Whether you love Top Gear USA or think it an affront to comedic decency, one thing's certain: the show seems to have helped spawn a new wave of car-themed programming. Adam Carolla's The Car Show has taken to the air as a result of The History Channel's move into fuel-soaked entertainment, and now The BBC is striking back. The Beeb has announced that Richard Hammond will be getting his own show on BBC America soon. Called Hard Drive with Richard Hammond, the program uses a similar format as the UK's World's Toughest Driving Tests.

Hammond will travel around the United States, driving and competing in some of the toughest vehicles our country has to offer. We're sure he'll meet some genuine characters along the way as well.

Hammond isn't the only Top Gear presenter being awarded an American show. James May will also take to BBC America with James May's Man Lab U.S. based on the UK version of his program. Hit the jump for the full press release.
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BBC AMERICA ANNOUNCES TWO ORIGINAL UNSCRIPTED SERIES AND ITS FIRST DEVELOPMENT SLATE

- Channels biggest stars to make U.S. series –

New York – BBC AMERICA'S General Manager, Perry Simon, today green lit two original series – Would You Rather with Graham Norton (wt) and Hard Drive with Richard Hammond (wt) – and announced an initial slate of unscripted development, kicking off the channel's first major steps into original U.S. production.

The move comes on the back of BBC AMERICA's highest rated quarter ever. In second quarter 2011, the channel beat all previous records and was up 30 in total day*.

Building on the popularity of the channel's core unscripted program brands – such as Top Gear, Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and The Graham Norton Show – the slate aims to expand on the talent and subject-matter BBC AMERICA viewers are responding to.

Simon commented: "Top Gear, Gordon Ramsay and Graham Norton continue to deliver ratings and strong ad revenue. It makes sense to offer our viewers even more of what they love about the channel by developing compatible original programs featuring some of our biggest stars. But this is just the start. Our development team, Richard De Croce, Rachel Smith and Erin Jontow, is already working on the next raft of titles including BBC AMERICA's first original scripted series."

Simon's first original series pick-up on the unscripted side features host and comedian Graham Norton, who has entertained BBC AMERICA audiences for many years with his trademark irreverence and ballsy style of interviewing. Norton's new show is Would You Rather with Graham Norton (wt) (13 x 30), an all new original comedy game show that tests the wits of the best U.S. comics. Shot in New York, it's produced by So Television and executive produced by Graham Norton, Graham Stuart and Jim Biederman. It will premiere later this year as part of BBC AMERICA's recently launched comedy franchise, The Ministry of Laughs.

Top Gear has consistently rated as one of BBC AMERICA's most successful shows. Now Top Gear host Richard Hammond will star in a brand new original series called Hard Drive with Richard Hammond (wt) (6 x 60). Produced by BBC Worldwide Productions and based on the BBC format, World's Toughest Driving Tests, it features Hammond traveling the U.S. and competing with local experts driving some of America's toughest and most extraordinary vehicles. The executive producers for BBC Worldwide Productions are Rob Fox, Elli Hakami and Jane Tranter.

In development, BBC AMERICA has a pilot with another Top Gear presenter, James May. James May's Man Lab U.S. is produced by Plum Pictures and based on May's successful British format of the same name. In the U.S. version, James comes to America and teams up with an American sidekick in order to help his transatlantic brethren rediscover and relearn the skills that define what "being a man" is all about. Executive Producers for Plum Pictures are Will Daws and Stuart Cabb.

AUTO Biography (wt), produced by Reveille, takes a ride down memory lane to track down the lost history of an exceptional vintage car. It's Who Do You Think You Are? for cars as the host traces a vehicle's family tree and meets the previous owners along the way while the vehicle is simultaneously restored and refurbished by our resident garage. The restored car will be reunited with one unsuspecting previous owner. The executive producer for Reveille is Heather Schuster and co-executive producer is Matt O'Brien.

Battlemodo, produced by True Entertainment in association with Gawker Media and its tech site Gizmodo.com is a field-based, hosted hour that takes Gizmodo's recommendation and testing techniques into the real world with epic battles between two cutting edge products that reveal once and for all which is best. Executive producers are Glenda Hersh and Steven Weinstock from True Entertainment and Gaby Darbyshire from Gawker Media.

On the competitive food front, BBC AMERICA follows up on the success of its Gordon Ramsay programming with No Kitchen Required. This single episode format drops four chefs into some of the world's most remote locations and challenges them to create a meal for the local community, putting their own unique spin on native ingredients. Produced by Notional, it features award-winning New York chef Michael Psilakis, who also serves as producer. The on-screen talent includes chefs Madison Cowan, Kayne Raymond and Dominque Crenn. Executive producers for Notional are Chachi Senior, Dave Noll and Cleve Keller.

