Ex-‘Top Gear’ Trio to Host New Car Show for Amazon Prime

30 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon Prime sign up former Top Gear trioThe e-commerce giant announced on Thursday that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, along with producer Andy Wilman, committed to three seasons as part of a global video deal. LONDON (AP) — The former hosts of the BBC’s popular “Top Gear” program, who left amid scandal over an off-set dustup, have signed up to present a new car show for broadcaster Amazon Prime.British television presenter Jeremy Clarkson, dropped from hit BBC motoring show for punching a producer, will make a new series about cars for Amazon Prime, the streaming service announced Thursday.

The American technology giant, whose streaming service competes head-to-head with Netflix, was the surprise winner of a bidding war for the signatures of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond. Well, the company has made a number of big moves recently in an attempt to propel Prime Video, its subscription TV and film content service, into the big time by signing up big names and winning big awards. Amazon may license the yet-to-be-named show to video providers in countries where the service is not available. “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,” said Jay Marine, vice president of Amazon Prime Video EU. An estimated 350 million viewers around the world tuned in to Top Gear each week to watch the three men review cars and try them out in madcap stunts, making it the world’s most popular factual television programme.

Netflix and ITV, the U.K.’s biggest commercial TV network, were thought to be the frontrunners to sign them after they left the BBC earlier in the year. Much of the appeal for fans was Clarkson’s straight-talking, “man of the people” approach, but critics condemned him as a boorish bigot and he was an increasingly controversial figure even before the altercation with a producer in March. Top Gear has long been one of Britain’s most popular TV exports but was rocked by a succession of controversies that led to the relationship between the cast and the BBC breaking down. Clarkson reported himself to BBC management after admitting to shouting at and hitting Oisin Tymon, giving him a bleeding lip for which the producer sought hospital treatment. “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship,” Clarkson said on the announcement that the trio would be filming three seasons of a new show for Amazon. My guess is that [Amazon Studios vice president] Roy Price will regret this.” Since then the BBC have brought the show home after it appeared on BBC America in April this year and the third series will air on BBC One tomorrow at 9pm.

Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer and Prime, an internet streaming service similar to Netflix, offers subscribers access to thousands of films and television shows, including original content. It’s all about Jeffrey Tambor’s transgender character Maura Pfefferman, who was born Morton Pfefferman, and his family’s reaction after they find out he identifies himself as a woman. Amazon’s new car series will add to a growing catalogue of original, exclusive shows that it has commissioned to attract more subscribers to its streaming service. So far the most successful has been Transparent, a black comedy about a Los Angeles family whose father is transgender, which won a Golden Globe award last year.

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