By on April 22, 2010

I can’t think of anyone who has watched an episode of the BBC’s seminal car show Top Gear and not enjoyed it. In fact, even my most auto-ambivalent friends are quick to reference the exploits of Jezza, Captain Slow and The Hamster as their sole source of automotive news and entertainment. Thanks to its status as one of the world’s most-pirated TV show, Top Gear has made remarkable inroads in the US with a little “help” from fansites like Final Gear. But will an American version be able to capture the appeal of the original? It’s been tried before, and now it’s being tried again.


In 2008, NBC picked up the option to produce a US version, rumored to star Adam Carolla. By early 2009, NBC had canceled the show, reinstated it, booted car reviewer extraordinaire Dan Neil from the lineup, and kicked the project to cable. With A US version of the show apparently dead, enthusiasts shrugged and kept downloading episodes of the BBC version. But now, according to a Jalopnik interview with the show’s executive producer, Top Gear USA has found a new home at the History Channel, and will start shooting on Monday. But should we care?

The History Channel’s John Hesling makes a strong case for the new show by revealing that Top Gear USA will deviate as little as possible from its British inspiration. Apparently that means we can expect the show’s format to be largely unchanged. Says Hesling:

We’ll be doing star in a car, we’ll be doing the power tests, car reviews, action films, and the studio element. It’s a format that’s the jewel in the crown of the BBC so we’ll be doing it exactly like the British version. It’s exactly the same format.

That means a full-hour show (well, 44 minutes, including commercials), a Stig (though not “the Stig’s fat American cousin”) recording “power laps,” and a real “star in a reasonably-priced car” segment instead of a Leno-style “Green Car Challenge” abortion. Hesling also insists that:

There’s no sense in doing it if the production value isn’t there… We wanted to get enough money to absolutely match the cinematic caliber of the UK version.

So far, so good, but what of Top Gear’s famously take-no-prisoners review style? For as long as rumors of a Top Gear USA have been circulated, there have been murmurings that Top Gear’s editorial freedom would fall victim to the commercial TV format. After all, the BBC doesn’t have to worry about offending advertisers, but the History Channel sure does. Regardless, Hesling insists that

we will be absolutely and brutally honest. That’s what Top Gear is.

To emphasize the point, Helsing pledges that Top Gear USA will not be sponsored by any automaker. But will the show’s cast be capable of wrapping that brutal honesty in the same entertaining-yet-informative patter as their British counterparts? Hesling admits that nobody can replace Jeremy Clarkson, meaning the cast’s chemistry will require more than a little tweaking. Top Gear USA will be hosted by comedian Adam Ferrara, Race/Stunt driver Tanner Foust and Speed Channel “NASCAR analyst” Rutledge Wood. But will these three be able to find a unique but equally-endearing rapport? We won’t know for sure until the show hits the airwaves sometime in November or December.

In the meantime, filming reportedly begins on Monday in the hills outside of Monmouth, Oregon… which just so happens to be quite close to TTAC’s Portland headquarters. If enough of the B&B are buying the hype and are desperate for clues to the potential awesomeness of Top Gear USA, we will certainly consider a fact-finding mission. Register your enthusiasm (or lack thereof) in the comments, and we will act accordingly.

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66 Comments on “Ask The Best And Brightest: Are You Intrigued By The New Top Gear USA?...”


  • avatar
    srogers

    It’ll be a waste of time. Once converted to North American sensibilities, it will have lost everything that makes it great.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian E

      No North American sensibilities need accommodating. Speed is universal.

      That said, I’m taking a wait-and-see approach. They already whiffed on the opportunity to provide a bit of gender balance to the cast, an oversight I’d hoped that future international versions would address. (Anyone tempted to defend the imbalance should go back and re-watch the episodes with Sabine Schmitz.)

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Somehow I’ve got this sinking feeling that something is going to get really lost by translating it to American television. And somehow the advertisers are going to de-ball it. I mean, can you see just one of the American trio going on about global warming like Clarkson? The Sierra Club will get those episodes edited out (thru pressure on advertisers) so fast it’ll make your head spin.

    • 0 avatar
      lanetru

      One absolutely essential quality of Top Gear is its production values (music, cinematography)–the BBC is unmatched. Even with editorial independence, a lot of Top Gear’s entertainment value will be lost.

      I don’t know the exact rules for UK music licensing, but the BBC gets to use a lot of great music and pay little/no royalties. I imagine American Top Gear wil look like a generic muscle car commercial with lots of guitar riffs.

