The Grand Tour – An Automotive Masterpiece

Everything we’ve waited for, from seeing Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond back on our television screens, to finally having the Porsche 918, McLaren P1, and Ferrari LaFerrari showdown was just a small taste of what we have to look forward to for the next 11 weeks. The former Top Gear hosts have elevated automotive shows to a whole new level, despite the Grand Tour not deviating too much from the platform that we were used to seeing on BBC. Our favorite trio brought back the magic we’ve been missing for almost a year, and although the wait was excruciating, they didn’t disappoint, and in fact, fulfilled every car enthusiasts highest expectations on the new show.

We may be one episode in, but lets face it, Top Gear UK is officially dead. How can BBC recover from losing the greatest entertainers that combine humor and cars, and replace them with mundane and very stale talent that could put someone who suffers from sleep apnea into hibernation? The automotive world took a major hit when BBC fired Clarkson, but he came back stronger, and with May and Hammond, they managed to create a masterpiece that far exceeds the many seasons of Top Gear they were a part of. The reigns are now in their hands, and we got a small sample of what the Grand Tour can become for many years down the road.

The Grand Tour in reality, is Top Gear on steroids. A bigger budget, less censorship, and the hosts at the helm shows not only can they entertain, they can also take a concept that we’re familiar with and perfect it. A new test track and Mike Skinner taking the place of the Stig, are some of the apparent changes to the platform, but both compliment the new show because the track allows for better testing, and Skinner provides further comedy by being interactive as opposed to being faceless. The Tent replaces the old Top Gear studio and there appears to be a segment similar to “the news” where all three hosts discuss automotive topics that are relevant in the time that the show is being produced.

In Episode 1, we caught a glimpse of what this season, and possibly the next 5-10 years could be. Kicking off with the McLaren P1, Porsche 918, and Ferrari LaFerrari sets the tone, and quite frankly, it will be hard for any show, Top Gear UK or otherwise, to create a season premier such as the Grand Tour’s. Needless to say, it’s great to see Clarkson, May, and Hammond back, and with the first season just beginning, car season ending will be easier to cope with when the snow starts falling, and the temperatures drop to the single digits.

Clarkson Fired: BBC Loses, Not Top Gear

It’s official, Jeremy Clarkson has been fired from BBC after an altercation with a producer. James May and Richard Hammond have already made it clear that they won’t continue making episodes without Clarkson so at the moment, the future of Top Gear looks grim. But BBC loses more than Jeremy Clarkson as Top Gear rakes in 50 million British pounds, the equivalent of $74 mil in our currency. There’s no way that the BBC will make that off their nature shows, Orphan Black, and the Three Musketeers, so it’s a bad business decision for them.

We can sit here and argue for hours about whether this was the right move, but by firing Jeremy Clarkson, BBC has essentially given him, May, and Hammond all the power to creating their own show or joining another network under a different name. There’s already been rumors circulating on the Internet that Sky News and ITV have interest in adding the trio to their TV lineup. Why not? $74 mil in extra revenue in a year is certainly worth it. There’s also rumors that Top Gear will be coming to America, which in terms of business and money, is a great move.

If there is one thing American companies and business owners are good at it’s making money. With Top Gear being on American networks, there would be more distribution, bigger profits, more episodes per year, and a bigger viewing audience. Netflix has also been rumored to be working on a deal with Jeremy Clarkson. So a company that’s dominated the movie rental industry, killing off Blockbuster, would be moving into a new market that will definitely bring revenue. This isn’t the end of Top Gear, this is just the beginning.

People seem skeptical due to the possibility of a non-compete in Jeremy Clarkson’s contract, but since he’s been fired, that contact could be voided, and May and Hammond are sure to follow suit. We’re either going to see this trio on another British TV network, or Top Gear is coming to America. There is no doubt that there are TV executives in the United States foaming at the mouths due to the potential of $74 mil in extra revenue.

Just as car companies are entering new markets and following the money trail, TV networks are going to do the same by trying to acquire these three for another show. The United States has always had businesses that capitalized off opportunities other companies gave them, and the BBC will be, without a doubt, the next corporation making a huge mistake.

This is bad business for the BBC. Think of how many other outspoken and controversial figureheads are still on TV. They bring in revenue and a strong viewing audience. Top Gear isn’t dead, and in fact, we may get a better show without the BBC overseeing operations and hindering these three from making the best TV show on the planet.

It’s your loss BBC. Not Top Gear’s, the fan’s, or Jeremy Clarkson’s. Just remember when viewership rankings tank, and lower yearly revenue starts giving you headaches, that you made the biggest mistake ever.