CBS has unsurprisingly renewed Undercover Boss, the reality series that follows CEOs who go undercover to find out that their decisions have made life hell for people who they later invite to their offices so they can make vague, cheap promises that still manage to make the workers cry before being celebrated as hero bosses despite the fact that life probably still sucks for a lot of their low-rung workers. Not that I have a strong opinion about the show.
Besides being the highest rated reality show debut ever, thanks to its post-Super Bowl slot, the show is also the only new reality series CBS has aired recently that has managed to not suck–although for me, this series is watchable but doesn’t come close to the entertainment or quality of CBS’ trio of old-school shows.
In a press release, CBS notes that the show “is the number one new series of the 2009-2010 season, averaging 18.74 million viewers,” although that average seems to take into account the Super Bowl debut. Its latest new episode, which aired against the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, averaged 15 million viewers–more than what Survivor, Amazing Race, or Big Brother draw. (A repeat on Sunday against the Oscars didn’t do as well, averaging 6.5 million viewers.)
The second season will air next year; in January, executive producer Stephen Lambert told TV critics that producers had plans for how to handle a second season now that the show’s conceit has become public. “We’ve got a number of ideas how we’re going to deal with that, which aren’t necessarily ideas that I think are good for me to articulate now,” he said. “I think the principal of the boss who doesn’t really know what it’s like on the front line is a principal that is strong and one that we can build a longtime series on. Quite how we execute it as the series develops is something obviously we will do in discussion with CBS.”