NBC beginning production on Adam Carolla-hosted 'Top Gear' pilot
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/16/2008
NBC has announced it will begin production on the pilot for its American adaptation of Top Gear -- a British reality series that combines cars and comedy to throw gearheads into overdrive -- later this week.
In addition, NBC announced the Top Gear pilot will be hosted by comedian, radio personality and Dancing with the Stars sixth-season celebrity participant Adam Carolla; drift racer Tanner Foust; and construction guru Eric Stromer, who has helmed HGTV's Over Your Head and also worked as a carpenter on TLC's Clean Sweep.
"This franchise is a proven winner worldwide and the hosting team of Adam, Tanner and Eric that we have brought together for the U.S. version offers a perfect match of humor, insider know-how and priceless track experience," said NBC programming executive Craig Plestis. "We are going to create a high-powered show that, like the original, will keep viewers in every demographic clutching the edge of their seats."
Produced by BBC Worldwide America, Top Gear will feature several different types of regular segments, including races to various destinations using different modes of transportation, road tests of new vehicles, and challenges that range from building a car to modifying existing vehicles and decorating interiors.
"These three guys will get to drive the world's most amazing cars, go on incredible road trips and blow stuff up," said BBC Worldwide America executive Paul Telegdy. "It's a dirty old job but someone has to do it."
Top Gear first premiered in the U.K. back in 1977 before being relaunched in a revamped one-hour format in 2002. It is hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May, and "Stig," a masked test driver, and has been the BBC Two network's most-watched program in the U.K. since its relaunch.
NBC ordered Top Gear's pilot earlier this year. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno host Jay Leno subsequently claimed he was approached by NBC to helm the American adaptation but declined because of concerns "it would be impossible to recreate or live up to the standards of the British show."