There are big pay days, and then there’s the stupendous amount of dough Amazon is allegedly paying Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, James May, and Andy Wilman to put together a new motoring show. A report from The Daily Mirror indicates the shipping giant and burgeoning broadcaster will pay the quartet $250 million to produce three, 12-episode seasons.
That deal positively dwarfs the $100 million Netflix paid for two, 13-episode seasons of its political hit, House of Cards, and proves that Amazon is deadly serious about developing a successful rival to the new, Chris Evans-led Top Gear.
Even at such a lofty price, the investment by Amazon seems safe. As we reported previously, the show will only be available to members of the company’s Prime Instant Video streaming service, which in the United States costs $99 a year. With some 350 million viewers tuning in around the globe for the Clarkson/Hammond/May era of Top Gear, the deal has the potential to dramatically increase the number of Prime subscribers, which comes with free two-day shipping, Kindle book loans, and the Prime Music service on top of video streaming.
The show is slated to begin filming this fall, although there is some bad news for fans of a certain white-suited tame racing driver. According to The Sun, The Stig will not be joining his former co-stars on Amazon Prime. That, and a $99 a year fee, still seem like a small price to pay to see Clarkson, May, and Hammond back on the air, though.