I was apparently one of the few that didn’t outright hate Top Gear USA when it launched in 2008 with Tanner Foust, Rutledge Wood, and Adam Ferrara. Sure the first couple of seasons tried too hard to be a carbon copy of UK Top Gear and the hosts didn’t really have a chance to gel yet, but as the series went on, the show decided to abandon the UK format and instead create something that could stand on its own two legs. Right as it was starting to get genuinely enjoyable, Top Gear USA was cancelled.
It’s a shame because you know what’s better than having just UK Top Gear on TV? Having UK and Top Gear USA. It seems most did not feel the same way, as throughout TG USA’s run, the show was slammed for not being as good as UK Top Gear, and the three hosts were basically crucified for not being Jeremy, James, and Richard. The show should have been allowed to exist as its own thing, but unfortunately having the Top Gear name comes with some lofty shoes to fill.
Now it appears that the BBC is willing to give an American Top Gear another chance, as today it was announced that Top Gear America will be coming later this year. Again, this is not to be confused with the Adam, Rutledge, and Tanner version of the show; this will be a completely new beast with three brand new hosts.
— Top Gear (@BBC_TopGear) March 20, 2017
The new hosts will be William Fichtner, Antron Brown, and Tom “Wookie” Ford; basically a celebrity, a professional racer, and a man with a beard (sound familiar to anyone?). Fichtner is a major gearhead as is Tom Ford, and Antron Brown is a world champion drag racer. The new show will not only focus on the latest and greatest of supercars from around the world, but will also feature cars that define America’s culture from the past. All this sounds like the makings of a muscle car heavy show, which makes me a very happy camper.
BBC America will air eight one hour episodes which will feature a celebrity guest each week competing at the new Top Gear studio and track at Speed Vegas (presumably at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway which I have driven around before). Top Gear America, like Top Gear USA before it, will be produced by UK distributor BBC Worldwide.
So yes, we are getting another Top Gear with three guys that aren’t Jeremy, James, and Richard. I can hear the complaining on the web already. I just hope this iteration turns out to be decent and that the show isn’t doomed to fail before it launches based strictly off of what it’s not. Give it a chance! I’m personally thrilled that TG is coming back with an American version.