Hollywood and the automobile industry share a rich history. Since the first motion pictures debuted cars have played a starring role, something that’s still true today, especially on the small screen.
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Yes, Top Gear USA will be moving in to a third season, but it looks like Jerry Seinfeld might be making a stab at comedic car TV too.
Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne was featured yesterday on CBS’ 60 Minutes discussing his life as the head of both Fiat, Chrysler and how he brought the American brand back to health from the brink of collapse.
In the interview, Marchionne addresses the state Chrysler was in when he came on board to resurrect the company, saying employees were afraid and that the hierarchical corporate structure in place was crippling to operation.
The 13-minute clip also looks at the upcoming Dodge Dart, which first debuted in January at the Detroit Auto Show. We also get a peek into Marchionne’s life in Italy, where he isn’ allowed to go anywhere without being in a bullet-proof car with police escorts.
Watch the video below, it’s well worth the time.
In terms of prime time viewing, it often doesn’t get any better than during the Super Bowl. As a result companies want to make every second of air time count during the commercial breaks, often leading to some of the most inventive ads of all time.
This year, Kia Motors is pulling out all the stops, thanks to a commercial which Michale Sprague, head of Kia’s US marketing and communications calls “the ultimate man’s dream.” It’s all part of a plan for Kia to boost its image into a more upscale, edgier brand.
Essentially, the ad incorporates a Kia Optima tearing around a race track, while scantily clad supermodel Adriana Lima and mixed-martial arts fighter Chuck Liddell do what they do best, as Mötley Crüe rock on stage, performing Kickstart My Heart.
The 60-second commercial will first be seen in movie theaters beginning on February 3, while 15-second teaser ads will also air beforehand. In an attempt to maximize the ad’s potential Kia will also leverage both the Twitter and Facebook followings of the stars featured in the commercial.
[Source: USA Today]
One of the leading teams in the American Le Mans Series has published a tactful but strongly worded essay taking the ALMS to task for failing to secure a proper live television deal for the 2011 season, when the race series has previously been able to secure such a contract.
For this season, ALMS shifted to a largely digital broadcast format, with races being shown live on ESPN3.com, and then aired later on ABC. Due to a scheduling conflict, ABC was unable to air the 12 Hours of Sebring broadcast on the West Coast, a significant market for motorsports.
On its official website, Risi Competizione posted a lengthy, but eloquent essay, taking the ALMS to task for what it argues is a retrograde movement in securing coverage for its race series. Risi also notes that the high cost of sports car racing, and the need for significant sponsorship exposure makes the broadcast deal look unprofessional.
While ALMS boss Scott Atherton posted a defense of the new media deal 4 days before Risi’s own blog, Risi seems to have been feeling unfulfilled by the arrangement, and their public criticism of the ALMS management is surprising.
We asked a spokesman from Chevrolet to comment on whether Corvette Racing shares the same sentiments. In an email, he stated “No, I don’t think we share that exact same opinion. Though yes, we’re sensitive to the concerns of fans and we of course want the best broadcast coverage possible for fans.”
We highly suggest checking out both Risi’s post (linked below) and the ALMS official statement. Both of these primary documents must be read to gain a solid grounding in the issues, but we would love to hear what you think. As motorsports fans ourselves, it’s safe to say we are fairly invested in this story.
[Source: Risi Competizione]
With Mad Men setting off a slew of imitators producing 1960′s period pieces on network television, Ridley and Tony Scott, the two brothers collectively responsible for works like Top Gun and Gladiator, are apparently forging ahead with plans for a movie set in the 1960s, but with a motor racing theme.
“I grew up in the North of England at a time when Stirling Moss was a hero.Everyone wanted to be a racing driver. This is a hugely ambitious project and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tell the story of these iconic and legendary men who risked everything to win at Le Mans. It’s an epic story of courage and ambition and a history of racing which has never been told on such a grand scale,” Ridley Scott told Deadline.
Considering the uber-high production values and budgets that usually accompany one of the brothers movies, we literally cannot wait to see what transpires. The 1960′s were some of the best days of motorsports and played host to the infamous Ferrari/Ford rivalry among other legendary battles. Hopefully this one doesn’t languish in development hell.
Matt Farah, host of The Smoking Tire and an AutoGuide contributor, has been tapped to host a new SPEED channel show featuring comedian and car buff Adam Carolla, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dan Neil and former NBA player John Salley.
Carolla, who was once tapped to host a stillborn version of Top Gear USA, will head up the show, produced by Mandt Bros. Productions. The structure of the show will be more like a cable sports show, where hosts discuss car related topics, with pre-shot features interspersed with the discussions.
When pressed for details, Farah was tight-lipped, but told AutoGuide that “We feel that there is room in the market for a fun car show with a uniquely American flavor. While the gold standard of Top Gear is out there for everyone to compare to, we want to try something different, something a little less scripted and a little more on the fly, with well-known automotive personalities. I’m really happy to be a part of this project, and really excited for viewers to see it when it’s done.”