Top Gear USA to show on BBC Three +videoSun, 09 Oct 2011
Top Gear USA arrives on BBC Three next week.
Top Gear is something of a phenomenon. From a rather stuffy show fronted by the likes of William Woollard and Angela Rippon, it has morphed in to the world’s most popular car programme bar none.
Perhaps even the world’s most popular TV show bar The Simpsons, with a worldwide audience of some 350 million.
In the process it has spawned many imitators – seemingly licensed by the Beeb – from Australia to China and the USA. And now we Brits are to get the chance to view perhaps the most successful imitator – Top Gear USA.
The Beeb are planning to run Top Gear USA on BBC Three starting next Friday (14th October). Whether they think Top Gear USA is something petrolheads on this side of the Pond will take to in the way Americans have taken to the antics of Messrs Clarkson May and Hammond, or whether they’re running it because it’s cheap, we don’t know.
The current format of Top Gear USA is incredibly similar to the original, with hosts Tanner Foust, Adam Ferrara and Rutledge Wood trying to recreate the dynamic Jezza, Captain Slow and the Hamster have made their own.
There’s a US Stig, Star in a Reasonably Priced Car (which they call Big Star, Small Car – although small star, small car may be more appropriate) which they run in a Suzuki SX4, and there are power laps – run by the US Stig – in a variety of powerful cars, mainly mainstream rather than some of the real exotica the UK Top Gear boys get.
The current version of Top Gear USA is the third attempt to make a US version of Top Gear a success. The first effort – with an Americanised version of the UK show – ran on Discovery, and the second version was put together by NBC put never picked up.
It’ll be interesting to see if UK viewers find anything more than novelty value in Top Gear USA. Unlike the BBC, Top Gear USA has to be made with the sensibilities of advertisers in mind – just like UK car magazines and many websites - so opinions are far more muted than we’re used to from UK Top Gear.
Still, probably worth a look.
By Cars UK