• Jul 25, 2008
What would Top Gear be without a star in a reasonably priced car? Well... better, for one thing. But that hasn't stopped NBC from porting over the red-headed step-child of Top Gear segments to the imported version of the show. According to Jalopnik, during tomorrow's taping, B-listers C-listers D-listers Howie Mandel and Melanie B (former Spice Girl) will be piloting the U.S.'s own version of a reasonably-priced car – a Kia Rio – around the newly minted Top Gear test track. What can we expect? Nothing good, we thinks. Nor does it bode well that both pseudo-celebs are part of the NBC franchise. Depressed? We thought so. But the taping is tomorrow, so we'll try to remain upbeat until the first reports from inside the studio surface.

[Source: Jalopnik]


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  • 56 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's my favorite segment
      • 6 Years Ago
      Couldn't use a Mazda 3?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Too nice of a car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      why not jay leno as a guest on the first show...saying that he's under nbc as well and his car history is obvious...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Jay Leno didn't want any part of being on it to host, so I am sure he sees the writing on the wall and won't be a guest either.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Let's remember that this isn't necessarily the 'first show'. It's a pilot - more than likely, a 'proof-of-concept' pilot. In instances like this, it's not unusual for the production company (in this case, NBC) to use actors and personalities currently under contract for other projects to fill a 'guest' role - in this case, the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment. NBC/BBC Worldwide isn't going to pull the trigger on a 'real' guest for the sake of a pilot episode that might never make it to air. If this one doesn't go well, they might end up shooting three or four more until they get it right (or NBC pulls the plug).
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've always loved that segment, I had no idea it was so hated.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow, this is disappointing. To succeed, the first shows should representing their best effort, setting a high standard and creating enthusiast-coddling buzz. And, uh, this is it. I sure hope not.

      The product placement, while inevitable, is a sad commentary on America and a true wet-blanket on the hope that the hosts would be free to speak their mind.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Last Gen Toyota Tercel. Because it either that, or a Deathtrap Dodge Aeries K-Car as your first RPC.
        • 6 Years Ago
        This is the pilot. Theoretically, no one will ever see it. Yes, we know that that's not how it works, but they really shouldn't be trying to impress anyone except for network execs... and what kind of real celebrity would appear on a pilot? Game show pilots, for example, often use the execs themselves as the contestants, so at least they got some a little better than that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dude... what kind of car should it have been to AVOID "product placement".... a home-made chassis with no body?

        Had to come from somewhere... idiot.
      • 6 Years Ago
      could be micheal jackson and val kilmer, it doesnt really matter, since i'm not gonna watch that part anyways.
      What the should have done it turned it into "star in a sporty car" and put them in a z06 or something...to really test their driving ability. THEN, i might actually watch the segment.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They get Hugh Grant and michael Gambon...we get a washed up spice girl and one of Eddie Murphy's exes. You decide which is which.
        • 6 Years Ago
        they also got well spoken man.

        a celebrity so obscure that the hosts didn't even recognize him.

        you can't compare Top Gears A-Listers from several seasons on TV with Top Gear USA's first attempt!

        Assuming the show doesnt suck and sticks around for a few seasons, i'm sure they'll be able to pull in bigger names.
      • 6 Years Ago
      You guys who don't like the segment just don't get the humor of it.

      It's all about combining the D-list celebrity, the unappealing car, and hopefully some bad driving to laugh at. Occasionally you get a surprise when someone like Ellen MacArthur shows up and drives like a pro.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Or when someone loses a wheel, or gets off the track, or spins, or drives through the last corner on two wheels...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is Howie Mandel even getting into the car? As he's hates germs and contact, it's surprising that he'll be getting into a car that's been handled by someone else.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Worth a mention. You know how many people don't know what Top Gear is? Now, show them lots of awesome cars and different situations and I think they will tune in. Then again, Brooke Hogan got her own show, so who knows what the hell people are thinking?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Dumb question. When is Top Gear USA aired or has the first episode even aired yet?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I hate to tell you people but Deal or no deal is a pretty big show right now (whether it's any good or not), making Howie Mandell a reasonable star to start with.

      The ex-Spice girl is actually about on par with most of what they do get on the British version. I remember a duo (at least one gay- not that there's anything wrong with that) from the beginning of the '07 season that were not only unknown but also very boring. They also had on some guy from one of their BBC shows (Dr. Who) that I've never heard of except on commercials on BBCA while watching Top Gear. So Howie and the Spice chick seem like a reasonable start.

      Of course they will get more popular celebs if the show becomes a success but I'm sure not many Hollywood stars are in line to do a pilot, so pulling from their current network is plausible for the first season.

      I'm not saying this show will fly here, it probably won't but there sure are a lot of naysayers claiming to be auto enthusiasts bitching about a prime time automotive based show they haven't even seen yet.
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