Tony O'Kane | May 20, 2009

So, Top Gear Aus is back with a little more polish and a new host. It seems the general consensus is that quality is slightly improved over last season, but what do the ratings say?

Well, the numbers are in and episode one of season two came in at number 25 nationally with 689,000 viewers. Episode two fared worse, with 628,000 viewers and a national ranking of 30.

Broadly speaking, that's better than season one, which at the end of its run was pulling in just 435,000 pairs of eyeballs. But its still not a vast improvement over last season's episode two result of 674,000 viewers (we're not going to count the very first episode's 933,000 viewers, as the pre-launch hype gave it an artificial boost), and TGA really needs to get to the bottom of whatever it is that's making people switch off.

Top Gear Australia Season TwoConversely, SBS could simply schedule more re-runs of Top Gear UK. The familiar faces of Clarkson, May and Hammond drew in far more viewers than the local franchise earlier this year, peaking at 1,011,000 viewers on February 23.

There's clearly something that's sorely lacking in the Australian offering, but whatever it is it seems its not entirely the hosts' fault. Challenges that go nowhere, terrible dialogue and questionable segments all seem to be turning viewers off TGA, and if something isn't rectified soon it'll quickly end up in the same manner as last season: in shameful defeat.

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