The much-hyped pilot episode of Top Gear USA finally aired on the History Channel where it picked up a viewership of 1.9 million people all over the USA.
By all intents and purposes, the numbers for the first episode of Top Gear USA can be seen as a mixed bag of results. On one hand, 1.9 million viewers is considered solid on a night where it ran into Sunday Night Football – always a ratings juggernaut – as well as a number of other shows that could have taken away from its viewership. The 1.9 million figure is also better than what Conan O’Brien averaged for the entire week – 1.7 million – for his show on TBS, ‘Conan’.
On the flip side, networks usually build up the pilot episode with much gusto to ensure massive ratings when the episode airs on TV. To that extent, 1.9 million viewers falls way short of what we expected, especially considering that 3.1 million viewers tuned in to the pilot episode of one of their other shows, American Pickers, when it made its debut earlier this year. More to that, the first episode usually garners a strong number of viewers because of the hype and the buzz surrounding it with viewership expected to decline once the buzz dies and the honeymoon ends.
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Drawing from this, it looks like Top Gear USA needs to go to another gear to attract more viewers for the remaining nine episodes of their season. The History Channel was “very happy” with the numbers, but we’re wondering whether they are being 100% sincere.
For now, we’re going to give Top Gear USA a pass. The episode was not too shabby, but it will be important for the producers and every one involved in the show to work on the script and the chemistry between the three hosts if they want to attract more viewers, or at the very least, stay relevant.
We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and chalk it to a case of strong competition and amateur status. We’re hoping that the nervousness and awkwardness displayed by the hosts was just the first time jitters, and we honestly think it was considering that, by the end of the show, the chemistry improved that much. But sooner or later, these guys need to find a way to get around their nerves and the competition to make the show something that will be worth skipping Sunday Night Football.