The relaunch of the former worldwide hit “Top Gear,” with a lineup that now features “Friends” alum Matt LeBlanc along with Chris Evans as hosts, has stumbled out of the starting gate with its rollout in the U.K.
The audience for the show plunged from 4.3 million for the show’s premiere episode to just 2.8 million for episode two, slipping by about one-third, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The plunge in the show’s U.K. numbers came “amid reports of ‘canned laughter’ and data showing viewers felt it was the worst show on terrestrial British TV on its launch weekend,” THR reports.
The report adds: “The Sunday night audience drop of a third came after negative audience reviews, with observers also citing sunny weather in Britain that had been expected to somewhat affect TV ratings on Sunday. Some viewers lauded the first episode for not changing the format too much, and LeBlanc and fellow host Sabine Schmitz drew positive reviews. But others criticized Evans as too ‘shouty’ and trying too hard.”