The first season of Top Gear USA was a little rough, and the statistical proof of this came in the form of lukewarm ratings. But instead of dumping the show in favor of more Pawn Stars re-runs, The History Channel decided to give the auto-focused program another chance at success. Good thing, too, as the second season of Top Gear USA was more refined, more entertaining and, we're guessing, it brought in more ad dollars. That's because the show's ratings jumped by 30 percent, with the much-sought 25-54 demographic jumping by 35 percent.
Thanks to those 1.9 million average viewers, History decided to extend season two by eight more episodes. Hosts Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust, Rutledge Wood and the crew are already in production, and History tells us the new episodes will feature "more exciting challenges, crazy antics and legendary vehicles."
The extended season will include Adam and Rutledge coming up with dangerous ways to charge an electric vehicle while driving and Tanner heading to England to drive the Noble M600. The show hosts will even whip up some homemade limos out of some funky rides, and use the stretch monstrosities to chauffeur celebrities to the Emmy Awards.
Like we said, the first season was pretty average (and sometimes unwatchable), but the second run of shows were far more entertaining. We're thinking that a larger audience can only lead to more investment in the show, which should be a good thing. Hit the jump to read The History Channel press release.
HISTORY® TO EXTEND TOP GEAR SEASON
WITH SEASON 2 OF TOP GEAR UP 24% IN ADULTS 18-49, 35% IN ADULTS 25-54 AND 30% IN TOTAL VIEWERS VS SEASON 1, NETWORK ORDERS ADDITIONAL EPISODES
BBC Worldwide Productions Currently Shooting New Episodes for 2012
NEW YORK, September 28, 2011 – HISTORY® continues its phenomenal ratings success as the network finished season 2 of TOP GEAR, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions, with an overall season average of 1.9 million viewers, and 1.1 million in both the Adults 18-49 and 25-54 demos. TOP GEAR season 2 saw an increase vs. Season 1 of 24% in the A18-49 demo, and continues to draw HISTORY's youngest audience ever.
As a result of the success, the network plans to extend the season with eight new episodes and is already in production, set to premiere in early 2012.
The U.S. version of TOP GEAR showcases an offbeat celebration of automobiles and driving, and is hosted by comedian and car buff Adam Ferrara, champion rally and drift racer Tanner Foust and racing analyst Rutledge Wood.
New episodes feature even more exciting challenges, crazy antics and legendary vehicles. Highlights include the hosts attempting to chauffer celebrities to the 2011 Emmy® Awards in homemade stretch limousines welded out of bizarre vehicles; Adam and Rutledge finding a novel, if dangerous way to recharge electric vehicles while driving; Tanner becoming test driver as he travels to England to find out just how fast the fastest boutique car on the market - the half-million dollar Noble M600 - actually goes; the trio taking on America's most dangerous cars; and more of the viewers' favorite journeys through America's landscape.
TOP GEAR is a produced by BBC Worldwide Productions and is a co-production between HISTORY and BBC Worldwide. John Hesling is Executive Producer. Executive producer for HISTORY is Russ McCarroll.
About Top Gear
Top Gear, which premiered in the UK in 1977, is consistently BBC TWO's most-watched program in the UK. Top Gear also reaches over 150 million households globally and made its stateside debut on BBC America in 2007. One of the BBC's premiere brands, Top Gear, the magazine, is the leading car publication in the UK, and the global road tour, Top Gear Live, continues to be a global success.
About BBC Worldwide Productions:
BBC Worldwide Productions is based in Los Angeles and develops and produces scripted and non-scripted projects for U.S. cable and broadcast networks, as well as digital platforms. Led by Jane Tranter, the production company is responsible for the smash hit Dancing with the Stars (ABC), Top Gear (HISTORY), What Not to Wear (TLC) and Torchwood: Miracle Day (Starz). BBC Worldwide Productions is one of seven core businesses within BBC Worldwide, the main commercial arm and wholly-owned subsidiary of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
HISTORY® and HISTORY HD® are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network's program offerings are hit series such as American Pickers, Ax Men, Brad Meltzer's Decoded, Ice Road Truckers, Top Gear, Pawn Stars and Top Shot, as well as acclaimed specials including America the Story of Us, WWII in HD, 102 Minutes That Changed America, The President's Book of Secrets and Life After People. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy® Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History® campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network's signature initiative connecting America's schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY website, located at www.history.com, is the leading online resource for all things history, featuring over 20,000 videos, images, audio clips, articles and interactive features that allow visitors to dig deeper into a broad range of thousands of historical topics. For more information go to www.historypressroom.com.