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It's time to Cancel Top Gear

It was announced in September of 2011 that Top Gear US, which broadcasts on the History channel, will be extending its second season. For die-hard fans of the original Top Gear on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), this is worse news than if World War 3 was announced.

For those that don't know, Top Gear revolves around three British auto journalists, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond. The show is comprised of car reviews, putting stars in a reasonable priced car or on a racetrack, and generally crazy antics in moving vehicles of some sort.

If you were to ask anyone who loves cars about Top Gear, more than likely you will hear, “Top Gear is the greatest show EVER!” I concur!

Fans, like myself, of the one and only good and original Top Gear on the BBC, feel the History channel needs to stop. Please, please CANCEL Top Gear USA! We don't like, we don't want it, and we really, really hate it! We rather have you re-run episodes of the original.

Sure in the second season, Top Gear USA did good business for the History channel. There is no doubting that. I am sure the History channel execs are pleased with the 1.9 million estimated viewers. For History Top Gear USA represented a 24-percent increase in audience size for Adults 18-49. Essentially this mean that this is the youngest audience ever for the History channel. (That's sad people!)

The thing is, for anyone who has brain cells that actually function and that has seen the original, why would you want to watch Top Gear USA? It lacks, the originality and chutzpah of the BBC version with the three awful American hosts, Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood.

Tanner Foust, is a race car drive that has little in the way of natural camera ability. Most of the time it feels like he is reading from a script, which I am fairly sure he did not write himself. Rutledge Wood, is the fun loving pudgy one out of the bunch. Somehow he just doesn't work either and it also seems like he reads from scripts he did not write.

Adam Ferrara, while I don't want to admit it... is actually good. (I might be biased, since I firmly believe all people named “Adam” are awesome.) He is quick on his feet and is able to carry himself on camera well. No doubt working as a stand-up comic and actor, gives him an edge over the other two hosts. However, he can't carry the show for the other two and the three lack chemistry.

Top Gear USA just feels like a rehashed version of the original, which is not as good. Most of the episodes give the feeling of Deja-Vu of the BBC original.

I hate to say this, but we Americans have a serious problem of taking good British TV shows, and completely ruining them. Anyone ever heard of The Office? I wonder if we will be doing an Americanized version of Downton Abbey?

Even with History channel's success with Top Gear USA's second season, I highly doubt it will continue to grow. Being among the coveted young demographic that History is so keen on, I realized something... most 20-30 year-olds, don't have cable. Those that do most, don't even watch it much.

Young people are used to watching TV and movies over the internet on services like Netflix. On top of that cable subscriptions have declined during this horrendous economy, so how will the History channel grow viewership?

You can watch Top Gear USA episodes via History channels website. However, even with my lighting fast laptop and trying to watch on other fast computers, I can say this with certainty, History channel's online video player doesn't work.

Recently I reported that The Car Show was canceled. The Car Show was an alternative to Top Gear USA, which featured Adam Carolla, Matt Farah, and Dan Neil. Smartly the producers of The Car Show decided to put that show on Hulu, which actually can stream videos over the internet.

In my opinion The Car Show was better than Top Gear USA. The reason was Dan Neil, and rumor has it that he was considered for Top Gear USA. Dan Neil, who won a Pulitzer Prize for writing about cars, would have been a much better choice for host. No doubt about it!

Due to History channel's lack of artistic sensibilities, I have deiced that I must boycott watching the channel. This won't be hard for me to do, since I am young person without cable. :)

Please share your thoughts about Top Gear USA? Do you despise it like I do or think History should make more episodes?

Please contact Adam Yamada-Hanff – [email protected] – for comments, questions, or topics. You can leave him a question or comment on Twitter @AdamsAutoAdvice

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RJ (not verified)    January 15, 2012 - 10:39PM

If you've ever seen the early series of the original TopGear then you should know that it takes a few seasons to mesh as a team and to forge real friendships. On the original they even swapped hosts after the first season, exchanging a used car salesman for the Captain. I think a swap like this could be in order for the US version. I don't think Adam Ferrara is meshing well. Maybe a new host and a little more originality in the approach and I think this show could be a lot of fun. Maybe not as much as the original, but plenty to enjoy.

