Leno Likes Top Gear As Is

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
leno likes top gear as is

It's not shocking that Jay Leno was the first guy NBC called to front their version of Top Gear. Leno's the biggest auto enthusiast in showbiz on this side of the pond, and like any good gearhead he loves the show's no-holds-barred, enthusiast approach. But Leno thinks that Top Gear won't work on American TV, and he penned a column for the Sunday Times of London where he says so– Jeremy Clarkson style. The American version of Top Gear was pitched to Leno by an unnamed honcho (who didn't know the name of the show) as ""Well, like, one week you build a car that flies and the next week you make a car that goes under water." Leno knows how Clarksonian slams go over on networks where the sponsor is king. "When Jeremy rips into some sponsor such as Ford or Chrysler, well, that's the last time they sponsor that show. Then what you have is 'the meeting' after the show, where they tell him to tone it down. That's just not what they do at Top Gear." Fearing a lethal combo of stunts, advertainment and a firm pair of editorial handcuffs, Leno passed on the job offer. "Cars are my hobby. Television is my job," says Jay. "For me, my great release from any sort of pressure is to go to my garage." And who can blame him? As great as Jay would be as an American Jeremy Clarkson, we would hate to see America's gearhead end his public love affair with the automobile over "that meeting." [Hit tip to QuasiMondo and AutoBlog for the link]

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  • Samir Syed Samir Syed on Apr 01, 2008
    But that means building a program not depending on advertising. The issue here is that the entire network is dependent on advertising, not just one program. Even if no manufacturer buys time during TG-USA, many of them would buy time for other prime time shows and then threaten to pull ads based on what was said during TG-USA.
  • Cammy Corrigan Cammy Corrigan on Apr 01, 2008
    "Robert Farago : April 1st, 2008 at 10:10 am Never heard back from TG. So my ethical integrity remains intact." I'm not surprised! You did an AWFUL english accent, then forgot what car you drove! Though, I did wet myself laughing when you fell off the car!
  • MBella MBella on Apr 01, 2008

    For those of you watching on Top Gear on You Tube or BBC America, get better quality downloads from finalgear.com

  • Deb c Deb c on Apr 02, 2008

    Previous comments are spot on. There is absolutely no way a US version of Top Gear would be anywhere nearly as authentic or as funny as the original UK version. The producers and TV stations would be far too concerned with advertising dollars and who they might offend. Although I had heard a rumour that the BBC may cancel it because of production costs. And that would be an awful shame.