FARGO — The first season of "Rides with Jay Thomas" was a success. So much so, that even its host was surprised.
He expects the second season to be even better.
We'll find out beginning Sunday, June 7, when the second season of the motor-focused show debuts on WDAY-TV in Fargo-Moorhead, KBMY-TV in Bismarck and KELO-TV's secondary station in Sioux Falls, S.D. The half-hour show will begin at 10:35 p.m.
"Our first season went great. The ratings were better than I expected, honestly," said Jay Thomas, the 970 WDAY radio talk-show host who is the "Rides" creator and host. "It was a bigger success than I ever thought it would be."
Josh Rohrer, Forum Communications Co.'s vice president of broadcasting, said the 10-episode show has proven popular among advertisers, too.
"It performed really well in the ratings, and this season is nearly sold out," Rohrer said.
The show revolves around all things with engines — cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats. Thomas and a camera crew have traveled around North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota to find unique and fun machines to profile.
This season's shows include a new feature called "What's in Your Garage?" that highlights decked-out garages and shops in the region.
"I just think this year is going to be better because we learned from what we did last year, and I think that will show through in the quality of the show," Thomas said. "Some of the cars we're showing this year are amazing. Some are worth more than a half-million dollars."
Thomas said he and the show's producers had even bigger plans that included celebrities and national stories, but the coronavirus pandemic stymied that. The show will move that feature to its third season.
Viewers got snippets of this season's shows when "Rides" posted short promotional videos online at InForum and other Forum Communications Co. websites. Some of the highlights included a North Dakota man who merged a 1982 Chevrolet pickup with a 1961 Buick LeSabre, a segment about a 1969 Pontiac GTO, a look at a rare 1955 Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a tour with a high-horsepower Panther airboat.