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Holy guacamole! We knew the former Top Gear trio of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond were a pretty hot property when they left the BBC, but I don’t think anyone realized how big of a budget they could commandeer. After weeks of talking deals with various networks and streaming services, the well-liked TV hosts ended up landing over at Amazon and, as it turns out, the company paid a pretty penny to hire them. News broke this week that the deal was signed with a budget of $250 million dollars in play (that’s £160m for those who are in the UK).
To be fair, Amazon has big plans to produce a ton of episodes for the currently untitled car series, which is expected to hit Amazon Prime in 2016. Thirty-six episodes and three seasons have been ordered so far, which is a lot more than even network TV usually signs on for at a given time. However, 250 million dollars spread across 36 episodes still means that each episode of the new car show will have a budget of 4.5 million dollars, and that’s for a show that does feature some big names but doesn’t really need a lot of hefty camera work or CGI.
To give you an idea of how much money this is, the average hour-long budget for a Game of Thrones episode costs $6 million dollars to produce (“Blackwater” reportedly cost $8 million). Another big drama, Breaking Bad, reportedly cost roughly $3 million per episode. A car show requires permits and insurance and more, but $4.5 million dollars still seems like a ton of money per installation.
The Daily Mail reports the new show is expected to go into production this fall. We won’t get new episodes for a while, but considering the budget, I think it’s safe to say that once the episodes hit the air, the show should be fabulous.
One thing’s for certain: the guys will definitely have enough gas money to do what they want moving forward. In addition, the team has also reportedly brought with them Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman for the new series, which is a pretty happy ending to the Top Gear mess that unfolded over the last few months. Here's the team's final BBC goodbye:
We’ll let you know when the new show gets a title and an official premiere date on the streaming service. In the meantime, here’s what’s coming up this fall.