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NBC orders 'Top Gear' pilot

BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 15 (UPI) -- NBC has ordered a pilot based on Britain's high-octane, car-themed reality series "Top Gear" from BBC Worldwide America.

"'Top Gear' is a proven international hit which fits perfectly into NBC's line-up of programming with male appeal, including 'Sunday Night Football' and 'American Gladiators,'" Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. "We're always looking for innovative ways to partner with our advertisers and this show offers a great platform for the latest in car culture."

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"We've had our eye on 'Top Gear' for a while now and think this show can really click with viewers," added Craig Plestis, executive vice president of alternative programming, development and specials at NBC Entertainment. "The concept taps into America's obsession with cars and is unlike anything else on television."

"Since its revival over five years ago, the U.K. show has been a phenomenal success. The bar has been set so high, that replicating it will be the challenge -- one we truly relish," said Paul Telegdy, executive vice president of content and production for BBC Worldwide Americas. "Casting is well under way and we are confident that Americans will fall in love with the attitude and irreverent spirit of 'Top Gear.'"

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