After years of success around the world, Top Gear was at the center of an ugly ordeal last year when Jeremy Clarkson was fired over a behind-the-scenes scuffle, leading to a brand new set of presenters speeding around for Season 23. But the backstage drama continued, and after weeks of rumored troubles and low ratings, Chris Evans stepped down following the season finale. And it sounds like the BBC is doing the exact opposite of what went down after Clarkson left, as the company will reportedly keep the hosting situation exactly the way it is for Season 24.
At this point, at least, there are no plans in place to add an additional personality to the current line-up, and former Friends star Matt LeBlanc will continue to do what he was doing as the most recognizable presenter on the show. According to Variety, he will once again be joined by Chris Harris, Eddie Jordan, Rory Reid and Sabine Schmitz, all of whom were also added for Season 23. LeBlanc's contract was originally for a single season, with the option to add on a second, while Evans' was for a three-year hosting deal, so it's kinda crazy how that all turned out.
Matt LeBlanc was the person rumored to be the most likely to leave, given his apparent squabbles with Chris Evans when the cameras weren't rolling. He reportedly threatened to quit if Evans remained a part of the show, and that outcome very well might have happened if Evans wasn't facing even more problems involving a sexual misconduct accusations thrown his way by former co-workers. That situation is being handled by the proper authorities now, so here's hoping justice prevails.
One has to wonder if the BBC is thinking about the fact that Top Gear experienced series-low ratings for the finale, which also had Matt LeBlanc and everyone else in it. Were people just avoiding watching specifically because of Chris Evans, meaning more of LeBlanc & Co. will definitely lead to a bigger viewership? Not that I have any suggestions for what celebrity add-on would equal instant ratings boosts, at least barring major entertainers like Daniel Radcliffe or Ricky Gervais or something. I'm just skeptical that leaving Evans' spot open won't do enough to get the audience back.
You might recall that Matt LeBlanc will be back on U.S. televisions in a scripted sense this fall, and not for Showtime's Episodes, which will return for its final season in 2017. LeBlanc will star in the CBS sitcom Man with a Plan, and both studios are working together to keep the actor's schedule set up so that he won't have any problems filming both projects.
Luckily, there's still time to figure this out, as Top Gear probably has a short while before production on Season 24 comes together.