Big budget, multi-hour specials will replace the usual 10 one-our episodes

Good news for fans of The Grand Tour: The show is returning for a fourth season. Bad news for fans of The Grand Tour: The show’s studio-dominated configuration is getting the heave-ho. That’s the word from Amazon, which announced the renewal of the hit motoring show for Season 4, albeit with big changes in the way for the upcoming season. There’s no timetable on when Season 4 comes out, but don’t expect it to air until 2020. Season 3 hasn’t even come out yet; that’s on schedule to première on January 18, 2019.

Amazon’s announcement comes with a lot of good news that’s sprinkled with some let’s-see-what-happens intrigue. First, the good news The Grand Tour is returning for a fourth season! More importantly, it looks like the show will continue to run “for years to come,” as Amazon’s one-paragraph release indicated. The show took a bit of time to find its footing, but if there’s anything that Season 2 showed, it’s that the trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May still know how to work a room, even if sometimes they do seem like they’re talking way more than they should.

We don’t know what Season 3 has in store for us — it’s scheduled to première on Amazon Prime on January 18, 2019 — but from the looks of it, we’re going to be treated with more of the same style, setup, and shenanigans as the first two seasons.

That brings us to the big change in format for Season 4. A big part of The Grand Tour’s current configuration is that it travels around the world for locations to do its show. That includes bringing the complete cast, crew, production folks, and the outsized “tent” that has become the chosen expression for its mobile studio. Apparently, that’s all going to change in Season 4 because Amazon release also pointed out that the guys would “ditch the tent to take on big adventure road trips.” The show’s on Twitter account doubled down on the announcement, peddling that same metaphorical tent to anyone who wants to buy it.

The Grand Tour Will Return For a Fourth Season, But Under a New Format
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Basically, the show’s studio format will be gone in Season 4. Adding to that, the show’s ten one-hour-episode format will also get parked in favor of big adventure road trips. This means that not only is the show axing the studio segment, but it’s also dropping all the content that comes with it.

No more traditional reviews. No more Conversation Street. No more Celebrity Face Off. No more studio guests.

Speaking with the U.K.’s Sun publication, Clarkson confirmed the show’s format change in Season 4, saying that “I will miss the banter with each other and with the audience.” He did acknowledge that the traditional format has probably run its course after doing it, effectively, for 17 years, most of it with Top Gear. “There are only so many times you can watch a BMW go around the track — what more can you say? It’s got four wheels and a seat,” he said, before adding, “I’m 58, and I’m too fat to be climbing on to the stage.”

So now that The Grand Tour’s fourth season will focus more on “big adventure road trips,” the question begs: what can we expect? Well, if history has a word on it, we can at least expect similar shows to the Christmas Specials the trio used to have during their time on Top Gear. Remember the controversial road trip to Argentina? How about their excursion in the Amazon? The trio also tried to build a bridge over the Kwai river, find the birthplace of the Baby Jesus in Jerusalem, searched for the true source of the Nile river, and tried their luck improving the U.K.’s trade relations with India. All those episodes received positive reviews. They also were the show’s most controversial episodes, particularly the Patagonia special that ended abruptly because, well, let’s just say the show pissed off local Argentinians for referencing — intentionally or not — a certain “war” that the South American nation lost to the U.K.

The Grand Tour Goes "More American"
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It’s hard to imagine Amazon giving The Grand Tour the same kind of leeway they had in their “big adventures” on Top Gear. Then again, part of the reason those episodes were memorable was because of all the controversy they generated. So perhaps the fourth season of The Grand Tour will be full of similar-type episodes. If that happens, a lot of people will be tuning in to see what kind of trouble Clarkson, May, and Hammond end up getting involved in.

Further reading

GQ Talks Shop With The Boys From The Grand Tour: Video
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Read more The Grand Tour news.

Source: Twitter - The Grand Tour

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