Amazon Instant Video has just landed a huge deal with three former Top Gear hosts. The streaming subscription service has signed Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May to produce an unnamed car show to debut exclusively on the platform sometime in 2016.
The upcoming automobile-based series from Amazon will be produced by former Top Gear executive Andy Wilman. Production is set to begin in the fall of 2015, with Clarkson, Hammond, and May signed on for at least three seasons of the series. According to Variety, the three Top Gear hosts may have been attracted to Amazon for its promise of creative control over the new show.
“Our approach is to give program-makers creative freedom to be innovative and make the shows they want to make,” said Jay Marine, VP of Amazon Prime Video EU. “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.”
“I feel like I’ve climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship,” Clarkson quipped, with May adding, “We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn’t it?” Clarkson also took to his Twitter account to announce, much to his chagrin, that Amazon Video won’t let him be the company’s chief drone pilot.
.@AmazonVideoUK now saying I can’t be their chief drone pilot. Apparently they want us to make a car show.
— Jeremy Clarkson (@JeremyClarkson) July 30, 2015
Amazon’s deal with Clarkson, Hammond, and May is an impressive win for the streaming video-on-demand service. Amazon essentially beat Hulu, Netflix, and British TV network ITV to signing the Top Gear hosts, who earlier this month were reportedly in talks with those three outlets to bring back their cancelled BBC show.
Plus, Amazon will now have a new original series under its brand that boasts a pre-existing fan base and plenty of name recognition, which should help it compete with fellow streaming services. Up to this point, Amazon has lagged behind Netflix in terms of original series with raving viewers, with the one exception of the Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated series Transparent.
The BBC is planning to bring back Top Gear with new host Chris Evans, but fans of the original trio of hosts will undoubtedly turn their eyes to Amazon Instant Video for more car facts and thrills in the future.