This season “Undercover Boss” learned that people don’t really bat an eye when someone comes to work being trailed by a camera crew.
“We’ve got many ideas and we use a very fluid, small crew,” Chris Carlson, one of the executive producers, told the New York Post, “so you wouldn’t really think, when you see us shooting, that we’re a big, hit CBS show.”
Carlson is confident the reality show will continue to go incognito when it begins filming its recently ordered third season. “Undercover Boss,” which drew 12 million viewers Sunday, and “Amazing Race” were both picked up by CBS for additional seasons.
“Boss” features high-level executives in disguise working alongside entry level employees. This second season featured bosses from NASCAR, MGM Grand, Subway, DirecTV, Frontier Airlines and Chiquita, among others.
It helps that most of the bosses aren’t as famous as Sacha Baron Cohen, whose heightened profile essentially killed his “Da Ali G Show” character premise after one season.
“We don’t have someone as famous as Sacha Baron Cohen running around. We’re in different industries (each week) in different areas of the country. We use those to our advantage,” Carlson said.
The faux reality premise told to unsuspecting coworkers varies based on the situation. “We constantly have to change up what we’re doing,” Carlson said. “It’s not like we have a cookie-cutter method. We treat each episode differently.”
This season, the bosses were introduced to their employees as competitors on a reality show about entry-level jobs.
And the crew knows how to blend, Carlson said. “I think we’re pretty much a ragtag bunch. That’s what makes it work. These are the same guys who could be shooting “Deadliest Catch” – you never know who we are.”
The production team works to sell the fake premise. “We try to keep things very believable, and we take our faux shows to heart and produce them like we’re really making these shows,” Carlson said.