‘Top Gear US’ Premieres in November; How Will It Compare To The Original?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 6:45 am,

top gear us cast photo ‘Top Gear US’ Premieres in November; How Will It Compare To The Original?

For many years, Top Gear US has been stuck in development limbo. Bouncing from network to network, studio to studio, with a rotating speculative group of hosts, this American adaptation of the hit BBC series seemed like it would never see the light of day – that is until The History Channel stepped in. Now, one of America’s most anticipated British remakes, Top Gear US, will premiere November 21, on The History Channel.

Heading up the iconic trio for Top Gear US will be comedian and car enthusiast Adam Ferrara (Rescue Me, Paul Blart: Mall Cop), stunt driver Tanner Foust (The Bourne Ultimatum, The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift and The Dukes of Hazard) and car-obsessed NASCAR expert Rutledge Wood. Of course, no cast of Top Gear would be complete without the show’s ominous white-knight, The Stig.

Keeping with the successful format of the original series, Top Gear US will feature super-cars, extreme stunts, challenges, car reviews and celebrity interviews accompanying a timed lap in their version of the “reasonably priced car.” Kicking off the first round of celebrities facing the track are Buzz Aldrin, Tim Allen (Toy Story, Home Improvement), Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Tony Hawk, Bret Michaels, Dominic Monaghan (Lost), Kid Rock and Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar).

Unfortunately, even with big names and a familiar adapted format, in my opinion there is no possible way that Top Gear US could compare to the original BBC series, which is watched by an estimated 350 million people worldwide each week and is considered one of the most popular television shows in the world. The original version of Top Gear has one of the largest production budgets on the BBC, which happens to be the largest television network in the UK.

With The History Channel being a moderately successful cable network, there’s just no way could it compete financially with its British counterpart. Indeed, budget constraints might hurt the series when it comes to the higher-budgeted challenges, which fans of the British series have become accustomed to.

top gear us cast photo2 ‘Top Gear US’ Premieres in November; How Will It Compare To The Original?

Additionally, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are much more than just the show’s labeled hosts for BBC’s television phenomenon – they are one of the core elements that make the series work. It really doesn’t matter how much thought was put into casting the American version, you will never find a trio that works together as flawlessly as Clarkson, Hammon and May. Even though I have yet to see how Ferrara, Foust and Wood work together (although, you can get an idea from the videos below), it doesn’t take much to realize that they’re just not up to par.

While it may appear that I’m unfairly slamming a show I have yet to see, what I’m really trying to convey is that if you’re looking for the original Top Gear in Top Gear US, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Instead, think of Top Gear US as a somewhat sister show to the popular franchise – something akin the Fifth Gear series in the UK. It’s not attempting to be better than the original, just provide American audiences with similar elements that they’ve grown to love of over the past years with the original series.

top gear us logo ‘Top Gear US’ Premieres in November; How Will It Compare To The Original?

Below you can check out series trailers, preview clips, as well as a large collection of photos from the upcoming season. If you’re in the mood to play photo detective, you may even find out where the celebrities finish in the “star in a reasonably priced car” segment.

Top Gear US Trailers

“Theater”

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“Donut”

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Top Gear US Preview Clips

“Riding with the bulls”

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“Riding with the bulls 2″

Photo Gallery

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Top Gear US premieres Sunday, November 21 @10pm, on The History Channel

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TAGS: top gear

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  1. Lack of imagination alert! Lack of imagination alert!

    • You do sound surprised DSB LOL

      • Well the “Lack of imagination” alert comes with a very loud klaxon!

    • DSB

      Just read that in Clarckson’s voice, 13 times funnier.

      • It would be the loudest klaxon “In The World!”

  2. I remember when Adam Carolla did a pilot for Top Gear US a few years back. That was actually something I’d watch. This crap though? No thanks.

  3. I loved the American special of Top Gear, would love to see a similar thing from the American version, but the other way round, the Americans come and reek havoc in our country.

  4. I absolutely love Top Gear! An American version sounds like fun too, but I’m going to wait and see if it can get to the finish line a respectable time. If the budget is as small as Anthony reports, you could say the American version is The Reasonably Priced Top Gear.

  5. The only way I would POSSIBLY tune into this is if they tied up Tony Hawk, Bret Michaels, Dominic Monaghan, and Kid Rock and promptly ran them over with a steam roller “Fish called Wanda” style.

    • What do you have against Tony Hawk?

      • He’s a tool

  6. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    TOP Gear in UK is not corporately sponsored so they can say what they want.
    TOP Gear US will be sponsored by corporations (likely car companies), so do you think you’ll hear them tell the truth about a car?.. unlikely.

    • Is this confirmed? If so, I will boycott this thing lol

    • Oh well, hopes crashed into the Jersey Wall of corporate America. I would have expected a season for this show to hit it’s stride, but with corporations meddling, there is little chance.

