Top Gear is a motoring television series, based on the BBC series of the same name. The show's presenters are professional racing driver Tanner Foust, actor and comedian Adam Ferrara, and Rutledge Wood, an automotive and racing analyst. As with the original British version, the show has its own version of The Stig, an anonymous racing driver, and a celebrity guest is featured each week. The show premiered on November 21, 2010, on History.
Top Gear on Discovery ChannelEdit
In 2005 Discovery Channel made a pilot for an American version of the show featuring actor and IHRA driver Bruno Massel as one of the hosts, but it was not picked up by the network. A short time later Discovery Channel began airing a slightly "Americanized" version of the British Top Gear show with presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. This show featured clips of features and challenges from Series 1-5 from the BBC Two show with introduction segments recorded by Clarkson, Hammond and May at the Dunsfold Aerodrome studio especially for the US audience. Regular features like "The News" and "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" were not shown on the Discovery Channel version. The show was not a ratings success and was soon taken off the air.
Top Gear on NBCEdit
In April 2007, the BBC was still looking to export an American produced version of Top Gear to the United States. NBC announced, in January 2008, that it had ordered a pilot for an American version of the show, retitled Sixth Gear. BBC Worldwide had been contracted to produce the pilot for NBC. According to NBC reality chief Craig Plestis, many automakers had shown interest in America's version of Top Gear.
On June 16, 2008, NBC and the BBC officially announced an American version of Top Gear, to be hosted by Adam Carolla, Tanner Foust and Eric Stromer. The studio segments for the pilot were taped on July 26, 2008 to generally favorable reviews citing close following of the UK version's format. NBC was expected to have Top Gear premiere as a mid-season replacement in 2009.
Jay Leno, who originally turned down offers to host the show, expressed concern in 2008 over whether or not a show like Top Gear could be successful in America. In a column published by The Sunday Times in 2008, Leno expressed concern that an American version could lack the critical reviews the British version is known for. The British show is produced for the BBC with public funds while the American show airs on commercial television. Leno believes that the show may have to worry about offending current and potential sponsors by giving their products poor reviews, leading to a compromise in the journalistic integrity and freedom of the original show.
On December 11, 2008, NBC reversed its decision to place the show as a mid-season replacement, citing concerns about the potential success of a car-themed show in light of the failure of Knight Rider. NBC allowed the BBC to shop it around to cable networks to possibly pick it up. In February 2009 Jeremy Clarkson stated that the American version had been "canned", claiming that focus groups "... just don't understand a single word we're on about. They just don't get it really."
Top Gear on HistoryEdit
On August 6, 2010, the first Top Gear trailer was published on the web, giving fans a preview on what to expect on the upcoming episodes to be broadcast on the History Channel. In this trailer, new hosts Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust, and Rutledge Wood were seen participating in a Moonshine Challenge and Tanner Foust also takes a Dodge Viper for a test drive. The first episode premiered on 21 November 2010.
The show follows a similar format of the BBC version; three main hosts present, a secret race driver tests vehicles, and celebrities are invited for interviews and to drive vehicles around a test track. In addition, challenges similar in nature to the ones presented in the original show are replicated in Top Gear. The "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment of the pilot for NBC featured a Kia Rio as the reasonably priced car, whereas the History version uses a Suzuki SX4 Sportback for its retitled "Big Star, Small Car" segment. Filming of this segment takes place at the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, now known as the Orange County Great Park, in Irvine, California. Producers of the History version have noted a greater interest in car customization by American car enthusiasts than in Britain, an element that will be incorporated into the new show.
|#||Total||Title||Featured Vehicles||Challenge||Guest||Original Air Date|
- 1:22.0 - Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR
- 1:22.8 - Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera
- 1:23.4 - Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce
- 1:26.9 - Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Balboni
- 1:27.6 - Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
- 1:28.2 - Aston Martin V12 Vantage
- 1:29.2 - Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X GSR
- 1:39.0 - Hennessey F-150 VelociRaptor 600
Big Star, Small Car:
- 1:43.9 (wet) - Kid Rock
- 1:45.3 - Dominic Monaghan
- 1:46.6 (wet) - Ty Burrell
- 1:55.6 - Buzz Aldrin
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