BBC America Has Big Plans for New Unscripted Programming


BBC America has announced an initial slate of unscripted programs, beginning with WOULD YOU RATHER WITH GRAHAM NORTON and HARD DRIVE WITH RICHARD HAMMOND. The news of these two tentatively titled projects marks the channel’s first major steps into original U.S. production, and follows their highest ratings ever in the second quarter of 2011. The schedule aims to expand on the popularity of the channel’s current core of unscripted program brands, such as The Graham Norton Show, Top Gear and Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

Host and comedian Graham Norton’s new show is a comedy game show that tests the wits of the best U.S. comics.

After finding success as host of Top Gear, Richard Hammond’s new original program features him traveling the U.S. and competing with local experts, driving some of America’s toughest and most extraordinary vehicles.

Several other unscripted series pilots are also in development. The first is James May’s MAN LAB U.S., in which May comes to America and teams up with an American sidekick in order to help his transatlantic brethren rediscover and relearn the skills that define what “being a man” is about.

AUTO BIOGRAPHY tracks down the lost history of an exceptional vintage car. The host traces a vehicle’s family tree and along the way meets the previous owners, all while the vehicle is simultaneously restored and refurbished. In the end, the restored car will be reunited with one unsuspecting previous owner.

BATTLEMODO, produced in association with tech site, is a field-based, hosted hour that takes Gizmodo’s recommendations and tests techniques in the real world with epic battles between two cutting edge products, revealing once and for all which is best.

NO KITCHEN REQUIRED drops four chefs into some of the world’s most remote locations and challenges them to create a meal for the local community, putting their own unique spin on native ingredients. It features chef Michael Psilakis, as well as uses the talents of chefs Madison Cowan, Kayne Raymond and Dominque Crenn.

Finally, SHOCK THERAPY is a special that aims to help addicted young people by pairing them with an extreme version of themselves in order to “shock” them to change their lives and habits for the better.