Archive for Monday, August 22, 2011

‘Top Gear’ roars into 17th season

August 22, 2011


‘‘Top Gear” (8 p.m., BBC America), the world’s most popular car show, enters its 17th season. “Top Gear” is as unabashedly critical as it is enthusiastic about all things automotive. Commercial-driven and product-placement friendly, American television tends to avoid discouraging words about new corporate offerings. If the folks on “Top Gear” think a new car is a dog, they’ll let you know. And they’re just as likely to wear a paper bag over their heads while testing a lemon they don’t want to be seen driving. “Top Gear” was recently featured on “60 Minutes,” and the show’s bracing honesty goes a long way toward explaining its international (appeal and longevity.

Over the course of the new season, hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond will sample a new offering from Aston Martin and test-drive new electric vehicles.

Look for rocker Bob Geldof, comedian Rowan Atkinson and Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel to participate in the show’s popular comedy/racing feature, “The Star in a Reasonably Priced Car,” in which celebrities try to break track records behind the wheels of four-cylinder vehicles that do their strenuous best to earn their modest reputations.

Clarkson will also lead a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar E-Type, arguably one of the coolest cars ever manufactured. Look for plenty of antique Jaguars as well as a brand-new interpretation of the classic, with an $800,000 price tag.

• With many of its sitcom repeats attracting audiences smaller than the cable competition, NBC counters with a logical move. Seen this summer on the G4 network, “American Ninja Warrior” (8 p.m., NBC) celebrates its season finale with network exposure. Competitors travel to Mount Midoriyama, Japan, as the first Americans to compete in the world’s most challenging obstacle course.

• As all NFL players and fans know, injuries are part of the game. They’re also part of reality shows about NFL players. Look for season three of “The T.O. Show” (8:30 p.m., VH1) to spend extensive time with Terrell Owens as he contends with a serious knee injury. It’s like visiting someone in the hospital you never liked that much in the first place.

Tonight’s Other Highlights

• It’s red vs. blue on a two-hour helping of “Hell’s Kitchen” (7 p.m., Fox).

• On three repeats of “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” (Travel), Ukraine (7 p.m.), Kurdistan (8 p.m.), Maine (9 p.m.).

• An unwelcome visit from the brass on “Eureka” (7 p.m., Syfy).

• Painful memories on “Warehouse 13” (8 p.m., Syfy).

• All in the family on “The Closer” (8 p.m., TNT).

• A mad bomber must be stopped on “Hawaii Five-O” (9 p.m., CBS).

• A pizza oven becomes a crime scene on “Castle” (9 p.m., ABC).

• Catch and release on “Alphas” (9 p.m., Syfy).


Liberty275 6 years, 10 months ago

Clarkson is afraid of Lambos. He fails.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 10 months ago

Top Gear rules... except for Clarkson's dislike of Porsche, but even then I can accept his comments about the Panamera because it is ugly.

Aiko 6 years, 10 months ago

I love this show. They seem to like BMW's...

LA_Ex 6 years, 10 months ago

Best show on TV, except for the US version of Top Gear on the History channel. At it's best it's just mildly entertaining. They can't live up to the standards of the UK version (or even the Aussie version). Clarkson, May and Hammond have the perfect chemistry.

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