The BBC's new version of Top Gear got off to a bit of a shaky start earlier this year when the show first hit the schedule. Ratings were a little bit off the mark, and the show had to deal with the criticism of its format and Chris Evans, prompting Evans to even decide he wouldn't return to the series. However, people seemed to really resonate with Matt LeBlanc and there's good news on the LeBlanc front moving forward. We recently learned Matt LeBlanc will be sticking with Top Gear for some time.
News this week indicates that Matt LeBlanc has signed a deal for not one but two more series of Top Gear, so expect to see the show on the air for at least a little while. Chris Harris and Rory Reid will also be back in a regular capacity when the show returns in 2017. In addition, the BBC says we'll be getting regular appearances from Eddie Jordan, Sabine Schmitz and The Stig; therefore, the only really big thing that will be changing is that Chris Evans will not be back.
If you haven't really been watching Top Gear, the show signing on the former Friends actor isn't as strange as it would seem from the outset. While Matt LeBlanc is mostly know for comedy gigs, he is also a huge car enthusiast and knows a lot about motorcycles, as well. He also had experience on Top Gear before signing on to host the gig, so he's been a pretty good fit overall.
There was some concern that Matt LeBlanc may not be able to stick with Top Gear moving forward. He was cagey earlier in the year about whether or not he would stay with the show for more than one season. In addition, his new CBS comedy Man with A Plan is expected to hit the TV schedule later in October. Network comedies notoriously take quite a long time to film, but somehow it looks as if Matt LeBlanc has made the contracts work. Since we don't yet know whether Man with A Plan will actually be a hit, this all could be moot this time next year, anyway, as well.
Obviously, Top Gear will look a little different heading into 2017, but from chatter about the show here on CinemaBlend, it seems that most fans are probably fine with the loss of Chris Evans. The question is whether or not the series will really compete once Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May premiere The Grand Tour on Amazon? The good news is that the shows are only indirectly competing, as one will air on television while the other will stream. (Full discloser: Top Gear is on Netflix in the US.) Still, it's an exciting time for gearheads, as there will soon be two prominent shows of the same ilk available to watch.
Find out more about what is heading to TV with our fall TV premiere schedule.