Tag: television

By on June 18, 2020

Television’s Top Gear recently resumed filming on the upcoming season (series 29, if you acknowledge the authority of the Queen), and news of a crash has your author feeling excited about the program for the first time in a while. It also provided an opportunity to actually learn the names of the presenters who aren’t Chris Harris, who was not at the helm of the vintage Lamborghini Diablo that unexpectedly went off-road.

Comedian Paddy McGuinness hopped on social media to let fans know he was safe on Tuesday, following numerous reports that he had suffered an off while the boys were filming it running around in North Yorkshire alongside a Ferrari F40 and Jaguar XJ220. Neither McGuinness nor the other two vehicles/hosts are said to have sustained damage, though the Lambo took a beating, potentially providing us with some top-flight entertainment later this year.  (Read More…)

By on March 12, 2020

The hosts of the Discovery Channel’s Diesel Brothers have been fined $851,451 for selling modified pickups that violate Utah law and the federally recognized Clean Air Act.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby also said the plaintiffs, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, could submit their attorney fees for the defendants to pay. Cole Cannon, lawyer to the stars, has said the plaintiffs’ attorneys previously told the judge they were seeking $1.2 million.

Friday’s court documents stipulate that David “Heavy D” Sparks, Joshua Stuart, Keaton Hoskins, and “Diesel Dave” Kiley pay $761,451 to the U.S. government with the remaining $90,000 going to Davis County in Utah. The group has already been found guilty of removing particulate filters and exhaust recirculation systems on the cars used for the television program. The only genuine surprise was the sizable fine —  as well as some court-appointed rules that will probably make the show less exciting to watch.  (Read More…)

By on September 6, 2018

With Ford Motor Company dropping all but one car from its lineup to focus on utility vehicles and crossovers, there’s little reason to run ad campaigns for both. You don’t see Coca-Cola running spots for both Diet Coke and Coke BlāK, as the latter of the two beverages disappeared from store shelves roughly a decade ago. Companies don’t bother pushing products they don’t have, and pretty soon Ford won’t have cars.

Thus, the automaker has ended all nationwide marketing for the Fiesta, Focus, Taurus, and Fusion. Mark LaNeve, Ford’s vice president of U.S. marketing, sales and service, said the automaker intends to use the freed advertising dollars on the company’s current and forthcoming utility models — setting aside a portion for the Mustang. But the Fusion, which is slated to stick around for another two years, will have to go without. (Read More…)

By on February 4, 2018

Top Gear presenters Chris Harris and Eddie Jordan narrowly evaded injury when a pre-production Alpine A110 caught fire while the duo participated in last week’s Monte Carlo Rally. Apparently the two had been blasting down stage SS17 when the engine warning light came on. Sometime later, flames were seen beneath the vehicle and the two were advised to pull over immediately.

Fire crews were unable to control the blaze and the car ended up completely obliterated. Alpine and Renault have said they are conducting a full investigation to see what went wrong but are currently attributing the mishap to a “technical incident.” They are also suspending all testing of pre-production models until they can determine the true cause of the fire.  (Read More…)

By on November 16, 2017

The Grand Tour
I’ve said before that automotive television is frequently terrible. Cars don’t have a lot of on-screen charisma without someone inside them, meaning most automotive presenters are forced into awkward acting attempts to “add drama,” despite not being actors.

The exception are shows that don’t rely on gimmicks and allow endearing hosts to be themselves. Top Gear has been a prime example of this since the mid-2000s, improved further by having presenters that act believably in unbelievable ways.

However, when the team that originally made it great left to create The Grand Tour, it wandered dangerously close to becoming an unintentional parody of the old show. Thankfully, most of the past month has been littered with news proving they’re shying away from hokey antics for more substantive programming.  (Read More…)

By on April 17, 2017

car-saviors-still

Automotive television has developed some extremely bad habits, the worst of which is creating false reality show-style drama among characters with no appreciable personalities. Build shows are the absolute worst for this, yet the agreed-upon recipe seems to be to force one-dimensional characters to argue with one another, intercut with B-roll footage of people working on a car. Rinse and repeat.

