Is a challenger stepping up to Top Gear America?

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It may just be so. And it may just be by the guys originally tried out as the hosts of the never aired NBC pilot of an earlier Top Gear America concept.

Variety is reporting that Adam Carolla and Dan Neil (who won a Pulitzer Prize for his auto critiques at the LA Times) are teamin gup on a show that could air on Speed. (Latest I’m seeing online is the channel hasn’t committed to it yet. Could it be because the Carolla and Neil chemistry is as bad as it was said to be?)

Here’s more:

Carolla will star along with Pulitzer Prize-winning Wall Street Journal auto writer Dan Neil, ex-NBA star John Salley and Matt Farah from The Smoking Tire website.
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The untitled Speed show comes from Mandt Bros. Prods., which also just scored a series order from Food Network for the docu-series “Ice Brigade.”
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[snip]
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The untitled show has been described as a cross between “Top Gear” and Fox Sports Net’s old “The Best Damn Sports Show Period” franchise, which featured Salley was a regular.
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According to the pitch, the show will feature news and conversation centered around cars, as well as pre-recorded features shot on the road.

OK, so what does this have to do with Formula 1? Well, in America, where about 60% of the F1B staff are based, we have almost nothing to watch of any quality when it comes to cars. So news like this is a potentially big deal. And, with the United States Grand Prix looming a season off, any and all programming that can get Americans excited about cars is a good thing.

Plus, you know, it’s Top Gear-related. We all love us some Top Gear, right?

I know there are F1B readers who will be delighted to hear this news and who are big Carolla fans. (I’m not one, but I’m also not sold on Top Gear America yet. That bearded guy makes me want to rip my own eyeballs out and use them as ear plugs. Of course, Carolla just tends to make me want to down a pint of gasoline and go cook some S’Mores with the neighboring Boy Scouts.)

Anyone care to comment? Good news? Promising? And what might it mean for Speed programming? Is there reason to hope for a resurgence of decent shows?

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