At the beginning of this year, it appeared car fans could look forward to a glut of automotive shows, but now those shows are dropping like flies. Fifth Gear was recently canceled, the revamped version of Top Gear has been panned by critics and fans of the old show, and now Top Gear USA is going away.
Tuesday night’s episode of Top Gear USA will be its last, host Rutledge Wood announced on Facebook on Sunday. At least, it will be the last episode to air on the History Channel. While the cable channel won’t air the show anymore, Wood implied that there’s a chance Top Gear USA will be picked up by another network or a streaming service.
“I’m not saying Top Gear USA is done, but it’s done for the immediate future on History,” Wood said.
A former NASCAR commentator, Wood hosted the show with comedian Adam Ferrara and race driver Tanner Foust. He said the trio would “stick together” and hopefully do more Top Gear USA, “albeit somewhere else, it appears.” The final History Channel episode will feature the hosts driving classic American cars in Cuba, which at least has the potential to be a neat sendoff. Cuba’s roads are populated by 1950s American cars left over from before the trade embargo imposed against Fidel Castro’s government.
The American version of Top Gear debuted in 2010 and is in its sixth season. The show at first attempted to closely imitate its British progenitor, relying heavily on its own version of “tame racing driver” The Stig and stunts from the U.K. show. In later seasons, Top Gear USA gained a more distinct identity, although it was never held in as high regard as the original British Top Gear.
The demise of Top Gear USA means there is only one major car show standing for now, and the Chris Evans-led version of Top Gear is looking a bit wobbly. Ratings dropped to an all-time low of 2.3 million viewers last week. They reached 2.7 million this week, but that’s still far below the season premiere’s 4.4 million viewers. The Grand Tour, the car show created by former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May for Amazon, had better be good.
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