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.

Show full PR text

HISTORY® TO EXTEND TOP GEAR SEASON

WITH SEASON 2 OF TOP GEAR UP 24 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).

About HISTORY:
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.


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  • 67 Comments
      ufm3
      • 3 Years Ago
      I feel like TG USA relies too heavily on the "special feature articles" like the race across Death Valley and the first car competition. I want to see more of the new car/supercar reviews. I understand they have to pander to the masses and get zany every now and again, but trash some more supercars ffs. Tanner's late night Porsche test was okay, and the ZR1 vs 458 was perfect. Second, the over-rehearsed and canned sponteneity will work itself out if they get enough time. Go back (I mean waaaayyyyyyyy back) to old TG UK and you'll see the same sort of super scripted narration. They've had 17 seasons to figure stuff out and learn what works. The original TGs production value is through the roof, the filming and finishing are just epic sometimes. It'll be hard to match but I think TG USA has a chance if the producers focus on making quality car pron and use the "hey what if we..." competitions sparingly.
      CarCrazy24
      • 3 Years Ago
      Went to a filming, and I gotta say Adam Ferrara is a true comedian and a great addition to the show. He single handedly entertained a crowd of people for 30 minutes prior to filming. The other two though...dull and dragging the show down. Overall the show isn't too bad, but it still seems like they're trying too hard to emulate the UK show's magic. UK Top Gear manages to have a much smoother and natural dialogue, probably due in no small part to Clarkson and May. Plus the special effects and photography of the UK show are some of the best of any show on TV.
      Dixon Ticonderoga
      • 3 Years Ago
      TGUSA is the only reason I'm still giving The Car Show a chance. Top Gear's second season turn around was nothing short of miraculous, so I keep holding on that TCS will find its groove if it gets a season two.
      dwinsmith
      • 3 Years Ago
      The first season of Top Gear UK sucked just as much as this IMO and I'm glad they're keeping it around awhile because it gets better with every episode.
        creamwobbly
        • 3 Years Ago
        @dwinsmith
        You're talking about Top Gear UK following Jezza's return, right? With Jason Dawe instead of James May? Top Gear existed long before *that* even, and when it was cancelled, the hosts went to 5th Gear. Back then it had no challenges -- it was all reviews, driving advice, and motoring news. Completely factual.
      The Angry Intern
      • 3 Years Ago
      It truly is a lot better show in the 2nd season. I watched a couple of the very first episodes and it was just brutal how bad it was. It seemed they were trying too hard to be an exact copy of the UK version, right down to the vocal mannerisms during the voice-overs. For the 2nd season they seem to have told the cast to relax and be themselves and the few episodes I've managed to catch have been pretty entertaining. The $500 car driven 500 miles was a lot of fun, in particular.
      Ryan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Best change in the second season? Not using The Allman Brothers song Jessica. Hearing that song and then not seeing TG UK just set me up for disappointment. Long live TG America!
      WildCatMan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have watched every episode from the start and felt the first year was an exact duplication the the UK original. I assume it may be due to licensing agreement or the adage; "if ain't broke don't fix it". But when the second season rolled out, I have to say the show got a lot better and while they still revert to some of the original format pieces, I feel the show is starting to get legs. The guys who were thrust upon us with over the top personalities have grown as a team and they look and feel like real friends while brining their own spin on the automobile. I like their take on not offering the "magazine" type 20 minute pieces with an epilogue at the end. Each week has offered a variety of packaging from 5 segments to 1 segment that I find somewhat refreshing. Bottom line, I think the show will go on for a long time as long as History Channel allows for the show to find it's soul and audience. The one thing I do have to say, they will never be "The Car Show" and thank god for that!
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @WildCatMan
        The truck challenge in Alaska was not a copy of a UK challenge and it was the best part of the first season by far.
          Elmo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Uh the truck challenge was a definite copy of a Top Gear UK challenge. Go watch the Bolivia challenge.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Sorry, those don't feel the same to me at all. They didn't use pickups for starters. The challenges given were completely different. They don't put campers on (they're not pickups). And the US one doesn't have the gaffed ending where they wreck one of the vehicles in purpose nor does it have any altitude challenges (despite some high peaks in Alaska). Is it partially inspired? Maybe. The whole show is at least "partially inspired". But it's not a copy.
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @WildCatMan
        The Car Show needs a lot of work still.
      thealzabo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Glad to hear it. The second season has been so much better. The $500 challenge was hilarious, and the CTS-V performance test was eye-popping and also a little funny at the same time.
      T0pgear
      • 3 Years Ago
      They do a lot less of the studio scenes in the USA (Season 2). I mean, the audience is def smaller (and more male), they don't do 'the news', and they don't have audience feedback audio during the lap. There are still more things they can do to make it smoother. Otherwise im glad, cuz there is nothing else on Sunday nights!
      antony Ruiz
      • 2 Years Ago
      yooo idc wat any1 say' top gear usa is the ****! nd these guys are funny as hell'' better then the guys in U.K" plus my boy Tanner Foust is here!! so keep doing more episodes :)
      NhvK
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'll stick to TGUK, on BBC America tbh
      mikelee
      • 3 Years Ago
      The show sucks(!). History Channel is stuck with it and trying to make it work (good luck with that...) and it WOULD if they'd find hosts with personalities that aren't banal(!). I'll stick with the original, the English one. It's still THE BEST.
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