The original trio behind popular U.K. TV show Top Gear will be back sooner rather than later as they signed a deal with Amazon. Amazon Prime members in the U.K. will be able to stream the new car show starting in 2016. Prime members in the U.S., Japan, Austria and Germany should get the new show, too, as the company talks about a “global TV deal.”
As a reminder, in March 2015, the BBC didn’t renew Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson’s contract following an “unprovoked physical and verbal attack”. Following Clarkson’s departure, his two co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May as well as executive producer Andy Wilman quit.
Many expected them to join another network or an online streaming service. And the rumors were right as Amazon signed a deal to produce an original show as soon as possible. While it won’t be named Top Gear, as the BBC holds the branding copyright, you can expect a car show in the same vein.
The team has already committed to three seasons, showing that Amazon is serious about this new car show. It might also hint at a bidding war with other networks and streaming services, with Amazon offering a longer commitment than others. In particular, the WSJ reports that there was a bidding war between Netflix and Amazon.
Top Gear has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years in the U.K. and abroad. Many find it more compelling than other versions, such as the U.S. version. According to the BBC, the original Top Gear show has a global audience of 350 million people.
Today’s news is interesting as Top Gear isn’t your regular scripted show. Both Amazon and Netflix are heavily investing in original programming with a big focus on drama, comedy and children’s programming.
Top Gear is a slightly different show, so it will be interesting to see how the new version fares. Now the only remaining question is the name of the new show. Super Gear? Mega Gear? Super Mega Gear?