Clarkson and ‘Top Gear’ presenters sign with Amazon for new car show

30 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Clarkson and ‘Top Gear’ presenters sign with Amazon for new car show.

LONDON (Reuters) – Sacked BBC “Top Gear,” host Jeremy Clarkson has signed a deal with Amazon to present a new motoring show alongside his former co-presenters Richard Hammond and James May.The trio’s new show will be broadcast on Amazon’s on-demand TV service, with the US giant beating off competition from ITV and its online rival, Netflix. Amazon said the new show, to be overseen by the trio’s long time executive producer Andy Wilman, will be available on its subscription streaming service Amazon Prime next year and run for three seasons.

The announcement on Thursday follows months of speculation where Clarkson and his former Top Gear colleagues would go after he was axed by the BBC earlier this year following a fracas with a producer. Amazon said Thursday that Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond have committed to three series of the show, with the first to be broadcast in 2016. “Top Gear” has won a huge global following with its mix of car tips, driving stunts and jokey banter.

Amazon and Netflix had been the favorites to take the trio, who were behind one of the world’s most successful and the BBC’s most lucrative factual TV shows, after it emerged that a clause in their contact with the broadcaster stipulated that they couldn’t make another motoring program in the U.K. for two years, thus ruling out previous frontrunner ITV. Clarkson, 55, was replaced as lead presenter of the globally popular Top Gear show – aired in more than 200 countries and watched by 350 million viewers worldwide – by television presenter and DJ Chris Evans. Clarkson, who had generated both controversy and profits for Britain’s publicly-funded broadcaster, had been on a final warning over accusations last year that he had used racist language while filming the show. A Top Gear television crew was forced to flee Argentina after driving a Porsche 928 GT with the registration number H982 FKL, which some people suggested could refer to the Falklands conflict. Jay Marine, vice-president of Amazon Prime Video in Europe, said: “Customers told us they wanted to see the team back on screen, and we are excited to make that happen. “Millions of Prime members are already enjoying our ground-breaking original shows.

This is just the start, you should expect to see more world-leading talent and the biggest shows on Prime Video.” Ahead of its screening, executive producer Wilman, a school friend of Clarkson who came up with the modern Top Gear format a decade ago, said: “All we know is that we want to stay together and carry on making a car show. “There is a will for it – the public want it, broadcasters want it – so the stars are aligning in the right way. Once this show’s gone out and we’ve got closure, we’ll crack on.” “I’m not worried about that,” he said. “It went global because of Richard, James and Jeremy, and grew at a time when channel loyalty, schedules, all those pillars of traditional TV watching, have fallen away …

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