Today’s Globe features a great article about the “sibling rivalry” between NECN’s TV Diner and Channel 38’s Phantom Gourmet. There are many juicy tidbits sprinkled throughout the piece, most notably that the brothers Andelman (Dave, Dan, and Michael) who run Phantom Gourmet require an exclusivity agreement from their guests, barring them from going on TV Diner within a set number of months after their Phantom Gourmet appearance. What does Billy Costa, the original host of Phantom Gourmet and the current face of TV Diner, have to say about that? “We, as a show, owe [guests] a giant thank-you for being on our show…For me to ask them to choose sides, it’s totally unfair.” The TV Diner folks also get in a sly jab at Phantom Gourmet’s audience. As NECN executive Charles Kravetz remarks “We wanted to take ‘TV Diner’ and focus more on excellence in cooking and recipes and slightly higher-quality restaurants. We are aimed at a slightly different audience and one that is perhaps a little more interested in fine dining than ‘Phantom.’” Burn!
We’re not regular viewers of either show, but we catch episodes every now and again, and it does seem to us that the two programs have different niches. TV Diner is a little more upscale and less review-focused, while Phantom Gourmet focuses more on casual dining and criticism. Phantom Gourmet also hosts events that seem to be well-liked even by those who aren’t necessarily fans of the show. We must also point out that only one show has a Wikipedia entry.
What about you? Do you prefer Phantom Gourmet to TV Diner or vice versa? Let us know in the comments!