But that $250 million definitely helped.
We were very, very excited when news broke that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May had found a new home on Amazon. Our own Joel Patel was a bit concerned about having to fork over cash for a new show we knew nothing about. Well now we know a bit more about the new Amazon motoring program and how the deal went down thanks to an interview former TG producer (he jumped ship with the trio) Andy Wilman gave to the British magazine Broadcast.
Digital Spy has the scoop on the interview's most interesting points. According to Wilman, the four (the presenters and producer) wanted three things from any network: complete editorial freedom, a ton of money and no car advertisements. Apparently Netflix and other US outlets balked and ITV just wasn't possible due to legal reasons, which left Amazon. "Every one we have talked to has told us: 'They leave you alone to make your show'. That's a big one for us - we don't like interference, we don't need to be policed." Amazon easily solved the money issue as the new show will have a budget of about $7 million per episode (production and salaries).
It will be a lot like the old show with a studio segment, car reviews and wacky challenges. It will be shot in the UK and there's a proposed release date for the US, UK and Germany of autumn 2016. Unlike other online TV shows it will be released one episode at a time, meaning no binge watching will be possible. Also, the Stig and the old test track will stay with the BBC, but with a budget of $7 mil per episode we think the guys will be able to easily find suitable replacements for both.