After several attempted false starts, an American version of “Top Gear” is finally on its way to the small screen.
Production is set to begin on Wednesday (April 21) on the U.S. “Top Gear,” which will premiere in the fall of 2010 on the History Channel.
The BBC’s venerable “Top Gear” franchise began in 1977 and ran until 2001, when it was very briefly cancelled and brought back in 2002 with a revised, cheekier format. In all of its incarnations, “Top Gear” has covered cars from a variety of angles, including reviews, stunt challenges, interviews and more. NBC came closest to doing an American version several years back.
The hosts of History’s “Top Gear” will be comedian Adam Ferrara (“Rescue Me”), champion rally and drift racer Tanner Foust and racing analyst Rutledge Wood.
“History of the automobile and the history of America are intimately intertwined — to celebrate one is to celebrate the other,” states History Channel President Nancy Dubuc. “I am thrilled to bring the U.S. version of this massively popular series to our viewers, working with the incredibly talented team at BBC Worldwide Productions. ‘Top Gear’ is an intelligent, entertaining show — unique and groundbreaking in its format — a perfect match for us.”
In the press release announcing the pickup, History Channel makes further effort to justify the brand compatibility by noting that “Top Gear” harkens back to the channel’s earliest days, when “Automobiles: Corvette” was the very first program to air.