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NBC kills Top Gear USA

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 20th 2008 3:11PM
NBC had planned to bring the popular BBC and BBC America car show Top Gear to us yanks. Instead, NBC has decided to cut its brake cables in the middle of a brilliant power slide.

The official Top Gear blog announced that NBC won't air their US version of the show as a mid-season replacement in 2009.

This means the show and their hosts, Adam Carolla, Eric Stromer and Tanner Foust, are up to grabs for the highest bidder like a drug dealer's impounded Cadillac Escalade at a municipal car auction.

But the saddest news is just around the corner. The gearhead blog Jalopnik reported that the reasons NBC passed on the show were the production costs and the failure of their dismal Knight Rider remake. Well, I'm sure the cars on Top Gear won't talk, so what's the problem?

As weird as this sounds, this is the best thing that could have happened to Top Gear USA. It sucks that a show gets yanked before it has a chance to succeed because another show with a car in it fails. But it's an Oracle-like sign that the show wouldn't have made it, even if it did get on the air, for another equally stupid reason. If their willing to cancel a car show because another show with a "car" in it does poorly, where would it end?

It will also mean they will have much more freedom and room to work on a network who's entire bread and butter isn't car ads. Even if the hosts promised their car reviews, challenges and segments would be based only on their opinions, it's unlikely that NBC will zip their lips when the auto industry's Sword of Damocles swings oh so gently over their heads.

The auto industry also just scored a huge bailout that will only keep their factories afloat for the next three months tops. So maybe audiences won't care whether or not the new Mercedes McLaren is worth the $1,100,000 price tag when you're boiling your own shoes to make soup.

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Farnum

"Miketammen said...

Carolla is actually a car guy that is very knowlegeble dispite what you think about him from The Man Show. He is a super car fanatic. Honestly, what is bad about having a quality car show on air. If you don't like it, don't watch it."

If you don't like it, don't watch it. And that is why it won't work. Carolla is an idiot. He peaked on The Man Show. How this tool keeps getting work on air is beyond me.

February 09 2009 at 10:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

This may come as a shock to many but Top Gear has not always had the same hosts! It dates back to 1977 when Clarkson was still in school.

The hosts are not the stars, it's the format and the cars.

As a Brit I would have loved to see a Top Gear USA but I don't think many Americans would have liked to see the US car makers being trashed on a regular basis. The advantage the original Top Gear has is that the British automobile industry barely exists any more.

January 08 2009 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lurch Forward

anything with that carrolla dude will be an auto-fail. the best thing jimmy kimmel ever did for his career was to get away from that schnook.

December 22 2008 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Miketammen

Carolla is actually a car guy that is very knowlegeble dispite what you think about him from The Man Show. He is a super car fanatic. Honestly, what is bad about having a quality car show on air. If you don't like it, don't watch it.

SPEED should really pick this up. From what I've heard Carolla was a great host who could talk and drive as well as give honest opinions, which is actually what he is known for. Listen to his radio show, he is one of the most honest people in show business. Nobody who is a true car guy should be knocking this show.

My opinion is that the American car companies can't take the heat from this show, and NBC may be connected. Carolla will not hold back on his hate for the classic version on the American car.

December 21 2008 at 7:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
FDR

Look, anything that keeps Adam Corolla and Eric Stromer off my TV set is a good thing.

December 21 2008 at 3:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

Ive really been enjoying Top Gear UK since stumbling across it channel surfing. I think unless you get the hosts from that version its not worth watching.

December 21 2008 at 1:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ac's comment
Brent McKee

I agree to a point. The strength of the British "Top Gear" is the hosts, and the strength of the hosts is that Clarkson, Hammond and May are first and foremost automotive journalists. Carolla and the rest may be car guys but I don't think they'd be as good as the originals in terms of critiquing cars.

December 21 2008 at 2:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
brent

Seinfeld would've been a good mix with Tim and Leno...

December 21 2008 at 12:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to brent's comment
Creep

That would have been awesome.

December 21 2008 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob911

These guys will smoke tires and kick ass on challenges. Speed would be a much better choice. Tanner can drift a 57 Chev with the best of them. Talking cars and the Edsel are a thing of the past.

December 20 2008 at 11:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

I think they should have hired Jay Leno, Tommy Kendall & Tim Allen. I'm sure they have a clue cars & hosting a TV Program with a live audience. Leno has Jay Leno's Garage on-line plus he works for the network(NBC), Kendall Has Test Drive on SpeedTV and Allen is car nut like Carolla but at least he's funny from the Home Improvement to Movies. The Australian version is awful, the hosts are not funny. The best thing the Top Gear Producers should do is just bring the Guys from the UK version over here! They only film twelve episodes a year anyway, can't that hard to film twelve more for the US ??????????

December 20 2008 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to David's comment
Alex99

I think there was a plan at one time for the UK crew to film shows for us in in the UK using American cars and guests, and perhaps the occasional segment (like the road trip through the south) shot over here, but it fell through.

December 21 2008 at 8:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MCW

It would work better on Speed Channel or something like that. Shows can be on there for years, and no one would know. It doesn't seem like they care what ratings they end up with on SpeedTV.

Though, I'd recommend "Wrecked" to people, it's on Speed Channel, and it's a cool show.

- http://UncoveredFilms.blogspot.com

December 20 2008 at 7:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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