When Jeremy Clarkson was initially fired by the BBC and his two onscreen pals Richard Hammond and James May ultimately opted to follow him out the door, the three men seemed destined for another car show. And since Top Gear episodes have proven to be a big hit for Netflix, a lot of people thought the subscription streaming service would land the new show. Over the past few months, Netflix has mentioned that Clarkson didn't necessarily fit into the demographics the series was trying to reach, but now it seems the company has a very different reason for saying no to Jeremy Clarkson and co. During a recent interview, Reed Hastings revealed that Netflix was actually outbid for the series.
We bid on Jeremy Clarkson's show and they bid more. By the time they won it, we were like 'Wow, that's a lot of money.' Maybe it'll work for them, it might well. It could be a great show. You can't tell until you've seen it. We lost on that one; there's other ones we won.
Well, that's... fascinating. To tell you the truth, I'm a little surprised that Reed Hastings is openly admitting that Amazon actually outbid the subscription streaming service for the new car show, which is going to be called The Grand Tour. Formerly, Netflix's Neil Hunt had bluntly stated that the subscription streaming service didn't purchase the series because the data indicated it wasn't worth the money the auto show was wanting to move forward, but it now it seems that Netflix actually did put a bid in for the project, and lost.
Obviously, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond all made out pretty well with the Amazon deal. Previously, we learned that the deal was signed with $250 million dollars (or £160m) in play. The money will be used to produce 36 episodes for Amazon coming up. That's an average of $4.5 million per episode that can be used to make The Grand Tour the best series as possible. So perhaps it wasn't that The Grand Tour was worth money for Netflix, but just that it didn't want to go out of its way to try and compete with Amazon.
Reed Hastings also to The Guardian that this bidding and outbidding for shows is a thing that happens all the time among the major streaming services, and sometimes even networks get involved. Here's what he had to say:
They are in the bidding, but so is Hulu in the US, so is HBO, we were bidding [against] Channel 4 for Black Mirror.
Obviously, Netflix didn't end up landing the Jeremy Clarkson series, but the streaming service has a slew of other original programs hitting the schedule over the next few months. You can check them out here.