Long before The Grand Tour premiered last Friday, there was quite a public battle between the major on-demand players in entertainment to lock down Jeremy Clarkson, Andy Wilman, Richard Hammond, & James May.
Knowing how wildly successful Top Gear had been for such a long time, several companies had a good idea of how much money there was to be made from creating a relationship with the trio and producing their show. Two of the players who made the most serious offers were Amazon and Netflix.
According to several sources, each episode of The Grand Tour costs in the neighborhood of about £4.5 million to produce, with over £160 million total, rumored to have been fronted. That’s far from chump change, even for the big boys.
At some point, Netflix decided that the project wasn’t for them. Now it would seems that the execs over at Netflix may be bitter over the success of the show.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos told them “We knew what it was worth….we made a play for that show, definitely, but we’ve had every season of Top Gear on Netflix in most territories in the world, so we had a better sense than most of what the audience was for Top Gear on our platform.”
When The Telegraph posed the question of whether or not the production of the show was worth what Amazon was paying for it Sarandos replied:
“That’s an under-reported number. It was about a quarter of a billion dollars.”
We’ll be able to figure out later what it was that made the show the show. It’ll be interesting with Grand Tour to see how much of that is the players, who in many cases are big personalities, but what elements of Top Gear will people miss?”
It sounds like Sarandos has yet to learn what everybody else already knew. Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May ARE what made Top Gear a success. Likewise, they are also what has made The Grand Tour a success. That is not to say there aren’t a lot of hard-working people who have put their own blood, sweat, and tears into the making of the show, but without those three, we have already seen what can happen to a motoring show.
Source: Digital Spy