Oprah Winfrey’s cable network and TLC have jointly bought the cable TV rights to the US version of reality series Undercover Boss. The UK-originated format, which airs on the CBS broadcast network in the US, will debut on the cable networks in the US from autumn, 2012.
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, a joint venture between Oprah and Discovery, and TLC, which is fully-owned by Discovery, picked up off-network rights to the show from CBS Television Distribution.
The format, in which the boss of a firm goes back to the floor, unbeknownst to their new colleagues, was created by All3Media-owned producer Studio Lambert. All3Media International sells the US version everywhere except the US where the domestic sales arm of CBS handles distribution.
“Oprah helped launch ‘Boss’ when she devoted a whole show to previewing the series just before its post-Super Bowl launch last year, so it’s wonderful that the off-network rights have now gone to her network,” said Studio Lambert boss Stephen Lambert.
Two seasons of the show have aired on CBS. In the UK it airs on free-to-air commercial network Channel 4.
It has proved popular internationally and broadcasters that have acquired the finished US version include Network Ten (Australia), CTV (Canada), SVT (Sweden), TV Norge (Norway), TV2 (Denmark), TVNZ, MTV3 (Finland) and BBC in Africa, Asia and Poland.
Deals for local versions have been inked in territories including Australia, Belgium, Israel, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Turkey and options taken in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Germany, Italy, Mexico and New Zealand.