Motoring TV

The New 'Top Gear' Lost A Third Of Its Audience In Only Its Second Episode

Could the honeymoon really be over that quickly?

While we here at CarBuzz were impressed by the progress the new “Top Gear” made in episode two, viewers didn’t seem to feel the same way. The show’s viewership dropped 1.6 million from the first episode to the second, settling in at 2.8 million viewers. That’s a pretty steep drop (about 36%) from the 4.4 million people who tuned in to see how Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc would do at the helm in their first go. The episode had a peak viewership of 3.3 million which was recorded just before the show ended.

Evans, who tweeted about the ratings last week, was once again on the offensive after the figures for the second episode were released. He said the overnight viewing figures for the show have “never been less relevant,” referring to the amount of people who choose to either record the show or stream it on-demand. While these figures may be slightly irrelevant overall they are highly relevant when compared to the amount of people who tuned in to watch “Top Gear” when Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond were hosting. According to the BBC the old trio pulled 6.41 million and 6.56 million viewers for each of the previous season’s two episodes.

We’re confident Evans and his hosts can make things work over time but those Clarkson-powered numbers may be forever out of reach. Maybe it’s time to adjust expectations? Actually, the real measuring stick will come once "The Grand Tour" makes its debut on Amazon. Of course the show will be on a streaming service so it won't be possible to compare live viewing numbers. But that being said it will be interesting to see how the two shows do in terms of streams, a segment Evans seems to believe is one of his show's strengths.

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