      • The History Channel cant survive without corporate sponsorship. I dont know for a fact that car manufacturers will sponsor the show, BUT if I told you that one the most popular shows in the world about cars was coming to the US as programming. you’d be salivating at the product placement.

        Any Corp Sponsored TV doesnt want to anger the sponsors, so on other car shows (motorweek, Hot rod, etc) if they spotlight on a car, product, part, etc… they never give a bad review they always capitulate and then its obvious that you have just been watching an infomercial, not a motorsports show.

        I love it when jeremy comes right out and tells the truth about a car.. “this thing is absolute rubbish.. its ugly, handles horribly, etc, etc, etc. they should leave well enough alone and just let us watch it on BBC America.

  7. The Australian version was not popular at all. It rated very poorly.

    The UK show is the best and rates really well in Australia. I still tune in although it’s become more of a scripted comedy for the presenter’s antics than the car show it used to be.

    To quote James May one of the presenters: “It’s really almost a sitcom now, so we are characters”.

    “When I started, Top Gear was a car show about cars, and I was interested in the technology but also the sociology and the artistry of them … the shapes and the colours”.

    “That was something I’ve always been into. But it’s a different programme now, it’s turned into something else”.

    • I’m a huge fan if the show, but the last 2 series have been atrocious, I think they need to have a break for a year or two.

    • Is that quoted directly from Captain Slow? If you ask me thats a douchey thing to say…………. If he in all honesty believed his own words, presuming that your quote is accurate, then he shouldn’t do Top Gear.

      But…. but… That would be something Captain Slow would say.

      • Yes, it was an article from yesterday’s newspaper in the entertainment section of “The Advertiser” November 03, 2010 here in Adelaide. :-)

  8. The reason a lot of shows work on the BBC is because the BBC isn’t funded by advertising of any sort. They don’t have to worry about upsetting advertisers (and yet car companies will still send new cars out to be tested by the Stig), so they can pretty much do what they want.

    As such, aside from annoying a few uptight people, Clarskson, Hamster and May can do and say pretty much what they want.

    This US show won’t have it so good, they won’t be allowed. If a car is bad, Clarckson and co. rip it a new one, in the US, they’ll likely have to be a lot more reserved (or just plain lie).

    Judging by the ads, this won’t be anything special. Forget comparing it to the UK one, it just seems like a bad show. I’ll watch the first episode for the hell of it, but I doubt I’ll watch any others.

  9. I’ll absolutely give Top Gear US a shot. When was the last time you saw a commercial in the US for (just to name a few) Lamborghini, Ferrari or Bugatti? Those are the reviews I care about, I don’t care what they think about the new Hyundai Sonata, and I doubt they care either.

    Then there are the challenges and the US can really shine here. Cars are ridiculously cheap here, gas is cheap, and there is no reason to travel to other countries, which keeps production costs lower. The UK is 93,800 sq miles, hence all the challenges abroad. The US is 3.7 MILLION sq miles.

    I’ve seen every TG:UK episode, even when they had black Stig. I’ve seen TG Australia, Germany and Russia. None of those even came close. Here’s hoping we can do it better. [But the first time I hear a presenter say "this segment brought to you by Ford..." I'm done]

  10. Major suckage ahead. Stay tuned.

  11. Tanner Foust I’ve seen in Battle of the Supercars, and he’s kind of a funny guy, but not sure about the rest. The main reason why the UK version of Top Gear is so enjoyable is because those three British guys they got, seriously, they somehow found three guys that don’t take ANYTHING seriously, and that makes it hilarious. I don’t think we can easily find three Americans to match that. Nobody can replace Jeremy, lol. And we don’t have “The Stig” either! :-P

    We’ll see… Hopefully they have an episode for the Ford GT even though it isn’t being produced anymore… Definitely looking forward to their review of the 2011 Mustang GT. 5.0L baby!! :-)

  12. It’s the oddest thing I’m no where near a car man. I know almost nothing about them. I know how to drive all I need is for my car to get from point A to B and I’m good I honestly don’t even know how to change my oil make fun if you must.

    That said I love top gear. It’s not the subject that makes the show great it’s the hosts they are hilarious. I love all three they just make the show fantastically entertaining. All of them are simply brilliant. There is no way the American version can live up to that. I’ve always liked Adam Ferrara he’s very funny, but the other two guys I know nothing about. I’m of course going to watch it and give it a chance, but I do not have high hopes.

  13. The Australian version has improved a lot, but it’s taken three seasons to really get the hang of things. It’s still not as good as the UK version, of course, but it’s perfectly watchable.

    It’s one of those things where the Top Gear name brings a lot of expectations, and even if the show is decent, people will still hate it for being different (and, well, probably inferior) to the original.

