Those who find themselves heartbroken over the Super Bowl may want to stick with CBS for a postgame pick-me-up wrapped in, of all things, a reality show.

Yes, the same genre that brought you bachelorette catfights, Simon Cowell putdowns and physical-trainer tantrums is now responsible for "Undercover Boss," a feel-good experiment that dares to make CEOs look sympathetic.

The premise -- a top executive slides several rungs down the corporate ladder to see how the "little people" really feel -- may sound like a cruel pretext to ax disgruntled employees, but producers promise that no episodes will end with "You're fired."

Executive producer Stephen Lambert said the setup is designed to give leaders a chance to get on the front line, make improvements and discover unsung heroes.

"It's not a mean-spirited show," he said.

The first mole, Waste Management president Larry O'Donnell III, found the experience both humbling -- he gets canned when he can't pick up trash that's blowing in the wind -- and eye-opening.

"I have a whole new appreciation for what they do each day," he said. "I always thought I was thinking that way, but once I got out there, I realized I needed to step it up to a much higher level."

Other companies that have signed on include 7-Eleven, Hooters and White Castle.

But the corporation that has offered the biggest endorsement is CBS, which granted the show the highly coveted post-football slot, all but guaranteeing significant viewership.

"It's like winning the jackpot," Lambert said. "Having said that, I'm slightly worried. I hope CBS doesn't expect us to build on the audience."

NEAL JUSTIN