour in adults 18-49 with a 3.3/10. For the night, Fox and NBC tied for the demo lead, while CBS edged out NBC among all viewers.

NBC has given “The Restaurant” a heavy promo push, particularly in Gotham, where local scribes were invited to dine in the real-life eatery opened by celeb chef Rocco DiSpirito. Ads for the skein touted the show’s production auspices, particularly the involvement of “Survivor” exec producer Mark Burnett.

Test to come

Real test for “The Restaurant” will come in the next two weeks. If the skein can maintain its premiere perf, Peacock execs will likely be happy with the just-OK numbers, particularly since the show is costing them next-to-nothing thanks to the involvement of ad powerhouse Magna Global Entertainment.

Ben Silverman’s U.-based Reveille is producing the skein with Burnett and Magna Global’s Robert Riesenberg.

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