Chris Evans quits; Top Gear USA cancelled
After just one season, Chris Evans has announced that he is leaving as host of Top Gear. The rebooted motoring TV show’s ratings dropped to 1.9 million viewers for the season finale – featuring actor and race car driver Patrick Dempsey – which is the worst ever rating in the history of the series. Evans is breaking a three-year contract with the BBC, but he said, “Gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough.”
The ratings might be just one of the reasons that Evans is leaving prematurely. Prior to his announcement, there has been rumours that co-host Matt LeBlanc was threatening to quit. According to reports being carried by a number of media organisations, LeBlanc had let it be known that he was ready to quit the show if Evans wasn’t removed first, as relations between the two had become decidedly sour.
LeBlanc wouldn’t have been the first to go. Lisa Clark, the show’s executive producer, had already taken the walk after she claimed that Evans was “tyrannical” and was allegedly heard telling people that he (Evans) could “trample over everyone”.
Evans has, however, come out in support of LeBlanc taking over the helm of the foundering Top Gear ship. So all these could just be the British press running a little wild with their pet Top Gear rumours. On the other hand, if we despised someone, we might want him to be the captain that goes down with the ship…
In a separate and seemingly unrelated incident which has further dented the once undentable reputation of Top Gear, the History Channel has pulled the plug on the show’s US of A version where it had enjoyed a five-year stay.
An Instagram posting by Rutledge Wood, one of the presenters of the American version, showed the three presenters sitting on a couch with a message saying that they had just shot the finale’s episode. The caption to the photo (see below) did leave a glimmer of hope that the show would continue, albeit with a different station or even via a streaming service, much in the same way that UK Top Gear’s former hosts – Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond – are now to be viewed via Amazon.
Wood and co-hosts, Adam Ferrara and Tanner Foust, claim that they will be sticking together despite the trio not really having been able to create the same sort of chemistry that was created over the pond in the UK. The owners of the show, BBC Worldwide Productions, seem to be as optimistic as the presenters, and has given hope that the show will continue, announcing that it is committed to the future of the show and the brand, and has begun to explore new possibilities for the series in the US of A.