Former Top Gear Crew Blocked From Appearing On ITV Until 2017
The final episode of the Top Gear we’ve known and loved has come and gone, which leaves fans once again wondering where the old guard will end up. Official facts are sparse and rumors still run rampant, but the latest is that Clarkson, Hammond and May won’t see a spot at ITV anytime soon, as previously speculated.
The news comes from the British publication Daily Mail, which quotes an unidentified TV source as saying that the trio is blocked from creating a rival motoring program due to a clause in their previous contract with the BBC. Should the former hosts choose to sign with another British television channel, they would be unable to go forward with their own car show for two years, despite dropping out from their former gigs.
However, and this is the crucial part, the clause would not block them from doing a car show with internet-based entertainment services like Netflix or Amazon, both of which offer original programming and are rumored to be under consideration by Clarkson, etc.
Wherever the three amigos end up, you can bet the platform will benefit. It’s estimated that Top Gear pulled in an estimated £40 million ($61.8 million at current exchange rates, 7/15) annually before Clarkson’s departure, with nearly six million people tuning in to watch the final episode late last month.
It’s reported that the three previously met with ITV officials alongside former TG executive producer Andy Wilman to discuss a potential new show. According to the Daily Mirror’s source, ITV “made them a great offer.”
Meanwhile, the BCC has announced that Chris Evans will be the lead at the new Top Gear as the show scrambles to extend its popularity despite the exodus of Clarkson, Hammond and May.
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Why it matters
If this rumor turns out to be true, then it looks like we’ll get future doses of CH&M via computer monitors rather than television screens. But that was to be expected, to be honest – while the fan base may have been built off the BBC, the old Top Gear took root overseas in a big way, which would make something like Netflix perfect for reaching audiences.
All this publicity around Fracas Gate and the new show won’t last forever.
What’s more, all this publicity around Fracas Gate and the new show won’t last forever. If the trio hopes to capitalize on it, they’ll need to move quickly, which means the two-year wait to get on ITV is probably not worth it, even if they were offered rather handsome compensation.
For example, let’s say Chris Evans actually manages to bring TG back from the dead. Where’s that leave CH&M? Out of luck, I’d venture.
Speaking personally, there’s only a handful of reasons why signing up for television service make sense to me, and if CH&M are on Netflix, than that list will get a little shorter.
Time to step into the 21st century. Not only would the show bolster the already powerful Netflix or Amazon, it would also (presumably) offer audiences uncensored content and more creative freedom than the trio enjoyed at the media behemoth BBC. That means all those bleeps vanish and the stunts become even more ridiculous.
Sounds good to me.