Amazon’s long-awaited Top Gear “spin-off,” The Grand Tour, debuts on November 18, and Amazon is knocking $20 off its annual Prime membership for a 27-hour period to encourage folks to sign up.
Additionally, Amazon is launching a new Alexa skill specifically for The Grand Tour, meaning those with an Echo or other Alexa-enabled device can unlock exclusive video content when prompted by the voices of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond.
To recap, Top Gear is a long-running TV show from U.K. broadcaster the BBC. The series rose to international acclaim thanks to the zany, offbeat styles of Clarkson, May, and Hammond. However, the show came to a halt in early 2015 after Clarkson was accused of hitting a producer on the show — Clarkson was subsequently fired, and his two amigos walked away. While Top Gear continues with a bunch of new presenters, Amazon managed to sign the aforementioned presenters, apparently beating some big-name competitors, including Netflix, to the punch. The Grand Tour is thought to be one of Amazon’s biggest original programming investments, reportedly costing around $250 million, and it’s now being used as leverage to encourage people to sign up to Amazon Prime — which is the only way you’ll be able to watch the show for now.
Amazon has offered short-term discounts on its Prime membership in the past, but it’s telling that it has chosen to do so ahead of The Grand Tour. Some have called the investment a major gamble, and in truth there is no way of knowing whether Clarkson and Co. can replicate the success they enjoyed with Top Gear. Certainly, Top Gear hasn’t met with favorable reviews since its new team of presenters joined, so it could be that The Grand Tour trio have the Midas touch that will make the new show a success. Either way, Amazon wants as many people as possible signed up for Prime ahead of the show’s premiere this Friday.
At any rate, from November 18 at 00:00 (ET) through to 23:59 (PT) that same day, you’ll be able to sign up to Amazon Prime for $79. And every Thursday thereafter, those with Alexa-enabled devices will be able to receive a clue about something to watch out for in the upcoming episode. Questions will be asked through Alexa the day after each episode airs, and if viewers answer the questions correctly, they may gain access to additional video clips.