×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ITV, Netflix in Race to Sign ‘Top Gear’ Trio for New Show

The race to sign the three former “Top Gear” hosts for a new automotive-focused unscripted series is said to be heading into the final laps, with ITV and Netflix in the lead. Hulu is also said to be in the mix.

It’s no secret that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have been in negotiations for weeks to set up a new show that would compete with the BBC mainstay, which is being relaunched with a new host, Chris Evans.

Clarkson was fired from “Top Gear” in March after physically assaulting a producer during a location shoot. He’d hosted the show in various incarnations since 1988 but for an absence from 1999 until the series relaunched in 2002.

WME is understood to be among those advising the threesome as they finalize their next chapter. Also joining the new program will be longtime producer Andy Wilman.

Hammond and May declined to renew their contracts with “Top Gear” after Clarkson’s hasty exit. It was that trio that took “Top Gear” to new heights thanks to the camaraderie and competition elements added to the format. During the past decade “Top Gear” became one of the BBC’s most-watched and most widely exported programs.

Netflix is said to have made a sizable offer — said to be for multiple seasons — to land the show. The SVOD giant is in the midst of an expansion push in the U.K. and Europe. The international profile of “Top Gear” combined with the strong U.K. interest in the trio’s comeback effort makes it a no-brainer for Netflix. Netflix currently carries past seasons of “Top Gear” going back to 2011.

Hulu Plus has streaming rights to “Top Gear” episodes going back to 2003, when the Clarkson, Hammond and May era of the show began. That gives Hulu a natural interest in pursuing the new show. But Hulu is said to be a less attractive option for the trio compared to ITV, with its heft in the U.K. and international distribution capabilities, or Netflix, which has embarked on an aggressive worldwide expansion.

Clarkson and May spurred a new round of speculation about a deal coming together soon with social-media posts on Friday that were read by fans as hints about the new show.

More TV

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

  • MAKING IT -- Season: 1 --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces 'Making It' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, NBC announced the “Making It” Season 2 premiere date and HBO Max greenlit a new docuseries from Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti. DATES Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman will return with the second season of “Making It” on NBC Dec. 2. After the show’s holiday season premiere, the show [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content