The final episode of the series has just aired meaning we can now compare the overall viewership to what it used to be before Clarkson, Hammond and May left the show.
According to the BBC, an average of 1.9 million viewed the final episode of series 24 compared to the opener which gained 2.4 million views. There was a sudden decline in views after the Easter Sunday episode which was pushed back a week due to Golf: The Masters 2017, but five out of the seven episodes exceeded at least 2.2 million views. This is compared to the last version of Top Gear which never had an episode viewed by less than 2 million people.
Overall, this new series fronted by Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid has received a positive response from viewers.
So what is the reason for this sudden change of heart? According to social media, the reason is Matt.
— AutoPap (@AutoPap) April 16, 2017
After the removal of Chris Evans, viewers are more than happy to watch the current lineup of stars presenting Top Gear, with Matt coming off as a favourite. It turns out this is a bit of a surprise to some people as you can see from the tweet above.
With viewership still not reaching the 4.4 million that the first episode with Chris Evans received, there is still some way to go, but with increasing positive reviews, how long will it be until Top Gear gains the sort of recognition it rightly deserves?
Alongside the positive reviews, there were of course some negative and constructive ones, too. GQ have taken to the habit of criticising Top Gear as can be seen here, and The Daily Telegraph‘s Ed Power also critiqued the show saying:
“Top Gear finished its latest season in better fettle than anyone could have predicted in the wake of last year’s disastrous Chris Evans-fronted reboot.
“Week by week the crew has visibly gained in confidence and the concluding installment was arguably the most enjoyable yet.”
The Radio Times‘s Frances Taylor wrote:
“It’s undeniable that the presenters’ dynamic has improved… but there’s something still jarring a little.
“The biggest problems have been ironed out this series, and what we’ve been left with is a largely enjoyable and watchable hour of Sunday night TV.
“It won’t take much to give it a tweak here and a buff there and with a little help, Top Gear could well be at the top of its game come series 25.”
It’s fairly obvious to see that viewers are responding well to the current lineup and are starting to see an improvement in their chemistry together. This isn’t surprising as they’ve now spent two series recording with each other and during this latest series it is clear to see they have developed a closer friendship.
Each of the three presenters have had positive responses, with viewers wanting to see more of Rory Reid, Chris Harris being called ‘the shows lead when it comes to credibility’, and Matt receiving a highly positive onslaught of tweets.
The BBC states that possibly the most important factor for the show doing so well is the lack of scrutiny it has come under compared to the last series. Negative headlines about Chris Evans gave the previous series a negative taint which was reflected in the viewership and shoddy reviews.
Now it’s out of the spotlight, the show has had the chance to grow organically and has formed an audience of petrol heads without being tainted by constant scrutiny from the media. All the show has to do now is carry on doing what it’s doing – producing some incredible motoring films while having a bit of fun along the way.