After the BBC refused to renew the Top Gear show due to Jeremy Clarkson’s outburst while filming, much speculation occurred as to the show ever returning.
However, the Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May will return in a new show. Amazon has picked up the trio for a new motorists show available for Amazon Prime members via Amazon Instant Video, set to debut in 2016.
The deal positions Amazon Instant Video with further exclusive content, which has been battling the likes of Netflix. “I feel like I’ve climbed out of a bi-plane and into a spaceship,” said Clarkson in a press release, with Hammond commenting: “Amazon? Oh yes. I have already been there. I got bitten by a bullet ant.” May added: “We have become part of the new age of smart TV. Ironic, isn’t it?”
The deal between Amazon and former Top Gear presenters pits them for three year contract. Amazon was also able to poach former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, a longtime friend of Clarkson’s and the figure credited with the show’s revival in the early 2000s.
Wilman and Clarkson were able to build Top Gear into one of the most watched motoring enthusiast shows, garnering an estimated 350 million worldwide audience. Amazon holds global rights to the new show, which will allow its availability to Prime subscribers in the U.S., U.K., and other markets.
Additionally, Amazon has the rights to license the show to other broadcast networks. “Customers told us they wanted to see the team back on screen, and we are excited to make that happen,” said Jay Marine, vice president of Amazon Prime Video EU. “Our approach is to give program makers creative freedom to be innovative and make the shows they want to make.”