  • avatar

    I’ve never read Lord Of The Flies nor Catcher In The Rye and I have little interest in watching Top Gear, either the British original or the American iteration.

    I dunno, the popularity seems to be a bit forced.

    OTOH, most automotive content on tv sucks, so this might be a positive move. If it’s on and nothing else interests me, I’ll give it a shot and if it’s decent I’ll watch it.

    Though to begin with I’m not a fan of Rutledge Wood’s on-air persona. I also didn’t particularly like Tanner Foust’s Supercars Exposed show on Speed, but the guy does have chops as a driver.

  • avatar
    86er

    Paging Mr. Farago!

  • avatar
    Dynamic88

    To tell you the truth, I find TG a bit dull. Oh it’s entertaining the first 3 times you watch it, after that, it’s predictably dull. A bunch of “lads” taking pot shots and shooting from the lip.

    I never get the impression that the TG people actually know much about cars – which I guess is ok if you’re just watching for the “witty banter”.

    Maybe it’s because their Brits – I get tired of Brits very
    quickly.

    At the other extreme, we have Motorweek, which is great if you suffer from insomnia.

  • avatar
    shortthrowsixspeed

    “44 minutes, including commercials” – to be a nitpicky prig, you mean excluding commercials.

    I sort of like top gear. I think you get a fuller review with little bits about the car that other reviews miss. The banter is nice, but you can never really duplicate that. They should try to just make the cast interaction good, not a reproduction of the original. It will never be as good and as such will fail by comparison. on the upside it will be nice to watch comparison tests in which I can buy all the cars here. I’m sick of lusting after stuff they only make “across the pond.”

  • avatar

    One word: Coupling.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      On the other hand you have The Office, whose US version is either on par or quite a bit better than the UK, depending on who you ask.

      Neither Leno nor Coco can hold a candle to Graham Norton though.

    • 0 avatar
      porschespeed

      Imperialist,

      You are a man of good taste. I was 99% sure Coupling would be a trainwreck as a US production. Its funny by virtue of it’s Britishness. That seldom seems to translate.

      As good as the British version was, the US version was bad.

      Personally, I thought ‘The Office’ was bland in the UK, and just horrible in the US. It’s painful to watch. If I wanna see a collection of characters like that, I’ll go back to corporate work – at least they pay you to suffer through.

      Like pretty much every show that we’ve stolen from the Brits (and let’s be honest, it’s a long list) they have to be completely re-engineered to sell to the US audience. Seemingly, very few Americans appreciate the subleties of British humour. While I do appreciate them, I certainly understand those who don’t.

    • 0 avatar
      Zasdoogy

      @modo

      +1 on Graham Norton. That guy is utterly hysterical to watch, and WAY more entertaining than either Leno, Coco and dare say Letterman (in more recent times). TG is a fantastically put-together show for it’s complete and unapologetic bantering of all that is car. The dry-witty humor of Britons is amazing at times, and I know that it doesn’t translate very well to American audiences here that often, but IMHO I believe this show does.

      I’ve thought about a USA version of this show, but man, how to == TG in it’s current form is going to be tough. I’m not sure if Adam Ferrara can replace Jeremy Clarkson as the US counterpart, but I’m open to at least seeing the first episode. So time will tell.

  • avatar

    I dunno. Some things just can’t translate. It could be like Bob Saget and Carrot Top doing Monty Python.

    Then again, American adaptations of The Office, Pop Idol, Britain’s Got Talent, and What Not To Wear have done OK.

  • avatar
    h82w8

    Low expectations, but will have to wait and see how it turns out. If the production quality is high and they come up with interesting segments and snappy writing, it’ll have a chance. I have to agree with srogers, though. Translating TG with its quintessentially British wacky humor to American tastes using American hosts, probably won’t work.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Aaahhh…. the dream team…

    Dave from Davesfarm

    Yours truly (for the nitpickiness)

    Baruth as the Stig

    and anyone else out there who is a walking cartoon. Maybe I can slip some speed into Sajeev’s drink or something.

  • avatar
    mrcrispy

    This is the answer to a question nobody asked. Every American remake (Office being a possible exception) is dumbed down, terrible and and hopeless. Because they think Americans aren’t smart enough to watch the real thing (may be some truth to that), and because networks here are too afraid of anything not PC.

