Saturday, April 24, 2010
Rutledge Wood To Co-Host US Version Of "Top Gear"
It was one of those concepts in development, but now the Hollywood Reporter is confirming it. A US version of the wildly popular UK Top Gear TV series is coming to the History Channel as that network continues to revamp itself.
Click here to read the entire story. Here are some of the details:
History is teaming with BBC Worldwide Prods. to launch a U.S. version of the series this fall. The network has made a 10-episode commitment to “Gear,” which showcases all-things automotive — customization, stunts, reviews and auto-centric celebrity interviews.
History’s “Gear” will be hosted by comedian and “Rescue Me” co-star Adam Ferrara, stunt driver Tanner Foust and racing analyst Rutledge Wood.
“Top Gear” premiered in the U.K. in 1977, then relaunched in 2002 as a studio-based format. “Gear” is BBC Two’s most-watched program, and the brand has spun-off a magazine and road tour. NBC came close to doing a Stateside version in 2008.
Producers put considerable effort into casting the U.S. version, trying to find the right mix of hosts who would each bring a unique perspective yet mesh well together.
SPEED viewers are familiar with Tanner Foust as the host of the Supercars Exposed series. Click here for Foust's Facebook page that contains bio information and photos.
Adam Ferrara is a veteran comedian currently seen on TV in the Rescue Me series on FX. Click here to visit his official website.
The big surprise for many in this announcement may be Rutledge Wood. A veteran of five years at SPEED, Wood has been the clown and the fall guy for many network stunts. The irony is that when asked to handle NASCAR news reporting or serious hosting duties, he has come through with flying colors. Unfortunately, that is not his role on SPEED.
"Rutledge Wood is to entertainment as the root canal is to dentistry" says a poster in the SPEEDtv.com forums. There is little doubt that SPEED's use of Wood has put him in the "love him or hate him" category for viewers.
Here is a little overview of Wood's background that he offered on the old SPEED website for fans:
I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2002 with a degree in Marketing. First job out of school was working for Country Music Television (CMT) driving a huge truck around the country with their "Most Wanted" tour. Loved the crowds, loved making people smile. Then I spent a year with Clear Channel Communications producing and co-hosting a daily talk show in Mid-West GA. I got up before daylight every day and interviewed interesting people. I sharpened my DJ and mic skills hosting a weekly Karaoke/Comedy show in Newnan,GA at a club called the Alamo. Loved the crowds and making people smile. I started working for SPEED in Feb. of 2005 on the Need for SPEED Road Tour. still love the crowds and making people smile!
There is little doubt that this may be the opportunity of a lifetime for Wood. He has shown his willingness on both SPEED and TNT to play the fool, to be the clown and to work in almost any kind of TV setting.
Those familiar with the UK version of Top Gear know that the banter between the hosts and the willingness of the on-air team to take risks and have fun is the centerpiece of the show. Wood may have just found his niche.
There will be more updated information on this series as it moves forward into production. TDP will follow this project and keep an eye on what NASCAR connections the US-based version of this series may have in store for viewers. Expect Wood to continue his role on SPEED for the time being.
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