Adam Yamada-Hanff    January 16, 2012 - 9:11AM

In reply to by RJ (not verified)

I agree! Adam Ferrara is not meshing well with the other two hosts, because he actually forms his own opinions and thoughts! :)

They definitely need to find a better set of people to host the show, that can mesh. They also need to find producers than can come up with original ideas.

I don't know what possessed the producers to keep Tanner Foust, but the more I watch him, the more I am turned off from TGUS. He's not that clever a guy, he just drives cars fast.

Who would recommend they get to replace the hosts?

Anonymous (not verified)    October 30, 2012 - 5:22PM

In reply to by Adam Yamada-Hanff

Did...did you just comment on your own articlr to say you agree with yourself? And I'm sorry that you don't enjoy the show, but you just seem to me like someone that's angry that the original Top Gear isn't the only Top Gear, like a child who just heard the news that there's goig to be another baby in the family. I find the show quite funny and having enough "car stuff" to make it a watchable car show. Sure, it may not be as good as the original, but how many seasons has the original been running for? Shows need time to mature. Not every show becomes a hit overnight.

Anonymous (not verified)    October 30, 2012 - 5:23PM

In reply to by Adam Yamada-Hanff

Did...did you just comment on your own articlr to say you agree with yourself? And I'm sorry that you don't enjoy the show, but you just seem to me like someone that's angry that the original Top Gear isn't the only Top Gear, like a child who just heard the news that there's goig to be another baby in the family. I find the show quite funny and having enough "car stuff" to make it a watchable car show. Sure, it may not be as good as the original, but how many seasons has the original been running for? Shows need time to mature. Not every show becomes a hit overnight.

Anonymous (not verified)    December 20, 2012 - 10:02AM

In reply to by Adam Yamada-Hanff

Adam Ferrara is fine. He is friends with both Rutt and Tanner on Facebook, as well as in real life. Adam Ferrara is a comedian, so he naturally does those things. And if you haven't realized, they are all in competition with each other to try to make their car the best.

JS (not verified)    January 29, 2013 - 6:38AM

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

TG USA IS AWFUL! Adam is not funny. His commentary and the banter is incredibly forced. It is also akward having a race care driver on the show. What is the point of having the Stig if already have a supposedly expert driver to test the cars?

Anonymous (not verified)    December 20, 2012 - 10:03AM

In reply to by Adam Yamada-Hanff

Adam Ferrara is fine. He is friends with both Rutt and Tanner on Facebook, as well as in real life. Adam Ferrara is a comedian, so he naturally does those things. And if you haven't realized, they are all in competition with each other to try to make their car the best.

Anonymous (not verified)    April 5, 2013 - 3:24PM

In reply to by Adam Yamada-Hanff

the show on bbc need to be canceled it sucks they dont have fun with the cars they are just boring and it for old people that dont like to have fun
the better top gear on history might have parts that are fake but at lest they make it fun Tanner yeah he drives fast and thats why everyone likes him because he likes to have fun
and eventually they are going to cancel the british one because its for older people and all the young people are watching the one on top gear because it better so f*** off

Anonymous (not verified)    December 20, 2012 - 10:07AM

In reply to by Adam Yamada-Hanff

Look, Britain and America are two completely different places, with different attitudes. You took some of our stuff, which I am not complaining about, so don't complain about an American thing. It is just as good, and just to be honest, I think its better. Rutt is so funny, with Adam. And you said its three journalists right? So you don't have a profesional race-car/stunt driver now do you. You know who does? Top Gear USA, his name is Tanner Foust.

