Reality Show Lets Employees Battle to Be the Boss

Ever dreamt of running the show? The new reality series Be the Boss gives two employees a chance to compete for the opportunity

Like an Apprentice for underdogs, Be the Boss sees low-level staffers compete for promotions in this new unscripted reality series

New reality series Be the Boss sees employees battle for the biggest promotion of their lives

At one point or another, anybody who’s ever worked for someone else has probably boasted, “Things would be run a lot differently around here if I was in charge!” 

But what if a reality show could actually turn the tables and give that employee the chance to actually take charge and, in effect, put up or shut up?

That’s precisely the premise of Be the Boss, a new unscripted series from the creators of Undercover Boss that pits two low-level employees of a franchise-based company against each other in a series of business competitions.

When the workers are summoned to the big boss’s office, they think they’ll be competing for a promotion by taking on a series of challenges designed to test their aptitude for taking on a senior-management role. What they don’t realize is that they’re actually competing for a far bigger opportunity — the keys to their very own franchise operation. 

Becoming the Boss

As the show’s press release notes, franchise fees can be substantial, well into — and even exceeding — six figures, meaning that Be the Boss offers one of the largest prizes of any TV competition. Meanwhile, there’s even good news for the runner-up, who won’t get a franchise but will receive that promotion. 

The debut episode, airing this Sunday, follows the battle between a former beauty-pageant queen and a country-singing ex-Marine who work at Complete Nutrition, an up-and-coming sports nutrition chain. Subsequent episodes are set in such franchise businesses as Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc., Molly Maid, Jazzercise and Signal 88 Security. 

The idea behind Be the Boss came from a 2010 episode of Undercover Boss in which 7-Eleven CEO Joe DePinto wound up giving one of the company’s drivers control over his very own convenience store. 

As A&E executive vice-president of programming David McKillop told Variety, a show like Be the Boss should hit home with American viewers who are struggling with the sputtering economy and difficult job market. 

“Given the mood of the country, I think it’s going to resonate strongly,” said McKillop. “These are not fantasy jobs. This is a competition that takes into account hard work and intelligence, and shows the kind of skill sets that someone needs to run their own business.”

Originally published in TVW. For daily programming updates and on-screen Entertainment news, subscribe to the free TVW e-newsletters, or purchase a subscription to the weekly magazine.