Top Gear was rebooted in May following the high-profile departures of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. The well-known trio drew an audience of around 5.8 million viewers before leaving to start a new show on Amazon Prime.
Competing coverage of the Euro 2016 soccer game between France and Iceland may have also contributed to the slump in viewership for Sunday’s finale, but the 23rd season of the show had been dogged with rumours of internal dissension between Evans and LeBlanc.
Some fans and critics had attacked the new cast on social media and in the press, and Evans was forced to apologize for an episode in which some of the co-hosts performed “doughnuts” in their cars not far from London’s Cenotaph, a stone monument to Britain’s war dead.
Evans, 50, was also recently accused publicly by a former colleague of inappropriate behaviour on the set of a 1990s production, which he strenuously denied. No charges have been brought in connection with the allegations.
Top Gear was scheduled to resume filming for new episodes in September. It’s not immediately clear if that production schedule will be affected by Evans’ departure, or if LeBlanc will be back on the show.