What TGUS Presenter to Drop?

What TGUS Presenter to Drop?


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racingfan1

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Which brings me back to my original plea. Top Gear has been very successful for BBC World. Their accountants have recognised this and sold the name on to a number of franchisees without really applying any quality control (Top Gear Australia being the oldest and best example of this).

So why did it take so long to get into the biggest television market in the world? And then stick it on a relatively un-watched channel?

They are playing us for suckers and if you don't think this is all just a cynical money grab, answer me this. Why did BBC World sell the rights to Top Gear on to (big bucks commercial) channel 9 in Australia .. after (non-commercial publicly funded) SBS had done all the hard work and brought Top Gear to the publics attention?

Again, TGUS was stuck on a channel which its previous biggest draw was one Ronald Lee Ermey.

These foreign franchises could be OK TV. But I believe they will only achieve watch-ability when they loose the name Top Gear, stop trying to be Top Gear, and evolve a style and format that is comfortable to the presenters, writers, producers etc rather than follow a unique recipe they can never satisfactorily replicate.

I'm not sure about TGA, but TGUS is produced by Andy Wilman. I hear he's done something of similar fashion before.
 

shellygrrl

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Thanks for letting me keep my opinion .. but what about freedom of speech? :dunno:

You're telling me and others, particularly those of us who live in the States and watched TG US, we should feel ripped off when we don't feel ripped off, and neither do a good chunk of the posters in this section, especially when you consider some of them ultimately found the first season of TG US better than the last few episodes of the UK version! I don't appreciate that; I find it patronizing.

Sure, I suppose after answering these questions you can still say they are just regionalising it, but as an Australian, I can tell you that Top Gear Australia is no more relevant to me than Top Gear is and I am supported by my countrymen in the ratings the show has received. It speaks to me with no more regional resonance than a Coca-Cola commercial.

Fine; you don't like it. That's your perogative. But that doesn't automatically mean TG US sucks as well.

Which brings me back to my original plea. Top Gear has been very successful for BBC World. Their accountants have recognised this and sold the name on to a number of franchisees without really applying any quality control (Top Gear Australia being the oldest and best example of this).

I'm echoing racingfan1's question here: Why the hell did it take so long for the US -- the largest television market in the world! -- to get its own version? The earliest talk of a US version of TG was around 2008 (I think?); a year later, a pilot was filmed for NBC (one of our "Big Three"). It never came together, largely because their remake of Knight Rider failed (NBC's rationale was if KR didn't work, who would want to see a programme that's all about cars?). A year after that, the History Channel picked up the rights to the US version. The fucking History Channel! A basic cable channel over here, and the last place on earth one would expect to find a car programme, and one with very low viewing figures.

And in regards to the original, even though Discovery aired early episodes of TG UK in 2005, it wasn't until three years later, after BBC America (a network with, I believe, far less viewership than Discovery does) picked it up, six years after current TG premiered, that it saw a rise in popularity over here. And even though BBCA has aired the original recipe ever since, and even with a feature on 60 Minutes in the can, there are still LOADS of people that have no clue what TG even is. It only seems like there's a large US following because of the internets.

They are playing us for suckers and if you don't think this is all just a cynical money grab, answer me this. Why did BBC World sell the rights to Top Gear on to (big bucks commercial) channel 9 in Australia .. after (non-commercial publicly funded) SBS had done all the hard work and brought Top Gear to the publics attention?

Again, History Channel doesn't have high viewing figures over here, and TG was originally intended for NBC, who passed.

These foreign franchises could be OK TV. But I believe they will only achieve watch-ability when they lose the name Top Gear, stop trying to be Top Gear, and evolve a style and format that is comfortable to the presenters, writers, producers etc rather than follow a unique recipe they can never satisfactorily replicate.

I can't answer to TG Russia. But I'm damn sure both TG Australia and TG US have input from the UK crew. For example, Wilman was here when the NBC pilot was filmed; then Richard Porter acted as a consultant when US S1 was being filmed for History. Both versions have the blessing of the UK presenters (yes, all of them, despite how you may interpret James's now-somewhat-infamous Telegraph column).

None of these regional versions are trying to take away from the original. Nor will they, ultimately. They're supplements to the original, made explicitly for the audience within these countries (whether it catered to you personally is, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant; I'm talking in-general here).
 

Initial_B

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^^you go gurl!
 

GerFix

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I'm echoing racingfan1's question here: Why the hell did it take so long for the US -- the largest television market in the world! -- to get its own version?

You already answered your own question. It took so long because they were chasing a big network for big bucks.

I can't answer to TG Russia. But I'm damn sure both TG Australia and TG US have input from the UK crew. For example, Wilman was here when the NBC pilot was filmed; then Richard Porter acted as a consultant when US S1 was being filmed for History. Both versions have the blessing of the UK presenters (yes, all of them, despite how you may interpret James's now-somewhat-infamous Telegraph column).

Top Gear Australia did receive "coaching" from Wilman. That doesn't mean he put any effort into the job.

As for the Top Gear trio giving their blessings .... of course they will ... they have a pecuniary interest.

None of these regional versions are trying to take away from the original. Nor will they, ultimately. They're supplements to the original, made explicitly for the audience within these countries (whether it catered to you personally is, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant; I'm talking in-general here).

As I have already said in regard to Top Gear Australia ..... it isn't just me. Ratings for our regionalised version are/were less than half those of Top Gear. If BBC World and Wilman etal really cared about the product, they would have tried to fix it. Instead they just bundled it with their premium product and sold it on to the highest bidder. I don't blame them for trying to make money from it .. but i do blame them for not carrying out warranty work to a satisfactory standard.