    Pleas just show the British original and if you must, fund BBC to make more shows. I promise ratings will be through the roof.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    I find Top Gear pretty amusing.
    But, you have to accept it for what it is: Entertainment with a car theme.

  • avatar
    Ken Magalnik

    Can’t see it working. The PC police will kill anything remotely resembling the original.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    I can’t see it working; TG works partly because of the Queen’s English and the British wit. American TV? Forget it, it’s generally either in-your-face obnoxious or dumbed down. I would say the US Office managed to nail it, at least for the first 3 seasons or so, it’s been spotty for the last few years – maybe it’s running a little long.

  • avatar
    pacificpom2

    If you find three presenters with the same chemistry, don’t follow slavishly every stunt/act/comment as the BBC, you might get what you want, an entertaining blokes show that everybody can relate to. The prime example is the aussie version which replaced the pom’s with aussies and get the same format, jokes etc.. and failed miserably. You need an American Top gear, suited to your humour/fantasy ideas, not a BBC top gear with American accents.

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    The recent Bolivia/Chile cross country 4WD trek was one of the best. Unbelievable what those guys went through. Top gear puts other auto shows to shame. Makes “two kids” garage look like a cartoon.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      It’s interesting that you bring that episode up, because I had the exact opposite opinion of it – I thought it was one of the dullest episodes of TG I have ever seen.

      Granted, what they managed to go with the cars was amazing, and from a ‘three blokes vs the world’ perspective it was pretty cool, but what works about TG for me is that you have multiple little segments and a lot of variety in the hour of show.

      Had they broken up the Bolivian expedition into two separate shows, and peppered it with the normal stuff in between (not really a fan of star in a reasonably priced car, but I like the reviews, the vehicle torture tests, the wall of cool, etc) it would have worked better.

      Now, the recent episode where they tried to redo VW ads was absolutely brilliant in my opinion. If anyone has missed them, check them here:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIYHdmVOgKc

      I suppose that is why the series works, there is a little bit of something for everyone, not everyone will fall in love with every episode, but no matter what they do you will be fairly well entertained.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    BMWfan, It was the best TG Ive seen so far. Driving the Toyota PUs to the N.pole was pretty good too. The bolt on, unlimited budget shows just piss me off.

  • avatar

    EN: If it doesn’t get in the way of your other work, a column or two about the production might be interesting.

    Having Tanner Foust in the mix doesn’t bode well. He always came off as a showboating tool (and not in a good way) on the bits of Supercars Exposed I could stand to watch.

    Adam Ferrara at least tried to be carsy at the NYC Auto Show, but I don’t know anything else about him. At least it’s a good booth.
    http://twitpic.com/1f7yhr

    This pic of Rutledge Wood doesn’t inspire confidence.
    http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/12/2010/04/340x_rutledge_wood_pink.jpg

    This is the best lineup Hx Channel could come up with? Hell, I’d put Courtney Hansen or Mike Rowe in place of any one of those guys. Aside from being beautiful, Courtney has gearhead roots, and Mike just comes off as a regular, funny guy. Too bad his Ford contract would probably be a problem. I suspect the show will fail with the current talent, but I’ll watch it a few times to see.

    • 0 avatar
      Zasdoogy

      I would’ve picked Mike Rowe to be the absolute host, even though he’s already got 2 (3?) shows on Discovery channel as it is. His very-laid-back I’m-like-any-other-guy approach to being a host is something you rarely see these days with the Prima-Donnas out there (several Food network hosts come to mind) who think that they are the shit and no one else matters.

      Kudos to picking Courtney Hansen as well. She’s got knowledge that is truly inspiring for being in a male-dominated arena. She’d be a great addition and balance to the show from a woman’s perspective that most men wouldn’t get or understand.

      Adam’s participation in this will be time-tested, we’ll see how he does otherwise.

      I wonder if any of the producers at Hx are reading this and taking notes!

  • avatar
    coatejo

    I’m in the camp that thinks TG will not translate well as an American version. I also fear that if there is a Top Gear USA we could loose out on having Top Gear on BBC America because of copyrights or some other legal barrier. That would be very sad for those of us that love the British version.

  • avatar
    Autobraz

    Adam CAROLLA
    Adam FERRARA

    If Adam Ferrara fails as a presenter, who will they call to replace him?

    Adam MASERATA?

