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Producing a show about big, fast and impressive vehicles is far cost-friendly, with everything from extra fuel to gobs of insurance adding to the final tally. Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson and producer Andy Wilman know a thing or two about that, and they're learning some even bigger lessons with the upcoming Amazon series The Grand Tour. The show is reportedly extremely expensive, and Wilman revealed that a lot of it is coming from how the show is being made, not necessarily what's on it.
It's a good whack, but we are spending a lot and that is going out the door hand over fist because of what we have to do. Making a drama in 4K makes a lot of sense. But making the kind of actuality show we make in 4K does not make sense at all but that is what we've been tasked to do.
You gotta love the bluntness of a Brit who's been in the business a while. Most producers would probably speak quite highly of their outlet, championing every decision made, but Andy Wilman has no problem with publicly saying he thinks it's non-sensible to bring the ultra-modern 4K approach to the unscripted The Grand Tour. Perhaps part of that confidence comes from knowing Amazon is going to shell out the moolah and get the show produced exactly as its execs see fit, regardless of what's said about it. No one is lacking petty cash there.
It is kind of strange that Amazon is choosing The Grand Tour to be one of its original series given the super-fancy 4K gear for its episodes. Layman consumers have yet to fully embrace the upgrade in resolution, though it's expected the number of 4K TVs in homes will rise dramatically, and it'll be important for those TVs to have programming to show off the specs. We all know nothing looks better in the highest-definition possible than the faces of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.
For what it's worth, too, Andy Wilman also claimed in this interview from the Edinburgh International Television Festival that the numbers being reported for the show - 4 million pounds an episode - aren't correct. In his words:
What's in the papers is bollocks. It's bullshit. But what can you do, say it's $3,999,000 per episode? No.
But hey, it's better to make headlines for possibly spending too much money on a TV show than the other news stories that have centered around Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear in the past year or so. Clarkson's exit from the hit BBC series resulted in a lawsuit (but nothing that really damaged the presenter's career) and the rebooted version almost imploded during its first season thanks to behind-the-scenes problems with new host Chris Evans, who was promptly fired.
The Grand Tour doesn't have an exact release date yet, though audiences can expect to find it hitting Amazon at some point in the next few months. In the meantime, check out everything else coming to TV soon with our fall premiere schedule.