The Italian adaptation of Undercover Boss and the Rai's public service remit

  • Matteo Macaluso Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia
Keywords: Undercover Boss, Rai, reality television, adaptation, public service


This article concerns the Italian adaptation of the multi-national reality television series Undercover Boss (Boss in incognito in Italian translation). The show (2014 – present) is aired in primetime on the Italian public service broadcaster, Radiotelevisione Italiana (Rai), and comprises one of the rare examples of labor thematization in mainstream television. As such, it constitutes an iconic title that makes important contributions to the socio-cultural role of screen storytelling. This essay approaches the TV series as a source and explores how Boss in incognito, like the original format, can provide Italian viewers with a popular narrative not free from ideological implications. Furthermore, it hypothesizes that the broadcasting does not fully correspond to Rai’s public service obligations.


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How to Cite
Macaluso, M. (2023). The Italian adaptation of <em>Undercover Boss</em&gt; and the Rai’s public service remit. Between, 13(26), 127-142.