Robert B (not verified)    January 16, 2012 - 1:00PM

I consider myself a fan of cars. In my opinion there are not many car shows on television. As far as I know, I am limited to Motorweek, Chasing Classic Cars, and Top Gear BBC. I have to believe Top Gear USA is directed at viewers such as myself. Is it as good as the original? Not even close. Do I like the cast? I think many others would do a better job. Is it a show about cars? Yes, it is. So if you are a car fan, then give them a break. There are 100's of tv shows that should be cancelled before this one. I'd enjoy watching this show with the volume off, but is it a reason to cancel the show? Hell no. So, for all of those that have an issue with this show, watch something else if you don't like it. Quit trying to get rid of the few remaining car shows out there.

Adam Yamada-Hanff    January 16, 2012 - 1:03PM

In reply to by Robert B (not verified)

I am entitled to my own opinion, and my opinion is Top Gear US needs to be canceled.

Do they need a new cast, Yes! Do I see that happening, probably not! I don't know who wanted to keep Tanner Foust, but that was not a good idea.

Personally I would rather watch Motorweek than Top Gear US.

Thank you for commenting Robert.

Anonymous (not verified)    December 21, 2012 - 8:33AM

In reply to by Adam Yamada-Hanff

It is your opinion, but you are acting as if you have to make others believe it. They don't need a new cast, Ruttledge Wood, Adam Ferrara and Tanner Foust are really cool. They are friends, but they are being PAID to act like they hate each other. And if you don't realize many people who have friends and have competitions with each other, they do the same exact thing. They are trying to have fun. And I bet Top Gear Britain didnt have guest stars such as Tony Hawk, Tom Hank, the PAWN STARS, and Adam Levine.

D2 (not verified)    January 17, 2012 - 8:12AM

Adam- I understand you dont like the show. However, you gave no reasons other than your opinion that the hosts appear to be reading from a script. That's not very compelling. You see, I'm also a huge fan of British Top Gear, and one of the many reasons we all like it is because of the hosts credibility.. they are all great drivers, they have years of professional experience, and they are all real car enthusiasts. The only one with any car credentials on TG USA is Tanner. The other two aren't funny, but worse yet, they can't even drive. That's the real problem with the show. The only reason I watch it is for the old american cars that I don't get to see in the British version. You don't seem old enough to remember most of them, so I wouldn't expect you to care about that. And speaking of credibility, maybe you should actually get cable before writing about a cable show. Also, please have someone proofread your articles before publishing them. Lack of content is not an excuse for poor grammar. Thanks!

Adam Yamada-Hanff    January 17, 2012 - 9:17AM

In reply to by D2 (not verified)

Just because Tanner has "car credentials" does not mean he is a great TV show host, quite the opposite actually. I don't care how good a driver he is, he's not engaging.

By real car credentials, I assume you are talking about the fact that all three British hosts were journalists before going on Top Gear UK. I would agree with everything you said, and the producers of TGUS should have gotten auto journalists. Dan Neil would have been a much better choice.

This is my opinion because this is an "News Opinion" piece. It can be hard to include everything you want and keep pieces a reasonable length. Thank you for commenting.

Anonymous (not verified)    February 10, 2013 - 7:48PM

In reply to by Adam Yamada-Hanff

Actually yeah Tanner does have car credentials. He is pretty engaging for some people. He is more methodical in his thought in case you haven't noticed. I'm pretty methodical myself, so I find him entertaining. Maybe, since I can be methodical, then I'm just as boring. I'm sorry it's just what some logical people do. When Tanner, along with Adam and Rutledge, compete they are very entertaining.
No one show is the same, the producers wanted to have some variation from the original, if it's not obvious enough to you. Also, I hate to burst your bubble, but some of the producers and the rest of the crew from Top Gear USA are from the original show.
In my opinion, I think this is more of an opinion piece not a "News Opinion" piece. I typically find anything with the words news in it to be informative, which this blog-like article is anything but. It is a border-line straw man filled article.

daniel (not verified)    January 17, 2012 - 9:41PM

In reply to by Adam Yamada-Hanff

As a Brit myself i have to dissagree. As great as top gear UK is, over the years it has become less and less about cars, with the recent xmas special having at least a 25 minute stretch without a car in it.
Therefore as a guy wishing to tune in to see a show about cars old and new i have enjoyed the 1st series of Top Gear USA shown here on BBC3.
Every Item has been about the cars and i like the hosts.
while its true that that they are doing nothing new with the format, i think it feels more genuinly about the love of cars than the british one has recently.
Just wish they hadn't gone with Star in a reasnobly priced car also. I hate that bit on both shows......although it is a good time to go to the kitchen for another beer.

