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The Grand Tour Could Get New Hosts Because Good Things Aren’t Allowed to Die

Whoever replaces Clarkson, Hammond, and May is going to have a tough time.

byNico DeMattia|
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The Grand Tour as we know it is ending. There's only one feature-length special left from Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May and then their off to do other separate projects, leaving automotive television behind. However, like Dr. Frankenstein reviving an unwilling corpse, it seems Amazon Prime, isn't willing to let The Grand Tour die and is instead interested in bringing it back but with a new trio of hosts, according to Broadcast.

The Broadcast report suggests that Studio Lambert was given a contract to make a new version of the show, though details are scarce. There's no word on if a new version of The Grand Tour would have three hosts, use the original studio format, or keep the new feature-length special-only format. However, whoever does get the job, in whatever capacity it might be, they're going to have their work cut out for them.

Clarkson, Hammond, and May have had a bumpy ride over these past few years, mostly due to controversy surrounding the former. The only reason they aren't still hosting Top Gear on the BBC is because Clarkson punched a producer in the face, and he's made his fair share of controversial public statements. However, as problematic as he could be, the chemistry between those three hosts is almost impossible to replicate. Just ask the BBC, who went through several different hosting setups before finding one that even mildly worked, and even that never worked as well as the original. People never tuned in to Top Gear to watch people talk about cars, they tuned in to watch Clarkson, Hammond, and May talk about cars and it just wasn't the same without them. While The Grand Tour was never as popular (or as good) as prime Top Gear, it's still going to be incredibly difficult to step into that trio's shoes have have success.

Replacing iconic hosts won't be the only challenge, either. What could the new hosts possibly do, what sort of adventures could they go on, that the old trio didn't already? A lack of new ideas is one of the reasons why Clarkson and Co. decided to hang their driving gloves up. “I’ve driven cars higher than anyone else and further north than anyone else. We’ve done everything you can do with a car. When we had meetings about what to do next, people just threw their arms in the air,” Clarkson told The Sunday Times in January.

That's not to say that cars and the car industry aren't still interesting. They are and it is, perhaps more than ever. But TV might be the wrong medium. “James May thinks there’s never been a more interesting time for how we move around and he’s probably right, but I don’t think it’s very interesting television,” Clarkson said. “An electric car is no different from a chest freezer or a microwave oven. There’s no glamour or excitement. This week on Top Chest Freezer! I think it suits the written media more.”

While I think there's still a way to make great automotive TV, I don't think reviving The Grand Tour with new hosts is the way to do it. To do it correctly, it needs a new show, with a new name, new hosts, new ideas, and a completely new format. However, since we as a society can't ever seem to let good things die, and Amazon seems keen on milking The Grand Tour for everything it's worth, let's hope any new hosts are given enough time to earn the chemistry that made the original trio so great.

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