Top Gear Australia axed or not?

There were headlines yesterday that Top Gear Australia had been axed by Nine.

These were fuelled by Steve Pizzati’s tweet, “It’s true – as of next week, TGA will be on at the special time of not at all. Sorry to the open-minded people that gave it a go and enjoyed!”

“We’re told the last three episodes will make an appearance in the summer. Or try Blockbuster Video in the BetaMax section.”

It’s true that the show is out of schedule (as reported here several days ago).

But that’s about as far as it goes.

Freehand TV has filmed six episodes that were commissioned for this season, half of which have aired (at either 8:30 or 9:30pm).

No decision on a 2012 season had yet been made and while it’s pretty clear the show is unlikely to return, technically it isn’t axed just yet.

Nine’s abuse of the brand is very disappointing. An abject lesson in how-not-to-mess-with-Top-Gear-fans…

The tricky part will come with the deal that Nine was obliged to produce a local series as part of its contract with BBC Worldwide.

Yesterday BBC Worldwide declined to comment on the outlook, preferring to look towards the enthusiastic ticket sales for Top Gear Live coming to Perth, and referring all enquiries to Nine.


  1. I am So disappointed in channel 9 / Win TV for the lack of air-time they gave to Top Gear – either the UK version, or the Aussie version. My husband and I used to watch Top Gear on SBS every week, and sometimes more if they had additional programs. The alarm was set so we didn’t forget to watch it, and was a highlight of the week for my husband. The problem we faced when it was moved to channel 9 was that every time we went to watch it in the allotted time slot it was bumped and something else was showing. Week after week we checked the tv guide, and very occasionally it was on, even when it says it was supposed to be in the guide. I’m sure we missed some episodes because of the lack of consistency from 9. I don’t think the Aussie Top Gear was canned/axed because it wasn’t of high quality for Top Gear fans…..I think it was because channel 9 didn’t give it a regular time slot, and wait for the regular fans to catch on to when it was and let the ratings grow. Is that just greed from channel 9 wanting instant ratings from a well-known brand? Hmm I don’t know, but what I DO know is that we are two very unhappy Top Gear fans who haven’t seen an episode screened anywhere for so long and will likely not grace channel 9 with our ratings for any other replacement shows because of this debacle.

    All I ask is…..get Top Gear back on our TV’s!!!

  2. Sorry Top Gear Aus. was not for me enjoy the Uk version but the local one was rubbish,the only bit I liked was when they took on the UK boys and was in the game park.

    Rest was the old ideas done up to look like it was something different

  3. Instead of trying to do funny and informative segments they should have put on dresses and acted like a complete bunch of d*cks. That would have rated its socks off with nine’s bogan nrl pugilist demographic.

  4. Give it to SBS and maybe show it on a Monday 8:30pm there instead of all these rubbish comedies that now exist there.I would rather watch a car show like this instead of some insulting show on Pizza or Couriers.

    Best car show Nine ever did was glenn ridge

  5. But they finally got the format right! They had the right mix of characters, the best segments, and in many ways were leaving the UK show behind when it came to production value!

    I’m really starting to get the hell over Channel 9 – They are a channel that I used to respect, but they are acting like a bunch of idiots lately. They haven’t first let the show grow and build – they haven’t been doing that for a lot of their shows.

    Maybe it’s because of the politics that the show can often mention – but that was one of the better facets of the UK editions as well!

    Not happy 9. It certainly doesn’t feel like you’re welcoming home anyone, any time soon.

  6. I find it hard to watch and that’s a shame to me as i’d like to see an Aussie version make it. I think they’re on the right track, but Steve is trying too hard, the other two seem pretty comfortable and have the ability to build a better a show around I believe.

  7. The show itself is quite good in terms of the production values and it’s not un-watchable. Unfortunatley Top Gear isn’t a very versatile format. It doesn’t export well. Pretty much every international version has failed. Nine need to sell off the rights to SBS and restore some dignity back to the brand.

  8. they have wrecked it, its stupid now and only because of the hosts. the stories dont seem to be complete and it really is all about them, watching them hoon around in a car for an hour with not much real info about it is just boring.

  9. Amen Matt and Matthew. I know bagging Channel Nine has become quite a sport of late, but weight of public opinion has to count for something!
    For a network to take a spectacularly successful template and stuff it up on home soil takes true skill.
    None of the hosts on the Aussie version were likeable and the chemistry was pathetic, but then they were always going to be compared to the holy UK trinity. This time, they should have simply respected the brilliance of the original and left it alone.
    Shame, Channel nine, shame.

  10. Nine’s programming team need to be given the sack. Best option is to relaunch the channel with new schedules and new time-slots. The entire network is getting a terrible name and has been for the past 12 months.

  11. Nine are pathetic. SBS built this brand here from the ground up and Nine have practically tore it down. The whole channel’s programming department needs to be sacked. How many flops can Nine sustain? The home of comedy, The home of drama, The home of television…..  Nine the home of flops and terrible scheduling.

  12. @Ames The reason why the show rights went to Nine. Because the local magazine is produced by ACP media and Channel Nine gave BBC worldwide enough money that SBS could never match

    Channel Nine always knew SBS wouldn’t have a budget to match their bid.

  13. Not a fan of the Top Gear franchise at all, but you have to admire now Nine can take one of the most successful TV franchises in the world right now and burn it into the ground. Constant repeats, timeslot changes, and flogging on multichannels caused faster disillusionment and disinterest from viewers than Gordon Ramsay.

  14. 6 episodes were made for season 4, and 1 episode from season 3 did not air (the cycling story by Ewen was pinched from the final ep of series 3 and put in series 4).

    The show was not bad compared to the early seasons, but channel 9 have single handedly ruined TGA. I know international celebs were lined up but dumped for channel 9 stars for cross promotion (Simone Warne was actually one as well… WTF 9?). Also a lot of the stories were much longer, 3 parters cut down into 2 segments or even one, so no wonder they lose coherence and feel rushed. Not to mention the power they gave to the hosts during production who are not funny (which is quite obvious)

    Channel 9, this is on you. The highest rating show in the world is now a steaming pile. What can you do right?

  15. Axed or not axed by Nine. I’ve axed it from my PVR. Please SBS, buy the next broadcasting rights for TG:UK. Surely, it will be going for about $1AUD after nine devalued this once mighty brand.

  16. If its not coming back (until the summer) then why the hell did the last ep close with a promo for the next show? Surely they could have edited that out since they clearly knew at least a week before it was gonna happen.

    Yes I know the show was no where near as good as the UK version, (or US for those lucky enough to catch it) but seriously moved after 1 airing and gone after 3 on one of the toughest nights. Maybe Nine should have tried it on a different night, Mondays at 7:30 now it’s comedy seams to have moved to Tuesdays.

    Oh and just how many shows did they produce this season, I heard as little as 4 but David you said 6, plus I hear there was another not aired from season 3, will that ever see the light of day?

    Maybe Nine should just burn them off on GO! or GEM. I wonder it Clarkson will comment about the situation at the live event in Perth?

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