Top Gear’s Clarkson, Hammond and May sign with Amazon Prime for new show to debut in 2016

“Former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have signed up to present a new show on Amazon’s streaming video service,” BBC news reports. “The trio will front three series of a new motoring programme for Amazon Prime, with the first season to be made available worldwide in 2016.”

“The move follows their departure from the hit BBC Two show earlier this year. Clarkson’s contract was not renewed following an ‘unprovoked physical attack’ on a Top Gear producer. His co-hosts then followed him in leaving the show,” The Beeb reports. “They will now make the unnamed new programme with former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, who also quit the BBC following the ‘fracas.'”

“In a statement from Amazon, Clarkson said: ‘I feel like I’ve climbed out of a biplane and into a spaceship,'” The Beeb reports. “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.'”

“It’s a shrewd move. For a start, Amazon doesn’t have to bow to pressure from advertisers, particularly those car manufacturers the team regularly skewers. Secondly, it neatly sidesteps the much-reported clause in the presenters’ BBC contracts that prevented them making a show for a UK broadcaster for two years” The Beeb reports. “More importantly, the team already have a proven track record in streaming video. Top Gear accounted for eight of the top 20 most-streamed programmes on the BBC’s iPlayer last year, with one episode watched by 3.8 million people.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is a big loss for Netflix which, one would assume, took part in the bidding.

Unlike Netflix, Amazon Prime is not currently on Apple TV as a dedicated “channel,” however Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch owners can, of course, play Amazon video via Apple TV using AirPlay.

11 Comments

  1. Top Gear was lightning in a bottle. It didn’t work when the three tried going their separate ways. Hopefully for them they will try and stick close to the same formula that people loved.

    “BBC contracts that prevented them making a show for a UK broadcaster for two years”
    BBC Executives – “What? There’s a world outside of the UK?!?!? {Face palm}

  2. Well as BBC intend to start a new Top Gear with Chris Evans pretty obviously they didn’t want competition until it has a go at establishing itself. Pretty standard stuff for any business considering they paid Clarkson a lot of money to regain the rights to the format and clearly didn’t want them to take the dish and run soon after.

    Interesting that JC should be talking the move up now when only a few months ago he was moping about it being the most stupid act of a life alive with them. For me sadly I won’t pay for Amazon Prime though happily I note that Ripper street is returning to the BBC a very stupid decision of them to ditch to Amazons’s benefit.

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