Top Gear Australia takes a second test-drive

By David Knox on May 12, 2009 / Filed Under News 10

tga2The second series of Top Gear Australia returned to SBS last night, with new host James Morrison replacing Charlie Cox.

The show managed 689,000 viewers down from the UK version’s Botswana Special the week before of 991,000.

While the figure is lower than that of the UK template, it’s still a strong figure for a local production on SBS. How well it holds, and how well word of mouth travels with the revamp, will be key questions in coming weeks.

Broadly speaking the first series averaged around the 600,000’s for SBS -again about 2/3 of the UK edition, down from its strong debut but a healthy figure for the broadcaster compared to local productions.

SBS also debuted Dave in the Life last night although it didn’t sustain the audience with just 242,000 viewers.

Against AFL in southern states SBS also saw its Monday share dip to 6.0% down from 7-8% averages.

Elsewhere on Monday viewing, MasterChef Australia won its slot with a strong 1.33m viewers and a much-hyped Four Corners took 1.01m. TEN’s Good News Week also passed the 1m mark.

More regular Monday figures will resume next week when AFL is off the table.

Week 20

10 Comments »

  1. Sal May 19, 2009 at 12:41 pm -

    TGA is rubbish. The hosts think they are funny. I can not believe some think it is an improvement. They must work for SBS or it’s sponsers. Everyone I talk to agree it is painful to watch. I will wait for return of UK series.

  2. Graham Hardy May 18, 2009 at 6:33 pm -

    Hope the show totally forgetts to mirror the english version and starts to reflect the true aussie. We have our own culture in cars and a totaly different environment. The 2nd version has moved that way and can move even more to reflect ausie tradition with motoring desires and taste.

  3. PJ May 13, 2009 at 1:21 pm -

    Brilliant show, waaaaaay beetter than last year, especially when they were ad-libbed eachother. The ‘dropping thing into a car by a trampoline’ segment was classic comedy! The TGA Track overview was great for rev-heads and the Skafiey segment was gold! They are starting to gel way good, James is a excellent replacement.

  4. stiggie May 12, 2009 at 10:03 pm -

    It was brilliant. A vast improvement over series 1. I look forward to seeing the ratings go up this year, instead of down.

  5. brisvegas May 12, 2009 at 7:00 pm -

    Loved it. Absolutely loved it. I think it all worked, they weren’t trying to be anyone else but themselves, and it was just a bunch of guys talking about cars, without trying to be like their uk templates.

    I particularly appreciated how they addressed viewers commentary and the issues we had with the first season – particularly what were they thinking – what were they thinking.

    Best part for me was how they explained the lap course. They really should have done that episode 1, series 1, but hey -i can now appreciate what they drivers have to go through to pull off a lap – last season it was just a person in a car, going around a course with turns with daft names.

    Good work guys, looking forward to next week!!!

  6. cookieS May 12, 2009 at 3:22 pm -

    good to see GNW pick up a bit too, without underbelly competetion

  7. Peter Lawrence May 12, 2009 at 1:58 pm -

    I thought last nights episode was great – James Morrison was excellent and fits in better with his co-hosts. Given time the show will grow just like the UK version which took time to build it’s audience. Dave in the Life was ok and will need a few weeks to grow on me.

  8. Craig May 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm -

    I don’t know why some have a problem with TGA but they must be doing something right since they were given a 2nd season.

    @GuanoLad – I noticed that as well, they skipped the first 5 eps of S7 (apparently it’s also aired in the UK as well) Sad news is Eurovision is next week so no more Mythbusters for a few weeks :(

  9. GuanoLad May 12, 2009 at 11:38 am -

    I noticed last Saturday’s episode of Mythbusters was one that hadn’t aired in the US yet. I thought that was pretty cool of them.

    I’ve always thought that as it’s an Australian produced show we should have the jump on the US.

  10. Neon Kitten May 12, 2009 at 10:50 am -

    Not being a commercial network, SBS shouldn’t worry about ratings.

    Oh wait.

    I used to love SBS, but it’s been killed slowly over the last few years – and yes, they’ve been chronically under-funded for years, but the move to being a commercial network was not the answer. The only reason they got away with it, I suspect, is because Nes Ltd rag readers don’t watch SBS, ever. If SBS thinks it’s getting its desired funding boost under their current business model and with the tightness of today’s budget, they’re dreaming.

    Give it all to the ABC, I say. If SBS wants to be a commercial network, let them sink or swim.

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