BBC: Final Top Gear Season 22 Episodes Postponed, Not Cancelled, iTunes Drops Season with Refunds

Jeremy Clarkson, James May and the Hennessey VelociRaptor 1 photo
Photo: Top Gear on Twitter
While we're still waiting for the BBC to issue the conclusion for the internal investigation being conducted after Jeremy Clarkson's fracas, the fate of the remaining Top Gear episodes is still hanging in the air.
We'll remind that, on March 10, Top Gear announced "Top Gear will not be broadcast this Sunday (15 March)". Subsequently, multiple voices talked about the rest of the season (3 episodes) being cancelled.

Yesterday, March 16, a statement was released by Top Gear, as follows: "We can now confirm that Top Gear will not be back in the studio this week and, as such, the episode due for broadcast this Sunday night (22nd March) will also be postponed pending the outcome of the investigation."

Of course, "postponed" sounds much better than the blank fans received during the first announcement. Most of the action in the remaining three episodes may have already been filmed, but with the live storytelling impossible, the situation is more than delicate.

What's more, we have bad news coming from Apple's side.

iTunes is making refunds

iTunes subscribers received an email notification explaining their ordered season pass for Top Gear, Season 22 is complete. The email states the season includes less episodes than estimated and, as a result, iTuned is issuing partial refunds.

While BBC Scotland director, Ken MacQarrie, is leading the investigation on Clarkson, an unnamed senior BBC official caused quite a stir in the Mail on Sunday, suggesting Clarskon can be compared to Jimmy Savile - the hint was that Clarkson is receiving the same kind of support that was offered to the deceased pedophile Savile, who abused hundreds of victims. The comparison was deemed as a massive exaggeration, with the many of the now-grown-up victims slamming it.

BBC's losses

Financially speaking, the negative effects of not airing the Top Gear episode that had been scheduled for March 15 can already be seen. Instead of the car show, which tops BBC2 audience ratings, the channel aired a repeat of the Red Arrows: Inside the Bubble. According to The Guardian, the repeat for the documentary on the Royal Air Force aerobatics squad repeat attracted 1.3 million viewers. This means the BBC lost 4 million viewers on that occasion.

In the US, BBC America aired the first of the two parts for the Top Gear: The Perfect Roadtrip. While the special was done back in 2013 and 2014, this hadn't been aired in America.

There appears to be no precise estimation on BBC America's audience loss, we have to mention Top Gear was the channel's top show.

The rumor mill

Amusingly, many have already suggested replacements for each of the sides in the BBC-Clarkson relationship. While some think Clarkson is moving on to BBC rival Channel 4 (which is not true) or even HBO, British journalist Chris Harris was seen as a proper top man for a new Top Gear format.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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