The rebooted Top Gear show produced less than stellar ratings despite the usually high production value that we have come to expect from the BBC. Series 23 saw the introduction of six, SIX! presenters, doubling the number of bodies from the previous version with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. We weren’t sure what the BBC was thinking when they released the lineup, but this past season, which only consisted of six episodes, has been an expensive lesson of “more is not always better.” Immediately after the last episode, Chris Evans decided to step down as co-presenter and letting Matt LeBlanc captain the Top Gear ship for Series 24, as it begins shooting in September.But not so fast. Matt LeBlanc is also starring in a CBS sitcom “Man With A Plan” which begins airing in Fall 2016. The production schedule of the American sitcom would conflict with Top Gear’s filming schedule to the point where accommodations have to be made and effectively making Top Gear LeBlanc’s second priority. Just recently revealed by Variety, it seems like Top Gear may not be a priority after all, or that the BBC is looking into other means of fixing the show. When he was asked about Top Gear at the Television Critics Association press tour panel:
I’m not sure what’s happening with ‘Top Gear’ just yet, but this (Man With A Plan) is my priority
When asked about whether he would like to return to Top Gear:
I don’t know. I’d like to. There’ nothing officially happening just yet — call the BBC.
The notion that ‘nothing official’ has been happening confirms a previous interview with Rory Reid, another co-presenter on Top Gear and lead presenter of Extra Gear, where he mentioned that he has not signed a contract deal for a follow on season of Top Gear.
Meanwhile, a flurry of rumors have been going around and other people stepping forward wanting to take the lead in Top Gear. There has been speculation of two potential names that could be in the running for a Chris Evans replacement. Additionally, a British rapper, Lethal Bizzle, wanted to host because “you have got to have bants.” while American rapper and entrepreneur, 50 Cent, also feels he deserves the job because “my car collection is as good as anybody’s out there.”
It certainly seems like the new Top Gear is in major flux. This is not a good time considering The Grand Tour is ramping up its hype machine and getting ready for the big premier in Fall 2016. While we’re not sure what the Boys are thinking about the unraveling of their old show, we’ve seen a small glimpse and they’re “very chuffed.”