Tuesday, January 15, 2008


If you know one thing about me, it's that I'm bald. If you know two things about me, it's that I'm bald and Brett Favre rules. If you know three things about me, it's that I'm bald, Brett Favre rules and the BBC's "Top Gear" is the greatest automotive program in the history of television.

Until now (say that in your best deadpan Jeremy Clarkson imitation).

No, actually I think an American imitation of "Top Gear" is likely to be absolutely ridiculous. Americans pander. They fawn. No American is ever going to sit behind the wheel of a $300,000 supercar and, as Clarkson does, talk about how ugly it is and how the seats should be more comfortable and how they really ought to add a spoiler. It'll never happen. "The Office" is merely the exception that proves the rule that British programs don't translate across the pond.

Anyway, here's the AP story:

NBC has put a version of the British show “Top Gear” on the road to American television. The series, a combination of fast cars, goofy modifications and cheeky hosts, is a cult hit on the U.K.’s BBC2 and airs in this country on BBC America. NBC has ordered a pilot for an American version of the show, which will be shot in Los Angeles later this year. A formal announcement of the show, and possibly its hosts, is expected at next week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Craig Plestis, who oversees alternative programming for NBC, is a professed “Top Gear” fan.

“It all comes down to subject matter —it’s a cool show about cars,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’svery compelling for us because we have a great platform and space on the network to have such a show.”

Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May host the BBC show, which also features a masked test driver known as the Stig. A typical episode might include a test of a high-performance new car, a segment in which the hosts tinker with a less stellar automotive specimen and a celebrity trying to turn in a fast lap time in “a reasonably priced car” ("American Idol’s” Simon Cowell currently holds the record). BBC Worldwide, which imported “Dancing with the Stars” for ABC,will produce the “Top Gear” pilot. The company considered having the BBC team host the American show as well, but that idea was scrapped in favor of homegrown hosts.


At 7:12 AM, January 16, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NBC is to a point where they'll try anything.
Does it mean it will work? No, but what would happen if they don't?


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