Eye will offer companion episodes featuring updates, unseen material
CBS is going deeper with “Undercover Boss.”CBS Television Distribution is about to shop the rerun rights to the Studio Lambert reality hit to cable buyers, with the twist that each episode will come with an additional half-hour to hourlong companion program featuring updates on the CEOs and employees, as well as previously unseen footage. The unusual approach is a means of adding some sizzle to the offering because unscripted series typically do not generate big bucks in off-network sales. But “Boss,” which revolves around corporate CEOs going undercover in their own companies to gain perspective on what the lower-run employees do for a living, is an unusual primetime reality show in that its segs are self-contained and there is no elimination-style competition element. Scott Koondel, prexy of distribution for CBS TV Distribution, said he intends to pitch the show as he would a scripted drama series. He’s eyeing the possibility of a two-pronged sale to a cable business news outlet, which could contribute its own business-focused elements on the companies featured in the show, and a general entertainment channel. “There’s an opportunity to exploit this show on many different platforms and the fact that we’ll be adding new original content will make this a very sexy offer for a lot of cable networks,” Koondel said. Idea of adding a whole episode of new material came together over a lunch a few weeks ago between Koondel and Studio Lambert chief and “Boss” exec producer Stephen Lambert. Lambert is in midst of producing a pilot for the companion eps. “We shoot an awful lot of additional material on every episode — we shoot more jobs than we are able to include in the hour on CBS,” Lambert said. “We keep in close contact with everyone and there are lots of interesting things that happen (later) to the company, the boss and the co-workers.” CBS TV Distribution is aiming for a fall 2012 off-net debut.”Boss” is just about to wrap its second season on CBS.