Sarah Barnett, head of BBC America, has the massive task of bringing the UK’s biggest and best shows over to the States, something I’m more than grateful for. My two favorite shows of all time (Doctor Who and Top Gear) can be seen from my living room simply because of the existence of BBC America. With the dramatic shift in Top Gear’s cast last year, Barnett had to watch as ratings dropped throughout Series 23, which signaled a quick departure for host Chris Evans.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Barnett talks about why she felt the Top Gear Series 23 refresh stumbled. Her point is something that I think we all agree with; Jeremy, James, and Richard essentially built that audience and had worked together for so long that they were basically a well oiled machine.

Series 24 Premiere Date!

Perhaps they got a bit too comfortable towards the end, but for the most part, every new series of Top Gear in the past was like revisiting old friends. We all knew what to expect, and it was familiar and nonthreatening. And of course, if the existence of the Internet has taught us anything, it’s that people don’t deal well with change, especially when fan favorites are replaced.

Barnett’s thoughts on Top Gear:

“The previous team [Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May] really built the audience, and it’s in a period of reinvention. Things don’t happen overnight. I think that the [new] presenters — Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reed, Chris Harris — are really talented and developing their chemistry. But it’s tough when you have that level of scrutiny that the show had last season. Nothing can withstand that.”

Things absolutely do not happen overnight, which showed because Series 23 had some serious growing pains (and that’s being diplomatic compare to some comments I have seen online). Barnett also brings up another great point; Series 23 was so heavily scrutinized that it was destined to fail, regardless of how bad or good it could have been.

It will be interesting to see what Series 24 has in store for us with a tighter, more cohesive presenting group!

9 Responses

  1. Amanda Russell

    no….They should have just ended it. The “new” Top Gear is atrocious, The format is weak, the Rally competition idea is great, but I don’t like how they pit two celebrities together…usually they have nothing to do with each other. Thank GOD Chris Evans had the brains to leave the show, not surprising given how bad everyone hated him. Matt LeBlanc is a joke in America (have you SEEN Ed?) What they actually need to do is end Top Gear, give The Grand Tour custody of The Stig and bury this turd before it gets any worse…let Top Gear be remembered fondly instead of the craptastic vomitfest it has become

  2. Gregory Magnus

    Sorry BBC America provides nothing. It’s a repository of Star Trek.

  3. James Ludlow

    No, they’re with Amazon now who have poured so much cash into that. And the BBC have a their own group now. I didn’t actually mind the Chris Evans series 23 all that much, not a lot of people to agree with me though. It looks like Matt LeBlanc will be the main focus for the new series – best to leave sleeping dogs where they lie.

  4. Andrew Hurdle

    Isn’t it just as simple as Chris Evans is a spoilt kid … The moment he comes on the radio I turn it off… Don’t over analyze

  5. Mr Ploppy

    Dear points of view why oh why oh why, no seriously Top Gear is never going back to the show it was, by getting rid of Clarkson it basically stalled, it will never get back to what it was, you cut off your nose to spite your face.

  6. Mark

    I keep telling you guys. The BBC needs to pony up and have the three go back for at least one full show to hand it off to the new guys. Pair up to your counterparts and all six have an adventure together somewhere in south America. We will pick up the associations and happily comply with your endorsements.
    When this works, my fee for the suggestion is simple. Just pay off my mortgage and I’ll call it even.

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