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Top Gear USA


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#1

ciscokidinsf

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Posted Jul 25, 2008 @ 11:44 AM

Alrrighty then, since some forum members are going to attend the first episode, let's get on with the thread for Top Gear USA!

More info HERE because NBC doesn't have an official site yet.

Top Gear's hosts of the show are Adam Carolla, Tanner Foust, and Eric Stromer

I hope they get to spend as much time with challenges as the original crew. And the 'reasonably priced car' better be a Chevy Aveo!

I wonder who will be the American Stig?? And whether they will be able to keep the secret identity of the USA Stig (the Stig's American Cousin) for a long time.

Edited by ciscokidinsf, Jul 25, 2008 @ 11:45 AM.

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#2

PreviouslyOnTV

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Posted Jul 25, 2008 @ 5:32 PM

I'll be attending the taping tomorrow. Just got a new email saying there will be a special taping at 1:30 for Howie Mandel and Melanie B. (Spice Girls) which I assume will be the first two "Stars in a Reasonably Priced Car". Listening to some clips from Adam's show he says the standards of the original are being upheld and the quality of the cinematography is as good or even better. Which is what the show is known for, breathtaking photography. He also hinted at a Los Angeles to Las Vegas race. I'll have a full report tomorrow :)

Edited by PreviouslyOnTV, Jul 25, 2008 @ 5:34 PM.

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#3

ciscokidinsf

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Posted Jul 25, 2008 @ 5:44 PM

Thanks Previously!

Good Luck, let us know how it looks and feels.

By the way, expanding on the spoiler in this link HERE, the reasonably price car for Top Gear USA is a Kia Rio!

I was hoping for a Chevy Aveo.
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#4

Fukui San

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Posted Jul 25, 2008 @ 10:54 PM

Let me speculate on what the opening line will be.

Adam: "Welcome to Top Gear. As you know, gas prices are at an all time high, people are driving less, whole lines of cars are going out of business. So we thought, what a perfect time to start a car show!"

Edited by Fukui San, Jul 26, 2008 @ 12:24 AM.

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#5

PreviouslyOnTV

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Posted Jul 25, 2008 @ 11:52 PM

Most of the cars on Top Gear are over 85K. I don't think gas prices are an issue. Consider that gas in the UK was three times what America was paying when Top Gear debuted.

Edited by PreviouslyOnTV, Jul 25, 2008 @ 11:54 PM.

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#6

PreviouslyOnTV

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Posted Jul 27, 2008 @ 12:32 AM

Holy shit, that was amazing. I just got back from the taping. 6 hours sweating on the concrete, my feet were killing me by the end. Totally worth it.

They did the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car first, to accommodate the guest. The celebrity guest was actually The Hoff! David Hasselhoff himself. Actually a funny segment and a great way to loosen the crowd up once we saw the track was a respectable copy of the original. The first turn is called Talledega and the last big left turn is called the Al Gore.

They then reset for the show open, the three guys introduced themselves and they showed the opening titles which got everyone excited. The shots from that 20-30 seconds looked amazing. After the titles they introduced the fourth team member, The Stig. This was another film with an Ariel Atom dropped from a cargo plane by parachute and The Stig with a parachute pack chasing it. The car lands but you don't see The Stig open his chute, it cuts right to Stiggy driving the Atom through the desert. The photography is exactly what you would expect from Top Gear. I assume that's because its the same people making the show and they know how its done.

Next was the cheap car challenge. Each guy was given $2500 in Las Vegas and told to buy a classic 80's sports car. Adam had to buy an American car and the other two had to buy a foreign. Eric bought a Porsche (not sure what model I'm not a car buff), Tanner bought a Japanese car I can't remember and Adam bought a Pontiac Firebird. The first challenge was to drive to a track, with penalties for breakdowns. Once they were at the track, Stig set lap times with the fastest time winning. They then set up a corridor of junk and the guys had to drive the car through the corridor at 30 MPH with no hands on the wheel. This had some great 80's TV crash references with boxes flying everywhere. They were then given $100 to prepare their car for a trip to the bottom of Death Valley. After the guys wandered around a junk yard looking for ideas there was a commercial break.

Next was a Adam reviewing the new Audi R8, which was then joined by Tanner in the new Aston Martin. Both cars were in the $120K range for comparison. They then argued about the cars in the studio before showing the Stig taking both out for a lap. These were the first two cars on the leaderboard. Adam made fun of the Aston Martin for being the "third best Aston Martin on the market" and Tanner called the Audi boring and German.

And now, the news. There were a few reshoots of this segment so the guys could adlib new takes and I'm sure only a few will make the cut. Adam Corolla is very, very funny. Clarkson is the best at the in car review obviously, but I really enjoyed watching Adam in the studio. There was a planted bit where a girl in the audience was asked a question and I'm pretty sure she was an actress I have seen before on television. She stayed for the whole shoot as an audience member though, so I'll give her props for sticking it out with the rest of us.