  • avatar
    BMWfan

    @NulloModo

    Maybe I liked it so much because now that I’m an older guy I like to see other older guys suffer from the comfort of my easy chair. LOL I might have tried that trip in my 20′s, but now I would have been wheezing worse than them at that altitude. True that the episode was out of the usual format, but you have to admit, it took a lot of balls to attempt some of the bridge crossings ect. that they accomplished. (although who knows what off camera help they might have had). I agree with you 100% on the VW ads episode. These guys do have a little something for everyone, not an easy feat nowadays.

  • avatar
    Aqua225

    I don’t think it can be done. Number one: history has injected many of their documentaries with lots of anti-oil/anti-car disaster-isms. Somehow they still managed to carry American Loggers and Ice Road truckers, but even in those shows, they manage somehow to inject global warming and deforestation due to human kind into the mix every now and then. It will be interesting to see if they can handle a true to life to take on those subjects by car nuts who really don’t give a flying flip about oil consumption by the car driving public.

    Number two: The chemistry between Jeremy Clarkson and his crew is tough to beat. Occasionally a group of people get together and do a show, and it turns out they match like hand and glove. BBC got lucky and this happened with Capt. Slow, Jeremy and Hammond.

    Number three: I will look pirated BBC stuff if necessary if this gets BBCA to drop the British Top Gear (unless, of course, the American version is just wildly good), and complain to no end to the History Channel for killing a good show with a bad show. There will be many others like me.

  • avatar
    Strippo

    Top Gear is perfectly cast. Concentrate on friction-tastic casting w/o trying to find someone to “play” Jezza, etc., and It. Could. Work.

    Build it around Molly Wood and you’ll have something. If the casting doesn’t start outside the box and work in, it will never work at all.

  • avatar

    Without NBC to screw it up, yes I’ll watch.

    @toasty: The Courtney Hansen and Mike Rowe ideas are Awesome! Courtney could probably triple their ratings singlehandedly.

    In general though, I’m not hoping for much.

    *But putting TGA on a sleepy cable channel is also a great place to give it the time it needs to get sorted out.
    The first iteration of “Junkyard Wars” was perfectly fine.

    @pacificpom2: Well said. They need to do the smart version of American humor, not a word-for-word translation of British jokes.

    Ex: Like the style of guys who write in the comments section of Hot Chicks With Douchebags, instead of trying to re-do things like the Alfa MiTo, TWickenham-ATtercarp joke.

    I think there’s plenty of clever American humor to go around, you just have to commit to doing an above-average job, when saying “Git ‘er Dunn!” 50,000 times is the easiest copout in the world.

    Not the hugest fan of Carolla, but he probably would’ve been good for the job.

    Don’t know if their current formula sticks to the Father, Mother, Clown group paradigm though.

    I wonder what the (Leno-less) ideal lineup might be. Carolla, Hansen & maybe Ken Block or Travis Pastrana.

    If you could raise the dead and keep him sober, Mitch Hedberg could’ve probably made things interesting.

    Oh well…

  • avatar
    segfault

    tl;dr but no, I am not intrigued by the US-spec version of Top Gear. They will fuck it up like they did The Office, Death at a Funeral, and everything else that they’ve tried to remake for the US. Also, the objective honesty of Top Gear USA will play second fiddle to the advertisers, because that’s how it works here.

    • 0 avatar

      Even if there’s no direct linkage between criticism and an advertiser pulling spots from the overall network, the suits will likely (and probably wisely) seek to avoid allowing a Vagina Moment on air, to the detriment of the show.

      The smart move with advertisers might be to outright ban any ads from auto manufacturers during the show’s hour, but allow ads from aftermarket companies, since that’s an obvious tie-in. Other than skewering a particular OEM tire choice, there wouldn’t be any attacks awkwardly juxtaposed with Mike Rowe hawking F-150s.

  • avatar
    segfault

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    Why in the name of Allah are we now moderating comments from the Best and Brightest?

    • 0 avatar

      @ segfault:

      If you had a near instantaneous notification of the need for moderation, you likely tripped a filter with an errant word. I imagine you can divine the offending word(s). I did it a few weeks ago and edited my original post before a mod had to clue me in.

      =========

      Hey, I think I spotted the flagged word! : )

  • avatar
    ajla

    American Top Gear is one of the most ill-conceived ideas…

    (long pause)

    … in the world.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    I have very low expectations… not because it is the American version but because they’ve picked people to host that don’t seem very likable nor naturally humorous.

