The new Top Gear has been coming together over at the BBC for a while, and recently we learned that Friends and Episodes star Matt LeBlanc would be trying his hand at talking about cars. In a recent interview, the actor revealed that his role on Top Gear will be a little bit different than the other professionals who have been signed on for the new series. In fact, he says he’s more about the comedic relief than anything else:
My thing is more about — when we do the films — to try to find the fun and the funny, and I’m always pitching jokes, and they’re like, ‘Jeez, we got to talk about the car’… I think my leash is going to be getting short really quickly.

LeBlanc will be the first American host on Top Gear, and while he does have a love for automobiles of all varieties, most of the work he has done in guest stints within the Top Gear universe has been in a presenter type of capacity, so he hasn’t had to do a ton of stunt driving or reviewing or whatever. Matt LeBlanc’s comments to Variety seem to indicate that he may be leaving (or attempting to leave) a lot of the harder stuff to host Chris Evans and the car professionals who were hired to round out the Top Gear team, including Sabine Schmitz, Rory Reid, Eddie Jordan and Chris Harris.

Still, Top Gear has always done a lot to incorporate humor into the series. In fact, former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson recently wrote a cheeky editorial about one of the segments that was created specifically for comedic relief. You can check that out here. Anyway, if the BBC wanted some light comic relief with the new lineup, they likely made a good decision in signing on Matt LeBlanc for the first set of episodes.

My real worry is that Matt LeBlanc’s gig with Top Gear may not end up lasting for all that long. The show has signed on a whopping six hosts plus the Stig and a lot of them have other projects in the pipeline. LeBlanc, for instance, signed on with CBS just a couple of weeks ago for I’m Not Your Friend a new comedy pilot coming from the writers of That ‘70s Show. If the project moves forward, network TV usually shoots around 22 episodes, which means that a lot of weeks of filming would be involved. LeBlanc also mentions that he's optimistic he can juggle all of these things, but the last thing Top Gear needs is another host who is juggling a lot of commitments.

Obviously, the new amalgamation of Top Gear will need to be deemed a success before any of the new hosts are signed on for a second season. Hopefully, we won’t have too much longer to wait to see how everything shakes out.

We’ll let you know as soon as Top Gear gets a premiere date. In the meantime, here’s what else the networks have coming up.
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