Daily Podcast: Can NBC Top Top Gear?
After I finish this post, I'm off to the U.P.S. store to post a memory stick of my audition for Top Gear (posted on YouTube here). Thanks in part to the writers' strike, NBC is attempting to fashion a uniquely American version of the highly sarcastic (to say the least) British program. It's important to note that British Top Gear airs on public TV; which is funded by a TV tax. The U.S. version will air on "free" TV, funded almost entirely by advertising. Now I'm not sure how much of GM's $2.1b annual ad spend the peacock network enjoys, but I bet it's a fair old whack. And Ford's no stranger to signing huge checks with the letters "NBC" in the important space. Not to mention Chrysler, Mercedes, BMW, Subaru and the rest of The Truth About Cars fan club. So you gotta wonder about the relationship between my chances and American Top Gear's editorial freedom. My brilliant career aside (as it has been for many years), the idea of a mainstream TV show that "dares" to be critical of crap cars sounds preposterous. But I've still got that Honda-friendly ELO song ringing in my ears. So WTH. I'm sending the stick (not Stig). Wish me luck. And rest assured that while every man may have his price, the ability to tell the truth is mine. I know.. I should be so lucky. Well, guess what? I am.