While shows like Top Gear and The Grand Tour manage to avoid this problem — by providing entertaining short films, product reviews, and humorous banter — most programs where the host touches a wrench becomes painful to watch within the first few minutes. There are, of course, mainstream exceptions. Mighty Car Mods and RoadKill are both project-oriented shows that remain enjoyable due the presenters’ enthusiasm, authenticity, and willingness to fail. However, neither of those examples exist on a major television network and persist as online-only affairs. And there isn’t really a build show on cable that anyone should consider on par with either.

However, there could be a contender when the Discovery Channel airs its first episode of Car Saviors tonight.  (Read More…)

By on January 19, 2017

untitled

No, not Kato Kaelin. (That’s two OJ references on one day. We’re done. – Ed.)

Mouth-watering classics hit the block at Bonhams’ Scottsdale auction house all the time, but few were ever driven by the embodiment of 1980s masculinity. Well, today’s your chance to clear out your retirement funds and make a bid on one of the most recognizable vehicles in all of TV Land. (Read More…)

By on February 4, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 8.28.08 AM

Former “Friends” star and current “Episodes” main character Matt LeBlanc will be heading to the BBC to co-host Top Gear with Chris Evans, Top Gear announced Thursday.

The news comes just before Evans, who’s experienced numerous setbacks with taping the new series, is set to headline BBC Worldwide’s annual showcase where he’ll be expected to sell the show to international broadcasters.

(Read More…)

By on May 6, 2013

MM_606_MY_0116_1330 Picture courtesy of amctv.com

I was a late comer to Mad Men, AMC’s highly successful and critically acclaimed drama that airs on Sunday nights. It was only as the fifth season was underway and I started to see reports on the interwebs that Jaguar was playing heavily into their story line that my curiosity was piqued. When my wife suggested that we try it out on Netflix last summer, I agreed. And quickly became hooked.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS BELOW THE JUMP

(Read More…)

By on April 4, 2012

The Junkyard Find ’79 Corona we saw earlier was a pretty nice car, but it was a regular sedan with an old-fashioned trunk. Just as Chevrolet buyers could buy a Nova with a hatchback in 1979, Toyota shoppers had the option of getting a Corona Liftback. Let’s tune into the old days of analog television and watch how Toyota USA’s marketers pitched this fine automobile. (Read More…)

By on March 21, 2011


As Detroit was skipping a decade or two of car R&D by concentrating on packing increasing numbers of 128-ouncer-ready cup holders and faux-wood trim into big trucks, it became necessary to make it clear to the targeted buyer demographics that these trucks really weren’t, you know, trucks. In fact, they were more about protection from street crime and potholes than anything else, which is where slapping Mercury badges on the Explorer and Oldsmobile badges on the Blazer came in. (Read More…)

By on March 3, 2011


Sales of the Gremlin-based AMC Spirit in the United States were pretty dismal, but perhaps that was just the result of the suits in Kenosha choosing the wrong ad agency. Let’s head south of the border to see how VAM, which built certain AMC models under license for the Mexican market, pitched the ’81 Rally AMX. (Read More…)

By on February 17, 2011


Buster Keaton reached the height of his fame in about 1927, but Ford’s 1966 marketers must have figured that nostalgia for the allegedly wholesome silent-film era would be big, what with all the not-so-wholesome madness heating up in the United States at that time. How about we put Buster Keaton in the Econoline? (Read More…)

By on February 15, 2011


American car ads of the early 1980s came up short in several departments: Burning rubber, jet-engine-grade turbocharger sound, and blatantly sped-up film that made the cars appear to be going 300 MPH. Oh, and they also lacked James Bond! (Read More…)

By on February 10, 2011


Sure, Internet video is mostly about dental-fetish porn (particularly the very stimulating “spit sink” subgenre), but when the novocaine wears off and the last vinyl-clad hygienist has put aside her last stainless-steel scraper, you’re ready to explore the other great thing about Internet video… old television ads for the Citroën AX. (Read More…)

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