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Amazon’s ‘The Grand Tour’ Team on Guns, Ditching Guests, and Further Seasons

The team behind “The Grand Tour” is in talks with Amazon about further seasons of the motoring show as Season 3 prepares to roll out of the garage on Jan. 18.

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May took their “Top Gear” expertise from the BBC to Amazon Prime Video in a three-season deal that was signed with an earlier regime at the streamer. With the new series, that agreement will have run its course and reports have suggested a reworked version of the format focusing on the travel and adventure film segments of the show will follow in its wake.

Whether Amazon will put more gas in the tank is being discussed. “Genuinely, we love working for Amazon and they made it absolutely plain they love working with us,” Clarkson said at a London event for the new season. “We’re very popular on the feed, so we’re talking now about the future.” Asked by Variety when any news on further seasons would drop, he said: “I would have thought really soon, I would bloody hope.”

May said the team could keep on making the show “as long as we are acceptable to the viewers. They seem to quite like us, Amazon like[s] us, we like working for them, they don’t interfere. It’s a very nice productive relationship.”

Clarkson, who hosted a second run of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” specials in the U.K. over the holiday period, said that a crucial tweak to “The Grand Tour’s” new season is the absence of guests. That came about after Amazon crunched its viewing data.

“Amazon is able, unlike most television companies, to look at actually what people are looking at – they can actually see minute by minute,” he said. “They said people are skipping over someone who was once in ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here’ and the runner-up of ‘X Factor’ competing against one another. They’re skipping over that because it’s a global show, and so we thought we may as well devote the time and effort that we would normally put into the guests into the films.”

Added Hammond: “The message had come through clearly and can be read empirically from the data that people love the big films, the adventures, the trips, the travel, and seeing places in a way you don’t normally see them.”

For the new season, the team filmed specials in Arizona and Nevada, Colombia, and Mongolia, and traveled extensively in Europe and elsewhere, including to Chongqing, China.

One explosive segment shown to journalists sees the presenters in pickups with guns mounted on the back, in what could be a controversial sequence about how such vehicles are used in the developing world.

“You have to be careful about shooting guns because it’s one of those things where you find yourself in an intellectual dead end, because then Americans start going, ‘You shouldn’t have guns,’ which of course you shouldn’t,” Clarkson said. “But we needed them for what we were doing. It’s a complicated process that goes through your head when you are firing a gun because obviously it’s a terrible thing, but then it’s also incredibly good fun.”

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