A new show by the former hosts of Top Gear for Amazon’s streaming video service will be “very, very, very expensive”, the company’s founder says.
Jeff Bezos also told the Sunday Telegraph Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are “worth a lot and they know it”.
They will front three series of a new motoring programme for Amazon Prime, with the first season due in 2016.
The move follows their departure from the hit BBC Two show earlier this year.
Clarkson’s contract was not renewed after an “unprovoked physical attack” on a Top Gear producer. His co-hosts then followed him in leaving the show.
‘Golden age of TV’
Mr Bezos said he is “very excited” about the new show.
“We have a lot of things in the pipeline, which I think viewers in the UK and around the world are going to love. And I think Clarkson’s new show is going to be one of those.
“I think we’re in a golden age of television, so if you go back in time even just five years, you couldn’t get A-list talent to do TV serials, or, if you could, it was a rare thing. But that’s flipped completely.”
He added that serialised TV is currently enjoying “very high investment” and that this bring an increase in the “amount of time you have to tell a story”.
“That format change opens up a lot of storytelling possibilities, which, when mixed with the movie-like production standards, and the A-list talent, is why we’re seeing amazing television.”
The unnamed new car-themed programme will be made with former Top Gear executive producer Andy Wilman, who also quit the BBC following the “fracas”.
Mr Wilman has said they had all agreed to a deal with Amazon because “they’ll give us the freedom to make the programme we want… there’s a budget to produce programmes of the quality we want and this is the future”.