New ‘Top Gear’ US Spinoff Ordered By BBC America

The show will be hosted by William Fichtner, drag racer Antron Brown, and journalist Tom “Wookie” Ford

“Top Gear” is getting yet another iteration, except this time it’s for American audiences.

BBC America has greenlit “Top Gear America,” a U.S. spinoff featuring three new hosts, for eight hour-long episodes set to debut later this year.

The show will be hosted by actor, racing enthusiast, and competitive racer William Fichtner (“The Dark Night,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”), world champion drag racer Antron Brown, and British automotive journalist Tom “Wookie” Ford.

“Top Gear America” is set to be similar to the popular British series, which follows three men — a mix of professional entertainers, car enthusiasts, and racing professionals — as they review state-of-the-art vehicles and explore aspects of car history. Also like the original, “Top Gear America” will have a celebrity guest each week who will race on a track and compete for the top of a leader board. However, this one will take place at the new studio and track, called Speed Vegas.

The Stig — a mysterious, helmeted driver who also made frequent appearances on the original — will show up here.

“We are big fans of the mix of cars, credibility and charisma that adds up to the winning formula for Top Gear, and couldn’t be happier that BBCA is now the home for the franchise in the US, with Top Gear America joining the original show on our network,” said BBCA president Sarah Barnett.

This isn’t the first time “Top Gear” has been reworked for an American audience. A version aired on the History channel from 2010 to 2016 and was hosted by racing driver Tanner Foust, comedian Adam Ferrara, and analyst Rutledge Wood.

The original “Top Gear” has been wracked with controversy in recent years. Longtime host Jeremy Clarkson was suspended in 2015 for allegedly physically and verbally abusing show producer Oisin Tymon. Clarkson’s contract wasn’t renewed, so the other two hosts — Richard Hammond and James May — also left. Producer Andy Wilman followed suit.

The four moved over to Amazon Prime with their new show, “The Grand Tour,” which is a motor travel show that debuted in Nov. 2016.

The new season of “Top Gear” premiered on BBC with new hosts Chris Evans, Matt LeBlanc, Rory Reid, Sabine Schmitz, Chris Harris, and Eddie Jordan.

Unfortunately, the new series was not received well by critics or fans. Evans stepped down from hosting duties after just six episodes due to those poor ratings and to sexual assault allegations. LeBlanc, along with Harris and Reid, will be taking on main hosting duties.


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