    My 2 best friends and I rode the C&O Canal trails last summer. 2 of them were terribly prepared and about halfway through, we started getting a little crazy in the head because we weren’t nearly covering the mileage we needed to. It was definitely a top gear moment because we were ambitious, but rubbish.

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    Judging by the Australian Top Gear debacle copying the format is the least important part of the mix. Even in the wasteland that is Australian TV people were switching off in droves. Audience figures fell every week for the two seasons it was on, and when they put it out of its misery and reinstated TGUK the audience came back.

  • avatar
    tbp0701

    The problem I have with copies is just that; they’re copies. It’ll be nice if they take the inspiration and create something as brilliant and intriguing as the BBC version, but I’m afraid it will be a dumbed-down version of what some producers decide is the proper formula. Personally, I’d rather we just get a regular feed of the BBC show (I at least get to see it on BBC America). As it is, I’ll give the US version a chance, and I rarely watch TV.

  • avatar
    djn

    the operative phrase
    “there is no replacement for Jeremy Clarkston”

  • avatar
    H Man

    Hell I’d rather see the Three (and Stig) shoot a series or two here in the States and run it on PBS. Keep the format, but use American locations and Stars for the reasonably priced car. The Florida rental car Challenge was bang on; why not keep trying? Producer Andy Wilman has intoned about the upcoming demise of the show; why not try something like that?

    Better that than a complete failure of a US remake. Remember the Fawlty Towers remake starring John Larroquette? Didn’t think so.

    • 0 avatar
      C. Alan

      I think this would be the best way to pull off a top gear USA show. I don’t think you can replace Jeremy and company, they are the reason I watch the show.

  • avatar
    Lug Nuts

    I have a gut feeling that the Americanized version will be more like the TV show HorsePower than original-recipe TG. I hope not. Makes me cringe just thinking about it.

  • avatar
    martin schwoerer

    Who watches TV, anyway? I don’t, and I am not friends with anybody who does.

    What’s more, experience shows that Americanized versions of foreign movies suck, most of the time. In the case of movies, people don’t care that much because they have no comparison — ever seen the original French version of Three Men and a Baby? But they’ll sure be comparing the original TG to a formulaic, business-friendly, lame-a*s TG USA.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    WHY do they keep thinking they need to employ pro drivers as part of the main cast? Clarkson and Hammond are NOT professional racing drivers, and May certainly isn’t. They are journalists, and expert broadcasters. That’s the key thing. They weren’t hired for their driving skills, that’s what the Stig is for.

    I think if they want to copy a British car show for the US, they should copy Fifth Gear rather than Top Gear. I just don’t think Top Gear can be duplicated. As others have pointed out, see Top Gear Australia, or the abortion that was Top Gear Russia.

    The Fifth Gear formula is so much simpler. You don’t need a massive budget, and you don’t need to copy the “three hilarious guys” format. Hire the equivalent of a Vicky, Jason, and Tiff, and have them do road tests and shootouts and maybe the occasional silly project like the Hammerhead-i Eagle Thrust.

  • avatar
    thecavanaughs

    When I show my ten year old boy something and ask him is he thinks it is cool, he is likely to say “It’s all right, Dad, but it’s no Stig in a Zonda.” So really- we are pretty big fans. Nevertheless, I have my doubts about the American version. The chemistry between Jeremy, James, and Richard along with the detached coolness of The Stig is the entire show. They could be talking about sewing machines and I would still watch. Yes- speed is universal, but car shows are universally awful with the exception of Top Gear. Having a stunt driver as a presenter is a disastrous mistake. The point of The Stig is that the cool racing driver is anonymous and does not ruin the show with ego. The presenters are cool guys who love cars- they are NOT guys who race cars and know everything about them. The selection of presenters for the American version couldn’t be any worse- a racing analyst and a stunt driver? WRONG! How on Earth could they miss the whole point? The presenters are normal folks- and they segregate the racing (along with the risk of alienating the audience with ego) by assigning it to an anonymous “robot with magnetic knees”. That way, we can still identify with the three fairly normal (albeit lucky) dudes who present the show. Without those key features- I don’t see much hope of success.

  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    My expectations are low, so if it disappoints, I won’t be surprised. However, the first year of Top Gear as we know it wasn’t exactly spellbinding (it lacked James May, and the show wasn’t as tightly produced or well-paced as we’ve come to expect it to be.) Even May’s first year was rather awkward, because the trio needed time (and experiences) in order to fully gel. That said, I have never seen Ferrara and am a little worried that everyone is putting Wood’s background in quotes (“NASCAR analyst”….what, like Larry McReynolds and Jeff Hammond on FOX?) but yeah, I’m in a wait-and-see pattern. I’ll definitely try to watch the first season, however long it lasts.