The channel has also ordered a one hour special/back door pilot of Shock Therapy, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions and adapted from the BBC UK format, Fat & Fatter. The special aims to help addicted young people by pairing them with an extreme version of themselves in order to "shock" them to change their lives and habits for the better. Izzie Pick Ashcroft and Jane Tranter are executive producers.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      sirjaysmith
      • 3 Years Ago
      ha, so it took Top Gear USA to make the networks realize Americans actually LIKE cars? Gee, where have they been the last several decades?
        krische
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sirjaysmith
        "Well there's NASCAR, isn't that enough?" - The networks.
          You guy
          • 3 Years Ago
          @krische
          Kudos for that. NASCAR is, and always will be for "special" drivers.
      ICantDrive88
      • 3 Years Ago
      Say what you will about Hammond, but he's by far the most "Americanized" of the trio. He's probably in a tie for my favorite of them (personally I like May and Hammond more than Clarkson). He's looks more like the British guy that fronts a primary American band (Monkees) than the rest, stays very stylish and makes the impression that he's really more of an American personality (he owns a Shelby Mustang GT350). I say after the Top Gear show is finally off the air, I put money on him moving to the US and having a show here permanently. The other two I doubt they would move, although you never know with May...
        Jarrod Barger
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ICantDrive88
        James May is very charismatic (in the same way Stephen Fry is) and his intelligence is quite appealing and approachable as a writer and presenter. So, I think he would do equally well with his "Britishness" since he's very non-threatening and approachable. Clarkson has been playing the same tired bit for YEARS, and his only talent is that of being a complete ass for the shock factor. He's a mechanical idiot, says half of what he says just for "the lulz", and expects the press to hang on his every word. Hammond can hack it as a competitive driver if he wanted to. May is a respected author and journalist with quite the education. Clarkson is simply the Howard Stern wannabe of the auto world, without any automotive or mechanical ability.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      I knew this was going to happen. I knew that once Top Gear US got more than a decent viewing audience that there would be a million copy-cat car shows cropping up all over the place to steal viewers away and eventually overexpose the genre. I never expected though that one of those shows would include The Hamster. As long as its in a completely different format than TG:UK, I think it might be interested to watch, I just have a tough time believing that he can carry a whole show all by himself if there aren't a lot of other things going on.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        [blocked]
          Hazdaz
          • 3 Years Ago
          So please, do tell... what network TV do I watch, Nostradumbass???
      peakarach1
      • 3 Years Ago
      More choice for all of us and that's a good thing. I have a car show for American audience is being call 3 guy and a cars. The Host going to be Tim Allen and Patrick Dempsey and Scot Pruett. Both Patrick and Scot do most of the real driving in the track or across america while Tim Allen not only being a host but he also have to travel around the world and get interview with all major car companies around the world.
      fivespeeed
      • 3 Years Ago
      I trust Hammond's take on cars because, at 4'3", he fits in EVERYTHING. But seriously, he gives great credit to the American cars, trucks and muscle cars when it's due. It's easy to flaunt Jags and Bavarian ubercars and call yourself an expert. He understands why Americans want 6 liters and rear-wheel drive. I'm sure there's plenty of 'colonists' who are looking forward to this show. I know I am.
      TOGO
      • 3 Years Ago
      Welcome Hamster, I look forward to you show but will miss the chemistry between you, May and Clarkson.
      Julie Gould
      • 3 Years Ago
      I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, BidsOut. com
      petrolsaveslives
      • 3 Years Ago
      The reason for all the imported euro-stars? the EU is slowly turning into a social state where it will be next to impossible for a car show to make a profit due to the increasingly strict taxes on fuel, use of fuel and filming permits...the U.S. is becoming, ironically, the last frontier of free driving...this, coupled with the fact that the rest of america is FINALLY developing a good taste in well made motoring shows: perfect opportunity to make $
        Pdexter
        • 3 Years Ago
        @petrolsaveslives
        ...what?
          petrolsaveslives
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Pdexter
          apologies, didnt mean to bring over-your head politics into a conversation about a car show...but to break it down for those that dont understand : the EU is losing alot of its freedoms because the economies are plummeting like flies and the people have no choice but to allow the government to take more control to save everyones asses....when the government gets more control, they enact stricter regulations on everything from gas tax to congestion charges...more regulations make it much costlier to film tv shows, especially ones that involve blowing things up and driving cars that get 8 miles to the gallon.....solution- come to america to make tv shows where we still have (relatively) less road restrictions....
      Kristina Love
      • 3 Years Ago
      I paid $32.68 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, http://BidsNew.com
      Paul M
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why on earth would Autoblog even suggest "Top Gear" is an affront to comedic decency? Have you ever actualy WATCHED the show?!? Television simply doesn't get any better than the original "Top Gear." Period. Ok, yes, that's all an opinion. But if you've watched it, you know I'm right!
        WhoDat?
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul M
        Paul M..."or think it an affront to comedic decency" is implying that the American version is less than funny, the BBC version is far superior and FUNNY. Maybe that is the reason we see the new shows....because they think they can do better. Can't say I've found any redeeming value in Top Gear USA.
        Rich
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Paul M
        The american version is terrible, not the orig.
      rmkensington
      • 3 Years Ago
      My least favorite of the 3. His dialouge always seemed much more forced that clarkson and may.
      designermart
      • 3 Years Ago
      All three of them should f...k off and they should either make Top Gear a car programme or they should get some entertainers in that are funny to make this show enjoyable rather than cringey.
        Rich
        • 3 Years Ago
        @designermart
        You mad bro? Plenty of people love teh show hence the new opportunities. If you don't like it...GASP..... don't watch it. I love top gear and watching Clarkson go around hammerhead in a f1 car is epic.
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