BBC America has given the green light to vehicle transformation series Mud, Sweat & Gears. The eight-episode series, produced by BBC Worldwide Productions for BBC America and BBC Worldwide’s new Brit channel, will be hosted by Tom ‘Wookie’ Ford and Jonny Smith — two UK car journalists. Each week, the pair will work as rival captains for two teams of car enthusiasts. They will have 24 hours to reconstruct ordinary vehicles and complete competitive stunt challenges. Perry Simon, General Manager of BBC America, called it a perfect fit for the network’s Top Gear driven Monday lineup. Top Gear, in its 21st season, is on target for its highest rated season yet in the U.S. Production begins shooting next month in California. Mud, Sweat & Gears also will launch across the BBC’s international channels and is the first original commission to be announced for BBC Brit – the new male-skewing factual entertainment channel due to launch in several worldwide markets outside of the U.S. in 2014. In the U.S., the series joins BBC America’s slate of new unscripted programming including Top Gear, Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan, and its new BBC Earth block of natural history programs, The Graham Norton Show and upcoming original series Million Dollar Critic Starring Giles Coren.
TCA: BBC America Bags ’70s Espionage Thriller ‘The Game’, Takes Over Natural History Programming From Discovery; John Simm Cast In ‘Intruders’
BBC America announced this morning it had picked up a six part ’70s-set espionage thriller The Game from Toby Whithouse. Brian Cox stars in the project which is set to debut in the fall BBCA GM Perry Simon announced. Simon noted the network had its best year ever, ratings wise, including its best fourth quarter ever, its best December ever and its best Christmas ever with the Doctor Who special. “This Jew finally believes in Santa Claus,” he joked.
Simon also announced 24 Hours on Earth will premiere Tuesday March 11 at 9 PM as part of the network’s new BBC Earth programming block on Tuesday evenings. The production is a second-by-second virtual day and shows how animals and plants exploit specific moments in the 24-hour cycle. Simon told TV critics attending Winter TV Press Tour 2014 “how personally excited I am to begin migrating this programing over to BBC America. I really think this content can be transformative for our channel.”