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When Will 'Undercover Boss' Jump The Shark?

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Oct 09, 2013 | 3:00pm EDT

Undercover Boss TV Still from episode featuring Loehmann CEO Steven NewmanCBS

Undercover Boss is in its fifth season and while I still love watching it, since it is fascinating to see the inner workings of a lot of different companies, I'm beginning to wonder when it will hit the end of its trail.

In case you are unaware of the premise of the show, it's about a boss or a higher-up in a particular company going undercover to find out what may be causing problems in their bottom line. They don disguises and travel to different states to meet employees in various capacities. Usually the show has the boss meet four employees in the course of events. It's almost always amusing to see these executives back in the front lines, where they have usually been removed for quite some time.

By now, it has had enough air time on one of the most prominent network channels (CBS) that a 'reality show with a contestant trying for their own company' setup at a business should raise reg flags with any employee of a company. It's just common sense. There are cameras around and some of the 'disguises' that these bosses wear stop just short of a clown suit. That should practically scream Undercover Boss. Then again, it's possible that the employees are nudged to go along with it. There was one episode where a customer mentioned the show's name to the employee and that angle was played to the hilt.

Yes, it has a great message and it's always great to see these bosses turn around and reward those employees with money to help get them out of whatever dire straits they are in. I've always wondered though, especially in large chain places: There are other employees that are likely in the same or worse situation. Is the boss going to help them too or is it just like these people won a lottery of sort? If the bosses aided everyone, they'd be broke themselves and asking for money. The message just seems mixed.

I'm not trying to be a Grinch here - like I said, I love watching the show and I regularly DVR it. I also know that nothing lasts forever. Eventually Undercover Boss will go underground.

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