In A&E Network’s “Be the Boss,” premiering Sunday, Dec. 2, two low-level employees are unexpectedly called into the CEO’s office and told they are going to be competing for a big promotion. And it’s going to be on TV. And what they don’t know is that what they’re really competing for is a chance to own their own franchise.
If this sounds like an idea that could only have come from the minds behind “Undercover Boss” — where a CEO secretly labors alongside employees to see how company policies affect everyday workers — there’s good reason for that. Eli Holzman is the executive producer for both shows, which peddle the same kind of wish-fulfillment stories for the working class that are so irresistible as the economy continues to struggle.
“It’s heartwarming, and it reassures all of us about the inherent good nature out there, and that the American dream is alive and well and healthy,” Holzman tells Zap2it. “That’s a message we all crave to hear right now.”
The show is so moving, in fact, that Holzman says it’s powerful enough to even affect him and his colleagues who, let’s face it, have seen these scenarios play out a time or two before.
“When we shoot these things, we’re often crying,” he says. “That’s really wonderful, because we’re jaded old reality producers. There was a moment in one of our early episodes where this guy discovered that all this hard work had suddenly paid off, that he was going to own his own franchise. It was a dream of his that he thought he’d have to work another 15 years to hopefully save up the money for. He walked outside with tears on his face, and his little daughter came up to him, and she said, ‘Daddy, why are you crying?’ He told her, ‘These are happy tears.’ And he hugged his wife, and he hugged his daughter. It’s hard not to get moved by stuff like that.”