Sarah (not verified)    January 18, 2012 - 12:24PM

In reply to by daniel (not verified)

As a Brit i have to agree with Daniel's comments. I didn't even make it all the way through the UK christmas special because it felt like I'd seen it all before.

Also bear in mind it took the UK presenters time to gel well together.

Another Brit (not verified)    January 18, 2012 - 1:28PM

In reply to by daniel (not verified)

I'm a Brit too and I love TG USA also, yes it's a little rough, early days yet (in Top Gear Time), but it will happen. I've been watching TG UK in its various forms since the 80s (when it was actually about the cars more) and its getting long in the tooth and quite frankly, some times full of made up or skewed facts. I personally find the US version refreshing, I like the hosts and I expect it will go from strength to strength. If you prefer to watch Motorweek instead of TG USA then there is no hope for you.....anywhere.

Adam Yamada-Hanff    January 18, 2012 - 1:38PM

In reply to by Another Brit (not verified)

Motorweek is a different type of a show. Just useful info and reviews about cars. There are segments they could change.

TGUS is trying to copy the original too much and not come up with interesting things to do on their own. I also find Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood quite annoying. I think Adam Ferrara was not a bad choice, but they need to find better hosts to replace the other two.

iDrive4Fun (not verified)    June 13, 2015 - 6:53PM

In reply to by daniel (not verified)

Hang in there, they get rid of the big star small car segment in TGUSA! I love both TG's, I am partial to the American version, however both versions are my favorite shows to watch.

matt (not verified)    January 20, 2012 - 3:27PM

I agree with Adam . I hate the USA version it is awfull .I actually just turned on history channel thinking it was the original top gear and found this show still on. I grabed my phone and jumped on the web, finding this article ..while in hopes of discovering..that they finally cancelled this awful mess of a show.the host have no personality,no chemistry..hey wheres Tim Allen when you need him.I could never see this show again and be so happyy..I just want Jeremy,James,and the hamster..period.

crowdog (not verified)    February 25, 2012 - 11:17AM

I hadn't seen this article until now, so I wanted to comment. I am with Adam the author. It would be nice to have a TG I could watch here as I don't have BBC on cable, and it gets tiresome to watch it online. That being said, it is a horrible show. I like Tanner as I love to watch him drive, and while he seems like he is reading, I think he is the same guy there as in real life. The other two turn me off almost immediately. Every time Rutledge comes on, I have to change the channel.

Rutledge comes across as an idiot. He is trying to be funny, but he is just annoying. There is a way to have a show that is inspired by another one, however this one isn't it. My preference would be to watch reruns of TGUK on History.


Adam Yamada-Hanff    February 25, 2012 - 12:33PM

In reply to by crowdog (not verified)

I find Tanner and Rutledge unbearable to watch. Rutledge is just annoying and does not come across as that intelligent of a guy. While Tanner might be a good driver, I don't think he is great TV show host. Any of the scenes in the studio he looks uncomfortable.

Thanks for commenting Marty and agreeing with me! :)

Jeremy (not verified)    July 2, 2012 - 3:42AM

In reply to by Adam Yamada-Hanff

I watch top gear UK all the time, but I started with top gear US, I love top gear US. I didnt think I would like the UK version even though I am a complete anglophile. I gave it a chance and loved it, but I love the US version just as much. I think Rutledge is the best part of the show, he adds character to it. I wouldn't even watch it if it weren't for him. I guess it all depends on your sense of humor and the type of people you hang out with. I think they are both great shows. The only thing I could think that upsets me is that top gear UK shows too many cars that I fall in love with that aren't available here in the US.