HISTORY(TM) today announced that a U.S. version of Top Gear, the award-winning BBC series will begin production today. The 10-episode series is being made by BBC Worldwide Productions and showcases an offbeat celebration of automobiles and driving. Premiering fall 2010 on HISTORY, the show will be hosted by comedian Adam Ferrara, champion rally and drift racer Tanner Foust and racing analyst Rutledge Wood. The announcement was made today by Nancy Dubuc, President and General Manager, HISTORY.
Featuring super-cars, extreme stunts and challenges, car reviews and celebrity interviews, Top Gear is the home for anyone with a love of cars. The U.S. version will be chock-full of high-adrenaline action entertainment as it tracks the colorful history of the automobile as well as the eccentric adventures of its hosts with Top Gear’s customary wit and humor. The series harkens back to HISTORY’s very first day, and the network’s very first program ever to air, Automobiles: Corvette. Scott Messick serves as Executive Producer. Top Gear is a co-production between HISTORY and BBC Worldwide.
“History of the automobile and the history of America are intimately intertwined – to celebrate one is to celebrate the other,” said Ms. Dubuc. “I am thrilled to bring the U.S. version of this massively popular series to our viewers, working with the incredibly talented team at BBC Worldwide Productions. Top Gear is an intelligent, entertaining show – unique and groundbreaking in its format – a perfect match for us.”
“Top Gear has been one of the BBC’s most successful formats globally and we are delighted to be partnering with HISTORY on a version for the U.S.,” said Jane Tranter, EVP, Programming and Production, BBC Worldwide Productions. “Together we have worked to tailor the format for the American audience, while staying true to the original dynamic that fans across the world have come to love.”
About the cast:
Adam Ferrara is an acclaimed comedian, currently starring on the Emmy-nominated hit FX show, Rescue Me, and recently appeared opposite Kevin James in the theatrical feature, Paul Blart: Mall Cop. A regular comedian on various hit talk shows including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, The View and Rachel Ray, Ferrara has been dubbed hilarious’ by Entertainment Weekly and is a two-time nominee for best male stand-up by the American Comedy Awards. Ferrara’s father introduced him to cars when he was seven years old and quickly recognized his son’s mechanical ability. From that moment on Adam’s job was to hold the light. Adam’s favorite car is a Pagani Zonda F Roadster.
Tanner Foust is in high-demand as a stunt driver, with film credits including The Bourne Ultimatum, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and The Dukes of Hazard. Foust is a winning competitor in rally and drift with multiple champion podium placements in the past few years including the 2007 X Games Rally Gold Medalist and 2007 and 2008 Formula Drift Pro Champion. His varied race experience includes open wheel competition, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb (2002 – 2004), five Ice Racing championships and the 2005 PGT Rally Championship. He also holds class lap records at numerous U.S. road courses in Time Attack. In addition, Foust also hosted “Supercars Exposed” for the SPEED channel. Tanner’s automotive career started early behind the wheel of a ski resort bus, a career which ended abruptly two weeks later when he was fired for drifting the empty 40-foot bus across a snow-covered car park.
Rutledge Wood is a truly car-obsessed and learned from his father, at an early age, the business of buying, restoring and selling new and old vehicles. His love of cars led him to NASCAR, and to starring in NASCAR Smarts on the SPEED Channel, a NASCAR trivia game show with Kyle Petty and John Roberts. He’s also a roving reporter for NASCAR RaceDay Built by the Home Depot, Trackside Live and NASCAR Live. To this day, Wood has owned over 40 cars and trucks ranging from a Volkswagen Rabbit pickup truck to Honda’s, Chevy’s, and even as weird as a 1975 Bricklin SV-1. His favorite is a 1953 Plymouth Suburban that was given to him by the King himself, Richard Petty.
Top Gear, which premiered in the UK in 1977, is consistently BBC TWO’s most-watched program in the UK. Top Gear also reaches over 150 million households globally and made its stateside debut on BBC America in 2007. One of the BBC’s premiere brands, Top Gear, the magazine, is the leading car publication in the UK, and the global road tour, Top Gear Live, proved to be a great success in 2009.
Top Gear has also been the recipient of various awards including National Television Awards, BAFTAs, Broadcast Awards, Royal Television Society Awards and an International Emmy. Celebrity guests have included Helen Mirren, Hugh Grant, Simon Cowell, Ewan McGregor and Gordon Ramsay.
Top Gear is produced by BBC Worldwide Productions for HISTORY and BBC Worldwide. Executive producer for BBC Worldwide is John Hesling (SVP, Programming, BBC Worldwide Productions). Executive producer for HISTORY is Dirk Hoogstra (VP, Programming, HISTORY).