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Top Gear USA Gets More Episodes For Season 2

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Filed under Automotive, Top Gear

Top Gear USA's cast of characters. Image: The History Channel

When Top Gear USA debuted in 2010, many Top Gear fans slammed the U.S. take on the popular British docudrama. Top Gear USA struggled for ratings in its first season, thanks in part to an odd dynamic between the show’s hosts. There was Tanner Foust, a pro driver with (seemingly) little sense of humor; Adam Ferrara, a genuinely funny guy with little ability to drive a car at speed; and Rutledge Wood, whose biggest claim to fame appeared to be the world’s most extensive flannel collection. How could these three guys compete with the likes of Clarkson, May and Hammond?

The correct answer is “they don’t need to,” since Top Gear USA is a completely different show than the British original. In season two, the hosts seem to have found a way to work together to produce entertaining television, and stacked up against Adam Carolla’s The Car Show, it’s readily apparent which one has the bigger budget (and the better writers). While Top Gear USA may not be the equal of its British counterpart, it’s pulling in solid (and increasing) ratings, which Inside Line says is good enough to score eight more episodes for season two. Production should begin soon, and the new episodes are expected to debut in early 2012.

As for the competition, The Car Show has shed former NBA great John Salley and cut the format from an hour to half an hour. While the elimination of Salley will help (he’s a great guy, but didn’t add a thing to a car-themed show), the show still needs less Carolla and more Farrah / Neil. Matt Farrah has a television-friendly personality and Dan Neil is arguably the smartest auto journalist on the planet. Carolla, on the other hand, doesn’t really seem to know much about cars, and pulls the show down with his cheap shots at hosts and guests, not to mention his odd rants. I say improve the writing and give more air time to Farrah and Neil, otherwise I’d call The Car Show’s long-term prospects bleak.


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