Reality TV fans: Sunday to offer post-football fun

Posted Feb. 04, 2010, at 5:07 p.m.

It’s Super Bowl weekend, and although the Pats aren’t in it, there’s still something to look forward to besides loads of appetizers and a few beverages of choice.

What better time to launch a new reality show than immediately after the biggest day in football? As soon as the clock runs out, CBS is set to launch “Undercover Boss.”

First of all, we should be thankful that enough Americans still have jobs to allow this show to go on because it looks like a good one.

As the show’s title suggests, this one’s all about the big boss working among the very people who support his enterprise on a daily basis.

The CEOs will leave the comforts of their desk jobs behind and anonymously work side-by-side with their employees to see how their companies really work. The optimist in me hopes that we don’t see any Trump-style firings and instead will see the owners realize that the decisions they make affect not only the bottom dollar, but also the lives, families, hopes and dreams of many.

The show’s Web site lists some familiar giants willing to take the plunge, including: Larry O’Donnell, president and chief operating officer of Waste Management (that’s right, he’ll be picking up trash); President and CEO Joseph M. DePinto of the 7-Eleven chain; and likely the favorite episode for the Man on the Couch will feature Coby G. Brooks, president of Hooters (although I’m not exactly sure how that one will work).

First up will be Waste Management, where O’Donnell gets down and dirty cleaning portable toilets, sorting waste at a recycling plant, collecting garbage from a landfill — and rumor has it he gets fired for the first time in his life. I’ll be curious to see if they teach him the trick of leaving the door to the portable toilet propped open with one foot firmly planted on the ground outside as he cleans so that prankster co-workers don’t tip the contraption over.

That’s a trick I learned a few years ago while doing a story on a southern Maine portable toilet company that had provided the contraptions for Bangor’s American Folk Festival. Not a glamorous job, but very necessary.

If you’ve ever grumbled, “If my boss only knew what I really do,” check this one out. It’s set to premiere at a special time at approximately 10 p.m. after the post-Super Bowl commentary before moving to its regular 9 p.m. time slot on Sundays. For a sneak peak, visit http://www.cbs.com.

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