  • avatar
    NN

    They should sign up the guys from Jackass to run it. That would give it some American flavor, and make it quite entertaining, although any bit of seriousness involved in actually reviewing cars won’t survive. Those guys would try to drive through the Amazon in a Chevy Aveo, though…and isn’t that what people watch Top Gear for?

  • avatar
    brettc

    I really enjoyed the Top Gear US special. In fact I just re-watched it all on Youtube the other day. If they could do a continuation of the series like that, it would be pretty entertaining for a US audience.

    I really don’t think they can find 3 Americans and try to copy the British format and expect it to work. Jeremy Clarkson is a bit of a tool, but without him the show would be very boring. One of the things I like about TG is the British English – like naught to 60, lorry, etc. I can’t see the American version being all that great. But if History broadcasts it, I guess I’ll have to watch it and see how bad it ends up being.

  • avatar
    xyzzy

    I will give it a look if it’s on but the UKTG is a pretty high standard to meet. I also agree with the poster who says don’t bother if it means UKTG won’t be on here any more.

    One thing I hope to see from a USTG is more cars that we see here everyday and can buy here being put through their wringer, and more road scenery that we are used to seeing. For example what US market car would have made an entertaining stand-in for the Toyota HiLux in the “indestructible” series? And finding the best driving road in the USA would be cool. Etc.

    So it has a chance of being as good, but I only put that chance at 20% of so.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    An answer in search of a question, this is.

    “Top Gear” is in English, which, despite the funny accents and occasional odd words (“lorry,” “boot” which is not footwear, “saloon” which is not a place to get a drink) makes it accessible to the vast majority of Americans.

    So, why try to clone it? At best, the use of the brand (Top Gear) will bring in some curious viewers initially, but, as others have said here, if an attempt to clone the show flopped in Oz, it will surely flop here — since Australia is more “British” than the US. (Where in the US would calling somebody a “prisoner of mother England” — “POME” — be considered a mild insult, as it is in Oz? More likely it would simply draw a blank stare.)

    Meh.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    No, it won’t work.

  • avatar
    oraclejedi

    It will crash and burn, and so it should.

    Top Gear is, a few clever skits notwithstanding, shockingly unfunny.

    Jeremy Clarkson, aided by his two hapless side kicks, has made a lucrative career by peddling the same tired jokes about British Leyland and Caravan owners for over a decade.

    He masks his lack of creativity and talent with a relentless stream of acerbic remarks and clever editing as he tediously lampoons every stereotype even remotely connected with the automotive world.

    How many times has he recycled the same joke about “little known fact about the Rover/Triumph/Mini/etc – it was actually longer on one side that the other” .

    How many times have we seen Caravan owners, always middle aged with broad Yorkshire accents, talking about the toilet arrangements of the camp site?

    The UK has become an outrageously vain nation, an entire generation slavishly mimicking the accent of Jamie Oliver or the Spice Girls as they crow piously about their “Organic and Fair Trade” meals. People who find vindication in the relentless attack on Clarkson’s two favorite and by definition “un-cool” targets.

    The U.S. market is more proud of its traditions and less vain in its outlook. British commentators will point to the show’s failure as yet more evidence that the U.S. market lacks the maturity and the “dry British wit”, and yet in truth, exactly the opposite will be the case.

    The show used to be entertaining, but its gotten far too long in the tooth, and unless Clarkson and his staff of young hip and trendy staffers can actually manage some originality, something that has eluded them for years, the U.S. version will rightfully die a swift death.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    Here’s a question, will the reasonably-priced car have a stick, like in TG, or an automatic? I can’t imagine that 5% of US celebrities would be able to drive a stick, and I bet they wouldn’t take the time to learn how for the show.

  • avatar
    Joe_Gamer

    Some things just can’t be reproduced.

  • avatar
    Stratos

    Top Gear Russia seems to still be around, though I don’t know how popular it is.

  • avatar
    Toyondai92

    Just plain NO.

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    As far as I am concerned TP is one of only a few real comic programs I enjoy. And the photography is often better that in Hollywood blockbusters costing 100 times that much. Everything about the program is top of the line; the writing, the structure, the presenters, the music, you name it. It’s the best crafted show going on anywhere.


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