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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

TOP GEAR USA

Around the world there are several versions of Top Gear, inspired by the hit BBC series about cars and motoring. Germany, Australia, and Russia all have their Top Gear versions and now the US finally has one. You'd think America would have come up with this concept first, being the place cars were perfected and home of the television series, but the English found the right mix of ideas first and its been a huge hit.

The new series is going to be on the History Channel (?) and starts this fall. The hosts will be Adam Ferra, Tanner Foust, and Rutledge Wood.

Adam Ferrara is a stand up comedian who has also done a lot of TV work such as Rescue Me, Law and Order, and Caroline in the City, as well as a few movies such as Paul Blart, Mall Cop.

Tanner Foust is a stunt driver and former racer, primarily rally, drift, and ice racing. He won a gold metal in the X Games for rally racing and did stunt work for movies such as The Bourne Ultimatum, Iron Man 2 and The Fast and the Furious. Tanner is the only holdout from the previous effort to start up an American Top Gear. He also hosts Speed channels Supercars Exposed.

Rutledge Wood has done a lot of work for NASCAR and the Speed channel, and does NASCAR analysis. He also stars on NASCAR Smarts with Kyle Petty.

So far there's only been one trailer put out for it but I can see a lot of potential for a show like Top Gear in America, particularly if they take advantage of the nation's roads rather than, say, England. Here's the trailer, so you can see what its about:


Personally I fear that they will be too directly derivative of the British show, with a Stig and so on. The US version should be uniquely American, not a Brit knockoff. The moonshine run challenge seems nicely American, but the "test track, challenge, say outrageous things while you drive" is the British schtick and they really would be better served finding their own voice. Unfortunately, I think Top Gear is a franchise type deal and they can't really vary too much from the script.

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