Multiple sources said relations had improved and Amazon is in active talks with Clarkson over Season 4 of the farming documentary series, which is easily its best-performing UK original.
A deal is not finalized and there could yet be another plot twist, but those familiar with the matter said discussions have been positive and there is ambition on both sides to bring the show back. Amazon declined to comment.
Production outfit Expectation is currently making Season 3 for a 2024 premiere. A renewal would continue to see cameras rolling next year at Diddly Squat Farm in the Cotswolds.
Although the Clarkson’s Farm talks are progressing, two sources said there was a bump in the road last month following comments made by Amazon executives at the Edinburgh TV Festival.
Dan Grabiner, Amazon’s outgoing UK originals head, and unscripted chief Fozia Khan said the show was “bigger” than Clarkson, suggesting they were thinking about life beyond the former Top Gear host.
Clarkson was said to be unhappy about the remarks and indicated that he was prepared to announce Season 4, telling his Twitter followers: “Stand by for some fantastic news from Clarkson’s Farm.”
Sources said Clarkson was ultimately talked down and, 24 hours after his news tease, he hailed the arrival of a “HUGE amount of piglets.” Clarkson did not respond to a request for comment.
The renewal talks follow Variety reporting in January that Amazon had decided that it “won’t be working with Clarkson” beyond Season 3 of Clarkson’s Farm and a final Grand Tour special. Amazon did not confirm or deny the story.
Clarkson’s column about Markle in The Sun newspaper was cited as a reason for the breakup. Clarkson himself acknowledged that Amazon was “incandescent” after he wrote that he hated Markle on a “cellular level.” Amazon’s Khan said the streamer was “shocked and disappointed” by the column. Clarkson apologized for his remarks.
The scandal did little to harm viewing figures for Clarkson’s Farm, with Deadline revealing that the Season 2 premiere was watched by at least 4.3M people in the UK, making it Amazon’s highest-rated original.
A source who has no vested interest in the series being renewed said the ratings were “extraordinary.” This person said there was nervousness at Amazon about walking away from the show, despite some misgivings about Clarkson.
Clarkson’s Farm has followed the presenter as he has fallen in love with farming, revealing the hardships and bureaucratic hurdles faced by those who seek to make a living from the land. It has introduced Prime Video subscribers to a cast of supporting characters, including “Cheerful” Charlie Ireland and Kaleb Cooper, who has amassed 2M Instagram followers.
Amazon executive Grabiner told the Edinburgh TV Festival: “We get messages from farmers around the world who just love the show, saying they have never really seen their world properly reflected on-screen before, which is amazing.”