After the news they finished off the cheap car challenge. All three guys had made ridiculous "cooling" modifications to their cars in true Top Gear fashion. In fact, I could easily see the same gag being used for their UK counterparts. They then drove to the bottom of Death Valley where they were given one final challenge. This was the highlight of the night. Each car was dropped off a bridge, connected to a massive bungee cord. There would be points deducted for each bit that fell off of the car.

After the film the guys went over the points for each challenge. This was reshot several times. Mostly because none of the guys could do math or remember how many points each challenge was or why they were assigned. There was plenty of opportunity for Adam to adlib some funny lines with each retake so it wasn't too boring. Everyone was dead tired by this point but they had to bring up a shot from the opening of the show (which was like 6 hours ago) and rearrange everyone into the same positions they were in the audience to do a 10 second pickup. Mercifully that was the last shot.

The show looks great, everyone had fun watching the filmed segments, the audience was filled with fans of the original show and I think everyone was impressed with how much they were able to live up to it.

ETA: I just read that the producer thought this show was good but not good enough for a series premier so I guess they will be doing another one for that. I hope I can get tickets for that as well :)

ETA Again: The girl who answered the question during the news segment turns out to be a auto journalist so there's no way I could have seen her before. She says it wasn't setup before hand, she's just assertive. :) She does have a pretty face so I think that explains the confusion as there were definitely planted models there. Two of the girls stood off to the side speaking Russian until space was cleared for them to be in camera view for each segment.

Edited by PreviouslyOnTV, Jul 27, 2008 @ 7:49 PM.

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#7

xaxat

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Posted Jul 27, 2008 @ 9:52 AM

Thanks for the great report! I admit to being one of the skeptics, but I will definitely give it a chance after what you had to say about it.


They did the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car first, to accommodate the guest. The celebrity guest was actually The Hoff! David Hasselhoff himself.


That is just all kinds of awesome.
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#8

TWoP Sun

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Posted Jul 28, 2008 @ 11:14 AM

Yes, thanks, PreviouslyOnTV. I'm not a big spoiler person, but I needed to know whether I should try this version or not. I'm sure I will now. Good luck getting tickets to other tapings!

#9

ciscokidinsf

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Posted Jul 28, 2008 @ 12:31 PM

That was awesome Previously!

I'm a bit stoked. I like the challenge (though $2,500 sounds like a lot of $$$, i guess it is the equivalent of a 1,000 quid)

And I hope they keep the original celebrity in the first episode. I totally believe none of the 3 guys can do basic math! Hee!

Edited by TWoP Sun, Jul 28, 2008 @ 10:12 PM.
added spoiler bars

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#10

PreviouslyOnTV

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Posted Jul 28, 2008 @ 8:59 PM

Watching the season 11 finale of the mothership I was struck by how much larger that studio is. It looks like around 500 people in the audience where our studio had a max occupancy of 290.
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#11

jsylee

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Posted Jul 28, 2008 @ 11:00 PM

PreviouslyOnTV, awesome review of the pilot and thanks for the lengthy description. I loved that they faked everyone out by publicizing a different Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. And the nicknames for the track turns are kinda amusing. One question...did they actually call it "Top Gear USA" or "Top Gear America" for the pilot? Please tell me no.

I've been giving my wishlist for the SIARPC segment some thought. The list needs more females but right now I'm thinking:
  • Patrick Stewart - skilled speeder who's had some practice on Mulholland's dead man curve
  • Paul Newman - if healthy enough, proven driver
  • Danica Patrick - can start off the professional board
  • Tim Gunn - I'd love to see him out of his element
  • David Letterman - knows his cars; owns a team
  • Conan O'Brien - still drives an old Ford Taurus
  • Victor Garber - I'm curious whether Spy Daddy can drive.
  • John McEnroe - I've missed his swearing
  • Edgar Hansen - just don't let him light anything on fire
  • Tom Selleck/John Schneider

Definite no's: The Girls Next Door, Tila Tequila and any of the lovely prostitots/celebutards who are known for getting into wrecks.
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#12

PreviouslyOnTV

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Posted Jul 29, 2008 @ 9:49 PM

One question...did they actually call it "Top Gear USA" or "Top Gear America" for the pilot? Please tell me no.


No, it's strictly Top Gear :)

Corolla talked yesterday on his radio show about how the SIARPC for the pilot was a surprise to even him. He didn't know they got someone new until that morning.
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#13

FoolishWanderer

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Posted Aug 1, 2008 @ 8:59 PM

So when does this actually air?
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#14

PreviouslyOnTV

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Posted Aug 1, 2008 @ 9:42 PM

So when does this actually air?


Hopefully in January. If it gets picked up.
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#15

halo_pub

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Posted Aug 4, 2008 @ 2:45 PM

More evidence the show's going to get picked up...Jeremy's been hired for occasional appearances! As for Hammond and James, they are finally set to renew their contracts with the BBC original but haven't signed with the US version.

Edited to ask: Any word yet on whether the show's been picked up?

Edited by halo_pub, Sep 27, 2008 @ 4:14 PM.

