The first episode of The Grand Tour finally hit Amazon Prime Video on Friday, and people really liked it, because it’s essentially a bigger budget version of pre-Chris Evans Top Gear.
No doubt gutted about its early success is Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, the person with the unenviable task of trying to convince the world that passing up on The Grand Tour was a sensible decision.
“We made a play for that show, definitely,” he said in an interview with the Telegraph. “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. We knew what it was worth.”
According to earlier reports, Amazon dropped $160 million to secure The Grand Tour, a figure Netflix wasn’t prepared to match. However, Sarandos says the show cost the company a great deal more.
“That's an under-reported number,” he continued. “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?”
Clarkson, May and Hammond, obviously. Clearly oblivious to the power of presenters, he also admitted that Netflix wanted to get its hands on Bake Off before it made the switch to Channel 4, but was too slow. “I wish we’d had a shot at Bake Off,” he said. “It moved very quickly, and we didn’t. The show’s very, very popular on Netflix, all over the place, so we would’ve definitely been interested.”
Bullet unwittingly dodged. [Telegraph]