Oh Thank Heaven: ‘Undercover Boss’ Ratings Strong with 7-11 Episode

A second season is likely a formality after the CBS reality hit turns in another Eye-popping performance

Last Updated: February 22, 2010 @ 9:06 AM

CBS has greenlit a second season of its new hit reality series "Undercover Boss."

OK, so technically that isn’t true (at least as far as we know). But after another powerhouse performance Sunday, it shouldn’t be long before the show’s producers at All 3 Media’s Studio Lambert get a sunny phone call from CBS executives giving them the good news.

Episode three of the workplace switcheroo series — which focused on the folks at 7-11 — averaged a 4.8 rating/11 share in adults 18-49 and 13.6 million viewers Sunday, according to preliminary national Nielsen data. While that’s down roughly 7 percent in the demo vs. last week’s time period premiere, it’s still an impressive number since, in addition to the Olympics, "UB" faced an original episode of ABC’s "Desperate Housewives" for the first time.

And won.

"Housewives" averaged a 3.7/8 in the demo between 9 and 10 Sunday, ranking third for the hour behind "UB" and NBC’s Olympics coverage. The Games averaged a 6.1/14 for that hour; for the night, a 5.7/14 (down from recent evenings).

Fox’s combination of a repeat "Family Guy" and an original "American Dad" settled for fourth place with an 3.0/7.

In any case, it’s been a long time since CBS has been this hot on Sunday nights among younger viewers. And while it’s possible NBC’s "The Celebrity Apprentice" — which returns next week March 14 — could eat away some reality audience next week (assuming there is such a thing as "reality" and "scripted" audiences), it’s pretty clear: America has fallen head over heels for "Undercover Boss."

A second season is just a formality.

As for the rest of the Eye’s Sunday lineup, "The Amazing Race" (2.9/7, 9.1 million) was up a tad from last week’s solid bow. At 10 p.m., "Cold Case" (2.3/6) — while up 10 percent — continues to make a case for cancellation, given its failure to capitalize much on its newly powerful lead-in.

NBC’s Olympics coverage, by the way, was up 4 percent from Torino in 2006 but down 19 percent from last Sunday.