It's bittersweet news for "The Grand Tour" hosts. Amazon has renewed the show for a fourth season, but it will come with a major change.
Jeremy Clarkson told The Sun in a Friday report that there will no longer be studio segments, effectively ending 17 years of banter between himself, Richard Hammond, and James May in front of a live audience. Instead, "The Grand Tour" will produce "big adventure road trips," according to the official statement from the Amazon show's social media channels.
The agreement will also see Clarkson, Hammond, and May stick around on Amazon "for years to come."
The trio will hit the road for big-budget specials, perhaps in the spirit of "Top Gear" and its seasonal specials, and leave the studio audience behind. The new agreement for season four calls for the trio to film at least four specials per year, though without the audience. Amazon confirmed the change in a cheeky manner by saying, "We have a tent to sell."
"It’s a really sad day. I will miss the banter with each other and with the audience," Clarkson said. "We’ve been doing that show for effectively 17 years—sitting around in studios, watching cars race around the track," he added.
Clarkson noted all three presenters agreed the format had run its course and "there are only so many times you can watch a BMW go round the track."
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond starring in “The Grand Tour”
Audience members present at the final taping of the studio portion for season three of "The Grand Tour" said each hosts' family members got teary-eyed when Clarkson announced the end of the studio format. Allegedly, Clarkson ended the final episode of the season by saying, "It's the end of an era."
Clarkson fronted 22 seasons of "Top Gear" before misbehavior led to his ouster from the BBC in 2015. Fellow hosts Hammond and May followed their colleague to Amazon to start "The Grand Tour" the next year.
Season three of the Amazon Prime-exclusive show will debut Jan. 18.