This article was originally posted on The Week Available at: http://bit.ly/1JXFAlr
Jeremy Clarkson’s new show could only be available in four countries at launch, according to a source at Amazon Prime – the US, the UK, Germany and Austria. The news could mean that fans in other parts of the world may not immediately be able to see the show when it becomes available later this year.
So what else do we know so far about the former Top Gear host’s new TV show?
The show will be available outside the US and UK
Some Clarkson fans have complained they will not be able to watch his new show, due to Amazon Prime Instant Video only being available in certain countries – a concern the presenter sought to play down with a single-word reply to one follower.
Two weeks ago, a fan tweeted Clarkson to express his disappointment that the programme would not be available to anyone outside the UK and US, to which the presenter simply wrote back: “wrong.”However, the presenter has yet to confirm precisely where his show will be available and according to a source at Amazon Prime, the release could be quite limited, only being available in the US, UK, Germany and Austria at launch.
According to a report last year in the Daily Mirror, Clarkson “is planning to broadcast the show from different venues around the world – rather than a set studio base in one location”. The newspaper says this “would give fans across the globe a chance to get involved and see the show being made close up”.
Moving to Amazon was about gaining independence
After Clarkson was dropped by the BBC, new deals were reportedly offered by a number of terrestrial and web broadcasters including Sky, ITV, Netflix and Hulu. After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the trio – alongside former Top Gear producer Andy Wilman – eventually announced that they had signed with Amazon Prime.
“It was very parochial the way this whole thing started,” Wilman said of the Amazon deal recently. “It’s not our forte doing deals. We’re all crap at business.”
According to The Independent, the team only decided to sign a contract with the streaming service “after ITV wouldn’t let them make the show they wanted and Netflix reportedly weren’t that interested”.
It will come out in autumn
According to reports, the new show will come out some time in the autumn. Quite when this means is a matter or some debate – but many media watchers are saying the end of autumn, so possibly as late in the year as November.
Regardless, the show is already thought to be streets ahead of the BBC’s revamped Top Gear which appears to be lurching from one disaster to the next. Most recently it was reported that Chris Evans is “struggling to drive and talk at the same time”. According to the Daily Mirror it has been taking the new presenter “up to ten attempts to perfect a shot as he often fluffs his lines”.
That isn’t the only problem Evans has suffered since taking over from Clarkson. Reports this week say that the new Top Gear host appears to get car sick. Evans was photographed vomiting by the side of the track after doing a few laps in an Audi R8 V10 with co-star Sabine Schmitz.
“Chris was the passenger as the German racing driver raced round the track in Monterey, California before she had to come to a sudden stop and let the Radio 2 DJ hop out,” the Mirror reports. “The queasy star was spotted hunched over with a bottle of water in his jeans, leather jacket and white helmet as he retched and tried to recover.”
A source reportedly told The Sun: “It would be unfair to expect him to be perfect right from the world ‘go’. But how can someone who gets car sick possibly host Top Gear?” Clarkson, meanwhile, appears to be enjoying life away from the BBC, and suffering very few problems as his untitled new project gets underway. This week, the 55-year-old presenter tweeted pictures of his new staff moving into their new offices.
For those car fans too impatient to wait until autumn for some motoring entertainment, Evans’ Top Gear is set to premiere on 8 May. For the rest, it may be a very long, slow summer.
The show will be in 4K
Clarkson confirmed on Twitter earlier this month that the new show will be made in ‘4K’, the latest standard for ultra-high-definition video.
The team have filmed in Portugal
Clarkson, Hammond and May visited the Algarve International Circuit in Portimao to race three of the world’s most expensive supercars in October. A photograph of the team at the track revealed a Ferrari LaFerrari, a McLaren P1 and a Porsche 918 Spyder.
The total budget is £160m
Clarkson’s deal with Amazon Prime has not been made public – but the Financial Times said last month it was worth £160m. The FT said it was “one of the largest ever agreed by a digital streaming group”, more than double the amount Netflix paid for two seasons of House of Cards.
Clarkson is making it himself
The 55-year-old presenter has set up his own production company, although he admitted in a Sunday Times column last week that he has a lot to learn about business. He has said that all of the previous features, such as the Stig, the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car and the Cool Wall, belonged to the BBC, so they are having to start from scratch. “It’s going to be all new,” he said.
It will cost you £79 to watch the show
The new show will only be available in the UK to subscribers to Amazon Prime, the online retailer’s premium service, which costs £79 a year.
There will be 36 episodes…
Former Top Gear producer Andy Wilman, who is still working with Clarkson, told Broadcast magazine there will be three series of 12 episodes.
…which will not be released together
Unlike many series made for online broadcasters, such as Netflix, the new motoring show will be released once a week, episode by episode.
The show will not have ad breaks
Clarkson wrote in his Sun column that he is delighted the show will have no commercial breaks and “no editorial pressure from on high”.