What happens to a well-loved and highly acclaimed TV show when it loses its star? Historically, the prognosis isn't good. But even with the sacking of Jeremy Clarkson after FacePunchSteakColdCutFracasGhazi, the folks at Top Gear say the show will go on.
The question is, how, and with whom? No one has figured that out yet, and the show's two other presenters have indicated they come as part of a package deal. But TopGear.com responded to claims that this means the end of the TV show by saying the BBC is trying to get things going for a 2016 season:
It doesn't. The DG's statement confirmed that the BBC will work to renew Top Gear TV for 2016, and of course we'll bring you any news on that front as soon as we have it. [BBC Director-General Tony] Hall also stated that the BBC will look into how it can put out the remaining programmes from the current series.
[...] That isn't to underestimate the incalculable contribution of JC to making Top Gear what it is. He's a big, big hole to fill, and the team you've trusted to make the world's greatest motoring show will be figuring out over the coming months exactly how to do that.
That's good to hear, but not surprising. Top Gear is far more than just a TV show at this point: it's a media empire, one that has spawned websites, magazines, franchises in other countries, live shows and merchandise. It's a huge cash cow for the BBC and they'd be insane to give it up. People forget that Top Gear was around for a long time before Clarkson joined in the late 1980s and then helmed its 2002 relaunch.
But as we all know, much of the show's modern success can be attributed to the strength of its three original presenters and the chemistry between them. Take that away, and you get some of the British show's pale imitators from around the globe.
I don't think Clarkson's firing will spell the end of a TV show we all love. It will just have to become something different with different ideas and different people. We'll just have to see if it works on the same level that it used to.