Amazon's new car show from the 'Top Gear' trio will have a whopping £160 million budget, making it one of the most expensive UK programmes ever. Not only that, the editorial team will have total control over the show, meaning they can spend that money how they want.
Producer Andy Wilman (who also produced 'Top Gear') told Broadcast that the huge budget was one of the main reasons Clarkson and co signed with Amazon.
The team has signed up to three series of the show, each consisting of 12 episodes. That means the 36 episodes will have a budget of £4.5 million each.
"It was very parochial the way this whole thing started," Wilman said. "It's not our forte doing deals. We're all crap at business."
He confirmed that Netflix and ITV had also approached the foursome. But they were enticed by Amazon's promise of complete editorial control.
"Everyone we have talked to has told us: 'They leave you alone to make your show'. That's a big one for us – we don't like interference, we don't need to be policed."
Clarkson agreed. Writing in his column for The Sun, he said: "Along with our long-time producer Andy Wilman, we have formed a production company which is called W Chump and Sons and we are now looking for an office, a rubber plant, some company cars and a name for our new programme.
"Then we will be off. To make what will be a seriously well-funded, British-based show with no commercial breaks and, better still, no editorial pressure from on high.
"Amazon has been delightfully clear on that. 'Just make the show you wanna make, guys'. Music to my ears."
The as-yet-untitled show is expected to start in Autumn 2016.