NBC Shifts Into BBC Worldwide America's Top Gear

Network Orders Pilot of U.S. Version of U.K. Show
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With scripted development orders being shelved and the writers’ strike sending networks increasingly into the real world for programming, NBC ordered a pilot of a U.S. version of BBC Worldwide America's Top Gear.

The show -- a BBC Worldwide America show that originally premiered in the United Kingdom in 1977 and has already run in the U.S. on BBC America -- features cars in various stunts, challenges and time trials, as well as celebrity guests and obvious opportunities for product integration by automakers, one of TV's top advertisers.

Top Gear had a revival in the United Kingdom. in the past five years on BBC Two and reaches 150 million households globally, according to NBC.

“We’re always looking for innovative ways to partner with our advertisers, and this show offers a great platform for the latest in car culture," NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios co-chairman Ben Silverman said.

The show will fit in with the network's other high-testosterone shows, like the National Football League and American Gladiators (NBC just ordered a second season), Silverman said in announcing the pickup.

The announcement comes as Universal Media Studios and others are cutting some writer-producer development deals for scripted programming.

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