Television in Brief


LONDON — “Top Gear” host Chris Evans announced this week that he’s quitting the BBC’s flagship car show after just one series.

Evans, 50, who also hosts a popular BBC radio breakfast show, told his 2.31 million Twitter followers: “Stepping down from Top Gear. Gave it my best shot but sometimes that’s not enough. The team are beyond brilliant, I wish them all the best.”

The adrenaline-fueled car show has struggled to draw a big audience since it was relaunched in May, hosted by Evans and former “Friends” star Matt LeBlanc.

The revamped show attracted just 1.9 million viewers to its season finale on Sunday, down from 5.8 million viewers when outspoken trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May were at the helm.

AMC is developing a miniseries based on the memoir of the late New York Times columnist David Carr.

The cable network announced that the project was being conceived as a six-part miniseries and that actor Bob Odenkirk, who stars in AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” would play Carr.

Shawn Ryan, creator of “The Shield,” will write the miniseries and also serve as executive producer.

In his memoir, “The Night of the Gun,” which was released in 2008, Carr reported and wrote about his years of drug addiction and alcoholism, and his unlikely rise as a leading voice in the media world. Carr died last year after collapsing in The Times newsroom.

NEW YORK — Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” has said goodbye to longtime correspondent Jessica Williams, who is working on a new project with the cable network.

Williams joined the program in January 2012 under former host Jon Stewart. At 22, she was the show’s youngest correspondent ever and also the first black woman in the role.

Williams wrapped up her tenure last week with a piece about disappointed Bernie Sanders supporters opting to vote for Republican Donald Trump this fall. After the piece aired, host Trevor Noah paid tribute to Williams, calling her “the coolest, most awesome person.”

Williams signed a development deal with Comedy Central in March. She’s working on a pilot for a half-hour scripted series.

LOS ANGELES — Filmmaker J.J. Abrams is adapting a new book about Michael Jackson for television with TV and radio host Tavis Smiley, co-author of the book.

Smiley’s company said Monday that Warner Bros. Television is on board the project with Smiley and Abrams.

The book, “Before You Judge Me: The Triumph and Tragedy of Michael Jackson’s Last Days,” has been published by Little, Brown and Co.

Written by Smiley and David Ritz, it’s described as a novelistic take on the pop star’s final months.

Jackson died in June 2009 from an overdose of sedatives.

Abrams and Smiley will be executive producers on the TV series. A premier date and network that will air it wasn’t announced.

LOS ANGELES — CBS says Wilmer Valderrama is joining the cast of “NCIS” as a character who’s charismatic but unpredictable.

In a statement, “NCIS” executive producer Gary Glasberg said fans will get to see the actor in a new light.

Valderrama gained attention on the sitcom “That ’70s Show.” He has drama credits that include TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Minority Report” and “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.”

On “NCIS,” he’ll play a field agent who resurfaces after a deep-cover assignment and has gone from stable to loose cannon. Valderrama’s co-stars in the upcoming 14th season include Mark Harmon and Pauley Perrette.

Original cast member Michael Weatherly left “NCIS” at the end of this season but is staying on CBS as the star of a new drama, “Bull.”

Wire reports