A multi-year deal reached by MotorTrend Group and BBC Studios will yield the new U.S. series Top Gear America (working title) and provide North American streaming rights to the full library of more than 200 classic Top Gear episodes.
The pact was announced by Discovery and the BBC in the lead-up to Discovery’s upfront presentation to advertisers today in New York.
The all-new U.S. format of Top Gear is slated to begin production early this summer and make its premiere on the MotorTrend app this fall. The new series aims to deliver what the companies describe as “a fresh, uniquely American take on the classic Top Gear format,” chronicling the car-centric adventures of a new trio of hosts.
“MotorTrend’s heart is with motoring fans and car enthusiasts everywhere. We’re thrilled to embrace one of our favorite shows and give audiences unprecedented access to hundreds of hours of Top Gear UK, while also adding some uniquely MotorTrend touches to the franchise,” MotorTrend Group president and GM Alex Wellen said. “Top Gear‘s brand, stories, and personalities are a natural fit for MotorTrend as we continue our mission to embrace, entertain and empower the motoring world.”
“The MotorTrend audience will soon get to enjoy the entertainment that Top Gear has been delivering to the world for decades. From amazing cars, to epic road trips and hysterical antics, viewers will get lost in their favorite mix of entertainment, comedy and cars,” said Matt Forde, Managing Director of International Production & Formats, BBC Studios. “We look forward to working with the MotorTrend team to bring the new U.S. version to new and returning fans.”
For the uninitiated, Top Gear is an automotive show featuring celebrities and exotic locations where cars are put to the test with a range of stunts and challenges.
The 26th and 27th seasons of the UK version of the show, which debuted in 2002, will hit the airwaves later this year. British entertainers Paddy McGuinness and Freddie Flintoff were announced last fall as the hosts who will replace Matt LeBlanc.
The full catalog of seasons 2 to 25 of Top Gear UK will debut June 4 on MotorTrend’s subscription service in the U.S. and Canada. MotorTrend is airing select episodes of the UK version of the show on MotorTrend TV (formerly Velocity) in the U.S. on the first three nights in June.