• Sep 6, 2009
It's not pretty to watch once-popular shows and their stars drag things on years beyond their relevance. Everything that's hot, hip, and new right now -- the media creations that set tongues wagging -- they're all headed for their respective versions of Vegas Elvis. Even Top Gear, regarded by many to be the best car programming of all time, has a Bedazzled jumpsuit hiding somewhere in the wardrobe trailer.
Presenter Richard Hammond has said that he, James May, and Jeremy Clarkson have discussed how the show should go out. An exit at the top of its game without undue fanfare seems to be the prevailing wisdom; the only trouble will be knowing when that time is without overshooting it.

Rather than have an over-the-top final episode extravaganza, Top Gear will end its run like a regular signoff, at least if Hammond's vision becomes the plan for closure. Instead of a show full of surprises, the biggest surprise of all will be that there are no more shows forthcoming. Ending TG sounds sad, but it would likely not hold the boys back. The success of Top Gear has opened other doors for the presenters and given them status as media personalities that now makes it possible for numerous side gigs. Hammond himself has several irons in the fire in addition to Top Gear, so even if the program goes out at its zenith, we may yet see the Hamster in that jumpsuit, if only for some stunt on one of his other shows.

[Source: Times Online | Image: Gareth Cattermole/Getty]


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  • 62 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Sit down and enjoy what this show is all about: The absolute joy of driving a great car on a great road." -- Clarkson

      I will miss Top Gear dearly when it ends its run in the current format.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As much as it hurts me to say this, Top Gear has become long on the tooth. I still enjoy the show very much, but it seems like too many reviews are exotic cars that goes fast that I can never get to sit in or some of the challenges are now too obviously scripted (keyword here: obviously).

      I would like them to go back and review regular cars on a regular basis and leave the exotic to once in a while review. I love the challenges that they do on foreign countries/continents, like that in Japan, Vietnam, and Africa.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Japan (the GT-R) one was far too scripted for me. It was a joke race. You're talking about a country with huge cities of massive population density and they decide to race to a park on a peninsula that isn't served well by trains.

        The Vietnam one was obviously the most scripted of all, it didn't even have any race to it. But it worked great.

        Africa was very good, although it disgusted me the producers forced Hammond to drive Oliver into the water and stall it. The water was obviously too deep there, he's not dumb enough to try to cross there. He clearly picked a fantastic car for the bit and it was working out great, but they had to make it fail once to level the playing field and make it seem like there's a real up in the air competition.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And now everybody will understand Top Gear is over......
        • 5 Years Ago
        its the 3 who make it wat it is , watching them present alone ain't no good.

        http://www.indianautotalk.com
        • 5 Years Ago
        @zamafir: The 14th season has already been confirmed and airs this Fall starting in November. So there's at least one more series slated to arrive with the current lineup.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah, pretty much. entertainingly, his comments fit in quite perfectly with the last episode.
      • 5 Years Ago
      BBC does decide whether or not the show is continued to be made, unless another network picks it up but I think the producers would probably just end the show in that situation.

      Scrubs might have been a slightly flawed example, but regardless the point stands that networks will keep a show on longer than they should simply to make a buck. That doesn't apply to a not-for-profit network like the BBC.

      Thanks to monopoly regulations, it takes two to tango in this business, a network and a producer, at least in the USA, and either one of them can cancel a show. I am not sure how it works in the UK though.

      My point stands in that the organization with ultimate control doesn't have a for-profit motivation.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I believe the BBC owns the rights to the show, at least within the UK (probably all their shows). So I don't think the producers have the choice of taking it elsewhere in this case.

        In my post I said the producers would still WANT to sell the show even if it's tired, as long as it is making money. I didn't say the BBC would do so. I'm not sure why you decided to argue with this statement.

        For a show this big, which can be sold worldwide for syndication money, it behooves the BBC to keep making it based upon the money it will bring in even if it is tired. One of the BBC's missions is to do as much as they can with the money they are given, and one way to do this is to sell shows like this (or Doctor Who) overseas.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Top Gear has at least one more series as they are currently filming and only a couple of weeks ago they were filming in the sewers of Dublin.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's not over yet. I think it's about money. They had to scale things back last year and I'm sure that the money paid to the boys is in short supply. This may be a ploy to loosen up the wallets of the BBC. I know the show is a big money maker and Jezza, Hampster and the King of slow want their piece of the action. Shows jump the shark when they run out of new ideas and like Stanley said "manufactures are not going to stop producing new cars". This is too good a thing to mess up for everyone. Remember they only produce 12 or 14 shows a season. I think it takes less than 3 months to produce them. Nice to have the multi million $ salary and 9 months off.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's Captain Slow.

        You can run out of ideas even though new cars keep coming out.

        I just watched the 14th season of Fifth Gear and each episode is practically identical, they just change the car and celebrity names. "This week, Jason teaches footballer/cricketer/snooker player INSERT NAME HERE how to drive his own expensive grand tourer!"
        • 5 Years Ago
        My bad. I was reaching for the name. I think you might be right about that. They need to put the dollars back into the show, if they realize that it could live on for a long time.

        May be Jay could fill the void. I know that he's a stand up comedian but even if he was unleashed I don't see him being nearly as entertaining. Not that I don't like Jay.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think a good post-Top Gear venue for Clarkson would be "Jeremy Clarkson with a Hammer". I'd watch that show.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd also even be willing to watch "Richard Hammond Denies He's Had His Teeth Whitened" and "James May Tries To Pick-up Girls."
      • 5 Years Ago
      to be fair american cars are slow, you are fat, and then cant go around right hand corners....or any corners for that matter. just because you are a bitter american doesnt mean that the show sucks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        If american cars can't turn right then explain the Dodge Viper ACR and Corvette ZR1 times at the nurburgring.
        • 5 Years Ago
        to be fair, you're a fool.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The 20.832 km (12.9 mi) Nordschleife since 1983, with 33 left and 40 right turns.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Because the Nordschleife is composed entirely of left turns
      • 5 Years Ago
      So I just started watching the most recent season right now. They ran the FXX on the track.

      But I have a question, can the FXX make it over a speedbump? Because I'm pretty sure it can't. And isn't a car supposed to be able to go over a speedbump in order to appear on this list?

      An Enzo can only clear a speed bump by using a special nose lifting mechanism on it, and I'm pretty sure that mechanism wasn't brought over to the FXX.
        • 5 Years Ago
        or because it wasn't driven by the real Stig lol
        • 5 Years Ago
        The FXX was taken of the board because it had slicks on it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why does he have to talk about this right now? Is it that close to an end? Just end it one season after it peaks, that'll work for me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I find that while TG is still wildly entertaining, the past season or two hasn't been as epic as Season 10 (Africa and America). Whether this is just a normal up and down fluctuation or whether the show has "peaked" remains to be seen... please give me something fresh for Season 14, TG!
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Top Gear goes away, it'll be to pull a Fifth Gear. It's clear the show is very valuable, I doubt the producers are getting as much from the BBC as they think it's worth.

      They can't get more for the show and they can't sell the show overseas themselves (although they seemingly retain the rights to the miserable spinoffs). I wouldn't be surprised to see a startling similar show under a new name, complete with first-run American distribution on the near horizon.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I heard there is already a new show in the works to replace it. And here's a preview video!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMuO-8S_0Wg
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