But Amazon has confirmed a deal with Top Gear’s former presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May to create a new car show exclusively for its streaming service.
First reported by the London Evening Standard, the show – which doesn’t have a name yet and which won’t feature The Stig – will be exclusively available online via Amazon’s Prime Video service. It’ll be produced by ex-Top Gear executive Andy Wilman. The deal commits Clarkson, Hammond and May to three seasons of the show and filming is planned to begin this Autumn to go out in 2016.
The trio separated from the BBC after Jeremy Clarkson punched a producer during filming of Top Gear and his contract was subsequently not renewed. Signing the trio on exclusively is a huge win for Amazon, particularly as it was rumoured Netflix was close to reaching a deal for the new show. Top Gear reached more than 350 million people worldwide, so will likely help Amazon take its streaming service to new heights.
In a statement from Amazon, Clarkson said: “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship.” Hammond said: “Amazon? Oh yes. I have already been there. I got bitten by a bullet ant.” And May added: “We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn’t it?”
Amazon Prime Video EU vice president Jay Marine said: “Customers told us they wanted to see the team back on screen, and we are excited to make that happen. We can’t wait to see what Jeremy, Richard, James and the team will create in what is sure to be one of the most globally anticipated shows of 2016.”
One issue Amazon needs to tackle in the near term is that Prime Video is not available as broadly as Netflix. Right now, it’s only available in United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Austria, Germany and launching soon in India.