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#16

Shelly98

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Posted Oct 24, 2008 @ 9:00 PM

It has been picked up; and I've been reading either January or March. Hrm.
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#17

halo_pub

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Posted Dec 9, 2008 @ 12:12 AM

I'm not so sure. As of last week Adam Carolla has said he still isn't sure if the pilot will go to series. Plus NBC is undergoing massive cost cutting across its programming slate. With a relatively cheap Leno in the daily 10PM slot next fall, I don't see the Universal folks spending a minimum of $3-4 million on a single episode of Top Gear US when that same amount gets them 10 hours of cheap, (presumably still) highly profitable Leno. The ad revenue outlook is just poor, especially in the usually lucrative auto segment.

Now if they already had a couple of episodes in the can, that would be a different story. But nope.

Personally I would be ok with NBC just paying to rebroadcast the original and get the boys a larger audience than BBCA.
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#18

jsylee

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Posted Dec 12, 2008 @ 3:55 AM

NBC has officially passed. The BBC is now shopping it around elsewhere.

Personally I'd like them on Discovery. Basic cable means a nice, broad audience.

Edited to add direct source.

Edited by jsylee, Dec 12, 2008 @ 3:58 AM.

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#19

Namaste

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Posted Dec 20, 2008 @ 4:10 PM

OK, I wasn't looking forward to the US Top Gear (I'm not convinced they could re-create the chemistry), but still, according to this report, rumor has it that it was killed because "Knight Rider" did poorly. Huh?
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#20

ZeroForce

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Posted Dec 21, 2008 @ 12:33 AM

As you can tell from the decision to (a) air Knight Rider and (b) order a full season of said show (plus the decision to air six nights of Leno in prime time), NBC's programming is run by a bunch of lobotomized shit-throwing monkeys.
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#21

halo_pub

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Posted Apr 25, 2009 @ 5:04 AM

Well to be fair, while its cablet netlets rake in tons of cash, NBCU's overall profits are down 45% this year. That's in no small part to TV production costs, a softening advertising market and expensive Super Bowl rights. As fantastically shitty the Leno gambit might be for innovative programming, the money saving idea didn't come out of a vacuum. And I appreciate that NBCU is looked to as a relatively stable revenue source for GE's bottom line. I don't believe it's the only or best course of action but it's not surprising that they're cutting costs to try and keep it that way.

As for non-NBCU options, I haven't heard much about Discovery, TLC or anyone else. There have also been conflicting reports on whether the BBC's given up on shopping it around.

I came across a recent article by someone who auditioned for one of the host roles in 2007 and his resistance to being pigeon-holed into the James May role. It's brief but it's interesting to see someone argue that cars are misconstrued by broadcasters as some rarefied object that most people do not possess. I also got a kick our of Dyer describing Dan Neil's audition. I don't know either of their work particularly but Neil sounds like he would have been hilarious. Apparently during his audition, Neil was asked what he knew of Clarkson and purposely declared that "Jeremy Clarkson is a well-known pedophile and the ugliest man in Britain."

Edited by halo_pub, Apr 25, 2009 @ 5:05 AM.

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#22

Namaste

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Posted Apr 29, 2009 @ 3:28 PM

So Neil did make it that far. Bummer. He would have been good, just based on a couple of clips he produced on the fly with just a one-person crew for the LATimes at last year's Detroit auto show.
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#23

halo_pub

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Posted Feb 18, 2010 @ 9:48 AM

There are a bunch of reports, including The Hollywood Reporter, now saying that The History Channel is in serious talks to pick up the show. Not a ton of details out there, though, so maybe they're testing interest with the rumors?
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#24

khyber

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Posted Oct 14, 2010 @ 8:09 PM

Latest Update

Edited by khyber, Oct 14, 2010 @ 8:09 PM.

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#25

PreviouslyOnTV

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Posted Oct 16, 2010 @ 11:22 PM

I've been to two days of tapings so far and the second was far better than the first. The films are really good. The first film for episode three is truly amazing, right up there with anything on original recipe Top Gear. Also: premier date is supposed to be Nov 21.
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#26

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Posted Nov 21, 2010 @ 11:04 PM

Well... that was kind of dull actually. The Lamborghini segment was the best, but it was still over-rehearsed and lacking in any spontaneity or joy. I hope the hosts' chemistry gels quickly or this show is going to tank.
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#27

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Posted Nov 22, 2010 @ 12:02 AM

Dear me, that was painful.
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#28

Mr Basset

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Posted Nov 22, 2010 @ 12:23 AM

That was pretty bad, but I'll give it a couple more chances to see if things pick up.
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#29

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Posted Nov 22, 2010 @ 1:21 AM

I hope the hosts' chemistry gels quickly or this show is going to tank.


I think it took a good couple of seasons/series for Jeremy, James, and Richard to gel as a trio. Adam, Rutledge, and Tanner need at least the rest of this season, if not a second one if it goes through. It's not going to happen overnight.

Personally, I don't think it was awesome, but I don't think it was horrible, either. The editing needs to be sorted out a bit, as does the camera mounting. I'd also like to see the studio stuff filmed at 24-25 fps; it looks godawful at 29.97 fps, IMO.

Still cautiously optimistic.
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#30

cutecouple

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Posted Nov 22, 2010 @ 9:18 AM

It was OK, though very, very rough.
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