Under New Management

Cobra Kai Season 4 - The Loop

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There are a lot of shows that focus on a place of business, and many of them get Strictly Formula after a while and need a Retool. Sometimes a change of management can bring life back into an old show, or at least add conflict for awhile. Sometimes this is an excuse to stage a Tyrant Takes the Helm story. Sometimes this is an excuse to stick the heroes in charge.

Under New Management refers to a permanent change in management — or at least long enough for a full story arc. When the boss being replaced is back by the end of the episode it's a Ten-Minute Retirement.

This is not The Protagonist being thrust into a recently vacated position and suddenly finding himself in charge of an organization while he's still learning the ropes. That's You Are in Command Now.

Often associated with We Don't Suck Anymore, They Changed It, Now It Sucks and Nothing Is the Same Anymore. If done badly can lead to Meet the New Boss.

Examples of Under New Management include:


  • Trolls of Troy, in one episode, a noble woman tries to institute a new establishment in Troy, where rather than orphans loiter in the streets and beg, she creates an orphanage to educate them. Granted she is only doing this for the fame and possibly money. When she comes across two troll children she decides to take them as she believes if she manages to civilize trolls her reputation will skyrocket. Though the trolls are rebellious and they instigate a rebellion against the noble woman and her ladies in waiting. The women under are Bound and Gagged in a room which the orphans plan on using them as part of a brothel to help support themselves.

  • The Shield switched out the captain of The Barn several times over the course of the series, which often had a major impact on the way Vic worked.
  • Cheers between seasons 5 & 6 Sam sold the bar and left to live on a boat. He came back in the first episode of season 6 and took a job as a bartender at the bar he used to own.
  • Season one of House introduced a new character Vogler donating a large sum of money and taking control of the hospital.
  • Ellen featured the title character selling Buy the Book to a couple of hippie capitalists. They put a conservative guy (Bruce Campbell) in charge and he brought a different style to the place. She wound up quitting when she sensed he was judging her sexuality.
  • In season 6 of the US version of The Office, Dunder Mifflin is bought out by Sabre, resulting in frequent visits by Jo, the Sabre CEO, a Sabre representative in the office, and Dunder Mifflin selling printers along with paper.
    • The previews for season 8 indicate that while Sabre will remain the owning company Jo will be replaced by a new CEO with his own 'unique' style.
  • When Emmett became assistant manager at the Buy More on Chuck there was a big sign up - "Under New Assistant Management" - and when he became manager he put the sign up again with the word "Assistant" Xed out.
    • Things change even more when the CIA buys the Buy More to use as a cover for their operations. Morgan quickly points out that the operation of the store is too efficient and the employees too pretty and helpful. In order to create a more believable cover, the store goes back to the old way of running things except Morgan is made the new manager.
    • Things are bound to change again after Chuck and Sarah buy the Buy More
  • At the start of season 2, Babylon 5 sees Commander Sinclaire replaced by Captain John Sheridan, who Straczynski said was as pivotal to the series as Aragorn to Lord of the Rings.
  • Happy Days hangout Arnold's was run by Arnold and then by Al.
  • The heroes taking over Wolfram and Hart on Angel.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess seasons 5 & 6 were about genociding the Greek and Celtic gods so the One True God could seize State Power.
  • Similar to (and possibly inspired by) the Discworld example below, season six of Supernatural reveals that Crowley has taken over Hell, and transformed it from a place of eternal physical torment into a long, badly-lit corridor with a massive (as in >6,000,000,000 people long) queue - And what's at the front of the queue? The end of it again!
  • CSI had Catherine Willows being pushed into the supervisor position, actually as Swing Shift supervisor along with Gil Grissom, then she became head of the Graveyard Shift after Grissom's departure. But the brass didn't like how she handled what happened with Ray Langston, and they brought in DB Russel as the new team leader.
    • In the beginning, this was also done to set up things for the show-Brass originally led the night shift and it was given over to Grissom and Brass was bumped to Homicide.

  • In Eric Hell has recently come under new management, so the traditional punishments get scrapped in favor of mind-numbing eternal boredom. Going Postal and Making Money both have Moist Von Lipwig as the new management of the post office and the mint respectively.


  • Violet takes over in 9 to 5.

  • Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management. A classic attraction "taken over" by Iago and Zazu (from Aladdin and The Lion King, respectively). Hilarity (supposedly) ensues.
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