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Old 10-03-2012, 11:57 PM   #1
RonDawg
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Fifth Gear: Velocity Channel premiere 10/3/2012 (possible season discussion)

For those of us (including me) who complained that the US version of Top Gear doesn't have enough fast cars, well Velocity (the channel formerly known as Discovery HD Theater) appears to have heard us. They brought Fifth Gear to our shores.

For those not aware, this is actually a continuation of the original TG:UK when it was cancelled in 2001, before it was reborn the next year under Jeremy Clarkson. Original hosts Tiff Needell, and Vicky Butler-Henderson, both race car drivers, came over from the original Top Gear and are still with the series 10 years later.

Except for one, the other current hosts also have racing backgrounds: Jason Plato and Ben Collins, whom TG:UK fans would remember as the man the BBC was trying to stop from identifying himself as the second "Stig." Only host Jonny Smith doesn't have a racing background. Ben Collins was not in this premiere episode however.

The show came to the US once before via Speed Channel. Tiff and Vicky were joined by a couple of other hosts who are no longer with the show. Speaking of The Stig, another Stig was featured in the Velocity Channel premiere episode: rally legend Stig Blomqvist, who was showing the proper way to drive an Audi A1 Quattro around a frozen lake.

Personally, I've always liked Fifth Gear, even during its Speed Channel run. I thought the chemistry between the hosts was better than Adam Carolla's The Car Show and certainly better than TG:USA. The presenters certainly have a lot more street cred than the hosts of those two shows.

Like Jeremy Clarkson, Tiff Needell can come off as a bit arrogant, but not nearly over the top as Jeremy. Vicky Butler-Henderson I think does a good job of keeping his ego in check. The others are new since the Speed Channel airing of the series so I don't have a real opinion of them yet.

Oh and for the fast cars: this episode's main topic was a showdown between several exotic convertibles including the Mercedes SLS convertible.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:41 AM   #2
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I like this show. It's much more of a motoring show than TG. I could go deeper into the history of TG, but that's probably another discussion.

Fifth Gear was originally commissioned and shown on Channel 5 in the UK, but it started to lose viewers, was reduced to a 30-minute show and eventually, dropped. It was picked up and expanded back to an hour this year by Discovery UK, which obviously makes it available to Discovery US.

Haven't caught this first episode yet (unless it's one I d/l'd from the UK) but I certainly will. One thing's for sure. It's not trying to be something else, so it has much more chance of positive reviews than TG:US!!!
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:15 AM   #3
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I used to really enjoy it on the Speed channel and will definitely be checking it out.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the heads-up. I used to watch this years ago and enjoyed it a lot.
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:12 PM   #5
RonDawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
Fifth Gear was originally commissioned and shown on Channel 5 in the UK, but it started to lose viewers, was reduced to a 30-minute show and eventually, dropped. It was picked up and expanded back to an hour this year by Discovery UK, which obviously makes it available to Discovery US.
The premiere episode was an hour long so I believe it's the post-Channel 5 version.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:31 AM   #6
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The premiere episode was an hour long so I believe it's the post-Channel 5 version.
It is.

If you re-read my post I mention that it being made by Discovery UK makes it available to Discovery US!
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Old 10-05-2012, 08:37 AM   #7
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Sweet. Love the Tiff Vicki combo. I watch Top Gear (UK) a lot, but have missed 5G since it stopped showing over here.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:08 PM   #8
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If you re-read my post I mention that it being made by Discovery UK makes it available to Discovery US!
True, but Discovery could also own the rights to the pre-purchase Seasons, in which case would also give them the rights to air it.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger View Post
It was picked up and expanded back to an hour this year by Discovery UK, which obviously makes it available to Discovery US.
It may be available to Discovery US in the same way BBC programs are available to BBCA... they have to bid on the right to show it just as everyone else does. Apparently no "favored-nation" status.

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Old 10-07-2012, 05:10 PM   #10
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It may be available to Discovery US in the same way BBC programs are available to BBCA... they have to bid on the right to show it just as everyone else does. Apparently no "favored-nation" status.
BBCA's relationship with the BBC is a bit different. It is not owned by the BBC, but by Discovery Networks, which is why it has commercials, and why it would have to bid for BBC program(me)s just like an outsider normally would.

BBCA also airs programs from BBC's home rivals such as iTV including the UK version of Law & Order.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonDawg View Post
BBCA's relationship with the BBC is a bit different. It is not owned by the BBC, but by Discovery Networks, which is why it has commercials, and why it would have to bid for BBC program(me)s just like an outsider normally would.

BBCA also airs programs from BBC's home rivals such as iTV including the UK version of Law & Order.
From what I have been reading, BBC America is owned by BBC Worldwide Americas, Discovery Networks handles the operation of the channel.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:30 PM   #12
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From what I have been reading, BBC America is owned by BBC Worldwide Americas, Discovery Networks handles the operation of the channel.
OK I stand corrected* Originally, it was a joint venture between BBC and Discovery. Its website was even an off-shoot of the Discovery ones. I thought Discovery had completely taken over, but apparently it's the opposite.

I still don't really consider it part of the BBC though, due to the commercials (and sometimes the need to hack up the programmes to make them fit) and the fact that they let the competition's TV shows in as well. Plus you don't get those interesting BBC idents. It's probably more appropriately called "British TV" or "UKTV" but those names are probably already trademarked by someone else.

When I was in Australia in 2005 I was channel flipping on the hotel's TV and came across what appeared to be the world version of BBC Television. It was just one channel (no BBC-1, BBC-2, etc.) so it had a mishmash of programming including an uncut episode of Top Gear, but it had the idents and no commercials just like the real thing.

*see I do admit when I'm wrong, despite another member's insistence to the contrary
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:45 PM   #13
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OK I stand corrected* Originally, it was a joint venture between BBC and Discovery. Its website was even an off-shoot of the Discovery ones. I thought Discovery had completely taken over, but apparently it's the opposite.

I still don't really consider it part of the BBC though, due to the commercials (and sometimes the need to hack up the programmes to make them fit) and the fact that they let the competition's TV shows in as well. Plus you don't get those interesting BBC idents. It's probably more appropriately called "British TV" or "UKTV" but those names are probably already trademarked by someone else.

When I was in Australia in 2005 I was channel flipping on the hotel's TV and came across what appeared to be the world version of BBC Television. It was just one channel (no BBC-1, BBC-2, etc.) so it had a mishmash of programming including an uncut episode of Top Gear, but it had the idents and no commercials just like the real thing.

*see I do admit when I'm wrong, despite another member's insistence to the contrary
UKTV is another BBC Worldwide brand, this time with the assistance of Scripps Networks Interactive, aside from Dave (Comedy show re-runs & some original programming in that genre) & UK Gold (Think TV land / Nick at Nite, but with British programming), many of the other channels in the UKTV network mirror genres of channels operated in the US by Scripps.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:01 PM   #14
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I would watch this if it was on DirecTV in SD.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:07 PM   #15
RonDawg
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I would watch this if it was on DirecTV in SD.
Unfortunately Discovery Networks only airs the program on Velocity, which is HD-only.
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