Presenter Chris Evans released a tweet today that stated he would be stepping down from Top Gear, after just one season of the revamped program.
Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that's not enough. The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best.
— Chris Evans (@achrisevans) July 4, 2016
Evans began hosting the series, along with co-host Matt LeBlanc (Friends), after previous host Jeremy Clarkson was asked to step down from the show back in March of 2015 following claims of racist remarks during filming and a violent outburst against one of the shows producers. Clarkson and his fellow hosts Richard Hammond and James may would eventually leave the show after the issue arose leaving Top Gear without a host and without the iconic team that garnered huge popularity for the show. Evans and LeBlanc were chosen to bring the show back to life, but the shows return came with huge changes to the original formula and segments that were fan favorites. Additionally, many viewers felt the new duo lacked the chemistry and charm of the old team which further hurt ratings and critical reception. According to Radio Times, the final episode for the first season received just 1.9 million viewers, marking a huge drop not only since the premiere of the new season but a drop during the season alone. Episode 1 received 6.4 million views, episode 2 received just 4.1 million, and episode 3 just 3.4 million, showing a steep decline for the show in just a short amount of time.
Following Evans’ resignation it was reported that there were no plans from the BBC to replace him, and that the show would be moving forward with a second series while retaining Matt LeBlanc and the other members of the Top Gear crew. The second series of the show is set to begin filming this September, with contracts still being finalized in the months to come.
Now that the series has seen quite a bit of turbulence since its revival, the BBC may be wondering how much of the success of the show relied on the team of Clarkson, Hammond, and May. Beginning in June of 2015, news of a show created and produced by the trio was reported to be in the works with Amazon showing interest in producing the show. It was later announced that the show would be entitle The Grand Tour and be an Amazon Prime exclusive, with the release date set for sometime in October of this year. Many fans of the original Top Gear lineup have shown interest in The Grand Tour, adding additional pressure to the currently struggling new Top Gear. With the viewership now further divided between shows, the future of Top Gear seems to be in further trouble and it is difficult to say whether the show will last beyond a second season.