Undercover Boss (British TV series)

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Undercover Boss
Undercover Boss.png
GenreReality television
Created byStephen Lambert
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series6
No. of episodes33 (list of episodes)
Running time60 minutes (inc. adverts)
Production company(s)Studio Lambert
Original networkChannel 4
Picture format576i
Audio formatStereo
Original release15 June 2009 (2009-06-15) –
20 August 2014 (2014-08-20)
Related showsUndercover Boss
External links
Production website

Undercover Boss is a British reality television series. Each episode depicts a person who has a high management position at a major business, deciding to become undercover as an entry-level employee to discover the faults in the company. The first series, consisting of two episodes was aired in 2009 followed by a second series consisting of six episodes one year later. This original series sparked the Undercover Boss franchise.[1] Localised versions of the show format are currently being produced in the United States, France, Australia, Germany and Canada.


Each episode features a high-positioned executive or the owner of a corporation going undercover as an entry-level employee in their own company. The executive changes their appearance and assumes an alias and fictional back-story. The fictitious explanation for the accompanying camera crew is that the executive is being filmed as part of a documentary about entry-level workers in a particular industry. They spend approximately one week undercover, working in various areas of the company's operations, with a different job and in most cases a different location each day. The boss is exposed to a series of predicaments with amusing results. They invariably spend time getting to know the people who work in the company, learning about their professional and personal challenges.

At the end of their week undercover, the boss returns to their true identity and requests the employees he worked with individually to corporate headquarters. The boss reveals their identity and rewards hardworking employees through campaign, promotion or financial rewards. Other employees are given training or better working conditions.


The first series of Undercover Boss was broadcast in 2009 and consisted of two episodes.[2] A second series was commissioned and was aired in 2010 featuring seven episodes, six with new companies and a return visit to the business where it all started to see what impact the show had in the longer term.[3] Subsequent series have been produced annually with the most recent being broadcast in 2014.[4]

International broadcasts[edit]

Selected episodes of the UK version of Undercover Boss air in the United States on TLC and OWN, as part of Undercover Boss: Abroad.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rocchio, Christopher (2 February 2009). "CBS orders 'Secret Millionaire'-like 'Undercover Boss' series". Reality TV World. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Undercover Boss - Series 1". Channel 4. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  3. ^ "Undercover Boss - Series 2". Channel 4. Retrieved 29 September 2010.
  4. ^ "Undercover Boss - Series 6". Channel 4. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  5. ^ The Daily OWN: "“Undercover Boss: Abroad” Coming to OWN in March", 6 February 2012.
  6. ^ Discovery Communications press release: "OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK GO UNDERCOVER AND OVERSEAS", 6 February 2012.

External links[edit]