Former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammon and James May are set to front a new motoring series for Amazon Prime Instant Video after they signed a three-season deal with the streaming service, TVWise has learned.
The as-yet untitled show (the Top Gear brand is owned by the BBC) will feature the trio and will be executive produced by Andy Wilman, who served as the EP on Top Gear until Clarkson’s dismissal from the show earlier this year. Production on Amazon’s motoring series is set to get underway shortly ahead of a 2016 premiere on Amazon Prime in the UK, the US and Germany.
“This is a golden age of television, a great time for TV makers and storytellers”, said Jay Marine, Vice President of Amazon Prime Instant Video EU. . “Our approach is to give programme makers creative freedom to be innovative and make the shows they want to make. This is just the start, you should expect to see more world-leading talent and the biggest shows on Prime Video.”
This three-season deal between Amazon and Clarkson, Hammond and May puts and end to months of speculation (not to mention inaccurate tabloid reports) on where the trio would be going to front a new motoring show. Sky, Channel 4 and Channel 5 quickly ruled themselves out as potential bidders, while there was serious competition between ITV, Netflix UK and Amazon to land the new show.
The fact that the show landed at Amazon is significant and is likely to surprise many in the industry. The streaming service had not been considered a likely home, especially as their push into UK commissioned content has been slow. Prior to today the only project they has green-lit was Ripper Street, which they revived for a third season after it was cancelled by the BBC. Amazon UK recently renewed the period drama was recently renewed for a fourth and fifth season.
“Customers told us they wanted to see the team back on screen, and we are excited to make that happen,” added Jay Marine. “Millions of Prime members are already enjoying our ground-breaking original shows. 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.”
The Clarkson-Hammon-May fronted show joins a slate of originals at Amazon Prime Instant Video that also includes the John Goodman political comedy Alpha House; The Man In The High Castle, from Frank Spotnitz and Ridley Scott; hour-long drama Hand Of God, starring Ron Perlman, Dana Delany and Garrett Dillahunt; and a U.S. version of Sky1’s original series Mad Dogs, which hails from Shawn Ryan and Sony Pictures Television.