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.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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  (534) posted on 04.8.2011

I agree with everyone, Top Gear is one of the best sports car show I’ve ever seen.

  (453) posted on 01.30.2011

come on this was bad, i have been watching top gear bbc for years, if you wanted to do something, you need interesting presenters, not dudes for the chicks, they will only last one or two shows.

  (498) posted on 01.30.2011

Gearheads - that watch the real Top Gear, watch it for a reason. If we wanted to watch stupid kids crash cars, there is always Jackass, and Nitro Circus!

  (648) posted on 12.7.2010

I also though that jay leno will join the Top Gear usa. well i guess we just have to leave it to the selected hosts.

  (1332) posted on 12.7.2010

When NBC announced a Top Gear USA I thought Tim Allen, Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld would be a dream-team of hosts that would draw a big number of veiwers...but NBC dropped the ball. So, just as long as I don’t have to see that Shrek-on-Steroids host of Battle of the Supercars—whatever his name is and Paul Tracey... they are what we call Car-Porn-Boner-Smashers

  (570) posted on 12.6.2010

getting those numbers wont be a problem to those 3 car lovers, I’m really impressed with on how they make a review out of a car more detailed and more test run. and that makes it more attractive to watch.

adrian  (90) posted on 12.6.2010

Let’s see how they do after 3-4 months. smiley

adrian  (776) posted on 12.5.2010

TG USA has no humor, not a hint of spontaneity, the presenters talk like they’re giving a lecture in college

adrian  (612) posted on 12.1.2010

I liked it but could you imagine how much better the show would be with hosts such as: Adam Corolla, Christopher Titus, and Jay Leno or Tim Allen. I know those might too big of names for this show and it’s budget but it would be an instant winner with them.

adrian  (745) posted on 11.26.2010

I also thought that the humor was scripted a bit. I started to enjoy the dynamic between the 3 after they did the standing mile drag race. BUT when they got back into the studio it felt forced again. I hope as the episodes continue they become more comfortable with each other and let loose a little.

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