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Undercover Boss: Still a Big CBS Hit? Cancel or Keep It?

Undercover BossOn CBS’ new reality series, Undercover Boss, corporate CEOs go undercover in their own companies to see what it’s like to live in the trenches.

The network made an interesting gamble and gave the reality series the plumb spot of following Super Bowl XLIV on February 7th. It turned out to be a great move, especially since the game turned out to be the most-watched program in US television history.

For its debut, Undercover Boss attracted an amazing 38.65 million viewers and a 16.2 rating in the demo. With a start like that of course, there’s no place to go but down. The question is, how far?

Should Undercover Boss continue?

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The second week, the reality series dropped to a still very impressive 5.2 in the demo and 15.45 million viewers. In week three, they dropped further to a 4.8 and 13.76 million. However, that was still enough to trounce ABC’s Desperate Housewives in both categories. Last Sunday, the ratings perked back up to a 5.1 and 15.15 million.

The success of the show is a surprise to most but the numbers seem to be holding up pretty well. But how long will that last?

The program seems to have settled into a predictable format already. Will viewers quickly tire of that or will Undercover Boss continue for years, like ABC’s feel-good but formulaic Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?

What do you think? Will you keep on watching Undercover Boss or are you ready to let it go? Cancel or keep it?

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

beverley j whyte February 6, 2011 at 9:20 pm

do not cancel htis



fed up fud January 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm

With the way things are going in a demanding corporate world, we need to have this format in entertainment continue to show the big shots what the employees of big corporate companies are putting up with. This show or another one should actually take it to the next level. The state and federal laws that they break and get away with are litterally a crime! They use bullying and threats to “keep you in line”. I work for such a company, and for fear of loosing my job in such a bad job market, I stay silent until I find a new career. 20/20 has done some interesting stories. KEEP IT GOING!!!!


Eric Hartley November 30, 2010 at 3:24 pm

What this show could do is break away from its predictable premise. That is, each week it is about a struggling manager, an older worker with a cheerful disposition that has personal or domestic issues, and the younger employee that’s at a disadvantage with advancing their career at his/her young age. What the show’s producer could do would be to have the “undercover boss” team up with workplace slackers . . . employees that habitually arrive late or leave early from work, and get away with it. Employees that do what they can to do minimal chores in the workplace, badmouth their manager behind his/her back, and pilfer some of the materials or merchandise in the workplace. Oh! And one last thing: show a employee, that was sober before taking their break, return to the workplace stoned. [chuckle] Now that would make for some entertaining and compelling TV to watch!


Fred Smith November 18, 2010 at 11:41 pm

@ Neal Medium has been cancelled and will end on Jan 21 2011!
Yea CBS thanks for cancelling a show that NBC cancelled. Bring back Flashpoint!


Fred Smith November 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm

Cancel it! The show is boring and a waste of an hour.


Neal November 8, 2010 at 12:35 am

Cancel it and bring back Ghost Whisperer, Numb3rs and DO NOT CANCEL Medium!!!!!!

CBS what the heck is wrong with you????


Beverly May 9, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Please…. Please…. keep this show! It has been come a part of my families Sunday evening dinner, family connecting and watching Extreme Makeover then Undercover Boss. We actually have surnames for the shows…. its “Bus and Boss night” ! We love it! It is a feel good family oriented show.


Gutrench April 25, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I feel its a great concept, but the fact is. The show gets into the same pattern and finds the extreme cases to showcase, which is a good thing to a degree, but dont try and pull the wool over the eyes of the viewer with all the coaching, this show is supposed to be about reinforcing good values in the workplace, well where is your integrity mr. network executives? here is the obvious example of your coaching the people on the show, at the end of every episode you take them to the company headquarters, well every time you get them to say the same thing “I have no idea what this is about at all, or why Im here”, which is a joke, first off Every single one of them say the same line, but the second fact is, since they’re just an average “run of the mill” person. What they have camera crews around them every day of there life? I know cameras are a common thing in the lives of you network big wigs, but to us average folk thats just not the case. So you expect everyone to believe that every single person to be your showcasing or that is viewing the show to believe that these people for the first time in there life had a camera crew following them around when in there workplace, then just weeks or even months later, BAM another camera crew, and they cant link them together??


Alan April 15, 2010 at 10:54 am

I like the show, but never had a boss that was as sympathtic as what I seen on the show. I had good bosses + bad bosses too. In my book, a bad boss never did a days work in his life. A good worker who goes above and beyond the call of duty, will make a bad boss more moody.


me April 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I think it is actually a good show, I’m just wondering how long they could keep it going before the workers start to catch on… “this new employee is being followed around by cameras,” -looks up CEO’s picture- “OH! This must be for Undercover Boss!” -purposely complains about everything they hate about their job in hopes that they’ll get a raise-


GaLiberal March 30, 2010 at 12:45 am

This show appeals to people because of the fantasy we wage slaves have of seeing the top dog getting their hands dirty. This show is a scam as who in their right mind would NOT recognize the CEO of their own company. The fained surprise of these CEOs, the made-of-tv life issues (“I had cancer five times” or “I’m going to lose my house”) and the CEO comes to their rescue at the end of the show smack of manipulation of both the viewers and the employees. Kill this puppy, please.


Sue March 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm

I love the show. I wish more CEO were willing to really see how hard their employees work. Most of the bosses in America could use a reality check instead of big bonuses.


Lola March 4, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Instead of cutting it down, add more interesting scenes, more interaction with the employees, stop repeating what we just saw and move on, also extend the ending with the reveal, no more Mr. Nice Guys, come on some people deserve a good talking to!


robycop3 March 4, 2010 at 9:44 am

I agree with Bob; the show could be cut down to a half hour. But I believe it could be successful for another season before we tire of it & move on.


Bob March 4, 2010 at 2:30 am

It’s still an interesting show, but it plays better if you record it and then fast forward through all the annoying teases of what’s coming and recaps of what they just did — cuts a repetitive hour down to a half an hour or less of actual content.


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