Top Gear America may need to up its game if this happens.
The enduring popularity of Top Gear meant that The Grand Tour was always going to be successful. But compared to the last incarnation of Top Gear which aired in 214 countries making it the most watched show in the entire world, the audience reach for The Grand Tour is limited. That’s because if you want to watch it (legally, that is), you need to pay for an Amazon Prime account every year. Predictably, the show became the most watched series on Amazon, but reportedly attracted less than half the viewing figures that Top Gear did in the UK.
However, The Grand Tour could be shown to a wider audience in the future, as repeats of the show could eventually air on American TV. Speaking at a recent Edinburgh Television Festival, Amazon Video Executive Roy Price hinted that he isn’t “ruling out” the possibility of The Grand Tour making the jump to traditional broadcast television. He also added that he is pleased with the performance of The Grand Tour and that he wants to see more series get commissioned in the future. "I would expect more down that road,” he said. “That show has the scale that we’re looking for ideally…I would take four more of those any day."
Enabling more fans to enjoy the antics of Clarkson, Hammond and May can only be a good thing, and could help reduce illegal downloads of the show. If it does happen, the recently reborn Top Gear America, which has so far received a mixed reception, will need to up its game in the future. Should Amazon decide to sell the show to a UK network like the BBC or ITV, the current Top Gear fronted by Matt LeBlanc could face some direct competition, too.