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Honyee Media’s Chinese version of BBC’s Top Gear has taken the world’s most populous country by storm, with the first 5 episodes of the second season accumulating a combined audience of 217 million across TV and online.
The show, which launched on Shanghai Dragon TV on October 19th, was the number one programme in its time slot for the past 4 weeks across all cable and pay-TV channels nationwide, with an average weekly audience of 9 million tuning in to watch live. The fifth and latest episode of a run of 10 attracted its highest audience to date, garnering over 11 million viewers.
Interest in Top Gear China has been so intense that the season’s first 5 episodes have received 173 million total views across 8 of China’s largest online video websites.
Paul Dempsey, President of Global Markets at BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm who licensed the format to Honyee Media said: “The success of Top Gear in China once again demonstrates the unique appeal of the world’s favourite motoring entertainment show. It’s also testament to a successful collaboration between our own UK producers and their Chinese counterparts who have recreated a British institution for a whole new audience.”
Top Gear fever in China is set to continue when the current series ends with a Top Gear Live festival featuring the local hosts currently slated to take place in Spring 2016 in Shanghai.