  14. This is the worst idea (pause) IN THE WORLD.

  15. As a limey who has been living in the US for many years, I greatly enjoy Top Gear. I’m sure I’ll watch the US version, but I must say it seems doomed from the start for all the reasons mentioned in the article. The Aussie version also seems like weak sauce compared to the UK show featuring Jezzer, Hamster and Captain Slow.

    I hope it succeeds; I’d like to have another fun auto show to look forward to, but I’m not holding my breath…

    • Hi guys…as someone from England that has watched all the revamped series (as well as the original “serious” show that only featured Clarkson along other presenters), I can honestly say that regardless of the budget they have honestly started to run out of ideas, a thought somewhat echoed by Capt…JAMES MAY (I refuse to refer to him by his show title) in his recent comments.

      That aside, it is the ONLY place on the BBC where Political UN-correctness rules, and I would actually be happy to see them slash the budget for the challenges and simply have all three of them on the “News” sofa, merrily taking the piss out of each other and anything else that comes to mind for the full duration of the show!! I cannot imagine that the US version will be anything but “Top Gear-LITE” especially if it is corporate sponsored.

      In the meantime here’s Harry Enfield (famous British comedian for those not familiar with him) ripping TG and Clarkson particualarly to bits on his show. The best show…..In THE WORLD. : )

      • @ jfr1970

        That was very funny. :-)

  16. Buzz Aldrin and Buzz Lightyear in the same season!

  17. The only way it will work in America is if they focus on the challenges and less on the car reviews, but I don’t see how this show fits in with the History channel. It seems more like a TLC thing. The budget shouldn’t be an issue. Just look at how well Mythbusters did on a cable show budget. It all depends on the cast, if they don’t click the show will fail.

  18. I’ll spare my brain and stay with the original.

  19. seems to me the History Channel could buy syndication rights to the UK version, save money, and let the rest of my friends in the US see an awesome show. I am not without hopes for this version, but I live for the BBC-UK and the original. The Stig resolved this year to eat fewer mice; that’s commitment.

  20. I’m glad I Tivo’d the show instead of wasting an hour of my life watching it. I didn’t have much hope for it in the first place, but it was worse than I thought it would be. A cheap knock off of a great show.

  21. Wow, I only watched a bit of it, but it was really bad, at least in comparison with the our UK show.

  22. To those who say that because the BBC is not corporately funded their “reviews” are more honest…bullocks! The BBC is a government funded media machine so which cars do you think will be given positively biased reviews? British cars!

    • 1. The BBC is not government funded.

      2. The British car industry is largely foreign-owned.

      3. I think the word you’re after is “bollocks”.

      • 1. Yes it is. The BBC charges a license fee to all viewers in Britain which goes directly into paying for programming on its station. The fee is set by and collected by the British government. Therefore Top Gear funding comes directly from the government and not corporations.

        2. Cars manufactured inside the UK by union workers will most likely receive biased reviews when funding comes from politicians who receive political donations from said unions.

        3. Thanks.

        • You’re right about the licence fee, but the UK is not Communist Russia and the BBC is not a government department. It operates under a Royal Charter which specifically recognises its independence from government policy and influence. Therefore Top Gear funding comes directly from the taxpayer.

          Strictly speaking, the words “British” and “car industry” shouldn’t even be used in the same sentence. And since when has any UK government been that supportive of an auto workers union? Besides which, you talk about Top Gear as if it were a future event about to suddenly reveal some hidden bias. The show’s been going for thirty-odd years, and Clarkson’s been on it for more than twenty. Have you HEARD what he has to say about British cars?? How the average Lotus (owned, incidentally, by a Malaysian company) is made by a bunch of women in Norfolk who’d be better off plucking chickens? The man hates all British cars equally. Apart from TVR. Which is owned by a Russian.

  23. No British care industry? I am crushed! how about Noble or Morgan?

    • Morgan’s one of the very few left; like Caterham Cars (whose only production model is based on the Lotus 7, driven by Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner) all their cars are hand built by a tiny workforce. Their factory’s just down the road from where my brother lives, and I always have mixed feelings passing it. Noble is currently under American ownership!

  24. Some good things are 1.) The music is pretty good, 2.) the outdoor video is also very very good. Now the bad… 1.) the interior of the car shots are horrible. There is too much vibration, bad angles, The jerk with the beard screaming bloody murder, 2.) There is no humor on the show even though a “comedian” is one of the hosts. 3.) I hope that drag racing true sports cars is not a regular way to test these fine non American cars, 4.) The giant mole on the cheek of our comedian needs to go along with his Jersey accent. 5.) Frankly, the race car driver should be one of the hosts and the two others should be replaced with a little older and more experienced men. These kids just can’t provide interesting commentary for those of us who have seen and are used to Clarkson et al. Basically this show needs a few tune up things done but needs a MAJOR overhaul on the hosts.

