Posted by: mostwanted | Tuesday, June 24, 2008

All about Top Gear – the US Version

This was announced a few days back, but since I just started updating my blog (again) today, I thought I’d cover this. Well well well, after months of waiting it’s finally confirmed that Adam Carolla will host Top Gear USA on NBC this fall.

Adam Carolla may have been voted off of Dancing with the Stars early on in Season 6, but he’s got a new move ready. The comedian will cohost the U.S. port of the British car show, Top Gear, alongside racing expert Tanner Faust and Eric Stromer (who’s known for his home improvement expertise, on HGTV’s Over Your Head).

For Carolla, who pulled off the world’s first-ever paso doble (or something approximating it) on a unicycle during his Dancing stint, getting in the driver’s seat for Top Gear should be a like a Sunday drive. Shooting begins next week — but will you be revving up for this U.S. edition? The first slew of comments suggest that Carolla leaves your engine cold. — Anna Dimond


Adam Carolla (left) already seems to be getting along with Top Gear co-hosts Eric Strommer and Tanner Foust in this first screen capture from the NBC set, first broken (along with most of the other Top Gear USA news on the show) by Jalopnik

And here’s the first pic from the sets of the show! Should be a great show, can’t wait for it. 😀 In the meanwhile Top Gear UK on BBC just started it’s 11th season this past Sunday and I’m definitely looking forward to a helluva great season the rest of the summer.


When word officially got out last week that Top Gear USA was headed to NBC, a fast-lane frenzy befell the Popular Mechanics car team. This must be what it’s like for teenage girls with every new incarnation of High School Musical: Our vacationing automotive editor skipped the beach and tried to buy back his vintage Lambo, two of the other guys zoned out on YouTube for an hour-long Jeremy Clarkson marathon, and I … well I got on the phone with Adam Carolla.Best known as the snarkified co-host of two defunct cable hits—MTV’s Loveline and Comedy Central’s The Man Show—Carolla has a popular radio show syndicated on the West Coast and a new movie, The Hammer, hitting DVD today. But this bona fide luxury-car owner (and self-proclaimed car “nerd”) has a much bigger role beginning this fall as Gearhead Numero Uno on the American network adaptation of Top Gear, made famous on the BBC as an hour jam-packed with supercar test drives, ridiculous road trips and death-defying stunts—and made the world’s biggest car program by its runaway success on YouTube. Alongside Hollywood stunt driver Tanner Foust and soap-opera-star-turned-DIY-television-personality Eric Stromer, Carolla will attempt to fill the shoes of the legendary Clarkson in a weekly primetime romp that plans to mirror the British version. But rabid Top Gear fans haven’t had many more details to steer them toward September … until now.In his first interview about the show since NBC’s announcement, Carolla sat down with for a half-hour exclusive on what’s in store for Top Gear 2.0. Here’s what we learned:

• The NBC adaptation will follow the BBC format: guest segment, stunt, test drive and, yes, the Stig (casting for that crucial role is still pending).

• The premiere episode will feature a race from Las Vegas to San Francisco, ending in a “mammoth stunt.” (NBC isn’t insisting on copycat stunts or episodes, a la Season One of The Office.)

• Carolla is pushing for an on-air drive of the just-unveiled BMW M1 Homage concept as soon as it’s available, as well as the Aston Martin DBS (though that would be a reprisal of a Clarkson drive).

• Clarkson and Carolla recently met face-to-face, but Carolla promises to focus more on improv than the heavily-prepared Clarkson.

• Officials from Top Gear in England, who are producing the show, along with “everyone involved,” have assured Carolla that he will be able to speak his mind on any car “without fear of reprisal” from advertisers, which he fully plans to do.

Read on for more of our Q&A with Adam Carolla (including why the Corvette ZR1 isn’t first on his list for the show and why he’ll at least be better than Tim Allen), then stay tuned for the complete interview on The Popular Mechanics Show podcast (including how the new team will make nice with America after Clarkson and Co. ran for the border last year) and weekly coverage of NBC’s Top Gear right here all season long!


Popular Mechanics Interview: Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3 … Enjoy! 🙂


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