• Apr 15, 2007

Clarkson's at it again, casting shadows of doubt on the future of Top Gear. The celebrity automotive journalist (perhaps the most well-known, period) claims that while the BBC program ranks among the most watched television shows on the air, and that its audience continues to climb "like an F-15 on combat power," Top Gear is facing serious problems which could jeopardize its future.

The first, according to Jezza, is that following Richard Hammond's miraculous recovery and return to the show, the production schedule got horribly delayed. Clarkson figures that it takes about half a year to produce a season, which puts them severely behind schedule for the next series. Even if the show were to return in October, which he figures is the earliest a new series could air, Clarkson cites disgruntled fans who lamented the lack of content in the hastily-produced and recently-concluded 9th season.

"The series that's just finished was full of us three cocking about, and almost completely devoid of anything you might fairly call a 'road test,'" surmised Clarkson in his recent column. "This has gone down very badly with the people in internet land." (Hey, is he talking about us?)

Clarkson fears that most television viewers don't want to see him and the gang driving Ferraris and Lamborghinis, but just want to be entertained, and that if and when the show does return for a tenth season, it stands the danger of being watered-down. But it's the extraordinary track tests and tire-munching road trips that made the show as popular as it is. Top Gear, it seems, needs to be rescued from its own success.

Cheerio for the tip, Kim.

[Source: Top Gear]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really hope Top Gear doesn't get rid of their road tests. They don't just test super cars which is great, but when they do no one can do it better. Segments like the Bugatti Veyron going flat out, the Z06, the Ford GT, Carrera GT and the trip in the Zonda, F430 and Ford GT to France were some of the best TV ever for me. The cars, the laughs, and the opinions are what Top Gear is about. That's what viewers want.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "No, they're not talking about you Autoblog."

      Exactly, Chris. Clarkston is takling about the fans over at finalgear.com. We rarely talk about Top Gear at Autoblog.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I didn't like the fact that most of the shows last season were revolved around things that weren't cars. They had tractors, road making equipment and even a bloody rocket! What I miss are the road races between the three where they each pick a car and test them against each others. That's what I liked.
      • 7 Years Ago
      No, they're not talking about you Autoblog.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm a total know-it-all gearhead that loves Top Gears way of "testing" cars and thinks that the last season was the best ever.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There is no reason they could not reach a happy medium between general car-related entertainment and actual car testing/reviews.

      They have been doing well for a long time, but I think they just need to cut back a bit on the non-car-related stuff.

      Honestly, it doesn't seem like much of a problem - just a case of reevaluating what they want to do - and I trust the three of them have a good idea what should be done on the show.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's the "cocking about" of those three characters that grabbed the attention of people like myself. After having seen the 8th season, and the wild antics contained within, I bought the entire set of DVD's from the BBC. No easy feat when you're an American living in Japan.

      Seriously, it's the craziness (like the Toybota and convertible minivan) that makes this show great. No doubt the Stig, and the more serious tests, is the foundation that the show is built on, but I, for one, enjoy the loons Clarckson, Hamster, and Captain Slow.
      • 7 Years Ago
      IMO, TG shouldn't change a thing. Screw the serious testing and hard data. TG is probably the only show that consistently surprises me from episode to episode.

      • 7 Years Ago
      I think season 6 was the best, it found the correct balance between hijynx and road tests. I think J.C has to make a decision if the show is going to be about 'test drives and cars' or if its going to be just fun and entertaining mindlessness. personally i hope it goes back a few seasons and gives us the AMAZING reviews and cinematography such as the E39 M5 review.

      dont get me wrong i like to 'what's faster' skits, but i just dont understand what the show in the last two seasons was 'about'....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Some people say that Clarkson is just a tosser. They point at his hair. And they laugh. Look at him, they say, with his rock 70's jeans. He's just a great streak of cack. Can you imagine him racking out to AC/DC or Bachman Turner Overdrive. How would like him rocking you all night long? Bloody hell, no thanks!
      This is what some people say about Clarkson. I just think he's a turnip.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really just like the car based aspects. The seventh season was great but these last to have been diverting from the top gear business model.
      • 7 Years Ago
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