So we’ve found out that the UK viewers are already abandoning the new Chris Evans lead Top Gear in droves. The other day we reported a 1.6 million viewer drop off from the awkward and shouty first episode and also a decline in viewers for the premiere when compared to the last episode of the Clarkson lead iteratoin. We now have the US ratings from BBC America for the first episode and they are equally as abysmal.
According to The Guardian, BBC America ratings for the premiere of new top gear were much of the same story from across the pond. The May 30th US premiere drew 338,000 viewers while the premiere of series 22 with Clarkson, Hammond, and May pulled in 530,000 viewers. The fallout continues.
Here’s the full story.
The BBC’s new-look Top Gear starring Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc suffered more ratings woe when its launch on US television lost a third of its audience.
BBC America’s show drew 388,000 viewers when it aired on 30 May, compared with 530,000 viewers for the opening episode of the last series, when it was fronted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.
The figures, revealed on Tuesday, come a day after the second episode of the new series in the UK saw its overnight audience fall by a third to below 3 million.
And the excuses are already starting to pile up as well.
BBC America, which released the ratings, said Top Gear’s opening show faced tough competition from two high-profile sports events – the finals of the NBA Western Conference and ice hockey’s Stanley Cup – as well as the drama mini-series Roots.
A spokeswoman said: “Premiere night was an incredibly competitive evening in the US with programmes that attracted a heavily male-skewing audience, which overlaps greatly with the BBC America audience.”
So here’s the thing about those programs mentioned: they’re not relevant to this audience. Given that the Stanley Cup Finals is, sadly as I’m a big hockey fan, usually among the lowest rated sports finals in the US, the NBA finals are drawing a different age bracket than usual Top Gear viewers, and the miniseries Roots had strong ratings from recordings, the “strong competition” argument doesn’t hold much water here. Yes the demographic was skewed heavily in favor of males, but if you’re a Top Gear fan, you’re going to take the time to watch it. The audience is loyal and losing 142,000 viewers because of those 3 telecasts seems like a massive cop-out and just another way to try to put a bandaid on an already leaky dam.
Once ratings for episode two come out, you can bet we’ll post them here to see if the US viewers had the same reaction as the UK audience. Stay tuned.
(Source: The Guardian)