Report: Netflix in talks to acquire “Top Gear” reboot

The streaming platform is reportedly in early stages of talks with distributor BBC Worldwide to acquire the highly anticipated first season of the rebooted automotive series.
March 4, 2016

Netflix is in talks to acquire the rebooted version of Top Gear from distributor BBC Worldwide, according to a report in The Guardian.

The 16-episode series, which premieres in the UK on BBC2 on May 8, features co-hosts Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc of Friends fame alongside five other presenters.

BBC Worldwide (BBCWW) screened footage from the highly anticipated series for buyers during a showcase event in Liverpool last month.

Acquisition talks for the revamped program are reportedly in early stages and it is not yet clear what possible deal terms would be.

Past seasons of the hit automotive series are available on Netflix in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Western Europe.

A Netflix spokesperson told realscreen, “We are fans of the BBC and have licensed BBC programming, including Top Gear, for Netflix in many countries for many years,” adding that the SVOD platform has “nothing specific” to say on the new series at this time.

In addition, a BBC spokesperson said they did not have any comment.

If the new Top Gear lands on Netflix, it could potentially go up against former hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May’s new car show for Amazon Prime, which is being exec produced by Andy Wilman, also formerly of Top Gear. The yet-to-be-titled series is due to premiere this fall.

The presenters parted ways with the BBC last year after the pubcaster revealed it would not be renewing Clarkson’s contract in the wake of an altercation with a Top Gear producer. Radio host Evans replaced Clarkson and recruited Pett Television founder Lisa Clark to exec produce. Clark, however, has since left the team.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.