Jeremy Clarkson is TV’s Anti-Cautionary Tale

‘Top Gear’ is pulling into Netflix only a few months after its star punched a BBC producer.

Jeremy Clarkson, the man who stuck his head into the yawning jaws of the BBC, will head to Netflix with backseat driver Richard Hammond and spare tire James May to star in an as yet unnamed reboot of Top Gear. According to The Sunday Times, the trio will bring show runner Andy Wilman along for the ride, which pretty much means things came up Clarkson, illustrating that this is the win-win era of television production.

Could Clarkson have managed to destroy his own career? Well, he basically tried and failed. Punching a producer for failing to supply a steak dinner is pretty much as fire-able an offense as anyone has come up with yet, but here Clarkson is, sitting pretty thanks to a streaming service.

This is not long-term sustainable, but, for the moment, it seems like purveyors of fine televisual products are all but guaranteed work. If they get canceled, they just move to a streaming service. Maybe they get a pay bump and maybe they don’t, but they pretty much get to do what they were doing before without being bothered. For guys like Clarkson, it means a second (or third or fourth) chance, but for every one else the trend represents a big net.

Give creatives the chance to go get weird and they’ll do just that. They might not punch a producer in the nose, but they’ll certainly fight back.

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