The struggles of the new season of Top Gear have grown from just the ratings. Reports now have presenter Matt LeBlanc demanding Evans go or he will.
British tabloid The Sun published reports this weekend that new presenter Matt LeBlanc is tired of fellow presenter and Radio 2 morning personality Chris Evans actions on and around the show. The report goes on to say that LeBlanc is demanding that its either him or Evans for the next series. The complaints about Evans from the fans have been boisterous and nonstop since the first episode of the new series.
Compounding the issues if the report is true, the ratings for the last episode of Top Gear on BBC2 were half of the premier episode and represented the lowest rated episode since 2003. Those ratings are a difficult comparison as that was pre DVR and SKY player allowing viewers to watch when they want. Still it has staff at the BBC offices worried about the immediate future of the show with the next series scheduled to start filming in September.
More from Cars
- 3 Reasons the 2024 Mazda CX-50 Is Among the Best Small SUVs
- The Jeep Renegade Is Discontinued: Here’s a Look at Its Legacy
- 2023 Nissan Armada: A Decent Full Size SUV With 1 Glaring Issue
- Best Minivans: 3 Options for Families With Solid Performance
- Here’s Why the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Is So Popular
Being that the ratings on BBC2 for Top Gear represent just a fraction of the world wide viewership of the show, decisions on the cast are very difficult. The international rights fees for the show are the hidden fortune the BBC gets for the long running program. It does seem according to social media that Matt LeBlanc and the rest of the current cast are received positively. Chris Evans though has hit a sour note with both old fans and new. The last episode of Top Gear was received significantly better as Evans screen time was noticeably reduced.
The BBC is going to be put in a tough position with LeBlanc as he is scheduled to begin filming a new sitcom for CBS in the USA that has a thirteen episode order. CBS has picked up “Man with a Plan” before the pilot was even finished, and put it on the schedule. This put Matt in a better bargaining position for any future series of Top Gear. With the low success rate of new comedies on American television, a multi series contract for LeBlanc on Top Gear would seem to be a more lucrative option for the former Friends star.
If the BBC decides to go with LeBlanc, where would that leave Evans? Reports are that he signed a multi series contract to take over the long running automotive show. Any increase in pay for LeBlanc would be added to the looses they would have to pay Evans to buy out his contract. Would they also have to find another known european personality to pair with the American? The additional cast that has been included in the new incarnation of Top Gear and Extra Gear has been well received, but can any of them handle the task of leading the show?
You would have to think that once the BBC sacked Jeremy Clarkson they thought they were getting rid of their Top Gear headaches. Now it appears that there are more headaches than ever for the show and they do not appear to be ending anytime soon.