Question: Which network is doing Top Gear for the U.S.? That is where Jay Leno needs to land. It's his favorite show, it's car related, it will be primetime. Adam Carolla? Uhhh... (waving my hands like Mike Wilbon) No! I understand they are trying to plug him into the Jeremy Clarkson role, but Clarkson plays an oaf who nonetheless comes off as likable. Carolla is just a professional a--hole and never comes off as likable. Carolla's Q-rating is probably a negative number! Jay Leno is extremely likable, loves the show and is more knowledgeable about autos than Clarkson/Hammond/May put together — he could stock the show from his own garage. Plus, they can pay him primetime money. What am I missing here? (P.S.: For all those who say that Conan won't be as good at 11:30, well, that's true. But Letterman has never been as good at 11:30 as he was at 12:30 am either.)
Answer: Can't imagine NBC won't be doing a little Leno synergy to launch its version of Top Gear this midseason, but you're right, Leno would be the perfect host for this show. And Dancing with the Stars goofiness aside, Adam Carolla isn't my idea of a draw. But I'm not sure even a show this well suited for Leno's temperament and his passion for cars would be enough to keep him at the network once the Tonight transition takes effect next May. (And the timing of this also is all wrong, since Leno won't be leaving his late-night post until next Memorial Day, and NBC is prepping Top Gear for earlier in '09.) But this is one of the best ideas I've heard — next to just letting things stay as they are in late night until Leno is ready to slow down, which isn't likely to happen soon. Poor, stupid NBC.