    • You can keep your “fine non American cars” since apparently not being American makes them better. I’ll take the 2011 Mustang GT with a 5.0L engine that will probably out-perform similarly sized engines in your so-called “fine non American cars.” I’m sure I will so greatly regret picking one of these horrible, terrible, unrefined 2011 5.0L Mustang GT’s… :-D

  25. I’m trying hard to like this show but it’s just lacking in so many ways. They picked three painfully bland guys who mostly speak in soft monotone voices and have no real chemistry whatsoever. How badly this show needs Jeremy Clarkson’s boorish wit and booming baritone voice. James May’s pedantic ramblings. Richard Hammond’s boyish good looks and charm. Even the American Stig is dull compared to his British cousin.

    I want this show to succeed, but it’s already badly in need of a makeover.

  26. Sink Top Gear USA now.
    Absolutely worthless.
    The presenters know more about heels and handbags than about cars.
    Any boy on the street knows more about cars as well as being able to say something original and witty. The filming is at a high school level.
    The presenters have no chemistry or passion about the cars.
    Please have three blonde women wearing short skirts as presenters.
    Atleast the show would be bearable watching hot women being bored about cars. The show is actually so poorly made, casted and written that it is almost like a horror show, you never really know how bad it will get, so you just continue to watch believing it could not get any worse. Guess what? It does.
    Bootleg espisode?
    Not one comment on the reason of each car chosen.
    Caddy, the history of the Amercian dream to own a Caddy. V8, V10 or V12 of the old days. How Caddy was so strong the frame was used for ambulances and other sevice uses, like the limo for our president.
    T-bird. Same car for over 15 years, same engine and chassis, but lower sales due to poorer and poorer designs whiched killed the car finally.
    Nissan. The Porsche killer, cheaper, faster and better made.
    Porsche stopped making VW’s and started making real super cars due to the Japanese invasion of fast and furious rice burners.
    There….that took me 10 seconds.
    Try it.
    The show needs to change.
    Real men. Real comments. Real writing.

    • Haven’t really wathed the show, so can’t agree or disagree with what you’re saying about it, but Nissan, the Porsche killer? Really? “better made?” Is that why Porsche is ranked #1 in quality and reliability and why I drove a Nissan for a job that needed a new transmission at 28,000 miles and most of the instrument panel stopped working shortly after that, my friend had a brand new Nissan Armada that broke down on the road on the first week of him owning it? Or an ex-girlfriend with a 2007 Nissan Altima that probably spends more time at the shop than on the road? Or how my dad had a Nissan Maxima that was nothing but problems from day 1?

      Out of every car company I’ve ever had any experience with, Nissan is, by far, THE worst that I’ve experienced. But hey, maybe the people around me just have bad luck with them and they are actually better than Porsche, hey, anything is possible…

      • Ooh, forgot my friend’s Nissan Sentra that needed a new head gasket, new door handle on two doors, a new window motor, and many other problems within 5 years of ownership…

  27. Wow, I’ ve watched half of first episode. That is so lame. It is really hard to watch.
    there is no comparison to UK’s original. And I ain’t Brit. Not going to waste my time and electricity on this show.

  28. That spot titled “Donut” is pretty awesome, glad they used the NERD song “Time For Some Action” that fits perfect

  29. In my opinion Top Gear America should always include a segment on American cars. After all you don’t find anything like a 1933 Cord Phaeton, 1955 Thunderbird, 1959 Cadillac or a 1963 Split-Window Corvette Stingray in the UK or Europe!
    Why copy another car show on foreign cars? America has built plenty of really great cars and trucks that ought to be featured. Let’s face it only a select few people can afford a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin or a Rolls Royce.
    Include a segment on Pony Cars from the 1960’s and 1970’s after all were would the Trans Am series have been without these cars; Pontiac GTO, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, American Motors Javelin, Plymouth Barracuda and Dodge Challenger etc. (The Europeans were relegated to the under 2.0 liter engine series).
    And as another idea look at all of the great racing that’s developed through the years within this great country. NASCAR use to feature race on Sunday drive on Monday factory built family cars. Don’t think any of those came from the UK! While Mercedes may get credit for building the first car where would the automobile be today if it had not the likes and brilliant minds and ideas of Henry Ford and Walter Chrysler, Henry J. Kaiser and Preston Tucker just to name a few?
    American Racing brought some of the greatest drivers to the racing world: Parnelli Jones, Roger Penske, A.J. Foyt, Richard Petty, Mario Andretti (migrated to America in 1955), Dale Earnhardt and the great Carroll Shelby. While we’re at it lets also include Don Garlits and John Force. We have plenty of great American car history that can provide a more entertaining show for TOP GEAR AMERICA.
    Thanks, Randy