Granted, Top Gear US is better than Top Gear Australia .. but it still isn't good enough to watch a second time.
 

rideclutch

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Granted, Top Gear US is better than Top Gear Australia .. but it still isn't good enough to watch a second time.
Interesting point - I'd tend to agree on both counts, as I enjoyed the first series of TGUS, but didn't have the desire to sit through an episode again. Not yet anyway.

As far as I can tell, as much as you dislike the hosts of TGUS/TGAU, your bigger issue lies with BBC World selling out to Nine, and Wilman and co. for not maintaining a certain duty of care for their product (e.g letting TGAU and US tarnish the TopGear badge as such). Interesting argument and while I don't necessarily agree with it, I do understand what you're saying. I think you are being met with resistance not because what you are saying is wrong, but because this thread is being viewed by those who believe the show is already fine.

It's a bit like Ferrari and their 599 GTO from last weeks ep. Just chucking one of their most famous badges away as a marketing gimmick. Obviously those faithful to Ferrari's glory days would have been horrified. But can you see Porsche fans weeping because of it? What about those who like Ferrari's but had no prior knowledge of the GTO meaning? Are they going to suddenly boycott the prancing horse? My point is that if you don't care, the details and behind the scenes happenings don't really matter.

That was a bad comparison, but in the same way although your argument is technically sound and reasonably factual, people are simply not bothered about the details. That's why people keep watching TGUS/AU and not hating anymore. I'm not accusing shelleygrrl of being unpassionate :blush: but some people have moved on from their skepticism and now embrace the new shows for what they are, not what they should be. I'm not asking you to do that, just saying, Don't go all Morris Marina Owners Club on us now... :p.

TL;DR - Good argument, wrong audience.
 

The Spie

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As for the Top Gear trio giving their blessings .... of course they will ... they have a pecuniary interest.

That's a good point, Ger, but I don't think it alone would stop them from going nuclear. The ancillary versions are the properties of BBC Worldwide, the profit-making arm of the BBC, not a privately-held production company. Wilman and Clarkson may get a royalty cut depending on what their contracts say (and given the evidence, they have a major piece of the pie in re the Stig, which is their creation), but May and Hammond don't have a piece of the direct action. All of them have contracts with the parent organization as performers. If they said anything bad about the ancillaries, would Worldwide complain to the parent organization and request discipline? If so, would they be disciplined? The parent corporation would risk James' mini-series and the highly-rated Total Wipeout in the process. I don't see that happening. There's also the fact that each of the boys have other income streams in addition to Top Gear, and Jeremy makes US$1M from his non-TG ventures. The calculus here is pretty simple: they can say what they want about TGUS and TGAUS and get away with it, which makes their sentiments genuine.

The only charge that can be put against the boys if they criticized the ancillaries is breach of fiduciary interest as highly-visible employees of another branch of the parent corporation. Imagine a spokes-Bruce for Holden coming out and criticizing Vauxhall.
 

tromoly

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Rutledge is awesome, if you ever have the chance to talk to him in person you'll almost instantly be comfortable talking to him, Southern Hospitality at its finest right there.

Top Gear America is doing good, you can start to see the styles each presenter has in their car choice just like UK crew does, IMO none of them need to be sacked.
 

shellygrrl

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The ancillary versions are the properties of BBC Worldwide, the profit-making arm of the BBC, not a privately-held production company. Wilman and Clarkson may get a royalty cut depending on what their contracts say (and given the evidence, they have a major piece of the pie in re the Stig, which is their creation), but May and Hammond don't have a piece of the direct action. All of them have contracts with the parent organization as performers. If they said anything bad about the ancillaries, would Worldwide complain to the parent organization and request discipline? If so, would they be disciplined? The parent corporation would risk James' mini-series and the highly-rated Total Wipeout in the process.

Not to mention Blast Lab (CBBC) and maybe Engineering Connections as well (though it's a co-prod with NatGeo...hrm...).

rideclutch said:
I think you are being met with resistance not because what you are saying is wrong, but because this thread is being viewed by those who believe the show is already fine.

Exactly.

I'm passionate about TG US because I want it to succeed. Otherwise, it'll be back to just Motorweek in terms of car programmes made specifically for a US audience... zzzzz....
 

Strata-R

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I can't believe that Adam Ferrara was leading this Poll. I thought for sure Rutledge would have 80% or more of the vote. The guy simply does not deserve to be on Top Gear, period. He is fat, stupid, awkward, and has a weird name. I can't be the only one that heard the guy say he wanted to lick the Ford Raptor pickup.
 

GerFix

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^ Fat, stupid and awkward? And exactly how many people do you personally know who are called "Jeremy"? :lol:
 

FruityLexia

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Oh for fuck's sake.

What does being overweight have to do with anything?

HURR THEY ARE FAT, THEY FAIL AT LIFE.

For fuck's sake, people have more qualities than just being fat.
 

biggie

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Indeed and Rut is only fat when compared to the other 2, he's over 6' tall and is like 240lbs or something. He'd look skinny next to me.
 

shellygrrl

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Oh for fuck's sake.

What does being overweight have to do with anything?

HURR THEY ARE FAT, THEY FAIL AT LIFE.

For fuck's sake, people have more qualities than just being fat.

Thank you! My god... *shakes head*

I am an idiot and can only think of superficial reasons to get rid of Rutledge Wood that have nothing to do with his presenting skills or knowledge of cars -- mainly my aversion to fat people, even though Jeremy Clarkson himself has called himself fat on many occasions, but he can get away with it because he hosts the original version. Oh, and Jeremy can get away with kissing the steering wheel of a Volvo and licking a Ford GT because it was done on the original version.

That's a bit more like it, yeah?
 
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Number 41

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The answer should be "none" -- all 3 presenters bring something different to the table.

Really, the best thing the show could do would be to cook up more scenarios for the three of them to spend time together off air.
 

Viper007Bond

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