UPDATE #1: Looks like Strommer will be the US version's James May — he "prefers his Camry hybrid?" Gag.
UPDATE #2: Sorry, we're still digesting the press release. We're liking the fact they're looking at "mirroring the UK show's irreverent humor and camaraderie" but we really don't think any of the UK presenters hearted the hybrid.
UPDATE #3: Here's the first on-set photo from Top Gear USA
UPDATE #4: We've put together a feature on everything you could ever want to know about Adam Carolla.
UPDATE #5: We've added a feature on everything you could ever want to know about Tanner Foust.
UPDATE #6: Finally, we've added a feature on everything you could ever want to know about Eric Stromer.
NBC’S ‘TOP GEAR’ BUCKLES UP ITS HOSTS FOR HIGH-OCTANE PILOT FROM BBC WORLDWIDE AMERICA BASED ON INTERNATIONAL HIT FRANCHISE
BURBANK - June 16, 2008 - Television and radio comedian Adam Carolla, champion rally and drift racer Tanner Foust, and TV construction guru Eric Stromer, will lead NBC’s pilot of the international smash hit series “Top Gear.” The production will begin later this week.
Produced by BBC Worldwide America, the U.S. version of the hit franchise will mirror the UK show’s irreverent humor and camaraderie between the three presenters, epic races, outrageous stunts and challenges, unique celebrity guest participation and eccentric methods of testing cars.
"This franchise is a proven winner worldwide and the hosting team of Adam, Tanner and Eric that we have brought together for the U.S. version offers a perfect match of humor, insider know-how and priceless track experience," said Craig Plestis, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming Development and Specials, NBC Entertainment. "We are going to create a high-powered show that, like the original, will keep viewers in every demographic clutching the edge of their seats."
“These three guys will get to drive the world’s most amazing cars, go on incredible road trips and blow stuff up. It’s a dirty old job but someone has to do it…why didn’t I get the job?!” said Paul Telegdy, Executive Vice President, TV Sales and Content & Production, BBC Worldwide America.
Jeremy Clarkson, executive producer and host of the UK “Top Gear” said: “This is fantastic news - but how on earth you lot are going to do it on the wrong side of the road I’ve no idea.”
Television and radio personality Adam Carolla is host of the daily, nationally-syndicated radio program “The Adam Carolla Show,” based out of Los Angeles’ KLSX 97.1/ FREE FM. With partners Jimmy Kimmel and Daniel Kellison, Carolla created Jackhole Industries where he produced and starred in two hit Comedy Central shows, "The Man Show" and "Crank Yankers." Carolla also co-hosted the nationally-syndicated radio program “Loveline” with Dr. Drew Pinsky for 10 years, as well as its TV version on MTV. Carolla also recently wrote and starred in the independent, award-winning feature film, “The Hammer.” In season six of “Dancing with the Stars,” Adam became the first ever contestant to complete a Paso Doble on a unicycle. Carolla is an avid car collector and owns several classic collectible Lamborghinis, Maseratis, two Ferraris and an Audi S4.
Tanner Foust is in high-demand as a stunt driver, with film credits including “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift” and “The Dukes of Hazard.” Foust is a winning competitor in rally, drift, ice racing and time attack with multiple champion podium placements including the 2007 X Games Rally Champion and 2007 Formula Drift Pro Drift Champion. His varied race experience includes open wheel competition, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb (2002 - 2004), five Ice Racing championships and the 2005 PGT Rally Championship. He also holds class lap records at numerous U.S. road courses in Time Attack. In addition, Foust also hosted “Supercars Exposed” for the SPEED channel. Foust’s car of choice is a tricked-out M3.
Eric Stromer, host of the HGTV show "Over Your Head," started life in construction and remodeling houses after a short acting career as a soap opera hunk was abruptly ended by a Styrofoam boulder on the set of “Santa Barbara.” For 20 years he ran a successful building company before becoming the face of HGTV’s hit show. He’s a regular on Adam Carolla’s nationally-syndicated radio show giving out construction advice, and also appears on TLC’s “Clean Sweep,” NBC’s “Three Wishes” and is a special correspondent for “The Insider.” Stromer prefers his Camry hybrid.
About the Executive Producers:
The pilot of “Top Gear” will be executive produced by Tod Mesirow and Kevin Harris. Mesirow’s background includes producing credits on “Wired Science,” Discovery Channel's “Smash Lab,” “Mythbusters,” and “Monster Garage.” He also executive produced Discovery Studio's “Overhaulin'” for TLC. Harris’ credits include “The Apprentice” and “The Baby Borrowers” for NBC.
About Top Gear:
The series, which premiered in the UK in 1977, is consistently BBC TWO’s most-watched program in the UK. The UK version of “Top Gear” is broadcast globally in over 100 countries and has been airing on BBC America since 2007. The program has been the recipient of various awards including National Television Awards, BAFTAs, Broadcast Award, Royal Television Society Awards and an International Emmy Award. Top celebrity guests have included Hugh Grant, Simon Cowell, Ewan McGregor, Helen Mirren and Gordon Ramsay. In addition to the television show, the “Top Gear” brand has achieved global success. The self-titled magazine Top Gear continues to be both the best-selling car and men’s magazines in the UK. Internationally, Top Gear is the leading motoring media brand.
About BBC Worldwide America:
BBC Worldwide America (BBCWA) is part of BBC Worldwide - the main commercial arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBCWA has headquarters in New York and Los Angeles and brings together all of BBC Worldwide’s businesses in the U.S. – including cable channel BBC America and a bi-coastal production division responsible for the smash hit “Dancing with the Stars,” which returns for its 7th season this Fall.