Well, it turns out Amazon weren’t joking when they said they were going to give Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May and Andy Wilman the freedom to make their new motoring show exactly the way they want to – and I’m not just referring to restrictions or creative freedom here.
Amazon have put their money where their mouth is, and backed the boys with a budget of £160,000,000 for the new series – that’s right, one-hundred and sixty million British pounds sterling. In today’s money, that’s almost $250,000,000 US dollars. This will make their new show (whatever it will be named) one of the most expensive UK shows ever. To put it into perspective, it will have a bigger budget than the first two seasons of House of Cards, or the first Avengers movie.
Former Top Gear producer Andy Wilman, who has jumped ship with the trio, has said that it was the promise of a reported £160 million that ended up being the deciding factor in choosing Amazon, which initially seemed like an odd choice over to go for when compared to Netflix or ITV.
“It was very parochial the way this whole thing started,” Wilman said. “It’s not our forte doing deals. We’re all crap at business.”
As we previously mentioned, the team have committed to 36 episodes of a new car show, meaning they’ll have around £4.5 million pounds per episode at their disposal. The huge amount of money, together Amazon’s promise to give the presenters “creative freedom” means we can expect the new show to continue on from Top Gear on more of an “adventure” tangent, rather than a car review and consumer advice style program.
“We love the people down at ITV, but we couldn’t do it,” Wilman added of the broadcaster choice.
“Every one we have talked to has told us: ‘They [Amazon] leave you alone to make your show’. That’s a big one for us – we don’t like interference, we don’t need to be policed.”
Questions remain about availability
The announcement of Amazon signing the old Top Gear crew has also been me with some criticism, mainly when it comes to how the new show will launch and in which countries it will be available. Currently, Amazon Prime is only available to residents of Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada – and looks to be far too limited for program with an expectedly huge worldwide audience.
For now, questions remain about whether Amazon will make the service available to additional countries before the launch date and exactly how much we’ll be paying per episode. Without this expansion, Amazon runs a real risk of losing out on their investment, forcing the majority of fans around the world to turn to illegal downloads.
What will happen is anyone’s guess, but we’ll keep you up to date with any developments.
Get a load of this:
I’m not sure whether stig will be coming back to TG or not, but this show sounds interesting but probs won’t be.
Dear Sean, Amazon Prime is also available in Canada. Ya know, the other mass of land that is also part of America – which is a continent, not a country by the way.
Didn’t realise it was in Canada, thanks. You’ll also note I said “United States”, which is very much a country.
I can’t wait to watch, we never put the TV on, only to watch top gear, that ended so TV was redundant. Welcome back lads 🙂 🙂 excited muchly 🙂 Elaine xx
Wow that is a crazy amount of Money. I really don’t understand how Amazon is thinking here. They got their service for three contries only and still spend that much cash? How do they expect to make a profit out of this? Anyway at least it now makes sense why they picked Amazon. Money talks as Always.
They will make a profit the same way the BBC did. Sure, subscriptions to Prime might increase… But sales to traditional TV will earn the money back. Not just the original screening, but each time it gets djown, the broadcaster pays.
They don’t even need prime in other countries, just sales to TV. Just like the BBC did with Top Gear. If you were a broadcaster who would you choose? Jezza and co or Chris Evans?
Well my flock, it seems that the other JC and his disciples have landed on their feet again. As the Book of Napster says, blessed are the file sharers, for theirs is the cloud, now and for ever more. Providing nobody threatens me with crucifixion again, I’ll be watching my favourite programme online, with most of you out there, courtesy of Couchtuner or similar. If anyone wants to make something of it, well, you know where you can find me……if you think you’re hard enough 😉
This isn’t entirely good as expectations are now higher than ever. I’m expecting pure epicness for my 80 quid.