BBC Worldwide’s new male-skewing channel, BBC Brit, is revving up its engines for this year’s launch and announcing its first original commission.
Mud, Sweat and Gears (9 x 60 minutes) follows UK automobile journalists Tom “Wookie” Ford and Jonny Smith as they set to work modifying run-of-the-mill roadsters into mutated, supersized cars and then put them through the paces in a variety of challenges.
The series, a coproduction between BBC America and BBC Worldwide Productions, was ordered by BBC America general manager Perry Simon and BBC Worldwide VP of commissioning, original content, Tracy Forsyth.
Speaking to realscreen at the BBC Worldwide Showcase held in Liverpool this week, Forsyth said Brit will endeavor to fill 50 hours of original programming with content that “captures the DNA of Top Gear – that humor, the wit and sense of having fun, but in other areas that we think will attract the Top Gear audience. So that could involve road trips, it could be extreme machines, gadgets.”
Forsyth added that beyond programs that could be considered Top Gear companion pieces, the content being sought for Brit can be divvied up into a few other buckets: “ManLab,” which can include popular science and flashy experiments but isn’t about “men tinkering about in sheds”; “Tough Brudder,” which reflects the current trend towards men “pushing themselves to extremes to achieve personal goals” or, in other words, “educated tom-foolery”; “Dude Food,” which takes inspiration from Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube and the like, to present “smart, intelligent hosts who are looking at food from a male perspective” while avoiding “chop and chat” programming; and male-oriented workplace formats – think Ice Road Truckers and you’re on the right track.
BBC Brit will launch in several worldwide markets this year.