In yet another move this week to acquire new shows for its Prime audience, Amazon has inked a deal with the Top Gear guys.
Per the announcement via Amazon: “Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are reuniting to create an all-new car show, exclusively for Amazon Prime. The show will be produced by the trio’s long time executive producer Andy Wilman.”
Clarkson told Amazon, “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship.” The show is set to air in 2016.
According to the London Evening Standard, “The deal ends months of speculation about the future of the most bankable star on British TV following Clarkson’s spectacular departure from the BBC after 27 years. BBC director general Tony Hall refused to renew the 55 year old’s contract after a notorious ‘fracas’ at a Yorkshire hotel in March when Top Gear‘s frontman hit producer Oisin Tymon during a row about catering arrangements.”
Top Gear is an insanely popular show with an estimated global audience around 350 million, but hit a major snag with that so-called “fracas,” as the BBC reported about the incident and a timeline of the show’s popularity.
The earliest version started in 1977, with the 1988 addition of “Mr. Clarkson’s outspoken, irreverent style helped propel viewing figures from several hundred thousand to more than six million,” the BBC stated. “In 2013 Guinness World Records proclaimed that the show was the most widely watched factual TV programme in the world.”
The Evening Standard reports that the BBC is retooling a new version of Top Gear as well. The show has made the BBC about “£50 million a year,” (that’s almost $78 million to us).
Amazon also announced two other significant pilots this week: Bryan Cranston’s Sneaky Pete and a version of Casanova from the director of Amelie.